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B.S. in Secondary Education | Biology/Science Education (9-12)


Become certified as a biology teacher at the secondary education level by completing the General Biology track and requirements for a Secondary Education Certificate. Major area of specialization coursework includes all content-area courses used to fulfill major requirements in the program (i.e., Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Math courses).

Saint Xavier University has an ideal location for the study of biology. The campus has its own spring-fed lake and the Palos Forest Preserves are within a few minutes drive. Moreover, the Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoos, Morton Arboretum and Field Museum of Natural History provide local settings for field trips and classes.

The laboratory facilities at Saint Xavier University include the following resources for students:

  • animal facility
  • a cadaver facility
  • a light microscope research center

In addition, Saint Xavier University is a member of the Reis Biological Field Station Consortium. Membership allows faculty the use of the station for field trips/courses and give the SXU student access to all summer field courses offered by any of the Consortium schools.

Program Requirements

For more information, please review the program requirements and course descriptions in the SXU Academic Catalog.

134 credit hours are required for Bachelor of Science degree. The Biology Education major is a licensure program that prepares students to teach biology in high school. Requirements include coursework in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Detailed course information can be found in the academic catalog. Students should use Academic Planning to schedule courses and track degree progress.

Suggested four-year academic plan for the major (courses required in the major are in bold)

Please consult with your academic advisor prior to course selection.

Semester 1 Credit Hours
TRANS 100: Transitions 1
FYS 175: First Year Seminar 3
COMM 101: Speech Fundamentals 3
BIOL 111: General Biology I 5
GE U.S. History 3
Semester 2 Credit Hours
PHIL 140: The Examined Life 3
ENGL 120: Rhetoric and Writing 3
BIOL 112: General Biology II 5
MATH 201: Calculus with Analytic Geometry 4
PSYCH 101: Introduction to Psychology 3
Semester 3 Credit Hours
CHEM 111: General Chemistry I 5
PSYCH 201: Adolescence Psychology 3
BIOL 240: Development Biology 4
EDU 200: Profession of Teaching 3
EDU 202: Educational Psychology 3
Semester 4 Credit Hours
CHEM 112: General Chemistry II 5
BIOL 312: Plant Diversity and Adaptation 4
GE Fine Arts 3
GE Arts and Humanities 3
POLSC 101: Intro to U.S. Government 3
Semester 5 Credit Hours
BIO 318: Ecology 4
BIOL Elective 4
PHYS 201: General Physics 4
EDU 323: Survey of Except Student 3
GE Global Studies 3
Semester 6 Credit Hours
BIOL 300: Genetics 4
CHEM 209: Survey of Organic Chemistry 4
GE Diversity Studies 3
EDU 370: Principles and Practices of the Middle and Secondary Schools 3
EDU 377: Historical and Social Trends in American Education 3
Semester 7 Credit Hours
BIOL 306: Microbiology 4
BIOL Elective 4
BIOL Elective 4
EDU 397: Literacy Instruction 3
EDU 372: Methods of Teaching Biology in the Middle and Secondary Schools 3
Semester 8 Credit Hours
EDU 345: Seminar in Teaching and Learning 3
EDU 349: Directed Teaching 9

Biology/Science Secondary Education Cougar Map

If you would like to print out the Cougar Map, please view the Biology/Science Secondary Education Cougar Map (PDF).


(Major/minor, summer suggestions, academic research)

First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year

Explore scholarship opportunities.

Bring writing assignments to the Learning Center/Writing Studio for help in fine tuning papers.

Visit the Counseling Center for stress relief ideas.

Become familiar with the HUB for all your technical needs.

Form or join a study group with education majors and biology students.

Consider summer courses to catch up or get ahead with your studies.

Complete an education research project for a possible conference presentation.

Be mindful of important dates, i.e. semester Develop your topic for your senior seminar research project.

Visit the library for access to resources for your research papers.

Begin work on your topic for your Senior Seminar independent research project.


(Service, global perspective, study abroad, clubs, RSOs, volunteering))

Consider joining a student club or intramural sports team.

Enroll in Cougars LEAD that supports leadership development and begin working on your leadership certificate.

Participate in student activities.

Explore opportunities to work on campus or get involved with service opportunities through Campus Ministry.

Volunteer at a local organization or education setting.

Take on a leadership role within a student club or organization.

Consider participating in a spring break service trip or study abroad.

Complete the Cougars LEAD Leadership Certificate program.

Serve as a peer mentor for next year’s student-teachers.

Join professional associations related to the field of education and biology.

Career Success

(Career or grad school prep, internships, jobs)

Complete your SXU Handshake profile for student employment with the help of the Center for SUCCESS.

Explore careers related to biology and education.

Attend SXU's career-related events throughout your time at SXU and network with professionals.

Create a LinkedIn profile and make connections within your academic and personal circles.

Apply for an on-campus position in the Biology Department as a lab assistant or tutor.

Secure a position in education as a tutor or after-school assistant

Secure a position as a paraprofessional or teacher aide for a summer program.

Research graduate schools and prepare for post-graduate academic/professional exam(s), if applicable

Ensure that your LinkedIn or other professional social media accounts reflect all your recent experiences.

Actively apply for teaching opportunities.

Apply to graduate schools, if applicable.

Career Outlook

The Secondary Education Program prepares individuals to teach students in the secondary grades, which may include grades nine through twelve, depending on the school system or state regulations. Courses may include preparation to teach a comprehensive curriculum or specific subject matter.

To find out more about your major including potential areas and employers, required skills, job outlook, and median pay, please access the Occupational Outlook Handbook or the O*Net websites.

Explore the subsections below to learn more about the potential skills a student with a secondary education major can develop as well as the potential positions, areas, and employers that hire students with this degree. Please note that these are not exhaustive lists and should be used as a starting point.


As a secondary education major, you will develop an in-depth understanding of your content area. Additionally, students may develop advance skills including communication, patience, creativity, enthusiasm, confidence, dedication, conflict resolution, organization, classroom management, time management, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork.


Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work as teachers, ELL specialists, textbook salespersons, instructional technologists, direct service and grant writers.


Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work in teaching, research, sales, administration, literacy development, adult and continuing education and fundraising/development.


Graduates with a degree in secondary education can work for public, private, magnet, or charter schools, professional associations, test preparation companies, international schools, publishers, museums, zoos, religious organizations, correctional institutions, higher education, nonprofit and park districts.

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