Do more than learn a field of study. Prepare to ignite the passion for that subject for the next generation of learners.

A biology education degree prepares highly qualified teachers of biology once all degree requirements and assessments are passed. Students have an exceptional program of professional preparation including field experiences, theory, and pedagogy courses.

What to Expect

The curriculum is well-rounded to help you develop a strong foundation of biological knowledge. Once you are certified, you can add other areas of science by passing the Missouri Content Assessment exams. Because science teachers are in high demand across most of the United States, you can be confident that job opportunities await.

  • Learn the latest techniques for engaging students while teaching the sciences.
  • Immerse yourself in coursework to increase your knowledge of biology.
  • Gain experience integrating technology into your teaching methods.
  • Focus on teaching techniques, so that you’re preparing all your students to succeed.

Hands-on Learning

You’ll gain hands-on real-world experience through your student teaching experience.

Outcomes & Careers

  • 97%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of Biology report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $66k

    High School Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for secondary school teachers is $65,850.

  • $64k

    Middle School Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for elementary and middle school teachers is $63,820.

  • $99k

    Biological Science Postsecondary Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for biological science postsecondary teachers is $98,700.

Get Funding for Your Education

Missouri’s opened the door to a more educated workforce. We want to help you walk through it. If you’re an adult learner and a Missouri resident returning to college, learn about the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant. It’s a statewide financial aid program that can be used to pursue a certificate, degree or industry-recognized credential in a high need area in Missouri. This major is eligible for the Fast Track grant.

What You'll Study

The biology education curriculum includes coursework in both biology and education. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

“Critical Courses” are italicized and bolded. Data shows that students who have completed this course in the first two years and have earned the noted grade are most likely to complete this program of study.

Education Courses - 47 Hours Required

A grade of ‘C’ or better is required in education courses, with the exception of ED280 which requires a grade of ‘B’ or better.

  • ED280 Introduction to Education as a Profession (3)
  • EF400 Student Teaching Seminar (1)
  • EX390 Psychology and Education of the Exceptional Child (3)
  • PY222 Development of the Adolescent (3)
  • SE307 Content Literacy Methods for Middle and High School (3)
  • SE320 Techniques of Teaching Science (3)
  • SE350 Pedagogy 1: Principles of Effective Teaching (3)
  • SE355 Field Experience II (3)
  • SE365 Pedagogy II: Secondary School (4)
  • SE380 Advanced Field Experience (3)
  • SE385 Pedagogy 3: Advanced Methods of Middle and Secondary Teaching (3)
  • SE390 Instructional Interventions for Middle and Secondary Students with Special Literacy Needs (3)
  • SE465 Student Teaching (12)

Biology Education – 48-53 Hour Major - No Minor Required

Required Courses:

  • BI163 Evolution & Ecology (4)
  • BI173 Cell & Organismal Biology (4)
  • BI283 Genetics (4)
  • BI310 General Microbiology (4)
  • BI332 General Ecology (3)
  • BI405 Engineering in Science Education (1)
  • BS105 Environmental Biology (3)
  • MA116 Precalculus A (3)
  • UI318/018 Earth Science: Proc Approach (3)
  • UI422 Scientific Reasoning (3)
  • Approved Biology elective, 300 level or above (3)
Choose 8-10 hours:
  • PH106 Physical Concepts (3)
  • PH120 Introductory Physics I (5)
  • PH121 Introductory Physics II (5)
Choose 5-7 hours:
  • CH181 Basic Principles of Chemistry (5)
  • CH184/185 General Chemistry I Lecture & Lab (4)
  • CH186 General Chemistry II (3)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year    

Fall Semester (16 Hours)     

  • UI100 (1) 
  • BI163 (4) 
  • CH181 (5) 
  • MA116 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Spring Semester (16 Hours)     

  • BI173 (4)
  • BS105 (3) 
  • EN100 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: Maintain 2.75 cumulative GPA

Sophomore Year    

Fall Semester (16 Hours)  

  • BI283 (4) 
  • PH106 (3) 
  • PY222 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Spring Semester (16 Hours)    

  • BI310 (4) 
  • ED280 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: Maintain 2.75 cumulative GPA, 42 hours completed; completed MEP; Passing score MoGEA

Junior Year

Fall Semester (16 Hours)    

  • BI332 (3) 
  • BI405 (1) 
  • EX390 (3) 
  • SE350 (3) 
  • UI318 (3) 
  • UI422 (3)

Spring Semester (15 Hours)     

  • SE307 (3) 
  • SE355 (3) 
  • SE365 (4) 
  • Biology elective (3) 
  • Elective (2)

Milestone: Passing score Mo. Content Exam; GPA in major 3.0

Senior Year

Fall Semester (12 Hours)

  • SE320 (3) 
  • SE380 (3) 
  • SE385 (3) 
  • SE390 (3) 

Spring Semester (13 Hours)  

  • EF400 (1)
  • SE465 (12)

Milestone: Prior to last semester: Passing score Mo Content Exam, 2.75 cumulative GPA, 3.0 GPA in content; 3.0 GPA in pedagogy; all content and professional education coursework complete.

A “Milestone” signifies a significant stage for a student in the completion of a degree.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Financial Assistance Getting My Teaching Degree

Because science teachers are in such high demand across most of the country and particularly in Missouri, there are some programs designed to incentivize students to go into the field and help pay for your education.

There are forgiveness programs for different types of federal loans in return for teaching science in a high-needs school district (most in Missouri). In addition, students may be eligible to participate in the TEACH grant program which can pay up to $16,000 in college costs over four years and has a similar loan forgiveness program. Be sure to consult the financial aid office for details.

How Can I Find a Teaching Job?

Southeast has been educating teachers since 1873. Our program is well respected and our teachers are highly sought after. Students find positions in a wide variety of school districts in both Southeast Missouri and the St. Louis region.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.


"I would not be the teacher I am today without them. Ever since I have graduated, the professors have continued to check in on me and help me become a better teacher."

Chasity Papenberg

Kylie Zurek Downie, left, and Chasity Papenberg, right, hold “Outstanding Beginning Teacher” certificates.

Biology Education (BSED) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

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