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 You'll Do

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.

What Can You Do with a Biology Education Degree?

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.

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. 

Graduate School Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Southeast Missouri StateMNS in biology or science education
  • University of Missouri-Ph.D.
  • University of Miami, OhioPh.D.

Employment Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Cape Girardeau, Jackson, Oran, Kelly, Arcadia Valley, Farmington, Fredericktown, Sikeston, Dexter, Ste. Genevieve, Cuba, Sullivan, Scott County Central, Puxico, Ellington, Florida, Herculaneum, Perryville, Richland, St.Louis area, Windsor, Caledonia, Advance, Desoto, Kansas City, Rockwood, North City, South Iron County, California, Charleston, Portageville, St. Vincent’s, Cape Career Center, Shawnee, Anna-Jonesboro, Leopold, Twin Rivers.


Biology Education (BSED) Degree Map

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

Outcomes & Careers

  • $69k

    High School Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for secondary school teachers is $69,480.

  • $67k

    Middle School Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for elementary and middle school teachers is $67,790.

  • $97k

    Biological Science Postsecondary Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for biological science postsecondary teachers is $97,800.

What You'll Study

Degree Map

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 2: 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 – 40-42 Hour Major - No Minor Required

  • 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)
  • GO318/018 Earth Science: Proc Approach (3)
  • MA116 Precalculus A (3)
  • PL425 Approved Biology Elective, 300 level or above (3)
Choose 4-5 hours:
  • PH106/PH107 Physical Concepts (4)
  • PH120 Introductory Physics I (5)
Choose 4-5 hours:
  • CH181 Basic Principles of Chemistry (5)
  • CH184/185 General Chemistry I Lecture & Lab (4)

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

To be eligible for enrollment in the majority of courses offered by the Teacher Preparation Program
and required for a teaching degree (BSE, BSFCSE, BME), students must be admitted to the Teacher
Preparation Program (TPP). Students should apply for admission to the TPP upon having met the following entrance criteria:

  • 42 hours of coursework completed;
  • One of the following:
    • Composite/Superscore of 20 or higher on the ACT exam
    • Passing score on the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA)*
    • Have a previous 4-year degree from an accredited college/university
  • The following course requirements met:
    • A minimum grade of 'C' in CF/PY120 The Child (Elementary, Early, and Exceptional) or PY222 Development of the Adolescent (Middle and Secondary)
    • A minimum grade of 'B' in ED280 Introduction to Education as a Profession or ME222 Principles of Teaching Music.
  • International Students must also meet the following requirements:
    • C1 (CEFR) level
    • IELTS minimum score of 7.0 or TOEFL minimum score of 95
    • Note: This policy is for non-United States citizens who are not native English
      speakers. Students from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New
      Zealand are exempt from English proficiency verification

*Students already admitted to the University should take the MoGEA instead of re-taking the

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 (17 Hours)  
  • BI283 (4) 
  • PH106/107 (4) 
  • 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, completed MEP; Passing score MoGEA

Junior Year

Fall Semester (16 Hours)    
  • BI332 (3) 
  • BI405 (1) 
  • EX390 (3)
  • GO318/018 (3)
  • PL425 (3)
  • SE350 (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, MoPTA, 2.75 cumulative GPA, 3.0 GPA in Education and content

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.

Hands-on Learning

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


"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.

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.

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.

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Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 6200
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701