Biology Teacher (7-12), B.A.

School of Education

Program Overview

In this program, you will learn how to stir up enthusiasm for science in children in seventh through 12th grade. You’ll learn how best to transmit your knowledge to students, discover techniques to engage those who may be reluctant about biology, and help young learners develop an appreciation for the natural world. Because the field of biology is so broad, you will learn to develop and give lessons in a wide range of subfields, including anatomy, biochemistry, botany, and zoology.

Biology Teacher (7–12), B.A.

Where You'll Go

After exploring pedagogical techniques specific to the sciences, you’ll be ready to step confidently into a classroom and play an important role in giving students a high-quality science education. After completing this bachelor’s degree program, you will become a skilled teacher, well versed in research, theory, and practice. You will be qualified for employment in the schools of New York City and to receive New York State initial teacher certification.

Major Details

The program information listed here reflects the approved curriculum for the 2023–24 academic year per the Brooklyn College Bulletin. Bulletins from past academic years can be found here.

Major Description

The Department of Secondary Education and the Department of Biology jointly offer a program for students who plan to teach biology in grades seven through 12. Additional information may be obtained from the Department of Secondary Education or the Department of Biology. Adolescence education (grades 7–12) and special subject programs are writing intensive. Students should consult a counselor as early as possible to plan their program.

This program is writing intensive.

To enroll in Biology 1002, 2002 or 2002W, and 3004, students must have completed the appropriate pre- or co-requisite courses with a grade of C- or better. A student with a grade of D+ or lower in any biology course applied toward fulfillment of department requirements must repeat the course until the grade of C- or higher is earned, or offer another course of equal or higher rank. Any substitution of courses must be approved by the chair or deputy chair for advising. At least one course taken must be a writing intensive (W) course offered by the Department of Biology. Students who completed Biology 1080 and 1081 before fall 2010 may substitute them for Biology 1001 and 1002 in all degree requirements.

Major Requirements (71–75.5 Credits)

All of the following: Biology 1001, 1002, 3003, 3004, 3006 or 3007W, 3011;

At least six credits of the following: Biology 2001, 2002 or 2002W, 2010, 2020 or Psychology 2610, Biology 3020 or Psychology 3610, Biology 3030W, 3083, 4001, 4010W or Computer and Information Science 2810, Biology 4011, 4012, 4013, 4022, Biology 4024W, Biology 4025, Biology 4026, Biology 4027, 5000W or 5001 or 5003W or 5010 or 5014W, Biology 5020, Chemistry 4581.

One of the following chemistry sequences:

One of the following courses in Physics: Physics 1100, or 1111, or 1112, or 1150, or 1331 or [Core Curriculum 1331]

Three credits in Geology or Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Mathematics 1201 or Psychology 3400

Students who anticipate majoring in biology teaching must see a departmental adviser in both the biology and education departments before the end of their freshman year in order to plan their program.

Students must complete 26 credits in the Department of Secondary Education as specified below.

  • Secondary Education 2001, 2002, 3401, 3402 and 3456. These courses may be started in the lower-sophomore term or upper-sophomore term.
  • Secondary Education 4480. This course may be taken in the junior year.
  • Secondary Education 4481, 4482, 4483, and 4484 in the senior year. Students must have successfully completed Secondary Education 4480 before taking any of these courses.

The two student-teaching field courses, Secondary Education 4482 and 4484, may be taken in the same semester.

Secondary Education 4404 is course equivalent to all of Secondary Education 4480, 4481, and 4482.

Secondary Education 4410 is course equivalent to all of Secondary Education 4480, 4483, and 4484.

Degree programs in secondary education include a major in an appropriate department of the college.

Completion of an adolescence education program as part of a major one of the sciences qualifies students for New York State initial certification in adolescence education in that science content area for grades 7 through 12.

Students qualifying for the initial certification in adolescence science education may obtain an extension to teach the sciences in grades 5 and 6 by taking Secondary Education 3454.

Admission Requirements and Academic Standing

Students must have a GPA of 2.70 or higher based on a minimum of 30 credits in liberal arts and sciences to take Secondary Education 2001 or 2002.

Students must have a B- in both Secondary Education 2001 and 2002 and a GPA of 2.75 or higher based on a minimum of 30 credits in liberal arts and sciences to continue to Secondary Education 3401, and/or Secondary Education 3402, and/or Secondary Education 3456.

Students who wish to register for student teaching seminar and field placement will need to file an application with the science education program head for permission. See program office for details.

To take Secondary Education 4480, students must have an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher and have the permission of the Secondary Education science education program head, department chair, or deputy.

To take Secondary Education 4481, 4482, 4483, and/or 4484, students must earn a B+ or higher in Secondary Education 4480, 3401 and 3402, have a GPA of 2.75 or higher in their major, and have the permission of the Secondary Education science education program head, department chair, or deputy.

A student who takes either Secondary Education 4481 and/or 4482 prior to Secondary Education 4483 and/or 4484 must earn a B or better grade in Secondary Education 4481 and/or 4482 before taking either Secondary Education 4483 or 4484.

A student who takes either Secondary Education 4483 and/or 4484 prior to Secondary Education 4481 and/or 4482 must earn a B or better grade in Secondary Education 4483 and/or 4484 before taking either Secondary Education 4481 or 4482.

All students accepted to the School of Education are required to submit fingerprint verification before signing up for most education classes. Fingerprint verification is required for work in New York City Department of Education schools if you already have fingerprint records or not. Follow these instructions.

Additional Requirements for a B.A. Degree

Candidates for a B.A. degree with a biology teacher major must complete at least 18 credits in advanced courses in the Department of Biology or allowed electives in other departments as described above (not including Biology 1071 and 1072 or Biology 1001). These 18 credits must be completed with a grade of C- or higher in each course, and 15 or more credits must be completed at Brooklyn College. Specific course requirements for a B.A. degree are described above.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Be prepared to pass NYSED teacher certification examinations in content area, pedagogy, and knowledge of students.
  • Apply the ACTFL, CEC, NCSS, NCTE, NCTM, NSTA, and SHAPE Standards and the Next Generation Learning Standards to planning, instruction, and assessment for all students, including those of low SES, linguistic/cultural minorities, and those with IEPs.
  • Design lessons and units of study that engage all students, including ELLs and students with IEPs, in doing, thinking, reasoning, speaking, and writing in the content areas.
  • Incorporate community resources in culturally relevant units of study.
  • Create classrooms that support social and emotional learning.
  • Make plans for and use technological tools (e.g., communication and collaboration tools, adaptive devices, Web-based digital media) in instruction.
  • Analyze instructional materials and assessments in order to identify linguistic and extra-linguistic demands and challenges of performance tasks in the content areas.
  • Analyze and interpret whole-class interaction focusing on guiding techniques conducive to orchestrating meaningful, inclusive, and content-rich conversations.
  • Analyze and interpret samples of student work and classroom data to identify different levels of student learning as well as typical errors and misconceptions.
  • Conduct and use research in their own practices to improve learning and teaching.

Degree Maps

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Lyn-Donna George

2608 James Hall
P: 718.951.5000, ext. 3771

Or contact:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions

222 West Quad Center
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210

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Internships and Employers

As a student in the School of Education, you will complete internships in public and/or private schools throughout the New York City region. The internship is a 14-week, full-time, supervised experience designed to hone the requisite skills and knowledge to work as a childhood education teacher.

Learn More

Brooklyn. All in.

Brooklyn. All in.