Student teaching through the York College education program

Secondary Education Biology

Craft a science education experience for students as a certified biology teacher in grades 7-12.

The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Secondary Education Biology degree program at York College of Pennsylvania prepares you to become a certified biology teacher through Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)-approved coursework and rich student teaching experiences.

At York College, we believe a great biology teacher must have a well-rounded background in other scientific disciplines and a solid understanding of teaching and leading a classroom. Secondary Education Biology majors establish these solid foundations and receive personalized support to become certified teachers.

York is home to a community of expert educators, industry leaders, and driven students who support your journey to complete licensure requirements, pass certification exams, and become a biology teacher.

A high school student holds a plastic model of a DNA helix as his teacher looks on, pointing at areas of the model with his pencil.

About the Secondary Education Biology Degree

  • Key Courses

    Biology Education Degree Requirements

    Secondary Education Biology majors complete a balance of science and biology topics courses, general education classes, education methods requirements, and real-world student teaching experiences in preparation for careers as certified educators in seventh through twelfth grade.

    Key courses and experiences in the 125-credit BS in Secondary Education (7-12), Biology degree program include:

    • BIO 142: Molecules, Genes and Cells 
    • BIO 212: Environmental Biology
    • SE 201: Early Field Experience
    • SE 354: Middle and Secondary Science Pedagogies
    • SE 495: Student Teaching

    Program Admissions

    Once admitted to York College of Pennsylvania for the Secondary Education Biology program, students must complete introductory courses and meet other requirements to apply for Pre-Professional Educator Status, a prerequisite for upper-level coursework and student teaching.

    To learn how to become a Secondary Education Biology major, explore undergraduate admissions at York College of Pennsylvania.

    Earn a BS in Secondary Education Biology (7-12) at York College of Pennsylvania

    With York’s bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education Biology, make the first stride toward a career impacting the lives and learning of students in science classrooms.

    Learn more about becoming a Secondary Education Biology major: Request more information.

    Take the next step! Visit our campus and begin your application.

  • Career Opportunities and Benefits

    Begin Teaching Biology in Middle and High School

    A Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Biology helps certify students seeking teaching positions in grades 7-12. Graduates from the Secondary Education Biology bachelor’s program become educators in public schools, private schools, and other related environments. Our students have gone on to work for public and private schools, such as 360Lancaster, Commonwealth Connections Academy, and school districts across York County.

    Individuals who have completed a secondary education degree program can also pursue further education by enrolling in graduate education programs, leading to other certifications and credentials. By gaining experience as an educator, you'll expand career opportunities in areas such as teacher training, special education, school administration, and district-level roles.

    In addition to the learning and student teaching you need, the Career Development Center offers assistance with finding placements and career services.

    Salary Outlook in Secondary Education

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers reported a median annual salary of $62,360 in 2022. This figure reflects the evolving economic landscape and the crucial role of educators in secondary education.

    A high school teacher's salary depends on location, school district, length and breadth of work experience, education, and certifications. Gaining more experience and pursuing advanced degrees or leadership roles can increase salary potential.

  • Internships & Work Experience

    Field Experience and Student Teaching

    Biology and science education majors at York receive extensive, personalized training on how to lead a classroom, including instructional techniques and technological skills, in hands-on field experiences that culminate in a student teaching semester.

    As a biology education major, you’ll build up your methods and confidence in teaching scientific concepts, completing typical teacher duties, lesson planning, and more. There are four components of student teaching:

    • Early field experience
    • Educational assessment immersion
    • Advanced field experience
    • Professional semester (student teaching and seminar)

    These undergraduate student teaching experiences help complete the requirements for teacher certification in Pennsylvania, a necessary credential for teaching in public Pennsylvania schools.

    Learn about student teaching and field experiences at York’s School of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

  • Mentorship & Community

    Learn from Expert Educators

    From the York faculty who teach and mentor you to the clinical supervisors you learn from in field and student teaching experiences, the educators you meet as a Secondary Education Biology major at York impart insight and advice that impact your future professional success.

    Placements with Local Schools

    York College of Pennsylvania has sowed deep roots in the local and regional educational community, from public and charter schools to related organizations in social outreach, educational technology, and more.

    Through this access, current students and graduates of the Secondary Education Biology program enjoy connections to schools and educational institutions in the city and region that make strong references for student teaching engagements, job placements, and further education.

    Clubs and Professional Organizations

    Secondary Education Biology majors at York join clubs and professional organizations, attend science and educational conferences, read science journals, and expand their professional network.

    Over 100 student-run organizations and involvement opportunities intertwine with your academic success in the YCP community.

  • High-Demand Skills

    Skills for Teaching the Sciences in Middle and High School

    Acquire essential skills for biology lesson development, educational techniques, and classroom management. Graduates of the BS in Secondary Education - Biology degree program: 

    • Gain comprehensive understanding of topics of biology such as genetics, microbiology, and ecology for teaching at the secondary level
    • Practice teaching methods and strategies to communicate complex biological concepts to students
    • Demonstrate skills in managing diverse classroom dynamics and maintaining an inclusive and productive learning environment
    • Know how to integrate technology and digital tools and resources into the classroom
    • Be able to administer techniques in assessing student understanding and progress
    • Design and implement an engaging and educational biology curriculum, including lab experiments and field activities

    Other Teaching Bachelor’s Programs at YCP

    The School of Behavioral Sciences and Education offers 12 undergraduate majors tailored to meet certification pathways for teaching different grades and subjects. A few are:

    York College also offers multiple certificates, master’s, and doctoral education programs, ideal for students seeking specialized training and credentials.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does a biology teacher do?

    Biology teachers play a crucial role in educating students about the origin, distribution, structure, and function of all living organisms. Their responsibilities include developing and delivering engaging lessons encompassing various subfields such as genetics, anatomy, and physiology.

    Beyond teaching, biology teachers handle administrative tasks and supervise lab experiments. They also engage in activities like planning field trips, arranging parent-teacher conferences, and setting classroom and lab behavior guidelines, ensuring their students a safe and well-rounded educational experience.

  • What degree do you need to teach biology?

    Candidates are generally required to have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to obtain certification as a biology teacher. This is typically a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, which should include prerequisite coursework in biology concepts, instruction, and practical experience in teaching and classroom management.

  • What can you do with a biology education degree?

    A bachelor's degree in education and science, including student teaching and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), is required to become a science or biology teacher in Pennsylvania public schools. The coursework and in-classroom field experiences also prepare students to teach in other educational settings like private and charter schools.

    Besides teaching biology and other sciences to middle and high school students, you could also explore career options such as science writing or journalism, field biology, curriculum, or work in the private sector related to education and the sciences. Strong communication skills, both written and verbal, as well as excellent presentation skills, would be valuable assets in these areas.

Contact Us
Education Department
Kimberly Sutton
Chair of Education Department
Appell Life Sciences, 135
Phone: 717.815.1424