COE: Cert MEd: Secondary Education (9-12) | Biology with Secondary Teacher Certification
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Certification courses in this Cert + Master's program include those in the accelerated Teach in 12 program and are offered online, blended, and with local field experience and teaching practicums. Learn More

Improve Science Knowledge for Our Future

Engaging the natural curiosity of students about living things makes for an exciting career as a teacher of life sciences. The UMSL Biology Teacher Certification and optional Master’s Degree in Secondary Education provide a strong knowledge and skills base in biology as well as a solid foundation in teaching approaches. The UMSL Biology Education Certification and optional Master’s Degree in Secondary Education program provide the research-based approaches for teaching effectively. Area schools and organizations such as the Saint Louis Science Center offer excellent opportunities for working with students while learning to teach.

Enrolling in the College of Education teacher preparation program actively and uniquely engages you throughout your studies in working with secondary students as they learn and develop in informal and formal learning settings. The College of Education recognizes that we prepare educators for a variety of roles and a variety of contexts (i.e. P-12 schools, youth serving organizations, museums, zoos, gardens, nature centers, after school programs, tutoring/mentoring programs, businesses, legislative offices, etc.) all of which impact student learning. We want to prepare community educators as well as P-12 classroom teachers who can provide relevance, application, and meaning to student learning in developmentally, socially, and culturally responsive ways. As a teacher candidate, you will work with students in youth serving agencies to support them in non-traditional settings. You will also gain valuable practical knowledge by applying university course content to interactions with young learners in academically focused content-based community agencies such the St. Louis Chess Club, Powder Valley, and many United Way agencies.

Our teacher programs offer unique capstone experiences, two practica in “Studio Schools.” These are schools and districts where design happens, using a “differentiated staffing” plan. Specifically, teacher candidates will work in the school site as a faculty member, planning and teaching to provide in-depth support, flexibility, and intervention for secondary students where it’s needed. The focus of this model is on K–12 student learning. Teacher candidates, supported by the supervisor and school site mentor, will impact secondary students in multiple, varied and wide ranging grade level, achievement and subject specific contexts. These can include small group settings, whole class lessons, enrichment and support lessons all focused learning experiences.

Unique Resources and Innovations:

  • Launch session to build community, provide early guidance, and share essential information
  • Grand Seminars and Collaborative Exchanges throughout the practicum experiences.

Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGA):

  • Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA)
  • Missouri Educator Evaluation System (MEES)

Clinical Experience:

  • 20 clock hours working in a community agency
  • 2 site-based practicum courses immersed in a Studio School
  • Practicum One: 1 days per week working as a Triton Teacher
  • Practicum Two: 5 days per week working as a Triton Teacher

Certification + Masters

Contact Advisor:

Teach in 12 Team

116 South Campus Classroom Building (SCCB)
p: (314) 516-5937

Slide 1 Teach in 12 student hopes to bring passion for the outdoors into a classroom setting
Bobby Schultz, who is getting his teacher certification through the UMSL College of Education’s Teach in 12 program, has held a variety of jobs since earning his bachelor’s degree, including a stint as a sea kayak guide in Alaska. (Photos courtesy of Bobby Schultz)

DESE Science/Unified Science - Biology (Grades 9-12) Certification
  • Biology (9-12): Allows for teaching Biology at all secondary levels
  • Unified Science with Emphasis in Biology (9-12): Allows for teaching Biology at all secondary levels plus introductory courses in General Science, Chemistry, and Physics
The College of Education will recommend you to the Missouri Department of Elementary/Secondary Education for teacher certification in Biology (9-12) or Unified Science at the completion of this program if you have met all state requirements. To ensure that you have met all state requirements, please contact your advisor.


  • Any teacher candidate aspiring to enter the “Teach in 12” accelerated path must first pass the Missouri Content Assessment appropriate to her or his area of certification.
  • The accelerated path requires intensive study, immersive experiences, and large investments of time and effort.

Those holding a baccalaureate degree or major in the teaching field who would like to pursue initial teacher preparation and a Master’s degree take the following program. The exact number of hours required will depend upon certification requirements for the chosen teaching field.

Admission Requirements for the Option in Teacher Certification:

1. A passing score on the designated Missouri Content Examination or an approved program of study

2. A 2.75 or higher overall GPA

3. Approved results of the Family Care Safety Registry

4. A clear TB test or chest x-ray, if appropriate

Application Deadline: April 1st

Required Certification Courses30
TCH ED 5311
Foundations of Education
TCH ED 5310
Instructional Design
TCH ED 5312
Teaching Reading in the Content Areas
ED PSY 6222
Advanced Studies in Child and Adolescent Development
SEC ED/CoFac 4xxx
Curriculum and Methods of Teaching [Subject Area]
Advanced Teaching Seminar [Subject Area]
SEC ED 5989
Practicum I: Site-Based Experience
SEC ED 5990
Practicum II: Site Based Experience
Master of Education Required Core Courses9
Students should complete initial teacher certification courses before enrolling in the following:
TCH ED 6010
Examining History, Community and Social Justice in Education
TCH ED 6020
Teacher Action, Advocacy and Leadership
ED PSY 6030
Instruction, Learning and Assessment
Required Research Courses6
TCH ED 6909
Teacher Action Research I
Take semester prior to Teacher Action Capstone, TCH ED 6910.
TCH ED 6910
Teacher Action Research Capstone 1
Students must enroll in the capstone course during their last semester and after completing Teacher Action Research TCH ED 6909
Total Hours45
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Charles R. Granger, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology and Education

Professor Granger earned a B.S. in botany and zoology from Iowa State University, an M.S. in Biology and an M.S. in science education, both from the University of Pennsylvania, and Ph.D. in plant physiology and science education from the University of Iowa. He is a member of numerous professional associations, including the Biology Association for Teachers, the National Sc...