Program Overview

(Life Sciences Licensure Grades 5-12)

The life sciences teaching major provides students with the science content coursework necessary for obtaining the Minnesota Science Teaching License with Life Science Specialty.

This license provides certification to teach life science classes in grades 9-12 and science classes in grades 5-8 including earth science and physical science. Students seeking licensure must complete the Life Sciences Education program which includes the Life Sciences Teaching Major and additional requirements and coursework through the university's School of Urban Education. Contact the School of Urban Education for information about the program requirements.

The Life Sciences Teaching major provides a broad foundation in biology, chemistry, physics, earth science and mathematics followed by advanced study in biology.

Each student must complete at least 46 credits in the major including at least 18 upper division credits and at least 23 credits from Metropolitan State University. All prerequisite and required courses must be completed with grades of C- or above.

Transfer coursework equivalency is determined by the Natural Science Department. Each foundation science course must include at least one semester credit of professionally supervised on-ground laboratory experience with standard undergraduate laboratory equipment and materials. Lower-division (100- and 200-level) courses are not accepted as equivalent to upper-division courses and cannot be used to fulfill upper division core requirements in the major.

More information about this program

Declare Your Program

To be eligible for acceptance to the Life Sciences Teaching major (Grades 5-12), students must submit a College Undergraduate Program Declaration Form when they have completed all of the requirements from the Guide to Admission in the Urban Teacher Program.

Declare Your Program button

Requirements

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

Teaching Licensure Grades 5-12

Students completing the teaching major who wish to earn Minnesota Teaching Licensure for secondary education (grades 5-12) can do so by completing additional course work through the university's School of Urban Education. Please note that the School of Urban Education has the primary responsibility for recommending students for licensure.

How Admissions Works

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Course List

Prerequisites

Life Sciences Teaching Prerequisites

  • One of the following classes is required:
    • MATH 115 College Algebra
      4 credits

      This course develops the fundamental concepts of algebra with an emphasis on the classification and analysis of linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential and logarithmic functions. Applications to the natural and social sciences are given throughout. It aims to provide insights into the nature and utility of mathematics, and helps students develop mathematical reasoning skills.

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    • MATH 120 Precalculus
      4 credits

      This course is designed to prepare students for calculus. Topics include polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions; the algebra of functions; multiple function representations; and an introduction to analytic geometry.

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Requirements ( 120 total credits)

Life Sciences Teaching Foundation Courses (20 credits)

  • BIOL 111 General Biology I
    4 credits

    The first semester of the comprehensive first year course in biology. Covers the biochemistry and inner workings of cells, energy metabolism, genetics, cellular physiology, population genetics and evolutionary pattern and process. Laboratory topics include use of the microscope, biochemistry, cell structure and function, genetics, and evolution. Intended for students who are pursuing, or considering, the major in biology or life sciences teaching.

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  • BIOL 112 General Biology II
    4 credits

    The second semester of the comprehensive first year course in biology. Covers the evolution and diversity of life, plant biology, animal biology and ecology. Lab activities include use of the microscope, examination of organisms, and experiments in plant physiology and ecology; may include animal dissection. Intended for biology and life sciences teaching majors.

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  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry I
    4 credits

    The first semester of the comprehensive first year course in chemistry. Covers measurement, stoichiometry, solution chemistry, atomic structure, bonding, molecular structure, molecular visualization, and problem solving. Lab includes basic laboratory techniques, instrumentation, methodology, chemical analysis, and laboratory notebook procedures. The labs are also designed to engage students in critical thinking and concept building and are directly coordinated with the lecture part of the course. Intended for students who are pursuing, or considering, the biology or life sciences teaching major and/or chemistry minor, and qualified students seeking a general education science course with lab.

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  • CHEM 112 General Chemistry II
    4 credits

    The second semester of the comprehensive algebra-based first year course in chemistry. Covers acid/base theory, chemical equilibria, nuclear and electrochemistry, redox reactions, terminology, functional groups, reactivity of organic compounds and an introduction to biochemistry. Includes lab. Intended for students pursuing the biology or life sciences teaching major and/or chemistry minor.

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  • One of the following classes is required:
    • BIOL 211 Principles of Genetics
      4 credits

      This course provides a thorough major's level introduction to genetics and heredity. It will cover the fundamentals of genetic information, its transmission from parents to offspring [heredity], its phenotypic and molecular expression in cells and organisms, replication and repair of genetic material within a cell, and its population impacts. Also included are the modern techniques of genetics including: gene mapping, cloning, genome manipulation and mutation. Knowledge of species' genomes, their genes, their inheritance, and how genes impact individuals and/or populations has rapidly become an integral part of almost every aspect of biology. From public health to ecology - genetics touches all.

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    • BIOL 301 Genetics
      5 credits

      This course covers genetics, heredity and genetic information, its transmission from parents to offspring, its phenotypic and molecular expression in cells and organisms, and its course in populations. Also covers the modern techniques of genetics including gene mapping, cloning, genome manipulation and mutation. Lab included. Intended for biology and life sciences teaching majors.

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Life Sciences Teaching Core Courses (18-28 credits)

  • GEOL 110 Introduction to Earth Sciences
    4 credits

    This course is an introduction to geology, meteorology and astronomy. Topics include measurement and the scientific method, rocks and minerals, weathering and erosion, earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, geologic time and the history of the Earth, structure and composition of the atmosphere, weather patterns, climate, a history of modern astronomy, the solar system, light and the sun, and stars beyond our solar system. Check the Class Schedule for the dates and times of required field trips. Includes Lab.

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Life Sciences Teaching Core Courses

One lower-division physics course or set of courses:eEither PHYS 110 Introduction to Physics or both PHYS 211 and PHYS 212 Calculus Based Physics I and II.

  • PHYS 110 Introduction to Physics
    4 credits

    This is an introductory course in physics covering one-dimensional and two-dimensional linear motion and forces, vibrations and wave motion, the behavior of light, and electricity and magnetism. Laboratories emphasize real world applications of the concepts and problem solving skills taught in this course. Includes lab. Intended for general education students and students majoring in Life Sciences Teaching.

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  • PHYS 211 Calculus Based Physics I
    5 credits

    This is the first course of a two semester sequence covering the fundamental concepts of physics. This course covers Newton's laws of motion, work, energy, linear momentum, rotational motion, gravity, equilibrium and elasticity, periodic motion, fluid mechanics, temperature, heat, and the laws of thermodynamics. Laboratories emphasize application of physics concepts and quantitative problem solving skills. Intended for science majors and general education students with strong mathematical background.

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  • PHYS 212 Calculus Based Physics II
    5 credits

    This is the second course of a two semester sequence covering the fundamental concepts of physics. This course covers oscillatory motion, waves, superposition and interference of waves, diffraction, electricity and magnetism, electric circuits, light, mirrors and lenses. Laboratories emphasize application of physics concepts and quantitative problem solving skills. Intended for science majors.

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Life Sciences Teaching Core Courses

Choose one:

  • BIOL 310 Ecology
    5 credits

    This course covers the science of ecology, focusing on population and community ecology, the investigation of patterns in the distribution and abundance of organisms and the processes responsible. The content and methods of modern ecological research are emphasized. Students read ecological research papers and do field investigations, experiments and computer modeling. Most of the weekly labs take place outdoors. Intended for biology and life sciences teaching majors.

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  • BIOL 312 Evolution
    5 credits

    This course covers the science of evolutionary biology, including population genetics, microevolution, speciation, phylogenetics and macroevolution. The content and methods of modern research in evolutionary biology are emphasized; student read primary source scientific literature. Lab activities include field investigations, lab experiments, and computer modeling. Intended for biology and life sciences teaching majors.

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  • ESCI 315 Limnology
    5 credits

    This course covers the biology, chemistry and physics of aquatic habitats with an emphasis on the ecology of lakes in Minnesota. The content and methods of modern limnological research are emphasized. Labs focus on field and lab investigation of water bodies in the metropolitan area. Most of the weekly labs take place outdoors. Intended for biology and life sciences teaching majors and other qualified students.

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Life Sciences Teaching Core Courses

Choose one:

  • BIOL 302 Cell Biology and Histology
    5 credits

    This course covers life in terms of molecules, cells, tissues, and organs, integrating these levels of complexity and focusing on the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of biological function. Topics include membrane structure and function, trafficking of molecules, the endomembrane system signal transduction pathways, extracellular matrix, and the cell cytoskeleton. Laboratory includes descriptive histology of animal tissues. Intended for biology and life sciences teaching majors.

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  • BIOL 304 Molecular Biology
    5 credits

    This course covers molecular biology, the study of genetic expression at the molecular level-including transcription, translation, and DNA replication emphasizing structure and function, and focusing on how molecular lab techniques elucidate the genetic mechanisms of the cell. Lab includes recombinant DNA, gel electrophoresis, PCR and sterile technique. Intended for biology majors.

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Life Sciences Teaching Teaching Methods (8 credits)

  • SCED 445 The Practice of Science
    4 credits

    This course focuses on the nature and history of science and the implications for the teaching of science in urban middle and high schools. It examines scientific methods, the research processes in science and scientific literature. Students study the historical development of the major themes in science and the learning of those concepts by K-12 students. They also complete a science research project. It is intended for students pursuing science teaching licensure.

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  • SCED 450 Science Methods for Urban Grades 5-12 Classrooms and Lab
    4 credits

    This course prepares students to become effective science teachers in urban middle and high schools. It examines learning methods, content standards, and concept development. Participants develop skills at lesson and unit planning, delivering instruction, leading inquiry activities, and assessing learning in all areas of secondary science. It is intended for students pursuing middle school or high school science licensure. It should be taken shortly before student teaching.

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