Life Sciences Teaching BS

College of Sciences
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Science

About this program

NOTE: As of summer 2018 the Natural Sciences Department has temporarily suspended admission into this major. Current students will not be impacted by this suspension and able to progress within their major.

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 (see Student licensure related information) which includes the Life Sciences Teaching Major and additional requirements and coursework through the university's School of Urban Education.

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

Program accreditation

This program is accredited by the Minnesota Professional Education and Licensing Standards Board (PELSB) to meet the content standards associated with teaching licensure in this subject area.

Student outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Read, analyze, present and interpret quantitative data More specifically, students will be able to:
    • Read and interpret a graph
    • Choose the graph type appropriate for a given data set
    • Construct a graph from quantitative data
    • Evaluate the results of a statistical test presented in terms of sample size and p-value
  • Demonstrate competence in Cell and Molecular Biology More specifically, students will be able to:
    • Describe in detail the structure of DNA and the process of gene expression
    • Explain and apply the principles of genetic inheritance, mutation and DNA repair
    • Apply knowledge of cell structure to cell function
  • Demonstrate competence in Ecology and Evolution More specifically, students will be able to:
    • Apply the principles of Hardy-Weinberg analysis to population genetics data
    • Apply the principles of exponential growth to population data
    • Calculate and interpret species richness and an index of biodiversity from ecological community data
  • Demonstrate competence in Organismal and Physiological Biology More specifically, students will be able to:
    • Apply the principle of structure-function to organismal traits
    • Read and interpret a phylogenetic diagram
    • Create a phylogenetic diagram given a set of character data

Enrolling in this program

Program eligibility requirements

As of summer 2018 this program has temporarily suspended admission into its major. Students expressing interest in the Life Sciences BS major are encouraged to check back or contact the Natural Sciences Department in the College of Sciences.

To be eligible for acceptance to the Life Sciences Teaching major, students must submit a College of Sciences Undergraduate Program Declaration Form when the following is completed:

  • Prerequisite and Pre-major Foundation Courses of BIOL 111, BIOL 112, CHEM 111, CHEM 112

All prerequisite and required courses must be completed with grades of C- or above.

Current students: Declare your program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your Life Sciences Teaching BS now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your Life Sciences Teaching BS

Program requirements

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.

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 upperdivision courses and cannot be used to fulfill upper division core requirements in the major.

Student licensure

Teaching Licensure Grades 5-12 Completing the Life Sciences Teaching major designed to meet state content standards for teachers is only part of the preparation for teaching this subject area effectively to middle school or high school youth. To earn a Tier 3 Life Science (grades 9-12) and General Science (grades 5-8) license to teach in Minnesota, among other requirements you must also meet state pedagogy standards by completing additional coursework in urban secondary education and student teaching at either the undergraduate or graduate level through the University's Urban Teacher Program in the School of Urban Education.

Please note that the School of Urban Education has the responsibility for recommending students for licensure once they have met all state licensure requirements. For information about Urban Teacher Program admission requirements as well as urban secondary education coursework and student teaching required for licensure, please visit the Secondary Education Licensure page or contact the School of Urban Education at urban.education@metrostate.edu .

Course requirements

Prerequisites

Prerequisites

Choose one

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.

Full course description for College Algebra

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.

Full course description for Precalculus

Requirements (120 credits)

Pre-major Foundation (16 credits)

All prerequisite and required courses must be completed with grades of C- or above. Transfer coursework equivalency is determined by the Natural Sciences Department

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.

Full course description for General Biology I

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.

Full course description for General Biology II

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.

Full course description for General Chemistry I

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.

Full course description for General Chemistry II

Core Requirements (22-32 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.

Full course description for Introduction to Earth Sciences

Genetics

Choose one

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.

Full course description for Principles of Genetics

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.

Full course description for Genetics

Physics Core (4-10 credits)

One course or set of courses: Either 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.

Full course description for Introduction to Physics

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.

Full course description for Calculus Based Physics I

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.

Full course description for Calculus Based Physics II

Ecology Core (5 credits)

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.

Full course description for Ecology

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.

Full course description for Evolution

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.

Full course description for Limnology

Genetics and Cell Biology Core (5 credits)

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.

Full course description for Cell Biology and Histology

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.

Full course description for Molecular Biology

Life Sciences Teaching Methods Courses (8 credits)

These courses are required for the major and should be taken during the two semesters prior to student teaching.The courses also require that the student be admitted to the university's Urban Teacher Program; they have several prerequisites taught through that program.

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.

Full course description for The Practice of Science

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.

Full course description for Science Methods for Urban Grades 5-12 Classrooms and Lab