Students interested in teaching at the elementary school or secondary school level with an emphasis on biology should pursue one of the pathways described below.

Students interested in teaching at the elementary school level must complete a degree in Liberal Studies (see University Catalog) with a Concentration in a disciplinary area. The Liberal Studies Concentration in Biology is outlined below.

Liberal Studies Concentration in Biology

This is a concentration within the Bachelor of Arts program in Liberal Studies.  Please view the information for the Department of Liberal Studies in conjunction with this concentration information.

Students interested in teaching at the elementary school level with an emphasis on biology should complete the Liberal Studies concentration in Biology.

Click here to view Learning Objectives for the Department of Liberal Studies and its concentrations.


(20 units from the following areas)

1. General Biology (8 units):
  1. BIOL 1050 - General Biology I
  2. BIOL 1150 - General Biology II
2. Biological Diversity (4 units):

Select from the following

3. Electives (3 units):

or other acceptable Biological Sciences courses as approved by concentration advisor.
*BIOL 4020 cross-counts for LIBS Integrative Inquiry Area B.

Students interested in teaching science at the junior high or high school level should complete a core of science courses and a concentration in one of four areas (biology, chemistry, geosciences or physics). Unless students already have an undergraduate degree, the simplest route is to complete the science core and a major in one of the four areas. The Science Core (Breadth) and Biology Concentration (Depth) are outlined below.

Single Subject Credential Program policy requires that a candidate demonstrate subject matter competency before starting work in a cohort and doing the field practicum requirements. Candidates may apply to the credential program but cannot take EDSC 4100, 4300, 4440, 4850 & 4855 until subject matter competency has been demonstrated. Subject matter competency can be demonstrated by completing a Subject Matter Preparation Program (SMPP) in Science (with a concentration in one of the four science areas) OR pass all components of a standardized series of tests in biology, chemistry, physics and geosciences called the CSET. The SMPP in Science (concentration in biology) is outlined below and additional information on the CSET exams may be obtained at the California Educator Credentialing Assessments site. For additional information on the Single Subject Credential Program, consult the Single Subject Credential portion of the University Catalog in the Teacher Education section.

Science Breadth Requirements (everyone)

  • Biol 1010 (3) Principles of Biology (will be waived if student completed a year of high school biology with A or B)
  • Biol 1050 (4) General Biology I
  • Biol 1150 (4) General Biology II
  • Chem 1100 (5) Principles of Chemistry I and co-requisites Chem 1102 (Lab) and Chem 1104 (Discussion)
  • Chem 1110 (5) Principles of Chemistry II and co-requisites Chem 1112 (Lab) nd Chem 1114 (Discussion)
  • Chem 3010 (3) Organic Chemistry and co-requisite Chem 3012 (1) Organic Chemistry Lab
  • Phys 2100 (5) Basic Physics I*
  • Phys 2110 (5) Basic Physics II*
  • Geol 2400 (3) Intro to Earth Science and co-requisite Geol 2102 (1) Principles of Geology Lab (This lab can be completed concurrently with Geol 2400, it is not necessary to take Geol 2100)
  • Geol 2200 (4) Historical Geology
  • Astr 2100 (3) Descriptive Astronomy
  • Nsci 4961 (3) Teaching Secondary Science (should be completed after most of the breadth and depth courses)

* Those seeking the Physics concentration substitute Phys 2100 and 2110 with Phys 2250 (5) General Physics I and Phys 2260 (5) General Physics II. 
Also see the SSCP Pre-program Advising Booklet, available through Department of Teacher Education for additional courses and requirements.

Biology Depth Requirements

Concept Required Courses Elective Course(s)
Molecular and Cellular Biology (3 units) Biol 3310 Cellular and Molecular Biology  
Biology of Organisms: Botany or Microbiology (4 units required)   Boty 3100, Boty 3120, Boty 3700, Mbio 3010
Biology of Organisms: Entomology or Zoology (4 units required)   Ento 3000, Ento 3740, Zool 3610, Zool 4420, Zool 4430, Zool 4440, Zool 4620, Zool 4630, Zool 4640
Physiology (4 units)   Boty 4200, Zool 4230, Zool 4280
Genetics (3 units) Biol 3350, Introductory Genetics  
Ecology (4 units)   Biol 4630, Biol 4650, Biol 4680, Boty 4600
Evolution (2 units) Biol 4830, Evolution and Population Genetics

Updated: August 08, 2023