The U.S. Department of Education has consistently reported teacher shortages, particularly in critical areas such as STEM subjects, which include science and biology. These shortages have been documented over multiple years and have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, further highlighting the ongoing challenge of attracting and retaining qualified science teachers.

Outstanding Preparation

At Governors State University, the Biology Education certificate program leads to a post-baccalaureate certificate that prepares students who already have an undergraduate degree in biology for a rewarding career as a teacher at the secondary level.

The sequence of coursework is approved by the Illinois State Board of Education and leads to an initial secondary license in Biology. You can also obtain an endorsement for teaching in middle school.

To be recommended for an Illinois State Board of Education teaching certificate, you must present evidence of having passed the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly Basic Skills), Subject Matter Knowledge, and Assessment of Professional Teaching examinations of the Illinois Certification Testing System.

You must complete a student teaching requirement in biology and must meet other requirements for licensure through approved programs in the Teacher Education and Certification section of the GSU catalog.

Program Fact Sheet

Required Preparation, Certificate Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a license, and in addition, students must complete the general education requirement for teacher licensure Initial High School License listed in the Teacher Education section of this catalog.

In addition, students must:

  1. have a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher;
  2. earn a grade of “C” or better in all general education courses;
  3. have a G.P.A. of 2.75 or higher for all general education courses;
  4. have a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher in all biology, chemistry, physics, and earth/space science courses with a grade of “C” or better;
  5. have a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher in all biology, chemistry, physics, and earth/space science courses with a grade of “C” or better;
  6. earn a grade of “B” or better in EDUC-2310, EDUC-6330, EDUC-6340, and BIOL-6080;
  7. earn a grade of “B” or better in EDUC-4999;
  8. complete a minimum of 100 clock hours of supervised pre-student teaching experiences;
  9. provide evidence of successful completion of the Illinois and U.S. Constitution examinations;
  10. complete at least one three-hour course in nonwestern or third world cultures;
  11. show evidence of having passed the edTPA;
  12. meet any additional requirements listed in the Teacher Licensure section of this catalog;
  13. and receive a positive recommendation from the Secondary Education Student Progress Committee.

Professional Education (minimum of 24 Hours at GSU)

The following courses can be taken at either the lower-division or upper-division level:

  • EDUC 2310 Foundations of Education (3)
  • SPED 2100 Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)
  • SPED 6101 Survey of Students with Exceptionalities (3)

The following courses must be taken at the upper-division level:

  • EDUC 3440 Educational Psychology II: Learning, Assessment and Classroom Management (3)
  • EDUC 4999 Student Teaching: Senior Capstone (12)
  • EDUC 6330 Principles of Science Education (3)
  • EDUC 6301 Secondary Microteaching 1 (1)
  • EDUC 6340 Teaching Secondary School Science (3)
  • EDUC 6302 6302 Secondary Microteaching 2 (1)
  • BIOL 6080 Special Topics in Biology (3)

Additional Requirements

Students may need to complete additional general education or Biology courses if their bachelor's degree requirements do not meet the requirements of the approved Governors State University program for the endorsement in Biology Education.

Minimum Total - 30 Hours

View the Complete Minor Requirements in the Academic Catalog

Advisor Information

Natalie Coleman
University Lecturer
Academic Advisor
Phone: 708.534.4512


Biology Education Certificate Faculty