Secondary Teaching

Welcome! We are excited to have you join our nationally recognized program for preparing 9-12 Biology Teachers! Each year CSU teacher candidates succeed in their quest to become highly qualified science teachers who are well versed in the nuances of teaching urban students and using engaging, standards-based instruction. You’ll find our program brings together diverse, inspired students and professors in a small school environment where you receive much personal attention. Many of our students receive financial support from external grants to help offset the cost of higher education. As part of Chicago State University’s science teacher education program, you will interact with a wide range of students interested in science and committed to helping schoolchildren learn science. In addition, you have the opportunity of developing teaching skills in one of the largest public school districts in the country, or if you prefer, in suburban and/or private schools in the Chicago area.


We offer 3 pathways to becoming a middle school or high school Science Teacher who specializes in Biology. These initial licensure programs include:

  1. a B.S. in Biology with option in grades 6-12 teaching;
  2. a post-graduate teaching licensure program (no additional degree but students must already have biology degree); and
  3. a Master’s degree in Teaching (MAT) program (students must already have a biology degree). In addition, if you are a practicing teacher and want to broaden your expertise to include Biology, we offer a pathway to obtain a second endorsement in Science and/or Biology (students must already have a license to teach).

CSU welcomes undergraduate transfer students from 2-yr colleges either as juniors with all general education requirements met if they have earned an A.A. or A.S. degree, or with transfer credits depending on one’s course equivalency.

The Process

  1. In all cases, the process for becoming a Science or Biology Teacher begins with applying for admission to the University (requirements here). If you are applying to the post-graduate teaching licensure program or the MAT program, apply to the College of Education directly but indicate in your application that Biology is the area of teaching preference. See College of Education website.  If applying to the undergraduate program, apply to the Biology program in the College of Arts & Sciences and select the Secondary Teaching Option (BIOT) on your application HERE-1.

    If you are a licensed teacher, apply for a second endorsement please see College of Education website for application information.

  2. As of Fall, 2019 the state no longer requires students to pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP). Currently the COE does ask that students attain an  ACT score of  22 (writing score of 6)) and  SAT score of 1030,  on the critical reading + mathematics; 450 on the writing portion. All of these tests can be super scored, taking them unlimited number of times.
  3. Once accepted to the Biology teaching program you will be assigned the program advisor. S/he will guide you through your program, and you should meet each semester to stay on track. S/he can answer any questions you have concerning the program. Contact: Karel Jacobs, Ph.D. 266 Williams Science Center, P. 773-995-2338.
  4. Admission to one of the licensure program does not guarantee your spot as a student teacher. Retention in the program requires that a student maintains a satisfactory GPA and demonstrate good character as well as the skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary for working with children and/or adolescents. A disposition evaluation is completed at multiple times during the program. Prior to the final semester of student teaching, candidates must pass a content exam in Biology that is administered by the state. Faculty in the sciences help you prepare for this exam.
  5. The final semester is spent in the classroom, with guided instruction by a faculty and field based mentor. During the final semester, teacher candidates pass a final edTPA (teachers performance assessment) that is organized by the state. Faculty at CSU help you throughout the journey and we in the sciences have a 100% record in our student teachers passing the edTPA!

Helpful Information

Review the current program curriculum for the UG program (HERE-2) and MAT/post-graduate programs (HERE-3), Note that curriculum lists are subject to change.

Recent Illinois State Board of Education rules for becoming a licensed teacher can be found under the Frequently Asked Questions for ‘Educator Licensure’ here :

Evaluating Student and Program Success

Data is collected and analyzed periodically to assure the success of our program and students and maintain alignment with changing state and national requirements for teachers. The assessment program we use is summarized on the Biology website.