Dec 03, 2021  
Fitchburg State University 2013-14 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2013-14 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, Secondary Education, with Initial Teacher Licensure, B.S.

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Margaret Hoey
Associate Professors
Assistant Professors
George Babich (Biology)
Michael Nosek (Biology)
Lisa Grimm (Biology)
Judith Ciottone (Chemistry)
Christopher Picone (Biology)
Ronald Krieser (Biology)
Meledath Govindan (Chemistry)
Thomas Schoenfeld (Biology) Mathangi Krishnamurthy (Chemistry)
Margaret Hoey (Biology)
  John Ludlam (Biology)
Da-hong Lu (Chemistry)   Aisling O’Connor (Chemistry)

  Erin Rehrig (Biology)
    Sean Rollins (Biology)
    Daniel Welsh (Biology)

Objectives for the Program in Biology

Fitchburg State University offers a biology program that emphasizes basic scientific principles while challenging students.  The Department of Biology and Chemistry has a rich history of producing successful graduates in secondary education, biotechnology, environmental biology and health sciences.  Our faculty foster a supportive teaching and learning environment, offer individual attention to students, and provide numerous undergraduate and graduate research opportunities.  The Biology and Chemistry Club sponsors social events to encourage interaction between students and faculty.  The department also offers courses in laboratory science for other majors.

Requirements for the Major in Biology

All Biology majors are required to take four core courses and six advanced BIOL electives (>2000) including a Capstone course, for a total of 36 credits.

The core biology courses include student laboratory work so that students develop the skills of scientific inquiry. Students develop scientific literacy through reading, writing, testing hypotheses, and quantitative analysis. Core courses also integrate computer literacy through lab activities.

Core courses required in the Biology major

Additional Requirements

Biology majors also take six advanced electives at or above BIOL 2000. Independent study, directed study, internship or teaching practicum may each count as one advanced BIOL elective in a student’s program of study. Courses with a separate lecture and lab registration count as a single elective: the lab portion of a course does not constitute a distinct biology elective.

One of the six electives must be a designated Capstone course. Students in the Capstone course conduct a research project to demonstrate their skills in research design and analysis. The Capstone course also meets the  University’s Listening and Speaking and Junior/Senior Writing requirement.

Capstone course options

Capstone courses must be taken at Fitchburg State: courses that transfer as the equivalent course will not fulfill this requirement. Independent studies (BIOL 4903 ) require approval by the departmental curriculum committee in order to fulfill the Capstone requirement.

Required courses in related sciences

In addition to BIOL courses, Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) students are required to take courses in related sciences and two courses in mathematics at or above MATH 1300 . Bachelor of Arts students are required to have foreign language proficiency at the Intermediate level.


These requirements are slightly modified for the Bachelor of Science in Biology/Environmental Science.

BS in Biology with Initial Teacher Licensure

Students within our Biology major can pursue initial licensure as high school Biology teachers. This program provides students with both a broad introduction to high school teaching and specific instruction in the theory, research and practice of secondary science teaching. Students engage in field-based experiences in the school setting supervised by our faculty through on-site pre-practicum experiences coupled with each teaching course and a formal teaching practicum as the capstone experience. This program is nationally accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and boasts graduates working in high schools throughout the region.

Students interested in pursuing Initial Teacher Licensure must apply for formal admission to the program. For information about undergraduate requirements in teacher preparation, see the section titled: Teacher Preparation Programs (Undergraduate)

The Bachelor of Science in Biology with Initial Teacher Licensure includes all of the requirements for the Biology major. Among the 6 Biology electives, teacher candidates must take BIOL 3250 - Cell Biology, one of the 6 Biology electives must also satisfy the Capstone requirement. MATH 1700 - Applied Statistics  must be taken as one of the two math courses at or above the level of MATH 1300.

Required courses

In addition, Biology teacher candidates must also take the following courses, two of which count towards the 6 Biology electives:


*Students must have an overall GPA of 2.5 to take any of these courses.

**Students must have an overall GPA of 2.75, 3.0 in the major courses and passing score on the MTEL Communication and Literacy and Subject Area Exam.

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