Apr 06, 2020  
Fitchburg State University 2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
Fitchburg State University 2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, Secondary Education, B.A.

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Meledath Govindan    
Associate Professors
Assistant Professors
Christopher Cratsley (Biology) Ronald Kreiser (Biology) Dennis Awasabisah (Chemistry)
Meledath Govindan (Chemistry) John Ludlam (Biology) Emma Downs (Chemistry)
Margaret (Meg) Hoey (Biology) Aisling O’Connor (Chemistry) Steven Fiedler (Chemistry)
Michael Nosek (Biology) Thomas Schoenfeld (Biology) Lisa Grimm (Biology)
Christopher Picone (Biology)   Mathangi Krishnamurthy (Chemistry)
    Erin Rehrig (Biology)
    Sean Rollins (Biology)
    Billy Samulak (Biology)
    Daniel Welsh (Biology)

Eric Williams (Biology)




The Biology program at Fitchburg State University emphasizes basic scientific principles while challenging students. The Department of Biology and Chemistry has a rich history of producing successful graduates who have gone on to work in the vibrant biotechnology and life sciences industry, environmental and field biology workforce, various health professions, and teaching. 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.


Objectives of the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biology with Initial Licensure in Secondary Teaching (Grades 8-12)

Students within our biology major can pursue initial licensure as high school biology teachers. The B.A. option offers a broader curriculum that does not require a detailed knowledge of organic chemistry and physics. This degree provides students with both an 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 (NCATE) 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).

Requirements for the B.A. in Biology with Initial Licensure in Secondary Teaching (Grades 8-12)

The curriculum for this secondary education major includes the following core courses: BIOL 1200  and BIOL 1300 , BIOL 3250 , and four BIOL electives (equal to or above 2000-level BIOL courses) including a capstone course. Two of the biology electives are met by biology education courses (see below). Independent study, directed study or internship, may 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. Students will need to take two courses in mathematics, the two semester General Chemistry sequence (CHEM 1300 , CHEM 1400 ) and Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 2000 ). The B.A. degree program also requires proficiency in a foreign language at the intermediate level.

The core biology courses include hands-on laboratory work that provides opportunity for students to 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 for the Major

Additional Requirements for the B.A. in Biology with Initial Licensure (Grades 8-12)

Biology majors must earn a minimum grade of 2.0 in General Biology I and General Chemistry I.  If a grade below 2.0 is earned in either course, that course must be repeated before enrolling in any subsequent BIOL or CHEM classes. Biology majors are also limited to two attempts for each of General Biology I and General Chemistry I.  If Biology majors earn <2.0 or a W in a second attempt, they must find another major that more closely matches their skills and interests.

In addition to the core courses and biology electives, students will need to meet the following requirements:

Capstone Course Options

One of the four 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. The capstone course must be taken at Fitchburg State. A course that transfers as an equivalent course will not fulfill this requirement. Currently, the following courses are designated as capstone courses:

Required Courses in Related Sciences

In addition to the BIOL courses, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) students are required to take courses in related sciences and two courses in mathematics as specified below:

LA&S Requirements

  • ENGL 1100 - Writing I 3 cr.
  • ENGL 1200 - Writing II 3 cr.
  • Foreign language proficiency at the intermediate level. This is typically met by successfully taking four courses (12 cr.) of a single foreign language.

  • LA&S electives 12 cr.

  • Free electives to meet the 120 credit minimum University requirement for a Bachelor’s degree.

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