Biology BS Life Science Education Certification

The College of Science and Engineering is committed to the support of students seeking to become science, mathematics and technology educators at all levels. The Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMTE) program offers content courses for students seeking K-12 science, mathematics and technology education. SMTE classes are also an integral part of the course work for degrees preparing students for Teacher Certifications. The SMTE program does not offer a degree; rather, degrees leading to Teacher Certification are offered by other Science and Engineering programs and by the College of Education and Human Development. Students seeking to teach in the elementary and secondary schools of Texas must meet degree requirements as well as certification requirements. The requirements and procedure to become a science, mathematics or technology teacher in Texas are outlined below. Undergraduate students who are graduating from the College of Science & Engineering or the College of Liberal Arts who are seeking initial teacher certification at the 4-8, 7-12 and EC-12 levels prior to graduation, automatically qualify for the Minor in Education.

II. How to Become a Science, Mathematics or Technology Teacher in Texas

In order to be recommended for teacher certification at this university, a candidate must fulfill three basic requirements: (1) have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university that includes an academic major and teacher training courses, (2) complete teacher training through an approved program, and (3) successfully complete the appropriate teacher certification tests for the subject and grade level that the candidate wishes to teach. Additional information on the requirements to become a teacher in Texas can be obtained at the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) website: This website also provides information on the resources available to help students pay for a teacher training program.

SBEC has approved three levels of teacher certification for regular educators: (1) Early childhood to grade 6 which includes foundation subjects and enrichment areas such as art, PE, and music, (2) Grade 4-8 which includes the foundation areas only, and (3) Grade 7-12 certification. Students can find information on the different certifications at the official Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) Web site: Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi offers several degrees leading to a number of these teacher certifications. The College of Education and Human Development offers several degrees leading to teacher certification. The College of Science and Engineering offers bachelor’s degrees leading to teacher certification in biology for grades 7-12 Life Science Education Concentration (120-122 sem. hrs.). Details immediately follow below.

The individual programs, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Mathematics offer these degrees and courses.

Students seeking Teacher Certification are also strongly urged to contact the Certification Officer in the College of Education and Human Development about current requirements and procedures that must be met to obtain the certificate. In particular, students following a degree plan leading to teacher certification must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi PRIOR to enrolling in any 4000 level EDCI or EDUC courses. Application forms for admission to the teacher education program may be obtained from the Undergraduate or Certification Office, room FC 201. The students are referred to the College of Education and Human Development section of this catalog for more information on the Teacher Education Program.

III. Grade Point Average for Admission to Teacher Education

A minimum grade point average of 2.75 (4.0 = A) in all work attempted, a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in all science, math, or specialization areas, and no grade below “C” in any science or mathematics course on a student’s degree plan and/or education courses within the professional block of courses are required. (See College of Education and Human Development, “Admission to Teacher Education” and “Admission to Clinical Teaching” for other requirements.)

IV. Alteration of a Certification Plan

Any amendment to a degree plan originally filed must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, the Department Chair, the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, and the Certification Officer of the College of Education and Human Development for the degree to be granted.

Degree Requirements

The Life Science Education plan is designed for those students who desire a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and a secondary teaching certificate in life science. The requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree with grades 7-12 Life Science Education Concentration are a minimum of 120* semester hours. Forty-two are designated University core curriculum courses; 39 are biology teaching core courses, and 27 are professional development courses. Other requirements include a psychology course and upper division elective courses.

*Students may have to take additional hours to meet university requirements such as First-Year Seminar courses or major requirements that include 4 hour math and science courses.

Additional Educational Requirements for Certification:
Students seeking teaching certification are required to complete 9 credits of English coursework and 3 credits of Public Speaking coursework. 
ENGL 1302 and a literature course (ENGL 2316, 2332, or 2333) from the core curriculum will satisfy 6 of the 9 required credits. Either COMM 1311 or COMM 1315 will satisfy the public speaking course requirement.