Academic Catalog 2024-2025

Slippery Rock University

Biology, Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Pre-Master of Education (7-12)

Students seeking state certification in secondary education must also complete requirements for a Master of Education degree, a one-year program at SRU.  All of our programs are designed to steadily develop the quantitative, deductive and inductive reasoning skills that biologists must have.  

All candidates completing this program and student teaching are eligible to receive Pennsylvania certification after achieving a passing or qualifying score on Pennsylvania Department of Education required exam(s). If you are interested in teaching in another state, please contact the Department of Education in that state.

Requirements for the Certification

Teacher certification is earned through the master of education degree at Slippery Rock University. Students seeking secondary school teaching certification in biology must earn a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree in biology and contact the Department of Secondary Education/Foundations of Education concerning its graduate program in education. Information about this program, including prerequisites for admission, may be obtained from the Secondary Education/Foundations of Education office in 114 McKay Education Building.


  • Competence in Laboratory and Research Skills: To conduct, assess, and communicate research investigations using established scientific practices. (SRU UG 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 10)
  • Core Concepts for Biological Literacy:  (SRU UG 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9)
    • Knowledge/Content
      • Evolution
      • Structure and function across all levels of biological organization
      • Diversity and interactions of life
      • Information flow, exchange and storage in biological systems
    • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
      • Connect information from cognate science courses and liberal arts courses to biological concepts
      • Apply scientific information to current and future societal problems
  • Participation in Diverse, Enriching Scientific Activities:   Apply technical and professional skills in hands-on laboratory, clinical or field experiences.  (SRU UG 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9)
  • Professional Attitude: Graduates demonstrate professional attitude, behavior, and ability to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.  (SRU UG 1, 5, 7, 8, 9)

Related Links

Biology - Pre-Masters of Education, BA Program Page

Professional Licensure/Certification Page

Curriculum Guide

GPA Requirement

Major GPA: 2.0 or higher
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher
Core GPA: 2.0 or higher


Rock Studies 2 Requirements45
Modern Language Requirement0-9
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Major/Concentration Requirements42
Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements12

* All undergraduate degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits.  Some courses meet multiple requirements, but are only counted once toward the 120 credit total required to graduate.

Rock Studies 2 Requirements

The Rock
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 13
ENGL 102Critical Writing3
ENGL 104Critical Reading3
MATH 125Precalculus4
or MATH 225 Calculus I
Select one of the following:3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
Integrated Inquiry
Creative and Aesthetic Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Humanities Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Social Science Inquiry
Select 3 Credits3
Natural Sciences Inquiry
CHEM 107General Chemistry I3
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab1
Physical Sciences Inquiry
PHYS 201Elements of Physics I with Lab4
or PHYS 216 University Physics 1 with Lab
Thematic Thread
Select 12 Credits 212
Total Hours45

Course offered in multiple subjects; cannot take course in first major subject.


One course from each category; six credits must be 300-level or above; no more than 4 credits from one subject area; specific courses required in first major, regardless of prefix of course, cannot be used to satisfy thread requirements; any course with same prefix as first major cannot be used to satisfy thread requirements, even if it is not a course in the first major.

BA Modern Language Requirement

BA degree requires language proficiency at the 103 class level. Exemption by placement or examination is possible.

Complete 0-9 credits0-9
Total Hours0-9

Basic Math Requirement

Check with your adviser or a current degree audit report to see if you have been exempted from this course. The credit earned in this course will not be counted toward the 120 credit hour minimum needed to earn a degree.

Complete one of the following:0-3
Meet required minimum SAT or ACT math score OR
Beginning Algebra
Total Hours0-3


Students must take and pass a course with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) designation prior to graduation.  Students can meet this requirement by taking any DEI - designated course in any program at any time during their undergraduate career. 

Major/Concentration Requirements 

  • 20 major credits must be taken at SRU or PASSHE
  • 20 major credits must be taken at the 300 level or above
  • Students desiring a Biology Major must maintain at least a 2.000 average in Biology.
  • Students should complete all 200-level Biology requirements by the end of their sophomore year.
  • Students must earn a "C" or better in both Biology I with Lab (BIOL 113) and Biology II with Lab (BIOL 114) before proceeding to their next biology course. 
  • Students must earn a "C" or better in both Genetics with Lab (BIOL 250) and Biometry with Lab (BIOL 325) prior to graduating.
Biology Core Requirements
BIOL 113Biology I: Foundations of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity with Lab4
BIOL 114Biology II: Foundations of Molecules, Genes and Cells with Lab4
BIOL 250Genetics with Lab 1,44
BIOL 325Biostatistics and Experimental Design with Lab3
Required Upper-Level Biology
BIOL 305Wetlands and Aquatic Plants/Lab3
or BIOL 306 Freshwater Biomonitoring/Lab
or BIOL 401 Ecology with Lab
BIOL 310Plant Diversity with Lab3
or BIOL 312 Zoology with Lab
or BIOL 314 Parasitology with Lab
or BIOL 330 Microbiology/Lab
or BIOL 340 Vertebrate Anatomy with Lab
or BIOL 360 Field Botany
or BIOL 410 Animal Physiology with Lab
or BIOL 451 Plant Physiology/Lab
BIOL 316Immunology with Lab3
or BIOL 335 Cell Biology
or BIOL 370 Molecular Biology
BIOL 350Evolution3
BIOL 492Biology Seminar 11
Additional Biology Electives
Select 3 credits from courses not chosen above, or any biology elective course listed below. Additional electives may be selected from the Marine Science offerings listed below. PLE courses are only offered during the summer months through our affiliation with Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. 23
Related Sciences – Chemistry
CHEM 108General Chemistry II 23
CHEM 112General Chemistry II Lab 21
CHEM 201Organic Chemistry I 23
CHEM 211Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 21
Independent Study/Internship Options
Select one of the following options:3
Independent Study or Internship Option
Biology Internship
Independent Study
Non-Independent Study or Internship Option
Select 3 credits, not chosen above, from Additional Biology Electives below.
Total Hours42

Course counts for 50% of Major and Major GPA


Course counts for 50% of Major requirements but not for Major GPA


Course counts in Core GPA


Some courses may require pre-requisites. Please see course descriptions to determine if there are any pre-requisites for that specific course.

Recommended Courses for Biology Pre-Masters in Education Courses

Listed below are the recommended courses for Biology Pre-Masters of Education majors. You will need to take these courses prior to obtaining your M. Ed.

SEFE 338Standards-Based Instruction & Assessment in the Inclusionary Classroom3
SPED 121Overview of Special Education3
One EGEO with Lab3
Two Math courses (one must be Calculus)6
Must take the following as part of your upper class Biology Electives:
Molecular Biology
Ecology with Lab
Animal Physiology with Lab

Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements

CHEM 107General Chemistry I3
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab1
MATH 125Precalculus4
or MATH 225 Calculus I
PHYS 201Elements of Physics I with Lab4
or PHYS 211 General Physics I with Lab
Total Hours12


Recommended by the Biology Department
CHEM 202Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 212Organic Chemistry Laboratory II1

Additional Upper-Level Biology Electives

BIOL 209Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIOL 301Forest Ecology 13
BIOL 302Ecology of Amphibians & Reptiles/Lab 13
BIOL 303Behavioral Ecology/Lab 13
BIOL 305Wetlands and Aquatic Plants/Lab 13
BIOL 306Freshwater Biomonitoring/Lab 13
BIOL 307Vertebrate Ecology/Lab 13
BIOL 308Aquatic Ecosystem Management / Lab 13
BIOL 309Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
BIOL 310Plant Diversity with Lab 13
BIOL 311Entomology/Lab 13
BIOL 313Herpetology/Lab 13
BIOL 314Parasitology with Lab 13
BIOL 316Immunology with Lab 13
BIOL 317Ecology and Fungi 13
BIOL 320Ornithology/Lab 13
BIOL 321Wildlife Management/Lab 13
BIOL 322Conservation Biology/Lab 13
BIOL 323Stream Ecology/Lab 13
BIOL 325Biostatistics and Experimental Design with Lab 13
BIOL 326Field Methods in Biogeography/Lab 13
BIOL 327Limnology/Lab 13
BIOL 330Microbiology/Lab 13
BIOL 331Mammology/Lab 13
BIOL 343Embryology with Lab 13
BIOL 350Evolution 13
BIOL 356Field Ecology / Lab 13
BIOL 357Environmental Microbiology with Lab 14
BIOL 360Field Botany 13
BIOL 361Flora of Western Pennsylvania 13
BIOL 370Molecular Biology 13
BIOL 371Vertebrate Field Zoology 13
BIOL 373Ichthyology/Lab 13
BIOL 375Ecology of Fish / Lab 13
BIOL 380Endocrinology3
BIOL 400Disease Ecology 13
BIOL 401Ecology with Lab 13
BIOL 402Biogeography/Lab 13
BIOL 405Animal Physiological Ecology with Lab 14
BIOL 409Pathophysiology3
BIOL 410Animal Physiology with Lab 13
BIOL 412Population Biology 13
BIOL 430Pathogenic Microbiology 13
BIOL 435Cellular and Molecular Analysis Laboratory3
BIOL 450Biology Internship 13
BIOL 451Plant Physiology/Lab 13
BIOL 470Histology with Lab 13
BIOL 498Selected Topics 13
MARS 221Marine Invertebrates 13
MARS 241Marine Biology 13
MARS 250Wetland Ecology 13
MARS 260Marine Ecology 13
MARS 270Coastal Vegetation 13
MARS 298Selected Topics 13
MARS 300Behavior of Marine Organisms 13
MARS 310The Mammals of Coastal Ecosystems 13
MARS 320Marine Microbiology 13
MARS 330Tropical Invertebrates 13
MARS 342Marine Botany 13
MARS 343Marine Ichthyology 13
MARS 344Anatomy of Marine Chordates 13
MARS 345Ornithology 13
MARS 350Physiology of Marine Invertebrates 13
MARS 398Selected Topics 13
MARS 420Marine Micropaleontology 13
MARS 431Ecology of Marine Plankton 13
MARS 458Exploration Methods in Marine Geology 13
MARS 490Independent Study 13
MARS 491Coral Reef Ecology 13
MARS 492Marine Mammals 13
MARS 498Selected Topics 13
MARS 500Problems in Marine Science 13

Course counts for 50% of Major requirements and Major GPA

Co-Curricular and Experiential Learning

Students are encouraged to explore additional curricular and co-curricular opportunities. There is a strong correlation between long-term student success and participation in the following types of programs and activities:

  1. Student-faculty research
  2. Internships
  3. Volunteering
  4. Job Shadowing

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

BIOLOGY - BA (6 08)
w/ optional Pre Masters in Education (7-12) (PX)
This program is effective as of Summer 2023
Revised 07.10.2023
UCC 02.14.2023

Recommended Four-Year Plan

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
ENGL 102 Critical Writing 3
BIOL 113 Biology I: Foundations of Ecology, Evolution and Diversity with Lab 4
CHEM 107 General Chemistry I 3
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I Lab 1
ESAP 101 FYRST Seminar * 1
SUBJ 139Foundations of Academic Discovery 1 3
ENGL 104 Critical Reading 3
CHEM 108 General Chemistry II 3
CHEM 112 General Chemistry II Lab 1
BIOL 114 Biology II: Foundations of Molecules, Genes and Cells with Lab 4
Language 101 3
Second Year
Select one of the following: 3
Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice
Ethics and Civil Discourse
Civil Discourse and Democracy
BIOL 250 Genetics with Lab 4
CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 211 Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 1
Language 102 3
Declare a Thematic Thread 2
Language 103 3
BIOL 325 Biostatistics and Experimental Design with Lab 3
Creative & Aesthetic Inquiry 3
MATH 125
or Calculus I
Third Year
Humanities Inquiry 3
Social Science Inquiry 3
BIOL 370 Molecular Biology 3 3
SPED 121 Overview of Special Education 3
PHYS 201
Elements of Physics I with Lab
or General Physics I with Lab
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
EGEO/Lab 3
BIOL 300+ Upper Level BIOL Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Fourth Year
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
BIOL 401 Ecology with Lab 3
BIOL 410 Animal Physiology with Lab 3 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 2
2nd Math Course 3
SEFE 338 Standards-Based Instruction & Assessment in the Inclusionary Classroom 3
Thematic Thread Requirement 3
BIOL 300+Upper Level BIOL Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Free Elective 3
BIOL 492 Biology Seminar 1
 Total Hours**120

Course offered in multiple subjects; cannot take course in first major subject.


Work with your Academic Adviser to declare a Thematic Thread by the end of your fall semester in your second year.


Recommended BIOL 300+ Upper Level Elective


Students are encouraged to take ESAP 101 as a Free Elective.

** This document is meant to serve as a guide. Some planners may show more than 120 credits because faculty have created flexibility in choosing courses.  However, only 120 credits are required to obtain a degree. Please consult with your academic adviser and refer to your curriculum guide prior to registering for courses. This plan should be reviewed, and verified, by you and your academic adviser at least once each academic year. 

Major Code: 6 08
Concentration Code: PX
Revised date: 04.21.22