Teaching & Learning


M.S. in Adolescence Education - Biology (Grades 7-12)

Graduate students majoring in Adolescence Education (Grades 7 to 12) must select an 18 to 21 credit academic specialty from the Liberal Arts and Sciences curriculum. Such study complements the Adolescence Education courses and provides you with specialized knowledge in one particular discipline. This adds depth and breadth to your level of teaching expertise. It is expected that you, as a teacher, will transmit your enthusiasm for the focused subject to young learners, helping them to grow intellectually and socially. You may select Biology from among the Liberal Arts and Sciences curriculum. Students in Adolescence Education will also take 27 credits in teacher education courses.

Biology Concentration

The Master of Science degree program with a specialization in biology education combines a thorough grounding in educational theory and practice with a biology curriculum you can tailor to your own needs and interests. In the core education courses, you will master an extensive repertoire of teaching techniques; you will examine the ways that race, class and gender impact the teaching-learning connection; and you will learn effective listening and communication skills. From the rich menu of biology courses, you can choose to explore such cutting-edge fields as Human Genetics, Molecular Biology and Population Ecology, and you can elect to pursue specific topics such as “Fisheries Biology and Aquaculture,” “Wildlife and Wilderness Resources” and “Vascular Plants of Long Island.” To learn more about our programs and faculty, visit the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences Web site.

Culminating Experience

The number of credits required for the program ranges 45 to 48 credits, depending on your culminating experience. You can choose one of three culminating experiences at the end of your coursework:

  • Option 1: Student Teaching Portfolio (45 credits), which consists of artifacts from your student-teaching experiences (i.e., lesson plans, journal of experiences, research, reports and projects)
  • Option 2: Comprehensive Exam (45 credits), which is a written essay exam that assesses your knowledge of teaching and the teaching process that was acquired throughout the program’s coursework. There is no thesis/research paper required for this option. This option is for students whose student-teaching requirements are waived.
  • Option 3: Education Thesis (48 credits), which consists of an original research paper. This option requires three additional credits. Students can pursue the thesis in lieu of the Comprehensive Exam or Student Teaching Portfolio. This is an option sought by students who plan deeper research at the post-master’s level.

After you complete all degree requirements and successfully pass New York state certification tests (LAST, ATS-W and CSTs), you will be awarded Initial Teaching Certification by the New York State Department of Education to teach biology to grades 7 to 12. Please see the Teaching Certification Requirements home page for details.


College of Education, Information, and Technology