Secondary Biology Certification

UChicago UTEP’s Secondary Biology certification pathway prepares candidates to teach in the high-need field of science in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). It is a five-year experience that includes two years of preparation and three years of post-graduation supports.

Graduates receive Illinois Initial Secondary (09) teaching certification and a general science endorsement for grades 6-8, qualifying them to teach middle school science (e.g., life science, earth science, and physical science) and high school biology and related sciences (e.g., ecology, human genetics, and evolution). Secondary Biology graduates take sufficient credit hours to be on track for the highly qualified teachers (HQT) designation.

Distinctive Program Features

  • Coursework designed and taught by distinguished faculty from the world-renowned University of Chicago Division of Biological Sciences coupled with methods courses in culturally relevant instruction
  • A part-time, three-quarter foundations year (Year 1) in which students take a sequence that integrates fieldwork, tutoring, academic and methods coursework, and a unique soul strand.  Students may enroll as full-time students if they need or wish to take additional coursework in the biological sciences.
  • A full-time, five-quarter residency year (Year 2), in which students work alongside carefully selected master CPS teachers who are the program’s clinical instructors
  • Three-years of post-graduation supports geared to beginning-teacher needs, including in-classroom coaching, workshops, inquiry groups, and an online community
  • A cohort structure that enables students to complete coursework and fieldwork together, share experiences of their work with youths, and support each other’s continued learning through UChicago UTEP’s post-graduation programming