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Secondary Science Education Program

Qualified Teachers are in Demand

Because of the crisis in science education in the United States, qualified teachers are in demand across the country. Western's comprehensive science education degree (B.S.Ed.) allows you to concentrate in one discipline —biology, earth sciences, chemistry, or physics —and gain in-depth content knowledge while acquiring a good working knowledge of the others. Once graduated, you'll be certified and highly qualified to teach your chosen discipline and any of the other three in North Carolina, and your teaching license will be reciprocal in more than 40 other states. There also are opportunities to work with young people in out-of-the-classroom settings such as camps, enrichment programs, and schools-at-sea programs, and in non-traditional science education programs in science centers, museums, science centers, zoos, botanical gardens, aquaria, conservation groups, and advocacy organizations, to name but a few options. 

The Comprehensive Science Education program prepares students to teach science at the secondary level. The program reflects the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards, and includes:

  • An introductory Science Education class (SCI 150)
  • An inquiry-based Nature of Science class (SCI 301)
  • Upper level content in the concentration area
  • A capstone research experience in the concentration area

The program provides students the theoretical and practical framework to be informed, effective, and innovative inquiry-based practitioners.

The B.S.Ed requires a total of 128 Credit Hours. Four concentrations are offered:

Eight-semester Plans Undergraduate Catalog Descriptions
Biology Biology
Chemistry Chemistry
Earth Sciences Earth Sciences
Physics Physics

To enter Western’s secondary education B.S.Ed. degree program, students must be admitted to the university and must apply, usually in the sophomore year, for admission to the teacher education program. Requirements include a GPA of at least 2.75; a satisfactory score on the Praxis I test of reading, writing and math; and an on-campus interview. Upon acceptance, students are involved in a combination of academic classwork, portfolio preparation, and fieldwork in the form of internships and student teaching.

Scholarships for Majors

Students who are admitted to Western are automatically considered for all available scholarships, including several designated just for education majors. For further information, visit the College of Education's Student Scholarships, Grants and Loans information.

Teacher Incentive Program

Out-of-state students may be eligible for the NC Teacher Incentive Program (NC TIP), which provides in-state tuition rates for selected students. The program requires a commitment to teach in North Carolina public schools after graduation.

Merit- and Needs-Based Assistance

Off campus, there are many state, federal, and private organizations which offer both merit-based and needs-based assistance to students entering teacher education. This is especially true of students who intend to teach science. Western’s financial aid office can assist you with information about grants, loans, and scholarships.

For more information please contact Program Director Frank Forcino at

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