North Central College
Course Planning for the Life Sciences

Below are some sample four-year plans for biology and biochemistry majors. Use the tabs to see a plan which matches your situation, but remember that your plan should be designed based on your interests and future goals. You should discuss your plans with your academic advisor.

Preparation for certification as a secondary-school (middle school or high school) biology teacher requires a major in secondary education. It is possible to be certified without a major in biology by taking appropriate courses in addition to a Secondary Education major; however, a biology degree is highly desirable for graduates wishing to teach Advanced Placement biology courses in Chicago-area school districts.

A double major in Biology and Secondary Education is most easily accomplished using the Biology Professions track of the Biology BA major, which requires a second major. The grid below shows one way these two majors could be completed. Note that it's usually necessary to begin planning for secondary education in the first year; students who decide on a secondary-school teaching career later may wish to finish a four-year degree in Biology and then continue to an education certification program at another school.

Biology BA - Biology Professions track
with BA in Secondary Education1
See also more details on the Biology major on the Biology BA page.
1 BIOL 195
CHEM 121
GenEd seminar
GenEd iCon
BIOL 210
PSYC 205
GenEd seminar
GenEd wellness (2 cr)
GenEd iCon
2 BIOL 220
BIOL 290 (0 cr)
GenEd quantitative
EDUC 101
EDUC 335
BIOL 230
CHEM 122
EDUC 200
EDUC field experience I (1 cr)
GenEd iCon
3 300-level BIOL2
BIOL 290 (0 cr)
EDUC 322
EDUC 360
EDUC Field experience II (1 cr)
GenEd or elective
300-level BIOL2
BIOL 240 (2 cr)
EDUC 330
Education policy, diversity & equity
GenEd iCon
4 BIOL Capstone
BIOL 490 (1 cr)
EDUC 403
300-level EDUC
EDUC Field experience III (1cr)
GenEd capstone


1Certification in Illinois requires competencies in sciences outside biology; candidates may wish to take elective courses in physics and earth science in addition to the chemistry built into the major; seek advice from an education advisor in planning your program.

2For certification in secondary education, biology electives should be chosen to include at least one plant course and at least one animal course.