MA in Biological Science Areas of Study

The WGU Master of Arts in Science Education (5–12, Biology) program content is based on research on effective instruction as well as national and state standards. It provides the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to teach effectively in diverse classrooms. The M.A. in Science Education (5–12 Biological Science) program content and training processes are consistent with the accountability intent of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The degree program is focused on the preparation of highly qualified teachers. As described in the federal legislation, a highly qualified teacher is one who not only possesses full state certification, but also has solid content knowledge of the subject(s) he or she teaches. The hallmarks of our program include: (a) appropriate and rigorous subject-matter preparation, (b) research-based pedagogical course preparation, and (c) clinical field experiences in which teacher candidates are supervised by trained coaches.

General Science Content

Below are all of the courses that make up this area of study. Each competency is made up of specific competencies, or performance descriptions, that correspond to the specific skills or knowledge areas you must master.

Integrated Natural Sciences
Integrated Natural Sciences covers the subject area of natural sciences, including the use of the scientific method to derive conclusions based on research. Topics covered include astronomy, geology, environmental science and ecosystems, and organisms.

General Chemistry I
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include measurement, elements and compounds, properties of matter and energy, the periodic table and chemical nomenclature, quantities in chemistry, chemical reactions, the modern atomic theory, and the chemical bond. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to examine the physical and chemical characteristics of matter.

General Chemistry II
In this course students will attain a solid understanding of fundamental chemistry concepts and a reasonable ability to solve chemical problems. Topics include the gaseous state, the solid and liquid states, aqueous solutions, acid-base models, oxidation-reduction reactions, reaction rates and equilibrium, nuclear chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Laboratory work focuses on using effective laboratory techniques to analyze chemical processes in real-world contexts.

Principles of Biology
In this course students will focus on molecular and cellular biology, the biology of organisms, ecology, and evolution.

Science Education

Science, Technology, and Society
This course engages students in the study of the nature, processes, and applications of science and technology and arms them with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand explain important science concepts. The course addresses the historical evolution of scientific ideas, scientific inquiry, as well as how science is used to inform decision making on current issues.

Science Teaching and Learning
This course focuses on how to teach science and on preparing preservice science educators to teach science in a way that is accurate, current and engaging. Topics include models for teaching science through inquiry, evaluation of alignment to standards, effective use of learning communities, formative assessment strategies, and safety responsibilities.

Biology Content (Grades 5-12)

Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences
This course includes the study of six main topics of biological science, including cellular biology, heredity, evolution, diversity of life, interdependence of life, and ecology.

Biology: Content Knowledge
This course provides instruction in the main areas of biological science for which secondary biology teachers are expected to demonstrate competency. Topics include basic principles of science, molecular and cellular biology, classical genetics and evolution, diversity of life, and ecology.