Master's in Biology Education Degree

Master of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Education

Offered By: College of Natural Sciences

Explore Your Passion With an MS in Biology Education

A Master of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Education degree from Grand Canyon University supports students with biology backgrounds as they pursue careers in education. This online degree program can prepare students to balance biology content with pedagogy and classroom techniques, uniquely providing advanced training in the field of biology while satisfying the requirements for ongoing professional development.

To get started with the MS in Biology with an Emphasis in Education program at GCU, you will need to meet a few prerequisites.

  • A bachelor's degree in biology, microbiology, physiology biochemistry, cellular/molecular biology or genetics; or
  • A bachelor's degree in secondary education with a specialization or emphasis in biology; or
  • A bachelor's degree and a completion of one year of undergraduate General Biology

The master’s in biology education degree program at GCU focuses on development of both biological knowledge and teaching skills. Teachers at the postsecondary level are required to work with many stakeholders, including students, colleagues and department leaders. They must have strong written and verbal skills for both classwork and continued scientific inquiry.

Courses in the MS in Biology education degree program cover topics such as:

  • Ecology
  • Biological systems (both cellular and molecular)
  • Physiology
  • Microbes
  • Curriculum design
  • Adult learning theories

The Benefits of an MS in Biology Education Degree

The need for postsecondary teachers is on the rise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates job growth for postsecondary teachers to increase by about 12% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than average, accounting for an estimated increase of 132,600 jobs in the field.1 Grand Canyon University's master’s in biology program is designed to provide graduates with the training they need to fulfill the openings in this field.

The reason behind the need for postsecondary biology teachers is the growth in STEM-related fields. Future scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians will need to take biology at the college level. As STEM fields continue to grow, so too will the needs for biology teachers. According to the BLS, biological science teachers are most highly concentrated in junior colleges.2 This means that people from all walks of life – from recent grads to people looking to start a second career – will need quality biology teachers to prepare them for the future.

A perk of getting your online biology education degree at Grand Canyon University is the ability to earn your degree entirely online. This degree could be a good fit for working professionals or people who are juggling the demands of work and family. Full-time faculty and trained adjunct instructors will support your own blossoming academic career. Online master’s in biology courses can be taken anytime, from anywhere.

In the GCU biology education degree, you have the potential to build on the solid biology background you already have, continuing your scientific studies while being taught techniques to help you thrive in the classroom. Both biology topics and teaching skills are at the heart of this master's degree program.

Career Opportunities With a Biology Education Degree

This biology education degree at GCU can prepare you to pursue teaching opportunities in biology at the middle or secondary school level. Requirements for teaching and certification may vary depending on location, and different school districts may have differing requirements as well.

If you are hoping to advance your career by building on your biology background, teaching might be your next step. Join like-minded scientists who want to make a difference in the MS in Biology with an Emphasis in Education degree program at GCU.

Master's Degree in Biology Education Degree FAQs

There are many pathways you can take with a master’s in biology education. As a graduate of this program, you will have been taught how to educate others in the biological sciences. After graduating, you may find yourself exploring biology teaching positions at the middle or secondary school level. Keep in mind that teaching and certification requirements vary by location.

This biology education master’s degree program consists of 34 total credits, with the majority of classes being eight weeks in length.

A biology education master’s program can be beneficial for those looking to translate their passion for biological sciences through teaching others in higher education. Through the combination of educational practices and various scientific principles taught, graduates can acquire a background of knowledge that can be applicable to many different industries, inside or outside of a classroom.

COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Postsecondary Teachers, retrieved on May 26, 2023.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020 May). Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020: 25-1042 Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary. Retrieved on May 26, 2023.

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Total Credits: 34
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $605 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

34 credits
Degree Requirements:
34 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Natural Sciences. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course will give a broad overview of the classification of organisms, including prokaryotes, protists, fungi, plants, and animals. Students will discuss the importance of the various types of organisms in global and human ecology. This course will also address principles of ecology with regard to populations, communities, and global ecology. Ecological research will be analyzed, and conservation and restoration efforts will be evaluated through the use of case studies.

Course Description

This course will cover an overview of properties of cellular organization using molecular, genetic, and cell biological approaches. This course will provide a comprehensive study of the composition, structure, energetics, regulation, and growth of eukaryotic cells. Students will also become competent in DNA structure and function, protein synthesis and gene regulation and will also learn the molecular tools for studying genes, gene cloning, and gene activity. From this fundamental perspective, students will be reviewing important scientific literature on the subject of cell biology and will examine the information through discussions, presentations, literature based essays and presentations. Prerequisite: Students should have completed an undergraduate course in cellular/molecular biology.

Course Description

This course covers adult learning theory and instructional practices that are research-based and proven effective in higher education. Technology, online learning, and effective instructional methods for online and traditional instruction are emphasized. Participants research learning models, personalized learning and andragogy and apply their knowledge to improve student engagement and achievement in higher education.

Course Description

This course presents a selection of complex physiological mechanisms which will be explored and analyzed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of human physiology. Topics will be introduced through a system-based approach with the inclusion of application scenarios to enhance the understanding. Prerequisite: BIO-510.

Course Description

This course continues the study of complex physiological mechanisms which will be explored and analyzed to provide students with a deeper understanding of human physiology. Topics will be introduced through a systems-based approach with the inclusion of application scenarios to enhance the understanding. Prerequisite: BIO-515.

Course Description

This course applies learning theories to classroom instructional methods and strategies. Effective communication, creating learning goals, developing student outcomes and assessments, and giving effective feedback are emphasized. Participants are asked to develop activities, assessments, and lesson plans that would be appropriate for a course taught at a community college or university. Prerequisite: EDU-534.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the principles and applications of microbiology and a study of the general characteristics of microorganisms, their activities, and their relationship to humans. Students will be introduced to developing an understanding of microbial cell structure and function, microbial growth, bacterial genetics, characteristics of viruses, interaction of microbes and humans with reference to immune responses, related pathologies, and antimicrobial control medications. Prerequisite: BIO-505, BIO-510.

Course Description

The objective of this course is to survey basic biochemical principles, including the composition, structure, and function of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. Important biochemical principles, including structure-function correlation, kinetics and equilibrium, thermodynamics, membrane structure and function, and metabolic energy pathways, will illustrate the key concepts of biology and chemistry.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.