General Science Degree

General Science Degrees for Teachers

Major in General Science for Secondary School Teachers (Grades 7 — 12)

The purpose of the major is to provide science teachers in training with a fundamentally strong background in the basic sciences. Therefore, a greater pool of talent in the field of science education will be created from which surrounding middle schools and high schools can draw. The program has been designed to emphasize the fundamental understanding of both physical and life sciences. Courses will be selected from biology, geology, chemistry, computer science, and physics.  The objectives of the general science major are to:

  1. Provide science teachers in training with a multidisciplinary program that will adequately prepare them to teach the science courses expected in middle school and high school science programs.
  2. Prepare science teachers to develop each of the competencies required by the State Board of Education for licensure in science education

Students must complete the Highlands University core curriculum requirements , which should include a minimum of Math 140 and eight credits from the lab sciences listed below. Math 211 and Math 160 are required for the BS, but not for a BA degree. The BS degree is recommended for students preparing to teach high school.

Required core:  41-43 credit hours

BIOL 211 General Biology 1 (4)

BIOL 212 General Biology 2 (4)

CHEM 211 General Chemistry 1 (3)

CHEM 212 General Chemistry 2 (3)

CHEM 215 General Chemistry Lab 1 (2)

CHEM 216 General Chemistry Lab 2 (2)

CS 144 Introduction to Computer Science (3)

GEOL 101 Survey of Earth Science (4)

GEOL 202 Earth Histories (4)

BIOL 420 Teaching Science & Math in Middle & Secondary School (3)

Choose one set from the following:

PHYS 151 Algebra Physics 1 (4) AND

PHYS 152 Algebra Physics 2 (4)


PHYS 291 Calculus Physics 1 (5) AND

PHYS 292 Calculus Physics 2 (5)

Choose one of the following:

BIOL 359 Fundamentals of Lab Safety (1)

CHEM 359 Fundamentals of Lab Safety (1)

Total Core: 41-43 credit hours

Electives:  16 credit hours

With the advice of a science adviser, select at least one course from each of biology, chemistry, and geology for a minimum of 16 credits above the 300 level. In addition, the student must undertake a minor in secondary education. Students must fulfill requirements for entrance to teacher preparation and licensure. Please refer to the School of Education section for details.

Major Total:   57-59 credit hours

Proficiency/Electives 120: 10-12 credit hours

Core Total: 35 credit hours

Extended core: 5 credit hours

Total for degree: 120 credit hours*

* Additional credit hours may be required to meet the minimum 120-credit degree requirement if proficiency or other required courses are waived for content only. English and math proficiency credit do not count toward the 120-credit requirement. The university requires a minimum of 45 upper-division units for the degree.



Minor in General Science for Elementary School Teachers (Grades K – 5)

The purpose of the minor is to provide elementary school teachers in training with a strong background in a variety of concepts in life science, physical science, and earth and space science. Students should consult with an adviser early in their academic career to select the appropriate courses and avoid possible problems with prerequisites or scheduling. Not all of the 300- or 400-level classes are offered every semester or even every year. The objectives of the general science minor are to:

  • Provide pre-service elementary teachers  with a program that will adequately prepare and encourage them to teach the most fundamental science concepts to students at the elementary school level.
  • Broaden the scope of science to elementary school teachers in training so they will be well versed in all aspects of science. This will make it possible for teachers to develop methods of relaying content material to students in a way that will help them fully understand the concepts presented. This minor does not satisfy the Secondary School endorsement requirements (grades 7-12) for the State of New Mexico.

Please refer to the Interdepartmental Programs section for more details regarding this minor.