Degree – Master of Science in Secondary Education, MSEd
Concentration: Biology

Description of Program

The Master of Science in Secondary Education (MSEd) degree program offers endorsements in 14 areas. Graduates are prepared for advanced preparation to serve as teachers or practitioners in various educational capacities. The endorsement in Biology focuses on the teaching content and strategies at the secondary level.

Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire skills to demonstrate proficiency in the biological sciences for teaching careers in biology in secondary education
  • Synthesize content in the field and apply it to research, industry, and the health professions
  • Apply knowledge to become competent educators in secondary education

Admission Requirements:

Students applying for entrance to the Master of Science in Secondary Education in Biology are required to submit an application for admission, Apply Online (

  • Educator License
  • two letters of recommendation
  • official transcript from an accredited school (if a student has attended more than one school, transcripts must be submitted from all schools attended). At least one transcript must document the student has a bachelor’s degree.
  • Immunization record

Decisions are made only after receipt of all credentials by the Department of Agriculture admission committee. The department uses an admission formula to accept students. The entire application packet, including all supporting materials, must be submitted to the Graduate School.


A Standard Educator License in a teaching area is required for admission to programs in the Master of Science in Secondary Education with the exception of certificate programs.

Degree Requirements:

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Secondary Education in Biology requires 33 credit hours of coursework and passing required exit exams for degree completion. Students complete 12 hours of required core credits and 12 hours of required course credits, and 9 hours of electives.

Graduation expectations require the following:

  • A minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed in residence at Alcorn State University
  • Earn no more than two Cs in coursework
  • Successfully pass the Core Exit Exam
  • Successfully pass the Area Exit Exam according to content area
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credits accepted by the University

Academic advisors are allowed to accept up to six semester credit hours earned at an accredited university with a grade of “B” or higher for graduate coursework completed. Substitutions of coursework are allowed with the approval of an advisor and department administrators up to nine hours if the substitution(s) meet curriculum requirements.

See Transfer of Credits Policy for additional information.
See the Substitution of Courses Policy for additional information.

Academic Track: Exit Exams

Students pursuing a Master of Science in Secondary Education must pass a Core Examination and Area Examination to exit.

Master Degree Audit:

Before candidacy for graduation can be confirmed, each student progression to degree completion will be evaluated to determine if student has met all academic requirements for course work and other aspects of the student’s course of study and Graduate School requirements. When these requirements are met, the student is cleared for graduation.

Time to Degree Completion

Alcorn’s time to degree completion policy allows 6 years to complete the biology education program. Degree completion depends on the pace a student completes the curriculum. If the time exceeds six years, the student must petition the Graduate School to consider an appeal for more time to degree completion.

See the Student Academic Appeals Policy for Expiration of Timeline for additional requirements

Degree Plan and Course Sequence

Core Education Courses (12 Hours)
ED 512 Foundations of American Education
ED 514 Methods of Educational Research
ED 533 Curriculum Development
PH 513 Advanced Educational Psychology

Required Courses (12 Hours)
BI 507 Advanced Cellular & Molecular Biology
BI 509 Current Literature Topics in Biology
BI 585 Methods of Teaching Science
BI 597 Special Research Project

Electives (9 Hours)
BI 500 Advanced Parasitology
BI 501 Advanced Plant Physiology
BI 502 Advanced Plant Pathology
BI 515 Computer Applications in Biology
BI 522 Natural History of the Animal Kingdom
BI 525 Advanced Immunology
BI 526 Advanced Pharmacology
BI 531 Advanced Invertebrate & Vertebrate Zoology
BI 536 Bioethics
BI 540 Molecular Genetics
BI 546 Advanced Histology
BI 547 Advanced Field Biology and Ecology
BI 550 Graduate Research Methods and Seminar
BI 560 Advanced Modern Problems in Biology
BI 581 Advanced Toxicology
BI 590 Advanced Environmental Biology

For More Information Contact:
Dr. Robert Sizemore ▪ 601.877.6677 ▪ sizem
[email protected] (Department of Biological Sciences)