Graduate Certificate in Biological Sciences


We are not accepting applications at this time for the certificate since the program is undergoing revision. For updates, please contact the Biology graduate program at

Why a Graduate Certificate in Biological Sciences? 
This graduate-level certificate program is for Ohio teachers or other teaching professionals who would like to update their knowledge and skills to stay up-to-date and competitive in their current positions and/or expand their career horizons. 

Why Study at BGSU?
BGSU is widely recognized as an outstanding university with a large teaching program. The certificate offered by the Department of Biological Sciences may be completed entirely online and it may lead to an opportunity to complete a master’s degree in biological sciences.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will possess a working knowledge of facts and concepts in a specific area of biology.
  • Students will demonstrate an in-depth understanding of and the ability to apply information from a broad range of fundamental biological concepts and subjects, including cell biology, molecular genetics, evolution and ecology.
  • Students will be able to critically analyze primary literature articles.
  • Students will be able to effectively communicate scientific ideas in both written and oral formats.

Program Strength and Uniqueness

  • The program may be completed entirely online 
  • BGSU and the Department of Biological Sciences have outstanding reputations throughout the region
  • The Department of Biological Sciences offers masters and doctoral programs taught by actively researching faculty

Professional opportunities
Governor Kasich signed H.B. 487 into law on June 16, 2014. This new law allows college level courses to be taught at the high school, by qualified high school teachers beginning the 2015-16 school year. The program is called College Credit Plus (CCP). Teachers with the 18 credit hours in biological sciences earned through this proposed certificate program may qualify them to teach Ohio CCP biology courses in their schools.

Admission requirements
Applicants must hold a four-year undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA, or a master’s degree. Usually, applicants have a master’s degree in education or an undergraduate major in an education or a life science related discipline; others will be considered for admission on an individual basis. 

Applicants are required to submit scanned copies of official or unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended. Upon admission, final official or notarized copies of transcripts from all institutions where degrees were earned and diplomas from international institutions must be submitted. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for the stand-alone certificate. 

Additionally, applicants must submit: (1) two letters of recommendation from either instructors who taught them within the past three years, employers, or other individuals qualified to evaluate probable success in the program; and (2) a statement of intent elaborating the purpose for enrolling in the program and outlining professional goals (2-3 pages). 

Cost of tuition
Please visit the Office of the Bursar website for current information on tuition and fees.

How to apply
Apply on the Graduate College website. Applications will be accepted until four weeks prior to the start of the term. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as soon as all supporting materials have been received.

A total of 18 credit hours of coursework at the graduate level is required. Choose six from among the following courses: 

  • BIOL 5500 Teaching Evolution and the Nature of Science (3 hours)
  • BIOL 5530 Limnology & Oceanography (3 hours)
  • BIOL 6250 Teaching and Learning the Fundamentals of Biology (3 hours) 
  • BIOL 6260 Ecology for Professionals (3 hours) 
  • BIOL 6270 Molecular Biology (3 hours) 
  • BIOL 6820 Topics in Biological Sciences (3 hours)

Contact: Dr. Matthew Partin
Phone: (419) 372-2058

Contact: Dottie LaForce
Phone: (419) 372-8552.