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According to NYSED, acceptable studies for certification in biology (grades 7-12) include courses in scientific methods, cell biology, biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, comparative anatomy, genetics and evolution, biological diversity, human biology, and ecology. Courses in nutrition are acceptable only if they are in cell nutrition.

Courses with departmental subject codes (e.g., BIO) are valid for the content area for professional license provided they are not methods courses. In addition, Stony Brook University has found that the courses listed below have met the NYSED requirements in the past; however, this DOES NOT GUARANTEE that these courses will continue to meet this requirement in the future. When in doubt, please check with NYSED prior to registration for any course to determine its acceptability.

New York State Education Department Contact Information

Office of Teaching Initiatives
NYS Education Department (NYSED)
Albany, NY 12234
Telephone: 518.474.3901


CEB 505 History of the Long Island Environment
CEB 546/BIO 511 Current Topics in Biotechnology
CEB 547/BIO 520 Current Topics in Genetics and Molecular Biology
CEB 548/BIO 515 Current Topics in Microbiology
CEB 553/BIO 558 Biology and Human Social and Sexual Behavior*
CEB 554 Current Topics in Immunology
CEB 556 Ecology
CEB 557 Forensic Science ( requires permission of instructor to enroll)
CEB 559 Modern Topics in Evolution*
CEB 563 Darwin in the 21st Century
CEB 586 Differentiated Instruction in Science and Math

*Denotes course that is regularly offered online.

Note: If you have taken a course that is no longer listed above, please submit a NYSED Graduate Course Verification Form (PDF) to the appropriate academic department chairperson to verify that the course meets graduate-level content requirements (include a self-addressed stamped envelope). Once you have received the signed form, submit it to NYSED for final approval. Be sure to keep copies of all documentation and correspondence.

Because NYSED’s Office of Teaching Initiatives is the final authority, Stony Brook University cannot guarantee that NYSED will accept any particular course, even if it has been approved by an academic department. 

The information contained on this page is valid as of 1/30/2014.

Statement of Student Responsibility

Students themselves—whether new, returning, or continuing—are responsible for reviewing, understanding, and adhering to their degree and/or certificate program requirements. Students should keep in mind that degree requirements are  separate and distinct from requirements for teacher/administrator certification and resulting initial and/or professional licenses.  Each student is responsible for reviewing, understanding and adhering to his/her certification requirements.   For further information, visit NYSED at

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