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School of Education

School of Education Natural Science Education Degree

Major, Undergrad Teaching Certification


The UW-Stevens Point Natural Science for Science Teaching Certification program is one of the first within the University of Wisconsin System to address the new science, grades 4-12, state requirements. Of critical importance, this program addresses the need for broadly trained and highly qualified science teachers in school districts across the state.

Students in the natural science major take course work from a core set of science courses, select a minor in chemistry, biology, physics, or earth and space sciences, and a certificate in an additional area of chemistry, biology, physics, earth and space sciences, or environmental sciences. This diverse array of science coursework provides ample knowledge to teach any science discipline, grades 4-12, and provides an opportunity to focus on an area of emphasis. 

Praised for its program outcomes, graduation and retention rates, advising services, student organization opportunities and vast program options, UW-Stevens Point was ranked second in the U.S. on’s Best Colleges for Education Majors list.


Why Study Natural Science Education at UW-Stevens Point?

Our program provides students with frequent opportunities for hands-on learning in grade 4-12 classrooms and schools. This includes practicum experiences working with school-aged children early and often throughout the program. UW-Stevens Point graduates with Secondary Science Teaching Certification typically have some of the highest full-time job placement rates within their first year after graduation across the UW System.​ For example, more than 90 percent of our recent science education graduates have been hired within one year of graduation.

Our Hands-on Experiences

UW-Stevens Point offers its students dedicated labs for molecular genetics, cell biology, human and animal physiology, plant taxonomy, human anatomy, higher vertebrates and lower vertebrates. We are able to study in 40,000 acres of private, county and state land within 20 miles of campus, providing a great diversity of habitats for scientific investigations, and we have the only student-run vivarium in the state. Plus, the department operates the Northern Aquaculture Demonstration Facility.

Ranked #2 in the U.S.

For the second year in a row, the education program at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has been ranked second in the nation according to

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Students are immersed in a curriculum that emphasizes an inquiry-based approach and best practices in science education as well as a broad exposure to all scientific disciplines with a deep understanding of its intricacies. Students have opportunities to collaborate with faculty through independent, authentic scientific research, think critically about scientific conventions and how scientific disciplines are intertwined, and utilize state-of-the-art equipment throughout their course work.

At UWSP, we foster inclusivity in STEM fields by building and supporting communities of STEM learners. Educational coursework emphasizes the development of praxis through reflection and commitment to thinking and acting ethically concerning social and educational equity and justice. The program emphasizes the transformative power of education as a call to action to challenge injustice and empower all learners.

Students are able to directly put into practice skills and knowledge learned throughout their coursework during their student teaching, the culminating experience in a pre-service teacher’s academic program of study. This provides an opportunity for teacher candidates to practice and refine their knowledge and skills under the supervision and guidance of cooperating teachers and UWSP science faculty who have dedicated their careers to science education and mentorship.


Through volunteer opportunities and varied professional development opportunities, you’ll be an active learner closely involved in real-world situations designed to ensure your professional success.

Our students are academically engaged, highly motivated and actively involved at the local, state, national and international levels. Student organizations are vital to your pre-professional experiences. As such, the School of Education sponsors the following organizations: Aspiring Educators, Association for the Education of Young Children, Kappa Delta Pi and Student Council for Exceptional Children. In addition, science departments in the College of Letters and Science offer similar opportunities to get involved with fellow students, professors and the community through the Botany Club, Herpetology Society, National Biological Honor Society, Chemistry Club, Society of Physics Students and Geo Club. Explore More!

You may be lucky enough to work with one of the Neale Fellows, select teachers whose projects make a difference at their schools and who work jointly with faculty teaching your classes.

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Navigate Your Major

Major Maps help students map their first day to the first job in their chosen field. While a four-year plan outlines classes to get a degree, Major Maps help students learn how to build career-ready skills and experiences outside the classroom. Each Major Map shows how students can get the most of their UW-Stevens Point journey from enrollment to graduation and beyond. It’s a roadmap to discovering your purpose!


Faculty and staff from the School of Education, Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry, Department of Physics, and Geospatial Sciences are caring, involved and committed to student success. They are dynamically responsive to the changes happening in education and scientific disciplines and offer outstanding support to our students’ professional preparation.

Krista Slemmons

  • Associate Professor
  • Natural Science Major for Science Teaching Certification coordinator

Sarah Orlofske

  • Associate Professor
  • Curator of Animal Parasites
Perry Cook

Perry Cook

  • Professor – Science Education
  • Director – Harju Center for Equity in Education
  • Coordinator – Elementary Methods Block Program

Eric Larsen

  • Professor
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DPI Accreditation

UW-Stevens Point’s teacher education programs are accredited by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.