College of Sciences

Department of Biological Sciences

Mission

The Department of Biological Sciences delivers an intensive, balanced, and well-rounded learning experience in general biology, biotechnology, ecology, and bioinformatics. The Department educates students for employment in the regional biotechnology and environmental industries, provides the foundation for students to succeed in post-graduate education, and prepares students for admission to professional schools such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy. These goals are accomplished through rigorous hands-on learning and opportunities for original research. The department strives to integrate teaching, research, and community service, and to that end, we offer undergraduate and graduate students laboratory-based research opportunities as well as industry cooperative experiences.

Overview/Description

Students majoring in Biological Sciences prepare for a variety of careers, which contribute to our understanding of basic life processes and the solution of problems related to health and the environment. Many of those who have earned their Bachelor’s degree are employed by institutions involved in biomedical research or environmental field studies, while others become science educators. Degree recipients often choose to continue their education in professional (medical, veterinary, dental) schools or by matriculating into master’s and doctoral programs. Since their training in science is integrated with an education in humanities and social sciences, graduates are not only prepared to excel in expanding the base of knowledge in their field of expertise, but are able to understand and respond to social and ethical issues arising from these advances.

The undergraduate program insures a strong foundation in supporting science and mathematics and provides the essential background needed for a career in modern biology. A variety of upper-level electives are available, and the curriculum is sufficiently flexible so that students may tailor it to meet their specific career goals and entrance requirements of professional schools and postgraduate programs. Although it is not required, qualified seniors are encouraged to conduct original research as a capstone to their undergraduate experience. Enrolling in Senior Research provides graduation credits, but more importantly, many of these projects have resulted in a student’s first publication in a professional journal or have been presented at scientific meetings.

Pre-Medical and other Pre-Professional Programs

Every year, the curriculum in the Department of Biological Sciences prepares many of our students for entry to prominent schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine, optometry, podiatry, and chiropractic. Students interested in health-related professional careers should meet at their earliest convenience with the University Pre-Health Professions Advisor, who along with a university wide committee, will assist them with course selection and guide them through the application process for admission to the professional school of their choice.

Admissions Requirements for Majors

Students must meet all established University admissions standards as described in the online undergraduate catalog

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