To our current and future students
The Department of Integrative Biology offers graduate and undergraduate programs—all with the flexibility to focus on your individual career goals. With a broad selection of courses to fulfill requirements, our faculty advisors serve a critical role. They can help you build a solid foundation for professional careers in health and medicine; for academic, government, nonprofit or private sector careers in a wide range of disciplines from ecology and the environment to cell and molecular biology; and for fulfilling careers in secondary school science education.
What you can do with a degree in biology
Career paths that begin with a BS in biology have mushroomed in recent years. Advances in technology and new discoveries in the fields of genetics, molecular biology, medicine, forensics, evolutionary biology, ecology and the environment make this an exciting time for biologists. Click here for more career information.
Visit the Health Career Options Web site and explore specifics to help you mold your academic experience to your specific goals. Then visit personally with a health career advisor on a regular basis to keep on track.
Our goals for biology majors: Basic knowledge and skill sets
We teach all biology students fundamental core information that serves as a foundation for advanced study and professional training. This basic knowledge includes concepts such as DNA replication, transcription and translation, which are central to our understanding of molecular biology, as well as the relationship between structure and function, and the genetic mechanisms of inheritance. In addition, our biology students are educated in cell biology and general genetics, and through these courses gain a state-of-field understanding of cell function and heredity, and some of the technological breakthroughs that have led to discoveries in these fields. They learn about ecological processes, including how organisms adapt to diverse environments and energy flow and nutrient cycles through ecosystems; worldwide biodiversity; and how ecological function can be altered by human impacts. From this diverse background information, students begin to comprehend the basic processes leading to evolutionary change, including the origin of life, adaptation, natural selection and speciation.
In addition, in the process of learning core information, biology students become well-versed in the critical skill sets of science: understanding and applying the Scientific Method, and learning to understand and critically evaluate the current scientific literature.
Advanced knowledge and skill sets
In the Department of integrative Biology, we believe that our students should be educated in biology at all levels of study, from molecular and cellular biology up to organismic, ecological and evolutionary biology. It is our educational philosophy that students understand biological questions and approach research as a continuum among these different levels of knowledge, and should be able to ask questions and seek answers that encompass multiple levels.
The Department of Integrative Biology offers many upper division and graduate level courses that provide advanced information in many disciplines in biology but also integrate information from various disciplines. All faculty in Integrative Biology offer students the opportunity to work in research labs on joint or independent research projects. Students who work with faculty often have opportunities to present their research at local or national meetings, and may co-author research papers. Furthermore, internships related to various careers in biology are available through the university's Experiential Learning Center.