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The Biology Major

Contact:  School of Biological Sciences, 970-351-2921 or biology@unco.edu

University catalogs:  http://unco.smartcatalogiq.com/

The biology degree program leads to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biological Sciences.  Program overview.

Graduation

The biology experience at UNC

With attentive faculty and personalized advising, the School of Biological Sciences supports you get the most out of your biology bachelor’s degree.  We’ll help you choose the courses, special projects, and other activities to fit your career objectives.

What you can do with a biology degree

Biology career options are increasing in number and importance.  Whether you see yourself in medicine, research, teaching, government, industry, or any other sector, you will get the education and training at UNC to start you on your way.

Emphasis areas in biology

You can choose from among five different emphasis areas described below.

  • The prehealth and biomedical sciences emphasis

    The prehealth and biomedical sciences emphasis is intended for premed and other students with an interest in human and animal health professions. This program meets the minimal requirements for admittance to most medical, dental, veterinary and other professional schools of health science.

    A strong science and mathematics background from high school or introductory courses at UNC will help you to succeed in this program.

    After successfully completing your UNC prehealth biology degree you will be prepared for admission to medical, veterinary, dentistry, chiropractic, or paramedical professional programs. You will also be prepared to continue your education in a wide range of research-based graduate programs as diverse as microbiology and human physiology. Additionally, this would also be an appropriate emphasis if you are interested in working in health communication, pharmaceutical sales, hospitals, biotechnology, or government laboratories such as the Centers for Disease Control.

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  •  The cell and molecular biology emphasis

    The cell and molecular biology emphasis focuses on the biological principles underlying all living systems through a study of the basic unit of life, the cell.

    A strong science and mathematics background from high school or introductory courses at UNC will help you to succeed in this program. 

    After successfully completing your UNC cell and molecular biology degree you will be prepared for a wide range of careers in the basic or applied biological sciences such as public health, the pharmaceutical industry, cancer research, biodiversity research, forensic biology, animal and plant agricultural sciences, and many others. You will be prepared to continue your education in research-based graduate biological sciences programs in fields including microbiology, genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, physiology, endocrinology, immunology, and developmental biology.  You will also be prepared for admission to many health-based professional schools including medical, veterinary, and dental school.  This program encompasses a minor in chemistry.

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  • The ecology and evolutionary biology emphasis

    The ecology and evolutionary biology emphasis focuses on ecology, evolution, organismal biology, and application of that knowledge in field settings.  Upon completing this program you will have acquired a background in the diversity, life-histories, and ecology of plants, animals, and other organisms.

    A strong science and mathematics background from high school or introductory courses at UNC will help you to succeed in this program. 

    After successfully completing your UNC ecology and evolutionary biology degree you will be prepared to work for public or private sector environmental agencies such as state or federal wildlife agencies, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, various parks and recreation programs or private consulting agencies. You will also be able to continue your education in graduate programs in the pure or applied biological sciences in fields including botany, zoology, ecology, forestry, wildlife biology, and evolution.

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  • The biology secondary teaching emphasis

    The biology secondary teaching emphasis leads to a State of Colorado licensure in secondary science. You will receive training in biological sciences content and pedagogy plus a wide range of additional support science content. You should have an interest in teaching and in working successfully with young people.

    A strong science and mathematics background from high school or introductory courses at UNC will help you to succeed in this program.

    After successfully completing your UNC biology secondary teaching degree you will meet licensure requirements of the Colorado Department of Education for teaching secondary science (grades 7-12). Upon completion of this program you will also be able to continue your education in graduate programs in the biological sciences.

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  • The biology liberal arts emphasis - New for fall 2021! 

    This program emphasizes a broad understanding of the biological principles underlying all living systems. Undergraduates entering this program should have a strong interest in Biological Sciences and have completed general high school science and mathematics requirements. Given the technical nature of some required courses, additional preparatory coursework may be required for students with limited previous STEM experience.

    Students successfully completing this program will be prepared to choose from a widely varied range of careers that require a solid foundation of biology knowledge in addition to other science and technology training.  Such career paths include nursing, business, biotechnology industries, private consulting, scientific writing, curation of museums, foundation and non-profit positions, government, scientific illustration, and many others.

    Students will also be prepared to continue their education in graduate biological sciences programs (microbiology, genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, physiology, organismal biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, etc.). 

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General degree information

In pursuit of your biology degree, you will take classes that fit into different categories:

  1. Liberal arts curriculum (LAC): These courses used to be called "General Education".  LAC courses provide the foundation for the liberal arts education at UNC. If you are enrolled in a PTEP (Professional Teacher Education Program), such as the Biology Secondary Teaching emphasis, additional credits may be required.
  2. Required biology courses: These courses include core courses that all biology majors take and a set of specialized courses matched to your biology emphasis area.
  3. Required supporting STEM courses: These include mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other courses that provide the training needed for a well rounded and comprehensive biology degree.
  4. Elective biology/STEM courses: These are advanced courses that you will choose to enhance your depth and breadth of knowledge in your emphasis area.
  5. University-wide electives: These are courses in any area or field of study of your choice.