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Small classes, Big Opportunities

Our bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences stands out for its personalized, student-friendly approach. You’ll work directly with senior faculty who place high priority on undergraduate teaching. The result is an exceptionally rich bachelor’s degree experience. You’ll enjoy advanced opportunities that typically don’t come along until graduate school, including opportunities to assist full professors in laboratory research and field investigations.

Our faculty, academic advisrs and career counselors offer extensive support to ensure that you get the most out of your biology bachelor’s degree. You’ll choose one of four concentrations, depending on the career path you’d most like to pursue. No matter which concentration you select, you’ll build real-world skills and expertise to prepare you for the next step on your journey—be it medical school, graduate studies, laboratory research, teaching or another career.

Degree Options

B.S. in Biological Science: Pre-health and Biomedical Science emphasis

The pre-health emphasis area prepares you for a career in medical and paramedical professions. You’ll fulfill prerequisites for medical school, dental school, veterinary school and other health-related postgraduate programs. This area also provides you with a strong background for employment or continued study in medical-related research, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals or health care communications.

Download the Pre-Health Career Guide

B.S. in Biological Science: Cell and Molecular Biology emphasis

In this basic science emphasis area, you’ll acquire a solid understanding of biological principles focused on the basic unit of life: the cell. The program covers all prerequisite courses for medical, dental, veterinary and other health-related professional schools. You can also use it as a foundation for graduate studies or employment in fields such as public health, medical research, forensic biology, agricultural sciences, biodiversity studies and many others.

B.S. in Biological Science: Ecology and Evolution

You’ll focus on the relationships among organisms within their environments, with particular attention to long-term population trends and the factors that influence change over time. This emphasis area offers strong preparation for careers and graduate programs in a wide range of fields. Examples include environmental regulation, resource management, plant and wildlife conservation, zoology, botany and forestry.

B.S. in Biological Science: Secondary Teaching

If you’re interested in a career as a science teacher, this program provides you with all the required preparation (including student teaching) to qualify you for the state licensing exam. You’ll gain a broad background in biological subject matter, along with practical field experience in middle- and high-school classrooms and coursework in classroom management, instructional techniques, curriculum development and assessment.

Biological Sciences Minor

The 20-credit minor in Biological Sciences is ideal for students who are majoring in another discipline, but also want a level of expertise in biology. This minor is commonly paired with a major in chemistry, psychology, sport and exercise science, dietetics, nutrition or environmental and sustainability studies. The minor is structured to offer flexibility for students to take coursework in the specific areas of biology they are interested in.

Your Future in Biology

With attentive faculty and personalized advising, UNC provides you with maximum support to help you get the most out of your biology bachelor’s degree. Well-trained scientists are in high demand in all sectors and industries; this means finding your own niche can be daunting. Our biology program offers maximum versatility, enabling you to tailor your studies to almost any career goal. We’ll help you choose the courses, special projects, extracurricular activities and summer programs that fit your objectives.

Consider UNC’s B.S. in Biological Sciences if you want to:

  • Become a doctor, dentist or other health professional
  • Pursue a research career
  • Teach science in middle school or high school
  • Work in a science-related industry such as pharmaceuticals, energy or environmental management

You’ll learn:

  • Principles of cellular biology and genetics
  • Real-world biological applications
  • Laboratory techniques
  • Human, plant and animal biology
  • Environmental and ecological relationships
  • Research design and methods

Sample courses:

  • Principles of Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Ecology
  • Microbiology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics
  • Evolution

Beyond the Classroom

All emphasis areas in the biology bachelor’s degree program include some form of practical experience. Depending on your interests and career goals, you may complete a professional internship, capstone project, directed research project, student-teaching placement or other form of applied study. Colorado is blessed with a rich and diverse biological environment, providing you with an extraordinary range of opportunities for in-depth investigation. As part of your biology bachelor’s program, you may be able to assist senior faculty on a research project.

Where can your degree take you?

  • Medical, dental, veterinary or another professional health school
  • Graduate school in biology, ecology, environmental science or a related field
  • Employment in a science-related field such as pharmaceuticals, health care, public health, agriculture, environmental regulation or resource management

Outstanding Faculty

Scott Franklin

Scott Franklin
Professor of Biology, 2012 Faculty Mentor of the Year in Undergraduate Research

"I like the combination of teaching and research here," says UNC biology professor Scott Franklin. "I love to work with students and love to bring what we do with research into the classroom. It makes me a better teacher."

Franklin and his students conduct field studies on Colorado ecosystems that have been affected by flood, fire and man-made disturbances such as oil drilling.

Undergraduates have played an extensive role in Franklin’s research, helping him gather reams of data about the adaptations and resilience of affected forests.

"Philosophically, I believe in the way UNC does things," says Franklin. "We have our faculty teach almost all upper division labs. Because of the interaction with faculty, there is a lot of research potential for undergrads. There are very high-quality faculty here doing great research and teaching."

The combination of research and teaching makes UNC unique, Franklin adds. The opportunity to bring research into the classroom and apply cutting-edge teaching methods is one of the reasons the former Fulbright scholar came to UNC in 2008.

Learn More about Dr. Franklin

Mitchell McGlaughlin

Mitchell McGlaughlin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Associate Professor Mitchell McGlaughlin’s passion for teaching his students about plants and their importance, and his research on plant speciation and genetics offers students unique opportunities. He focuses his research and teaching on using genetic tools, like DNA testing, to understand plant speciation and to help manage and understand plant diversity. His work encompasses rare plant species in the California Channel Islands, Hawaii and Colorado.

Read More

Dr. Mackessy and a snake

Steve Mackessy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

We’ve got outstanding biology faculty. A few examples? You may have seen Dr. Steve Mackessy on the Discovery channel for his work with snake venom; Dr. Rick Adams is renowned for his work on an emerging disease that is devastating U.S. bat populations; and assistant professor Lauryn Benedict is working on research that focuses on bird song as a model system for understanding how signals evolve in nature. 


Read More about Dr. Mackessy's Research

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