Organismal Biology

Prepare for a variety of careers in medicine, health, agriculture and environment.

About the Major

The Bachelor of Science in Biology is for students interested in biodiversity and the natural world who want the flexibility to pursue careers in medicine, health, agriculture and environment. The curriculum provides a broad overview of the structure, function, and evolution of biological systems from component parts—molecules and cells—to organisms, communities and ecosystems. Biology majors choose from two degree emphases: Biomedical Sciences and Organismal Biology.

The Organismal Biology emphasis is for students interested in careers as professional biologists and educators. The program of study provides training in systems biology with a focus on animal behavior, genetics, ecology and evolution.

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in independent research, either by working in faculty labs or through targeted programs.

Degree Requirements


Biologists work in a vast range of professions that seek to address grand challenges in medicine (e.g., viral evolution and global pandemics), agriculture (e.g., quantitative genetics and advanced plant and animal breeding), and environment (e.g., biodiversity conservation and global change).

Graduates of our Organismal Biology program have gone on to careers in:

  • Forensic science
  • Zoology and wildlife biology
  • Ecotourism
  • Conservation
  • Science and technical writing

They are also highly successful in gaining admission to graduate and professional programs that lead to careers in:

  • Biological Research (PhD)
  • Law (JD)
  • Education (MEd, MA)
  • Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
  • Pharmacy (PharmD)