Biology, B.S.

Biology, B.A.

Biology: Biomedical, B.A.

Biology: Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, B.A.

Biology: Teaching, B.A.

Honors Research:

Biology: Biomedical: Honors Research, B.A.

Biology: Honors Research, B.A.

Biology: Honors Research, B.S.


Biology, B.A.

Biology-Teaching, B.A.

(Click major/minor/certificate title to see typical courses for the program)

Are you looking for more challenge?

Look into a B.S. in biology. Some of our strongest students choose this degree. You would take more science and math than with the other degrees and would work with a professor doing your original scientific research. This degree is ideal if you are planning to go into scientific research or on to further education. In addition to the regular courses, you should take calculus in freshman or sophomore year.

Majors and Minors B.A. in biology (General)

If you want to customize your courses to emphasize your special interests, this general biology major is ideal for you. If you want a broad education in biology, or your interest is in specific areas such as plants, this major is designed for you.

B.A. in biology: biomedical emphasis

If you want to become a doctor or other medical professional, this major is designed for you. You will concentrate on courses in biomedical areas such as physiology and anatomy.

B.A. in biology: teaching

(Extended program—requires extra time)
This degree prepares you to teach biology, life science, and other secondary science courses. It includes a lot of biology, plus teaching methods courses.

B.A. in biology: ecology and systematics emphasis

This emphasis prepares you for careers with private or government agencies involved in ecological restoration, endangered species recovery, biological surveys, or for work in zoos, nature centers, museums or botanical gardens.

Biology minor

Students majoring in chemistry, psychology, anthropology or anything else can learn more about biology by taking introductory biology and other courses of their choice.

Biology minor: teaching

This minor allows students, who have an approved major in another science teaching area, to become certified to teach biology in secondary schools in Iowa.

Minors and double majors for biology students

Our biology majors all require chemistry classes, and you could add a chemistry minor by taking additional ones. For some programs this involves only one extra course. Or you could branch out to minors in other areas, such as psychology or anthropology. Also, each year a few students graduate with a double major, e.g., biology and chemistry, psychology, music, or another major. This is a demanding but feasible combination.


Plan of Study

Discover the courses you'll take as a biology major in the Plan of Study.


Sample Careers in Biology

doctor or other medical professional

secondary science teacher

environmental biology

private or government agencies

endangered species recovery

health sciences or industry

graduate school

biological surveys

work in zoos

nature centers

museums or botanical gardens

modern biotechnology fields

interpreter with park systems

Unique Features: 
  • Outstanding faculty have won many teaching and research awards and are dedicated to educating students. These faculty understand the value of blending classroom teaching with experiential learning outside the classroom.

  • A full-time biology academic advisor to assist majors with their academic needs

  • Many small classes and laboratories allowing close contact with professors

  • Opportunities to pursue undergraduate research

  • Cooperative arrangements with several medical and graduate schools for summer research experiences at other locations

  • Field trips to natural and agricultural areas

  • Housed in McCollum Science Hall, the Biology Research Complex and the Center for Energy and Environmental Education, with extensive, well-equipped lecture halls and laboratory classrooms with multimedia capability

  • Unique outdoor classrooms provided by the UNI Biological Preserves System, 160 acres of native and reconstructed prairies and forests

  • Two greenhouses featuring tropical, desert and propagating rooms

  • Scanning electron microscope

  • State-of-the-art teaching and research equipment in molecular and cellular biology, immunology, video image analysis, and environmental measurements

  • Summer classes at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory in northwest Iowa

  • A nationally listed herbarium with over 45,000 plant specimens

  • Insect collection with thousands of specimens

  • Vehicles (vans and truck) for field trips, research and visits to graduate and professional schools

  • An active chapter of Beta Beta Beta, a biology honor society for undergraduates that sponsors many service activities and emphasizes student-to-student interactions

  • Other student clubs with many biology majors include the Biotechnology Club, the Botany Club, the Conservation Club, the Northern Iowa Natural History Interpreters, the Pre-Chiropractic Club, the Pre-Dental Club, the Pre-Medical Club, the Pre-Mortuary/Forensic Science Club, the Pre-Optometry Club, the Pre-Pharmacy Club, the Pre-Physical Therapy Club, the Pre-Vet Club and the Student Environmental Action Coalition

Scholarships & Awards: 

College of Natural Sciences tuition scholarships are available. Applicants must compete in a test at UNI’s Science, Mathematics and Technology Symposium in the fall of their senior year of high school for some scholarships.

More information on department scholarships can found at Financial Aid.