The biology major presents a wealth of opportunities. From investigating the molecular genetics of microbes to observing the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, the biology major can meet you where your passions lie, open doors for exploration, and pave the way to an exciting career. Our research intensive program will prepare you to think like a scientist and creatively tackle tomorrow’s challenges in the life sciences.
Students majoring in Biology who complete all requirements earn the degree of Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology.
Areas of Study
Course offerings include human biology, organism function and diversity, botany, chordate anatomy, plant ecology, animal ecology, entomology, histology, genetics, nutrition and metabolism, microbiology, parasitology, animal behavior, neurobiology, endocrinology, vertebrate zoology, ornithology, virology, biology of cancer, and more.
Biology graduates may find employment in research, health care, environmental conservation, education, biotechnology, forensic science, government and policy, and science publishing, among other fields. Many UMW biology graduates pursue advanced degrees.
UMW biology majors may qualify for paid internships through the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program. The Department of Biology helps students learn about and apply for internships in the fields of research, medicine, zoology, botany, and ecology. Students also may find internships with museums in the Fredericksburg area or nearby Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
The biology program at UMW was the perfect stepping-stone on my way to veterinary school. The professors and other faculty were so encouraging to me and my peers, and having small classes where I could know them personally made that relationship all the more meaningful. I got a solid education and felt very prepared for my entrance into a professional school.– Alexis Pennings ’14, student, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
To receive honors in biology, you must have a 3.0 grade-point average overall and 3.25 in the major. You’ll complete a research project, write an honors thesis, and deliver an oral presentation to department faculty.
The biology major requires 40 credits including five required courses, a required senior seminar, one course designated research-intensive, and one additional upper-level course with a laboratory component.
The minor in biology requires 22 credits in core and elective biology courses. You’ll take at least three 300- to 400-level biology courses, two with a laboratory component.
The Department of Biology presents several scholarships and awards annually to outstanding biology majors.