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Do you want to prepare for a career in healthcare, learn about organisms worldwide or help cure diseases? A biology major might be the right fit for you.

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Undergraduate programs


Undergrad major Undergrad minor Teacher license Graduate degree Doctorate degree

Biology is the study of all living things from microscopic bacteria and viruses to plants and animals. UWL's biology program is home to a wide variety of disciplines spanning from the molecular to the ecosystem level.

Areas of study

Aquatic Science Concentration

UWL offers an aquatic science concentration within the biology major to prepare students for exciting and challenging careers in the study and management of aquatic resources such as wetlands, streams, lakes, rivers, springs and groundwater. 

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Aquatic Science Catalogfor Aquatic Science

Biomedical Science Concentration

Biomedical science concentration coursework focuses on human and mammalian biology. An excellent choice for pre-med, pre-vet and pre-health professions students, the concentration includes a highly regarded, two-semester human anatomy and physiology series and additional chemistry classes.

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Biomedical Science Catalogfor Biomedical Science

Environmental Science Concentration

Environmental Science concentration coursework includes strong core curriculum in biology, chemistry and math, followed by upper-level, environmentally relevant biology courses. Students with strong interests in the protection of natural resources and the outdoors tend to find this focus area appealing.

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Environmental Science Catalogfor Environmental Science

Science Education

This is a teacher certification program, specifically for early adolescence-adolescence certification. All teacher education students must complete the general education, School of Education, major/minor, and university degree requirements in order to qualify for a degree. Biology requirements: 40 credits: (59-62 total credits including CHM and MTH requirements). 

Undergrad major Teacher license View a sample plan for Science Education Catalogfor Science Education

Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology Concentration

Molecular Genetics and Cellular Biology concentration coursework focuses on understanding living processes at a molecular level. Scientists are making exciting biological discoveries in these fields today whether identifying genes responsible for cancer or re-writing the genetic code of living cells. 

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology Catalogfor Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology

Plant & Fungal Biology Concentration

Plant & Fungal Biology concentration coursework will help you learn to identify plants and fungi, study their evolution, and understand their physiology. Students can also conduct research with faculty who study plants and fungi. UWL offers one of the only plant and fungal biology degrees in the U.S.

Undergrad major View a sample plan for Plant & Fungal Biology Catalogfor Plant & Fungal Biology

Graduate dual degree

The dual degree option enables a student to receive both a Bachelor of Science degree (biology major) and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from UWL. Students typically complete the undergraduate requirements in three years, followed by 34 months in the physical therapy graduate program. Students will be selected for entrance into the graduate program through a competitive application process. Participation in the dual degree program does not guarantee admission to the graduate program.

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Undergrad minor

Nutrition is the study of nutrients in food and what they do for the body. Food and nutrition are an integral part of everyone’s daily lives and many factors influence how people choose the food they eat. In UWL's nutrition minor, students will learn about different aspects of food and nutrition, from individual nutrient needs, to the nutrient needs of specific groups, to how food is produced in a safe manner.

Graduate program


Graduate degree

Areas of study

Aquatic Science Concentration

Graduate degree

Cellular & Molecular Biology Concentration

Graduate degree

Environmental Science Concentration

Graduate degree

Nurse Anesthesia Concentration

Graduate degree

Physiology Concentration

Graduate degree

Featured courses

  • General Biology
    BIO 105 | 4 credits
    An introduction to biology including topics in ecology, population biology, nutrient cycling, food webs, cell structure and function, metabolism, photosynthesis, reproduction, genetics, molecular biology and evolution. This course provides a strong foundation for further science courses, and is designed for science majors, allied health majors and students with an interest in science. Lect. 3, Lab. 2. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Organismal Biology
    BIO 203 | 4 credits
    A survey of the diverse form and function of prokaryotes, protistans, fungi, plants and animals. Basic ecology, natural history, evolution, biogeography and importance of organisms to humans will be emphasized. Lect. 3, Lab 3. Prerequisite: BIO 105 with a grade of "C" or better. If both BIO 210 and BIO 304 have been completed, BIO 203 cannot be taken for credit. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Genetics
    BIO 306 | 4 credits
    A comprehensive study of the basic principles of heredity, including Mendelian and Molecular Genetics. Lect. 3, Lab 2. Prerequisite: BIO 105 and a second biology course applicable to the major. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Cell Biology
    BIO 315 | 4 credits
    A comprehensive overview of cell structure and function, including the nature of biomolecules, cellular metabolism and its regulation, the dynamics of membranes and the cytoskeleton, the execution and control of the cell cycle, cell interactions, and cell signaling. Lect. 3, Lab 3. Prerequisite: BIO 105; one additional semester of biology; and a minimum of three semesters of chemistry through organic chemistry. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Ecology
    BIO 307 | 3 credits
    A study of interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of living organisms. The basic principles of ecology are presented in order to develop an understanding of the nature of these interactions at the individual, population and community levels of biological organization. Prerequisite: BIO 203. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Molecular Biology
    BIO 435 | 3 credits
    A study of molecular biology with an emphasis on eukaryotic systems. The course will focus on the molecular aspects controlling biological processes. The impact of recombinant DNA technology on biotechnology and medicine will also be examined. This course is taught largely at an undergraduate level. Graduate students will have additional course requirements/expectations. Prerequisite: BIO 306 and BIO 315, or MIC 416 and three semesters of college chemistry including organic chemistry; junior standing. Biochemistry strongly recommended. BIO 436 is an optional laboratory which can be taken concurrently. Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I
    BIO 312 | 4 credits
    A comprehensive study of general anatomical and physiological principles of cells, body fluid compartments, the skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems and the special senses. Required elements of the laboratory portion of the course include computer simulations, microscopy, mammal organ dissections and study of cadaver prosections. Students who have completed this course, or are currently enrolled, may not register for this course again until after freshmen registration (unless they have instructor/department consent). Lect. 3, Lab 2. Prerequisite: grade "C" or better in BIO 105 & CHM 103. Students who have completed this course, or are currently enrolled, may not register for this course again until after freshmen registration (unless they have instructor/department consent). Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
  • Human Nutrition
    NUT 200 | 3 credits
    This course examines the basic principles of the science of nutrition including understanding the basic sources of energy and the influences and effects of nutrition on one's overall health and fitness. Cultural and environmental factors that influence food availability and consumption are also investigated. (Cross-listed with FNS/NUT; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall, Spring, Summer.
  • Lifecycle Nutrition
    NUT 300 | 3 credits
    This course explores nutrition assessment and nutritional requirements/challenges during preconception, pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adulthood and older adulthood, and community nutrition programs targeted for each life stage. Prerequisite: FNS/NUT 200. (Cross-listed with FNS/NUT; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall, Spring.
  • Functional Foods, Herbs, and Supplements
    NUT 350 | 3 credits
    Consumer interest in the relationship between diet and health has increased the demand for information about functional foods, herbals, and supplements. The purpose of this course is to explore current literature and research in these ever-growing and popular topics. Definitions, purpose, safety, efficacy, and risks of each topic are covered. Additionally, topics of discussion include specific functional components of food, herbals, and supplements. Prerequisite: FNS/NUT 200. (Cross-listed with FNS/NUT; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall, Summer.
  • Food Science and Safety
    NUT 400 | 3 credits
    This course examines the principles of food science including the functional role of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Emphasis will be placed on current topics of food science and safety in the national and local food industry including genetically modified and functional foods. Biological, chemical, and physical factors that affect the quality and safety of food products will be discussed in addition to the role of microorganisms in foodborne illness and food quality. Students in this course will also explore basic principles of food safety including food processing and food service as well as the role of government in food safety. Prerequisite: NUT 200; BIO 100 or BIO 105 or MIC 100 or MIC 230. Offered Fall, Spring.