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Undergraduate programs

Biology

Undergrad major Undergrad minor Graduate program

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.

Concentration of Biology

Aquatic Science

Undergrad major Graduate program

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. 

Concentration of Biology

Biomedical Science

Undergrad major

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.

Concentration of Biology

Environmental Science

Undergrad major Graduate program

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.

Science Education

Science Education

Undergrad major Teacher license

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). 

Concentration of Biology

Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology

Undergrad major

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. 

Concentration of Biology

Plant & Fungal Biology

Undergrad major

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.

Bachelor of Science in Biology & Doctor of Physical Therapy Dual Degree Program

Graduate dual degree

Undergrad major Graduate program

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.

Nutrition

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 programs

Biology majors

Biology majors are introduced to the full range of biology in fundamental course work spanning the biological hierarchy from molecules to ecosystems. All biology majors also complete required courses in math and chemistry.

In addition to the Biology Core, students complete elective credits to deepen their understanding of whatever area of biology they are most interested in, either by pursuing a general Biology major, or by selecting one of the concentrations listed below.

B.S. and B.A. degree programs are available for the general major and for each concentration.

Learn more about the Biology Core and other major requirements

Students in the aquatic sciences concentration complete the core requirements of the biology major plus courses in microbiology, chemistry, and limnology. They also select elective courses such as ichthyology, aquatic and wetland vascular plants, and stream and watershed ecology.

Our students specialize in areas including:

  • Fish and Aquatic Invertebrate Biology
  • Aquatic Ecology
  • Water Quality
  • Aquatic Toxicology

This blend of coursework along with research and internship opportunities prepares students for employment with government agencies and conservation organizations, and for advanced graduate education.

Learn more about this concentration

The biomedical science concentration allows students to focus on human and mammalian biology. Our highly-regarded two-semester human anatomy & physiology series is a centerpiece of the concentration. Additional chemistry classes are also required to improve quantitative skills and make students more competitive in the job market. This concentration is an excellent choice for pre-med, pre-vet & pre-health professions students as many of the required courses meet admissions requirements of these professional programs.

Career Opportunities:

  • INDUSTRY Depending on their research experience and electives taken, students may be qualified for positions in sales, technical service, or research and development in industry.
  • GRADUATE SCHOOL This program will prepare students for graduate school in many disciplines of biology including physiology, cell biology, nutrition, and biochemistry.
  • HEALTH CARE The curriculum closely fits the prerequisites for many health programs and medical school.

Learn more about this concentration

Learn more about pre-health at UWL

In the Molecular Genetics and Cellular Biology (previously known as Cellular and Molecular Biology, coursework focuses on understanding living processes at a molecular level. Many of the most exciting biological discoveries today are occurring in these fields. We can identify genes responsible for cancer, reveal how organisms develop from a single cell, and re-write the genetic code of living cells.

Students use state of the art equipment and learn current techniques employed in molecular genetics and cellular biology research labs during their coursework. The curriculum provides a balance between classic fundamental concepts and the latest breakthroughs. The combination of theory and application makes students competitive in both the job market and for acceptance to graduate programs.

Over 90% of Molecular Genetics and Cellular Biology (previously known as Cellular and Molecular Biology) students obtain jobs in research or go on to graduate school.

Learn more about this concentration

DO YOU ...

  • Have a strong curiosity about science?
  • Enjoy environmentally-oriented hobbies or have outdoor interests?
  • Have strong interests in the conservation and protection of our natural resources?

The Environmental Science Concentration offers an opportunity to pursue a coordinated, focused course of study within the broad field of biology. The core curriculum in biology, chemistry and math courses provides broad interdisciplinary preparation in these areas. Students then complete their course of study by taking upper level environmentally-relevant biology courses plus an emphasis in one of three analytical areas — chemical, geospatial or computational.

Learn more about this concentration

We are proud to offer one of the only plant and fungal biology degrees in the US. With this unique major you will have the opportunity to learn to identify plants and fungi, study their evolution, and understand their physiology. You will also have the opportunity to do research with faculty who study plants and fungi at the molecular, organismal, and ecological levels. 

Related student organizations:

Learn more about the concentration here

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 UW-La Crosse. Students typically complete the undergraduate requirements in three years followed by 34 months in the physical therapy graduate program. The undergraduate requirements include completion of the general education program, college core requirements (except for a minor), physical therapy pre-requisite course work, and the requirements for the biology major except six credits of biology elective courses.

UW-La Crosse students will be selected for entrance into the graduate program in physical therapy through a competitive application process. Participation in the undergraduate Biology/PT dual degree program does not guarantee admission to the graduate program in physical therapy.

Learn more about this program

Biology Education majors

Teacher certification program: 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)

Additional teacher education requirements are listed in the STEP program core

Biology minors

This is a very flexible way to incorporate some biological coursework into your college degree, while pursuing a major in another area. Offered to all colleges, excluding teacher certification programs. 

Learn more about this minor

The nutrition minor serves a variety of students, including those in pre-health, pre-medicine, exercise and sport science, and health education. Majors in psychology, sociology, and business also may be interested in the nutrition minor.

The minor involves nutrition-related course work meant for students who may enter professions where an understanding of food and nutrition will be helpful and make them more competitive for employment or graduate school.

Learn more about this minor

The Neuroscience Interdisciplinary Minor is a joint program between the departments of Biology, Philosophy, and Psychology. Although the Psychology Department is the administrative home, it is meant to integrate the expertise across all three core departments and other UW-La Crosse departments offering elective coursework. This minor is ideal for students planning to pursue doctoral training in neuroscience, medicine, psychology, neurology, neuropsychology, or philosophy.

Offered to students in all colleges, excluding teacher certification programs.

Learn more about this interdisciplinary minor