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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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This minor is intended for students in teacher certification programs who desire additional content preparation in biology.

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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.

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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