Biology

Biology is a dynamic science that helps you gain a better understanding of living organisms and the ways they interact with our environment. SLU’s biology program provides a foundation for careers in medicine and the life sciences, as well as post-graduate studies. 

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Major in Biology

Saint Louis University's Department of Biology offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree . The Bachelor of Arts degree in biology provides flexibility in selecting upper-level courses and is favored by students interested in double majors. The Bachelor of Science degree in biology allows you to choose from five concentrations of study to focus on specific sub-disciplinary areas:

Biological Science
This concentration provides students with a strong foundation in biology and prepares you for entry-level employment in the life sciences, health professions, K-12 education and graduate school.

Biological Chemistry and Molecular Biology
This concentration focuses on the latest advances in biochemistry, genomics, and molecular and cell biology. It is designed for students interested in careers involving biomedical research or biotechnology.

Cell Biology and Physiology
This concentration provides students with a strong foundation in the structure and function of organ systems and the tissues that comprise them. It is a good choice for students planning careers in medicine, pharmacology or health care.

Ecology, Evolution and Conservation 
This concentration is designed for students interested in various aspects of organismal biology. It is a good choice for students preparing for graduate study or planning for a career as a research biologist or wildlife specialist.

Plant Science
This concentration is designed for students interested in various aspects of plant biology and prepares you for careers in agricultural industries, botanical research institutes and advanced training in graduate degree programs.

Biology majors at SLU can enroll in courses that provide credit for structured internships through collaborations with a variety of local organizations including the Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Zoo, Sigma Aldrich, Monsanto and firms in the growing biotechnology field.

SLU's Department of Biology also has a field station located in the Missouri Ozarks for research and teaching that provides unique opportunities for you to explore ecology and conservation biology through hands-on experiments and undergraduate research.

Curriculum
  • BIOL 1040-1060: Principles of Biology I and II
  • BIOL 1150: Genetics and Human Diversity
  • BIOL 3010: Evolutionary Biology
  • BIOL 3060: Cell Structure and Function Laboratory
  • CHEM 1130-1140: General Chemistry I and II
Internships and Careers

Advanced undergraduate students with good academic records are encouraged to apply for positions as teaching or learning assistants. In addition to a stipend, students gain teaching experience and the opportunity to help others become interested in the field of biology.

SLU’s biology major develops strong critical thinking and problem solving skills that provide an excellent preparation for professional schools, such as:

  • Medical school
  • Veterinary science
  • Dental school
  • Optometry school

The skills you gain as a biology major can also open the door to a wide variety of career options in areas such as health care, biotechnology, environmental management, conservation, education and pharmaceuticals.

Faculty

Our faculty — all of whom hold the highest degrees in their field — are active in research. Funded by grants from federal and local agencies, they conduct studies in diverse subdisciplines within biology, including molecular biology, cell biology, and ecology and evolutionary biology. They also provide courses that engage and challenge students by promoting active learning.

  • Robert Wood, Ph.D., department chair
  • John Kennell, Ph.D., associate chair
  • Laurie Russell, Ph.D., undergraduate student coordinator
  • Lindzy Dodson, Ph.D., undergraduate research coordinator
  • Jan Barber, Ph.D.
  • Peter Bernhardt, Ph.D.
  • Elena Bray Speth, Ph.D.
  • Gerardo Camilo, Ph.D.
  • Brian Downes, Ph.D.
  • Jonathan Fisher, Ph.D.
  • Kasey Fowler-Finn, Ph.D.
  • Eva Gonzales, Ph.D.
  • Blythe Janowiak, Ph.D.
  • Jason Knouft, Ph.D.
  • Zhenguo Lin, Ph.D.
  • Richard Mayden, Ph.D.
  • Allison Miller, Ph.D.
  • Judith Ogilvie, Ph.D.
  • Laurie Shornick, Ph.D.
  • Susan Spencer, Ph.D.
  • William S. Stark, Ph.D.
  • Julie Thole, Ph.D.
  • Thomas Valone, Ph.D.
  • Yuqi Wang, Ph.D.
  • Daniel Warren, Ph.D.
  • Robert Wood, Ph.D.
  • Wenyan Xiao, Ph.D.
  • Fenglian Xu, Ph.D.

 

Minor in Biology

SLU’s minor in biology requires eight hours of introductory biology, eight hours of introductory chemistry and 12 hours of upper-level biology courses.


Student Organizations

Join an Honor Society

Groups such as Beta Beta Beta (the biology honorary society) and Alpha Epsilon Delta (the pre-professional honor society) are social and academic organizations that can help further your interest in biology while exposing you to its relationship with other scientific disciplines.