Biology Major

Department of Biology and ChemistryWhy study Biology?

Whether you dream of being a medical/health sciences professional, working hands-on in the clinic or industry labs, or pursuing biology research towards new discoveries, the UIU Biology major prepares you to go as far as possible. The biology major at UIU is unique in the capstone research experience, in which students apply the concepts they have learned by investigating a topic of their choosing with a faculty mentor.  Students design, perform, and present their research to others, practicing skills that are valued highly by employers and graduate/professional schools. This experience helps make our students competitive within their field, and confident in their abilities and applied knowledge.


The biology major offers a series of core courses structured around classes that provide the foundation of the biological studies.  From there, the biology major has emphases that allow you to tailor your studies to your individual career goals and provide you with “Choice Content.” 

Approved StemJobs College 2015

Emphasis areas

Pre-professional emphasis:  This emphasis prepares you for entrance into professional programs such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, chiropractic, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and veterinary medicine programs.  Visit our webpages for pre-professional students for more information and a comparison of courses commonly required by professional programs.

Medical Lab Sciences emphasis: Clinical or medical laboratory technicians collect and analyze samples to aid in the diagnosis and appropriate treatment of patients with disease. This emphasis prepares you for entrance into programs certified by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). For example, UIU graduates of clinical laboratory sciences have furthered their careers through the Medical Laboratory Science Program at the Mayo Clinic.

General emphasis: The possibilities are wide and varied for an individual with a general biology major! This emphasis prepares you for a career in the biological sciences, plant or animal care and research, for positions in biological industry, and for entrance into graduate programs in biology.  Skills in biology can also be combined with skills in art (medical illustration, molecular modeling), math (biostatistics, epidemiology), law (biotechnology patents), and public health (food safety, drug testing and quality control) for even wider career paths.

Chiropractic emphasis: The Chiropractic emphasis is a 3+1 articulation with Palmer, Logan University and Northwestern Chiropractic Colleges, where the first year at the Chiropractic program is used to complete the requirements for the biology major at Upper Iowa University.

Career opportunities

Upper Iowa students graduating with a biology major are prepared to pursue a wide range of opportunities, including the following examples:

  • Professional programs such as medical, dental, optometry, podiatry, physical therapy, chiropractic, accelerated nursing, and veterinary schools (Biology—Pre-professional emphasis)
  • Medical laboratory science training at programs and locations such as the Mayo Clinic; (Biology—Medical Laboratory Science emphasis)
  • Graduate programs in the biological sciences (Biology—General emphasis)
  • Employment in public health such as food safety, drug testing and quality control (Biology-General or Medical Laboratory Science emphases)
  • Employment in businesses that produce and sell medical equipment and pharmaceuticals (Medical Science emphases)

Over the last eight years, biology major graduates pursuing graduate/professional school or biology-related jobs have had a 90% placement rate.

Department website

Visit the department website

Biology is offered at the following Upper Iowa University location:

  • Residential Fayette campus