The Department of Biology at UNK provides a curriculum that is representative of today's world of biology. From algae to flowering plants, amoeba to vertebrates, and DNA to bacteria and viruses, the Department of Biology offers comprehensive majors with choices from among a General emphasis, a Health Science emphasis, or a Wildlife Biology emphasis. A student can pursue a Biology Major with a minor in any other discipline, or get a Biology 7-12 Teaching Endorsement. UNK is the only school in Nebraska to offer a Molecular Biology Comprehensive Major or one can major in another discipline and earn a Biology Minor, an Environmental Science Minor, a Health Science Minor, or a Public Health Minor.
Degrees in Biology prepare students for a variety of health career fields (including medicine, dentistry, optometry, osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, chiropractic medicine, physician assistant, and veterinary medicine). Depending on the program, students may need only two years, three years, or a degree from UNK before admittance. Students who study Biology continue to enjoy an excellent record of success in being accepted into these professional schools because of their fine academic preparation. Additional guidance for health science programs can be found on the Health Sciences page.
In addition to pre-professional preparation, the list of job opportunities in Biology is as varied as there are kinds of biologists. These opportunities range from environmental science to biotechnology, sales to teaching, or biostatistics to food science.
In addition to classes, there are several research opportunities available to Biology students at UNK. Students conduct independent research projects with faculty guidance in areas that match their interests. In addition to research at UNK, we have been offering a 1-week or 2-week research experience on the Caribbean island of Vieques for several years. Also, Biology is the only department at UNK that provides admittance into the NE-INBRE scholar program. This program provides an opportunity to get involved with biomedical research.
Careers that offer the most challenging and exciting work may require specialized training. Besides the Bachelor of Science degrees mentioned above, UNK offers both a Master of Science degree and a Distance Education Master of Science degree in Biology. The Biology Department also helps coordinate the MSEd degree in Science/Math Education.
The Department of Biology occupies over 20,000 square feet on two floors in the newly renovated Bruner Hall of Science. In addition to classroom laboratories, there are several laboratories designed to facilitate undergraduate and graduate research projects. A 1,500 square-foot greenhouse, herbarium, mammal collection, and a Mobile Environmental Laboratory (MEL) are all maintained for teaching and research.