About the Department

The University of Nebraska at Kearney's Biology Department has large, vibrant programs for undergraduates in areas such as health science, wildlifemolecular biology and more. Graduate students are offered on-campus and online options. With 25 faculty members, we are able to offer diverse classes and research opportunities in a wide variety of fields. 

Student success is the primary goal of the Biology Department. The department brings in millions of dollars in grants each year to support research. This provides opportunities for undergraduate students to travel and work directly with faculty mentors on research projects. Each year, the department also awards nearly $10,000 in scholarships for current Biology students. 

The graduate program is an integral part of the Biology Department curriculum. We offer an on-campus master's thesis and a completely online master's non-thesis degree. The on-campus program provides a traditional master's experience where students can work one-on-one with a faculty mentor on a research project, while online students have a more flexible schedule that only includes research if the students choose it as an option. Because of the large size of the program, the department is able to offer numerous classes to allow students to get a broad biology background or to specialize more to help achieve career goals. On-campus students have the opportunity to apply for a teaching assistantship that provides tuition support and a stipend for graduate students who teach introductory biology laboratories.

Joseph Haag
“It’s not just about building a résumé, it’s about building character and preparing for experiences that we take on in the real world. So when we go to an interview, we actually have the knowledge base and the skillset that an employer is looking for. I think that’s an excellent opportunity that UNK provides for students.”

Joseph Haag

Biology Comprehensive/ Health Science Emphasis

Beyond the Classroom

At the University of Nebraska at Kearney, you have opportunities to enhance your education by participating in student organizations, research projects, and more. The Biology Department at UNK encourages active participation in their many organizations and research opportunities they provide to students within their field of study. 

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Events and Organizations

  • DNA Day This day is celebrated by the Biology department with a speaker representing a DNA related topic in honor of a former Professor Dr. Doug Lund. The event takes place on the last Friday in April and more details will be shared in the spring.
  • Wildlife Club The UNK Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society is an affiliate of The Wildlife Society, Inc. TWS is an international, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization comprised of professionals serving the resource management fields, especially wildlife ecology and management.
  • Follow UNK Biology Stay up-to-date with current research, events, and student activity within the Biology Department.
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  • Summer Student Research Program (SSRP) SSRP supports independent student research and scholarly activity each summer. The program is open to students from all disciplines, and is structured to enrich the educational experience in several ways.
  • Undergraduate Research Fellows Undergrad Research Fellows provide a $1,000 annual stipend to students to participate in activities and projects tailored to their academic major. Such efforts will develop student understanding of scholarly inquiry, skills associated with research and creative activity, and an ability to design and complete your own scholarly projects.
  • INBRE Program The primary focus of INBRE is to enhance the competitiveness of biomedical research in Nebraska by supporting the training of students and the research efforts of faculty.