BVU's biology program combines a rigorous academic experience with a unique emphasis on research that allows students to develop exceptional professional competency. Students work directly with outstanding faculty in the classroom and laboratory while receiving personalized academic and career advising.


The Science of Life

Many concerns facing humans today draw answers from biology. BVU's biology program emphasizes problem solving skills and practical knowledge of nature. We apply our expertise to human and animal health, public policy, and the development of solutions for hunger and disease. Students can obtain interesting and meaningful employment in wildlife management, environmental testing, academic research, teaching and medicine as examples. The program's research opportunities in particular provides students with skills in the scientific method and improves their chances for admission to graduate and professional programs.

Students who graduate with this major can pursue careers in:

  • Medicine & pharmaceuticals
  • Genetic engineering
  • Food production and safety
  • Research laboratories
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Fish and wildlife agencies
  • Forensics


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Possible Internships

Each January, up to three pre-med students intern at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake and three other area hospitals as part of the URMED program.

Stipend Opportunity

Students participating in the URMED program also receive a $3,000 stipend to help defray expenses associated with applying to medical school.

Pre-professional Options

Pre-professional opportunities are also available for students interested in physical therapy, radiology, optometry, and pharmacy careers in rural settings.


Within The Beaker

Experience the Estelle Siebens Science Center

Biology students at BVU have access to the same cutting-edge technologies one would find at a big research institution while interacting directly with faculty. We don’t just allow students to change the genetic makeup of organisms or study cells and physiology with high tech electronics, we require it. Biology students can study human anatomy on real cadavers, explore the natural world in our neighboring lake and streams, and elucidate the mechanics of subcellular function using a quarter million-dollar confocal microscope. The Estelle Siebens Science Center is like a museum with half billion-year-old fossils, skeletons of elephants and giraffes, mammal specimens from tigers to mastodons, and flowering plants from our multi-zone greenhouse.



A Future in Medicine

The Rural Health Fellowship

The Rural Health Fellowship is an interim internship during which participating students spend three weeks in the fields of dentistry, chiropractic medicine, physical therapy, or occupational therapy. The program even offers a $3,000 stipend to help defray expenses associated with pursuing a career in medicine. 


Biology Travel

Have you tagged a great white?

In the last two years, BVU biology students have traveled to Nepal, Peru, and Tanzania to engage in medical internships at orphanages and field hospitals. Not only do they get to participate in direct patient contact, but they get to see unusual diseases like leprosy and elephantiasis. Other students have tagged great white sharks, studied dominance relationships in Africa lions, and interned at Mayo Clinic and research universities around the country. In January 2017, four students studied wolves and wolverines in the north woods of Minnesota while another student studied secondary metabolites in mosses in Chile.


  •  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  •  St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
  •  Research Field Station, Omora Park, Navarino Island, Chile


  •  Fredericksburg Family Practice Associate, Family Practice Physician
  •  National Center for Infectious Diseases, Podiatrist
  •  Trimark Physicians Group, Research Scientist in Molecular Biology
  •  Eurofins US Food Group, Project Coordinator
  •  Syngenta, Crop Breeding

Dedicated Career Help

Interest discovery, application assistance, internship/job connections and more.

Major in Biology (54 Credit Hours)
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Major in Biology with Teaching Licensure (5-12) (53 Credit Hours)
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Minor in Biology (23 Credit Hours)
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Minor in Biology with Teaching Licensure (5-12) (23 Credit Hours)
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Dr. Thomas Bonagura
Associate Professor of Biology
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Dr. Bob Brodman
Associate Professor of Biology
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Dr. Brittney Dinkel
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
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Dr. James Hampton
Professor of Biology
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Dr. Kristy McClellan
Associate Professor of Biology
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