STEM Programs

Biology Degree

Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Bachelor’s Degree Programs

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

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Take Me To

Why should I earn a degree in biology?

Options Abound

A bachelor’s degree in biology is a springboard for a career in laboratory science, medicine, public health, animal science, and more.

High Income Potential

The median pay for biological scientists in 2018 was $79,590 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Build On It

A bachelor’s degree in biology is a great foundation for medical school or other post-graduate studies.

What I Can Do With a Biology Degree

  • Medicine & pharmaceuticals
  • Genetic engineering
  • Food production and safety
  • Research laboratories
  •  

On Campus

On Campus

Storm Lake

Why study biology at BVU?

Individualized Attention

Work directly with expert faculty and receive personalized academic and career advising.

Rural Health Fellowship

Take advantage of this interim internship and spend three weeks getting hands-on experience in dentistry, chiropractic medicine, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.

Pre-Med Internship

Up to three students can intern at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake and three other area hospitals.

Available Stipend

Students pursuing a career in medicine are eligible for a $3,000 stipend to help defray expenses.

Travel

Expand your studies in places like Nepal, Peru, Tanzania, Chile, and Minnesota in exciting, hands-on internships.

High-Tech Research Facilities

Take advantage of the Estelle Siebens Science Center. Put classroom concepts into practice in cutting-edge labs and research facilities. The 70,000-square-foot facility contains 18 labs and three research areas, including:

  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscope (NMR)
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC - MS)
  • Confocal microscope
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Gene guns
  • Human Cadaver Lab
  • Fossils
  • Specimens and skeletons
  • Sterile hoods
  • Labs fully equipped to study DNA and RNA
  • Thermal cyclers
  • Optics Lab
  • UV and chemiluminescent imaging equipment
  • Greenhouse with three environmental growth chambers

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Christian Kladstrup

Join a Welcoming Community.
Share Remarkable Experiences.

CHRISTIAN KLADSTRUP, Class of 2018

During his four years at BVU, Christian was an academic assistant, a resident assistant, and served on the Student Senate. Christian also completed an extensive research project as part of BVU’s Honors Program. During his final two years at BVU, Christian received an URMED internship as well as a summer internship at the Mayo Clinic with the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. Christian is now attending medical school at Des Moines University, where he is pursuing a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. 

Biology Courses

  • Major in Biology (54 Credit Hours)

    54 credit hours with a minimum of 38 credit hours in biology with a minimum of 12 credit hours at the 300 or 400 level taken at BVU. Biology courses numbered 206-208 do not count toward the biology major. Students must complete all 5 areas of the major, as listed.

    Area 1: Support Work (16 credit hours)

    • CHEM 151 General Chemistry I
    • CHEM 152 General Chemistry II
    • PHYS 201 General Physics I: Trigonometry Based or PHYS 211 General Physics I: Calculus-based

    At least one course from

    • PHYS 202 General Physics II: Trigonometry-Based
    • PHYS 212 General Physics II: Calculus-Based
    • CHEM 261 Organic Chemistry I
    • MATH 140 Elementary Applied Statistics

    Area 2: Biological Principles (8 credit hours)

    • BIOL 163 Biological Principles I
    • BIOL 164 Biological Principles II

    Area 3: Distributional Course Selections and Electives (25 credit hours)

    Students select five courses from three fundamental areas of biology in the distributional course selection section: cell/genetics (8 credits); ecology/evolution (7 credits); and organismal biology (4 credits). Students also take a minimum of 6 credits of electives from the electives listed.

    Choices within Cell/Genetics (8 credit hours)

    • BIOL 240 Microbiology
    • BIOL 260 Genetics
    • BIOL 305 Cell and Molecular Biology

    Choices within Ecology/Evolution (7 credit hours)

    • BIOL 270 Evolution
    • BIOL 360 Ecology
    • BIOL 365 Freshwater Ecology

    Choices within Organismal Biology (4 credit hours)

    • BIOL 210 Zoology
    • BIOL 222 Botany

    Choices within Electives (6 credit hours)

    • BIOL 311 Developmental Biology
    • BIOL 325 Endocrinology
    • BIOL 333 Island Ecology
    • BIOL 380 Human Physiology
    • BIOL 385 Neuroscience
    • BIOL 420 Immunology
    • BIOL 422 Virology
    • BIOL 424 Parasitology
    • BIOL 426 Ornithology
    • BIOL 427 Herpetology
    • BIOL 428 Mammalogy
    • BIOL 430 Human Anatomy
    • BIOL 450 Special Topics in Biology

    Area 4: Research Experience (4 credit hours)

    • BIOL 100 Biology First-Year Research Experience
    • BIOL 200 Biology Research Experience I
    • BIOL 300 Biology Research Experience II
    • BIOL 400 Biology Research Capstone

    Area 5: Internship (1 credit hours)

    • BIOL 495 Biology Internship
  • Major in Biology with Teaching Licensure (5-12) (53 Credit Hours)

    Credit hours broken down as described for the biology major with the following two exceptions:

    • Students pursuing a major in biology with teaching licensure are not required to complete Area 5 (Biology Internship) because they will be doing an internship when student teaching.
       
    • Students pursuing a major in biology with teaching licensure must also complete the requirements listed under secondary education and education core.
  • Minor in Biology (23 Credit Hours)

    • BIOL 100 Biology First-Year Research Experience
    • BIOL 164 Biological Principles II
    • BIOL 163 Biological Principles I
    • BIOL 240 Microbiology or BIOL 260 Genetics or BIOL 305 Cell Biology
    • BIOL 270 Evolution or BIOL 360 Ecology or BIOL 365 Freshwater Ecology
    • BIOL 210 Zoology or BIOL 222 Botany
    • 3 hours biology with BIOL 163 and 164 (or higher) as prerequisites, excluding a BIOL 200, 206, 207, 208, 300, 400
  • Minor in Biology with Teaching Licensure (5-12) (23 Credit Hours)

    • BIOL 100 Biology First-Year Research Experience
    • BIOL 164 Biological Principles II
    • BIOL 163 Biological Principles I
    • BIOL 240 Microbiology or BIOL 260 Genetics or BIOL 305 Cell Biology
    • BIOL 270 Evolution or BIOL 360 Ecology or BIOL 365 Freshwater Ecology
    • BIOL 210 Zoology or BIOL 222 Botany
    • 3 hours biology with BIOL 163 and 164 (or higher) as prerequisites, excluding a BIOL 200, 206, 207, 208, 300, 400
    • Plus requirements for secondary education and education core

Financial Aid & Scholarships

We’ll help you figure out your options for financial assistance and possible scholarships.

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Biology Faculty

Our instructors are committed to helping you build the future of Iowa and beyond.

See Our Faculty

Transfer Your Credits

Do you have previously earned credits or an associate degree? BVU accepts most — if not all — of your credits so you don’t have to retake courses.

View Course Equivalencies

Earn a Master’s Degree Faster with Our Accelerated Program

With BVU's Plus One program, you can earn your special education, teaching English as a second language, or organizational leadership master's within one year of graduating with your bachelor’s degree. 

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The environmental science degree combines the disciplines of biological science, conservation science, and physical science into an integrated approach of studying the environment and the world around us.

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