• Two students holding a petri dish
    Prepare for your career
    After graduation students are well prepared for employment in many areas of science or for going on to graduate studies or medical and professional school.
  • A teacher is showing students a product
    Learn from experts in the field
    The small class sizes mean you get one-on-one time with experienced faculty members who focus on teaching and mentorship.
  • Two students working
    Learn through doing
    You'll have many opportunities to apply what you learn through hands-on activities and field trips.
  • Take part in undergraduate research.
    Take part in undergraduate research
    Students are often involved in various faculty research projects or may even conduct their own research.
  • Image of plants
    Gain broad biological knowledge
    Students gain valuable knowledge in all areas of biology, from plants and animals to microorganisms.
  • A student is studying with a microscope
    Small classes and labs
    You'll really be able to learn in the smaller class and lab environment where faculty know your name and can better answer your questions.


Bachelor of Science (BS)

Ask questions, make observations, evaluate evidence, and solve problems through coursework, an internship, and research projects in Biology. With our experiential, technology-driven approach, you’ll gain a broad understanding of the biological sciences as well as the applied skills needed to succeed in the sciences, whether that leads you to the biotech industries or to graduate school and/or professional school.

Biology Quick Facts (PDF)

This program is also offered as...

Key Features

Key Features

Students in class

  • Field trips and small-sized labs allow for more hands-on experience
  • Most of our courses and labs are taught by professors with a doctorate who are focused primarily on student education; students are never taught by anyone with less than a master's degree
  • Faculty involve undergraduate students in research projects on a regular basis, either through our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) grants, Crookston Student Research and Creative Works Fund, or outside funding
  • Biology is a broad science degree that can be used to go anywhere within the science field
  • Students can prepare to pursue a master's degree and/or medical/professional school

Student with microscope

  • Grant-funded, large-scale research projects are integrated into laboratory coursework
  • Students develop and conduct original research with biology faculty
  • Students have the opportunity to attend and present at scientific conferences
  • A flexible curriculum helps you meet career goals in the animal and plant sciences or health science pre-professional degree program fields of pre-chiropractic, pre-dentistry, pre-medicine, pre-occupational therapy, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, and pre-physical therapy
  • You can also minor in biology

Students experimenting

Program Requirements & Curriculum

Program Requirements & Curriculum

To view the current Biology, BS curriculum, visit our catalog site:
View Biology, BS curriculum

Also, we offer a minor in Biology:
View Biology minor curriculum

Associated Clubs & Organizations



U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 21% employment growth for all biologists from 2008 to 2018 (www.bls.gov). Biochemists and biophysicists, with the highest sub-field increase, could leap 37%. Student studing

With a bachelor’s of science degree in biology some possible career paths include:

  • Research
  • Research Assistant
  • Health Care
  • Environmental and conservation management
  • Education
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Biotechnology
  • Continue on to graduate school and/or professional school

Student Stories

Student Stories

Brittani Boehlke FieckeBrittani (Boehlke) Fiecke 2006
Caring for her grandmother and mother during bouts with cancer was something Brittani (Boehlke) Fiecke 2006 considers a privilege. Her family’s experience with cancer and her capacity for compassion make her work with oncology patients deeply gratifying. As a physician’s assistant working at Essentia Health Cancer Center in Fargo, N.D., Fiecke becomes an intimate part of the families working through the many difficulties facing patients undergoing cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Read more "Tenderness and Compassion in Practice" PDF File Icon from the Summer 2007 Torch magazine.



Brittany Novak (2011) and Ashley (Walton) Sparby (2009) Standing together in a photoBrittany Novak 2011 and Ashley (Walton) Sparby 2009
They are always on the lookout. Crookston’s RiverView staff pharmacists, Brittany Novak 2011 and Ashley (Walton) Sparby 2009, are always looking for teachable moments and opportunities to share information. “It’s a big part of the work we do as pharmacists,” says Novak. “We are concerned with patient safety with regard to medication and sharing what we know helps ensure our patients are using medication correctly.” 
Read more "Degrees of Friendship" PDF File Icon from the Summer 2007 Torch magazine.



student looking into a microscopeA story highlighting freshwater sponge research being conducted by U of M Crookston faculty and undergraduate students is included in the July-August 2017 edition of Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, a publication of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The research is part of a three-year study, made possible by a $258,000 grant from Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, and it will examine the ecological role of freshwater sponges and how they may reflect or indicate levels of water quality. Read the article online.


karen choiKaren Choi is actively involved in promoting environmental sustainability and building community for students from around the world. She is also the recipient of the Josef Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization. Choi came to the U of M Crookston to study biology but added a second major in environmental science. Research projects span her years on campus and have opened the door to possibilities. Learn more.


Student Steven GonzalesBiology and Health Sciences double major Steven Gonzalez’s experience as a student on the Crookston campus is the subject of an online video representing the campus among the five University of Minnesota system campuses. Not only is he a strong student, but he is also involved in the leadership of a number of student organizations on campus. Gonzalez was interviewed fall semester 2016 as part of the U of M’s "Dream Big Across Minnesota" video project, which features students with diverse backgrounds on each campus. The video is available online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQQm2eNHqKc.


Maggie GibbonsOne way to describe Maggie Gibbons, Cohasset, Minn., is busy.  She’s a full-time student, a part of the Study Abroad Club, the Hospitality Association, and she is a student manager at the Evergreen Grill at the University of Minnesota Crookston.  The one thing Gibbons is never too busy for is her passion for animals.    

The wildlife management and biology double major has been put her passion to use while interning for the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, Minnesota.  Her area of focus has been the World of Birds Show working with raptors and other exotic bird species.  She assists in cleaning, diet preparations, bird training, and works the shows. Learn more. 


Bryant HamiltonIn May, Senior Bryant Hamilton will be walking in commencement. It will be in many ways the fulfillment of a dream and the doorway to another.

The biology major grew up in New York City, in the Bronx to be exact. As a child, he loved microscopes and would sometimes carry his toy version to the playground where he could examine more closely the world around him. He claims to be a “giant comic book nerd,” and has a keen interest in Spiderman and his interaction and understanding of the world around him. When he commented about his Spiderman interest to his science teacher, she told him that Spidey-sense was actually connected to biology and her answer awakened a passion for science in her young student. Learn more.


Andrew SteinfeldtSenior Andrew Steinfeldt, an biology and health sciences double major at the University of Minnesota Crookston talks about his experience in "Cellular Communication"PDF File Icon  from the Spring 2014 version of the Torch magazine. 





Brandon Sachwitz '10 is a senior from Sterling, Alaska, majoring in health sciences and biology. He also is involved in undergraduate research and is a member of several student organizations at the U of M Crookston.

Brittany Novak

Read about Brittany Novak '11 a biology major at the University of Minnesota Crookston in "Prescription for Success"PDF File Icon in the Summer 2011 article in the Torch magazine.

Shawn Friedland '11, a biology major, created a You Tube video for the "I Love UMC" contest sponsored by University Relations.  He talks about the biology program on campus and why he loves UMC! Read more about Shawn in "Ripple Effect"PDF File Icon in the Fall 2010 article in the Torch magazine.

Tamara Luna '10 earned her bachelor of science degree in biology. She participated in an undergraduate research project during her senior year at the U of M Crookston. Read more about Tamara in "Learning to the Max"PDF File Icon in the Spring 2009 article in the Torch magazine

The UMC Advantage

The UMC Advantage

Small Campus. Big Degree.

Did you know a degree from the University of Minnesota is recognized all over the world? True story. As a system campus of the University of Minnesota system, the U of M Crookston offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources—all in a smaller, more personal campus setting that’s very much like a private school. The University of Minnesota is internationally recognized and respected by not only intellectuals and academic movers and shakers, but major employers who want to hire the best and brightest—namely, you.

Learning and Doing

At the U of M Crookston, you won’t spend all your time behind a desk. Our curriculum is designed around experiential learning, which means we want you to have as much hands-on learning as possible. Depending on your major, you’ll find opportunities to be in the field, the lab, the classroom, or engaging in simulated scenarios that give you a competitive edge when you enter the workforce or head to grad school. You’ll learn the concepts and then actively apply them through projects, field trips, site visits, internships, and interactions with professionals in the field.

Caring Faculty and Staff

Our faculty and staff members are respected not only for their knowledge and skills, but also because they care about you as an individual. They serve as true mentors, offering personalized attention through small class sizes, a student-faculty ratio of 16:1, and by working closely with you as advisors. They take the time to welcome you to the UMC community, watch you grow as a leader and scholar, and help you connect with alumni and other experts.

A Technology-Rich Environment

At the U of M Crookston, we offer every student a laptop computer from day one. Everyone is tech-savvy, wi-fi is everywhere and learning happens in many ways, including simulations, applications and video presentations. It’s a virtual tech-topia! So, when you graduate, you’ll have all the latest technology skills, giving you a competitive edge. Employers consistently report the UMC graduates they hire are their “go to” people for technology and are well prepared for the demands of today’s technological workplace.

Internships, Job Placement and Grad School

More than 87% of U of M Crookston graduates gain full-time employment in their field or enroll in graduate or professional school within one year of graduation. That’s a fact. We’ll sure miss you when you graduate, but we know as a proud Golden Eagle alum, you’ll want to come back to cheer us on at homecoming or catch up with your favorite professors.

Internships. They’re a great way to earn college credit, add to your resume and help answer the question, “is this really what I want to do?” You can find internship opportunities with everyone from the business down the street to Fortune 500 companies. Or maybe grad school is in your future. U of M Crookston students get the educational requirements and resources they need to apply to an array of graduate programs from veterinary science to med school to an MBA program. Many go on for more education in a variety of other fields.

Opportunities for undergraduate research also add real value to your educational experience by allowing you to design and conduct research while working alongside faculty mentors. Research experience is especially helpful if you plan to attend graduate school.

One-Rate Tuition and Scholarship Options

Whether you live in Minnesota, just across the border, across the country, or on the other side of the ocean, you pay the same tuition rate, and the U of M Crookston’s tuition rate is a real value because it’s the lowest of the five campuses that make up the U of M system. Additionally, with merit-based scholarships guaranteed based on GPA and ACT scores and more than 300 specialty scholarships, we really do help make college affordable.

Leadership, Clubs and Athletics

Sure, college is about classes, studying, and research, but another important part of the experience involves professional development, creativity, leadership, and service. And let’s not forget about fun! With more than 40 student clubs and organizations, there’s something for every interest. Best of all, if you can’t find something from the existing list, grab a few friends and start a new club. It’s really just that easy…

In athletics, Golden Eagles shake things up on the court, the field, and on the sidelines. The U of M Crookston competes at the NCAA Division II level in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) as well as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and offers a full range of men’s and women’s athletic programs.

A Diverse, Global Experience

The world really is a small place, and at U of M Crookston we value diversity. Our students bring rich experiences spanning six continents, and more than 20 countries and 40 states! We value diversity because it not only helps you better understand the world, it helps you understand yourself and how your piece fits into the puzzle of global society. Get involved in the many multicultural and international programs on campus, and you’ll see how easy it is to make friends from across the world.

Or choose one of our international programs. Study, intern, volunteer, play, explore – here or anywhere. Take your pick from more than 300 options in 67 countries. Don’t just learn it, live it.

On-Campus Faculty

On-Campus Faculty

Teaching Specialist
(218) 281-8240
Associate Professor, Sustainability Coordinator
(218) 281-8262
Associate Professor
(218) 281-8249
Teaching Specialist
(218) 281-8263
Assistant Professor
(218) 281-8252
UMC Photo Not Available
Teaching Specialist
(218) 281-8259
(218) 281-8257
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Related Majors, Minors & Programs...

Interested in a double major or minor to complement your Degree? Check out these other programs at UMC: