Where Life Begins

Fascinated by life, and all of its complex processes? You’ve come to the right place.

Whether it’s researching DNA, treating a patient in a medical setting, working to restore and conserve natural habitats, or leading science classrooms of the future – the study of biology is brimming with opportunity.

As a biology student at UNI, you’ll make discoveries in the classroom and the lab. Starting your first year, you'll engage in lab work and research projects that connect the classroom to real-world problem solving.

With areas of study spanning the fields of biomedicine, biotechnology, botany, conservation, ecology, evolutionary biology, microbiology, teacher education, and zoology, our department is one of the largest and most diverse on campus.

Ready to see where a degree in biology will take you?

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Top Ranked

UNI Biology majors gain admission to medical school at rates seven times higher than the national average

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UNI's Biology Department has been ranked one of the Midwest's Best (U.S. News and World Report).

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Students on the UNI campus are biology majors


Nearly half of all UNI Biology students choose to participate in research. Working side by side with professors, our students are conducting innovative research that spans everything from studying endangered species, to tracking disease progression – furthering the field of science.

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Field Experiences

We believe that some of the best learning happens outside of the classroom. That’s why our students have the opportunity to join unique field experiences and excursions that take them around the globe – studying flora and fauna on the Galapagos Islands, or visiting a wildlife sanctuary in Australia.

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Student Organizations

The UNI Department of Biology is home to more than a dozen student organizations. From the Student Nature Society to Women in Healthcare Club, and everything in between, getting involved in these organizations is a great way to hone your leadership skills, network with professionals, and build lifelong friendships.

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STEM students tour the UNI Botanical Center

UNI Botanical Center

The Botanical Center is home to a diverse collection of plants which are displayed inside a tropical house, desert house, aquatic house, and propagation house. You can explore a wide variety of plant species – including endangered species, and plants that wouldn’t normally survive in our Northern Iowa climate.

Oftentimes, biology classes use the botanical center classroom for coursework. There is also a research work room and two research greenhouses. Students are routinely employed here to assist in the care and maintenance of the plant collection and exterior gardens.

Interested in supporting the Department of Biology?

When donating, we suggest choosing one of the following project numbers to ensure your gift supports our department:

  • Biological Preserves Fund, supports the biology nature preserves used for teaching, research and public enjoyment (220162)
  • Biology Department Fund, compliments scholarship support by providing support for needs of all students of the department (221607)
  • Biology Undergraduate Research Fund, provides support dedicated to students doing undergraduate research (222596)