The field of biology is as diverse as life itself – offering a wide range of career opportunities. Whether you have a vision in mind for your future, or you’re still exploring your options, our goal is to help connect you with your passion and your purpose.

Here, you can learn more about our degree options, and how they translate into different career paths. We recommend consulting with your academic advisor early to figure out which path works best for your interests and goals.

health plus icon Health & Medical

Want to help others? Consider a path in the health and medical field. Medical professionals provide health care services across a wide variety of specialties: Doctors, dentists, optometrists, genetic counselors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, and more.

Becoming a medical professional usually requires specialized training and licensure, or postgraduate education. There are many paths to a health or medical career at UNI, and you can learn more about them below.

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person icon Teaching

Biology teachers pass on knowledge to future generations and inspire us to appreciate life science as a discipline or possible career path. With a renowned teacher preparation program, there’s no better place to study biology teaching than right here at UNI.

As a student, you’ll gain 750 hours of classroom teaching experience, and the certification needed to teach at the middle school or high school level.

 

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globe icon Ecology, Evolution & Conservation

How do species evolve and organisms interact with each other and their environment? How can we use science to protect and conserve species, habitats and ecosystems? The study of ecology and conservation teaches students about behavior, biodiversity (from botany to zoology), climate, genetics, evolution, nutrient cycles, natural resources, and more.

Common careers in this area include zookeepers, park rangers, and environmental consultants - all aiming to protect and serve the environment and our planet’s biodiversity.

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magnifying glass icon Genetics & Cellular

Do you enjoy digging into the details, and learning about the structure, function, and interactions of the molecules within living cells? Genetics and cellular biology focus on cell replication and growth, cell function and processes, and the role that genetics plays in healthy function and in disease. 

Focusing on cellular and molecular biology prepares students for careers in medical or crop research, biotechnology, medicine, regulation (whether food, drug, or environmental), conservation biology, and more. 

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students observing a syndaver

Explore Health & Medical Opportunities

Interested in a health or medical career? There are many degree options that will prepare you for this path, including:

  • ‌Biology: Biomedical
  • Pre-Chiropractic
  • Pre-Occup. Therapy
  • Pre-Physicians Asst.
  • Pre-Pharmacy
  • Pre-Physical Therapy

 

 

  • ‌Biology: B.S. or B.A.
  • Pre-Dental
  • Pre-Medical
  • Pre-Optometry
  • Pre-Veterinary

 

 

 

Courses

Our programs are designed to prepare you for postgraduate school – meaning you’ll take a variety of foundational biology courses, before moving on to specialized courses in your area of interest. Some common health related courses include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II
  • Genetics
  • Cancer and Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • General Microbiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Genomics
  • Virology
  • Genetic Technologies in Medicine
  • ‌Immunology

Clubs

Students interested in a health or medical major should consider joining a student organization, which will help prepare them for professional school, build their network and offer a like-minded group of friends to connect with.

Clubs include: Pre-Chiropractic, Pre-Dental, Pre-Medical, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Veterinary, Pre-Physical Therapy, and the Women in Healthcare club.

a professor assists two students with a dissection

 

Explore Teaching Opportunities

The biology teaching major prepares students to teach biology at the high school or middle school level. Students interested in teaching other areas may add on a second major, allowing them to teach in another area, such as chemistry or earth science.

 

‌Courses

This program is designed to prepare you to teach at a secondary level – you’ll take a variety of foundational biology courses and specialized education courses. Examples of these courses are:

  • Organismal Diversity
  • Cell Structure and Function
  • Dynamics of Human Development
  • Learning and Motivation in Classroom Contexts
  • Methods for Teaching Secondary Science
  • Classroom Assessment
  • Classroom Management

‌Teacher Preparation

UNI’s science education program is unique in that students gain top-notch training both from biologists and from science education specialists, leading to a degree in biology along with the professional education sequence needed for teachers in Iowa.

 

a person holding a frog

Explore Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Opportunities

Interested in an ecology, evolution or conservation career? There are several degree options that will prepare you for this path, including:

  • Biology: Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology
  • Biology: B.S. or B.A.
  • Environmental Resource Management: Ecosystems

Courses

Our programs are designed to prepare you for postgraduate school – meaning you’ll take a variety of foundational biology courses, before moving on to specialized courses in your area of interest. Some common ecology, evolution, and conservation related courses include:

  • Ecology, Evolution & the Nature of Science
  • Field Zoology of Vertebrates
  • Entomology
  • Wildlife Ecology & Management
  • Biodiversity Conservation Policy
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Mammalogy
  • Conservation Biology
  • Restoration Ecology

Research

Ecological, evolutionary, and conservation research at UNI is supported by a strong partnership between departmental faculty and the UNI Tallgrass Prairie Center and UNI Botanical Center, providing hands-on opportunities for undergraduate and graduate-student learners and researchers. 

two people work with a microscope

Explore Genetics & Cellular Opportunities

Interested in a career in genetics, cellular biology, or molecular biology? There are many degree options that will prepare you for this path, including:

  • Biology: Biomedical emphasis
  • Biology: B.S.
  • Biology: B.A.

 

‌Courses

Our programs are designed to prepare you for postgraduate school – meaning you’ll take a variety of foundational biology courses, before moving on to specialized courses in your area of interest. Some common genetics and cellular related courses include:

  • Cell Structure and Function 
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Genomics
  • Virology
  • Genetic Technologies in Medicine
  • Biostatistics

‌Research

The Department of Biology offers countless opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved in research. Using modern technology and equipment, you’ll be at the cutting-edge of science – leading your own discoveries.