Biology: B.A./B.S.

Explore life, and all of its complex processes

Students majoring in biology are the next generation of scientists, researchers, health professionals and teachers.

With a strong focus on learning by doing, our students are encouraged to ask questions, explore new ideas, and make their own discoveries.

One of the largest and most diverse majors on campus, our Biology major caters to a wide range of students, with different goals and interests – from medical to ecological. Both our Biology B.A. and B.S. majors complete the same core courses early in their time on campus. After that, you’ll be able to choose classes that are the most interesting to you, and that best fit your career goals.

Beyond the classroom, there are countless opportunities to participate in research with our award-winning faculty, or to get involved with our biology clubs.

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

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Nearly half of biology majors participate in Undergraduate Research or Independent Study.

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1 in 20

Students on the UNI campus are biology majors, making us one of the largest departments.


Find out More about Biology: B.A./B.S.

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Contact us directly at:

Department of Biology
University of Northern Iowa
144 McCollum Science Hall
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0421

Phone: (319) 273-2456

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Explore UNI Biology

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Explore UNI Biology

Careers in Biology

A degree in biology is one of the most versatile degrees available for college students, providing opportunities in a wide variety of fields, including:

  • ‌Biotechnology
  • Conservation
  • Ecosystems Management
  • Education
  • Environmental and Business Consulting
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Health Care
  • Laboratory Science
  • Medicine
  • Scientific Research


Which degree should I get? B.A. or B.S.

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree is a great option for students who would like to have a double major in biology and a relatively different academic field such as psychology, music, or exercise science.

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree has a slightly greater number of science requirements than the B.A. We recommend the B.S. degree for students who enjoy the sciences more than other fields or who are pursuing medical school or research in the sciences.

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Biology: Honors Emphasis

One of the options you have as a Biology major is to add an emphasis in honors research to the B.S. or B.A. degree. To do this, you must complete a minimum of 4 credits of research (BIOL 3190) over the course of two or more semesters. Any further research credits count as University elective credits. In addition, the student must register for one credit of senior thesis (BIOL 3191) and write a formal senior thesis according to departmental guidelines in fulfillment of that credit.

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Undergraduate Research

Nearly half of all UNI Biology students choose to participate in undergraduate 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. About half of biology faculty journal publications include student coauthors – giving our students an opportunity to publish their work all before graduation. 

The best part about being a biology major is the professors. Gaining a deeper understanding of the world around us can sometimes be challenging, but the professors in the Biology Department are all extremely helpful and enthusiastic about the material they teach.

Taylor Westphal
Biology student