Biological Sciences

Biology is the study of life. Biologists study the living world at several levels ranging from cells and molecules to populations and organisms, including the largest plants and animals as well as microscopic bacteria and viruses. Biologists also study interactions between organisms, populations and changing environments.

Undergraduate biology students at UWM receive a strong foundation in all areas of biology and the natural sciences, preparing them for fulfilling careers and advanced training programs. The Biological Sciences Department offers two majors: Microbiology and Biological Sciences with options for specialization in Cell and Molecular Biology or Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. Majors within the Biological Sciences provide outstanding and comprehensive preparation for students applying to post-graduate programs in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Genetic Counseling, Physicians Assistant, and Pharmacy. Many of our students continue their training in advanced degree programs (MS and PhD) in various life sciences areas. Our graduates are employed across a broad range of industries including the pharmaceutical industry, academic research, biotechnology, conservation biology and restoration ecology, environmental management, consulting firms and government regulatory agencies. Many of our alumni are employed by local companies and research institutes such as the Blood Center of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee County Zoo, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Aurora Healthcare. Our graduates also have positions at the US Environmental Protection Agency, Lockheed Martin, Abbott Laboratories, and many other corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

The Department of Biological Sciences offers Doctoral and Master of Science degree programs covering a wide breadth of Biology that include Cell and Molecular Biology (including neuroscience and developmental biology); Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; and Microbiology. Our nationally and internationally recognized faculty train students in a wide range of research areas within each of these sub-disciplines and provide a host of opportunities for incoming graduate students for specialization in their area of interest. Student training is focused on research design, critical analysis of data, and development of effective written and oral communication skills. Both the thesis M.S. and the Ph.D. are research degrees and thus our students are expected to publish significant original contributions to the field. Interdisciplinary programs with other departments within the university are also available. We also offer a non-thesis M.S. degree that is coursework intensive. We welcome interdisciplinary students from related areas such as chemistry/biochemistry, psychology, medical sciences, math and freshwater science. Our students receive rigorous training in both research and teaching that prepares them for successful careers in academia, industry, or government. Funding is available to all our graduate students in the form of research or teaching assistantships.

Students interested in the bachelor's degree can download our fact sheet to the right to learn more about course requirements.