Experience Life to Its Fullest

Sequence DNA, or discover a new spider species. Study biology with professors with backgrounds spanning from plant ecology to human immune systems. Research side-by-side with faculty experts. Gain practical, hands-on experiences with lab activities, research and an internship in your field. 

What jobs can you do with a
biology degree?

Begin your career in biology with us, and apply your knowledge in careers such as:

Medicine, dentistry, healthcare or veterinarian

Ecology, microbiology or zoology

Science research or data analysis

Wildlife or environmental management
College or high school teaching

What’s the Difference at DWU?

  • Beyond class and lab time, you’ll have a variety of practical, hands-on experiences on and off campus.  
  • Research and internship experiences will start as soon as the summer after your freshman year.  
  • DWU biology majors have completed internships with biomedical laboratories, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, zoos and pharmaceutical companies.  

Think globally and consider learning opportunities not available on campus. Apply for an internship to get experience in the field you hope to pursue after you graduate. 

Our students have found internships in the following places: 

  • Belize, studying rain forests and their ecology. 
  • Romania, assisting a forensic anthropological dig. 
  • San Francisco, conducting psychology research. 
  • Vermillion at the University of South Dakota, researching microbiology. 

These experiences can lead to permanent positions following graduation.  


Biology Courses

Combine classroom lectures with hands-on learning experiences in and out of the lab, internships and research opportunities.

BIO 120 Principles of Biology I


BIO 122 Principles of Biology II

4 Hours
This course includes the philosophy and methods of science, nutrition, gas exchange, internal transport, osmoregulation, chemical control, nervous control, reproduction, development, diversity and classification of organisms. Three lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisite: BIO 120/120L. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO120L.

BIO 301 Biostatistics

4 Hours
This course covers the basic tools for the collection, analysis and presentation of biological data. Topics include the general principles of study design, hypothesis testing, basic descriptive statistics and specific statistical tests including t-test, correlation, chi-squared, contingency analysis, data transformations, analysis of variance, regression and some non-parametric methods. Prerequisites: BIO 120 and BIO 122, and MTH 125. Individuals without a major in the Department of Biological Sciences require instructor consent.

BIO 315 Genetics

4 Hours
This is an introduction to the study of genetics using classical and molecular approaches. Topics covered include transmission genetics, replication of DNA, gene expression and control, and population genetics. Three lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 101 and BIO 102.

BIO 316 Evolutionary Biology

3 Hours
This course includes the history, genetic basis and products of evolutionary forces, including understanding the factors that affect evolutionary change, and the modes of evolutionary change. This course is designed to present the evidence for evolution and its effects on populations from the molecular to the community and ecosystem level. Prerequisite: BIO 315.

BIO 470 Capstone in Biological Sciences

2 Hours
Students will reflect on experiences within their biological sciences major, including coursework, internships and/or research experiences by writing a substantial summative paper that also includes possible career choices and graduate school paths of study within their field. Additionally, students will present an oral seminar about their research or internships to students on this campus. Prerequisite: by departmental permission only, and students must have documented at least 120 hours of previous field experience, internship, and/or research.

CHM 164 University Chemistry

3 Hours
A one-semester course covering the core concepts of general chemistry, maintaining the depth and relevance of a two semester sequence. Topics covered include: bonding, equilibrium, stoichiometry, chemical kinetics, and oxidation-reduction. Prerquisite: MTH 120 or equivalent is recommended.

CHM 166 University Chemistry Lab

1 Hours
An introduction to experimental chemical methods of synthesis and characterization by quantitative and qualitative procedures. Experiments will relate to topics covered in CHM 164. Prerequisite or co-requisite: CHM 164.

MTH 210 Calculus I

5 Hours
This course is an introduction to differential and integral calculus. Students will learn to calculate the rates of change of functions including trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions and how to solve initial value and optimization problems. Students will learn the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus and integration techniques. Prerequisite: MTH 135 or math placement.

PHS 260 University Physics I

4 Hours
This is an introductory calculus-based course in the fundamentals of physics as applied to mechanics. Topics included are kinematics, vectors, Newton’s laws, energy, momentum, rotational dynamics, gravitation, simple harmonic motion and waves. Three lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisite or Corequisite: MTH 135 or consent of instructor. Corequisite PHS 260L.

Get to Know Your Professors

Discover biology with our knowledgeable professors! Our low student-to-teacher ratio offers valuable one-on-one interaction with professors.

Brian Patrick, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Paula Mazzer, Ph.D.

Professor of Biochemistry

Tim Mullican, D.A.

Professor of Biology | Chairperson of the Department of Biological Sciences

The Experience

Find Your Strength in Biology

Become a more marketable asset in your area of concentration and be better prepared for your future career. Select one area as your concentration to focus your studies and dive deeper into the world of biology.  

Concentration in Cell Biology

The allied health fields and the biological sciences often center their work around molecular or cell biology. Develop your knowledge of some of the smallest components of our bodies and the organisms around us. With this concentration, you can get personal experience identifying processes and patterns of cells through labs in our state-of-the-art facilities. Your concentration in cell biology will keep you on track to continue your education in professional health sciences or in postgrad research. 

Take classes like:  
  • Microbiology 
  • Molecular and Cell Biology 
  • Anatomy 
  • Immunology 
  • Invertebrate Zoology 
  • Botany 
  • Mammalogy 
  • Principles of Wildlife Management
Concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

When you add this concentration to your major you will investigate individual organisms, their populations and their ecosystems. Connect your knowledge of each and see their effect on the entire globe. Courses within the ecology and evolutionary biology concentration focus on the interactions and evolutionary history of organisms and populations of organisms, as well as the biotic and abiotic interactions and functions of ecosystems, biomes and the biosphere. Many of the classes in this concentration have outdoor labs that will give you hands-on field experiences. That’s right. Field trips. 

Take classes like:  
  • Ecology 
  • Botany 
  • Mammalogy 
  • Principles of Wildlife Management 
  • Microbiology 
  • Immunology 
  • Molecular and Cell Biology 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Anatomy and Physiology  
  • Invertebrate Zoology 
Concentration in Organismal Biology

Spend time studying animal and/or plant sciences, how organisms are identified and classified, how an organism’s structure is related to its function and the general biology of organisms. You’ll explore the branch of biology that involves the behavior, composition and organization of organisms. Dive deeper into molecular structure and genetic makeup to help you understand entire organisms. Many of your classes in the organismal concentration have weekly labs. Labs are traditional some of the time but also require spending much of your time in the field studying your subjects. Yep. We said it. Field trips, in college. 

Take classes like:  
  • Invertebrate Zoology 
  • Botany 
  • Microbiology 
  • Anatomy and Physiology  
  • Mammalogy 
  • Ornithology 
  • Molecular and Cell Biology 
  • Biochemistry 
  • Ecology 
  • Principles of Wildlife Management
Do I need a minor if I have a concentration?

If you have decided on a Bachelor of Arts in biology and add an area of concentration, you will also need to choose a minor. Many minors will complement a biology major. Accentuate your love for science with a chemistry minor or let your love for the arts shine with a music minor. The possibilities are endless. 

If you are taking the Bachelor of Science track in biology, you do not need to worry about a minor.  

Related Majors & Minors

Biology Education

Open young minds to the wonders of science! Become a biology teacher.


    Explore the world around you! Learn from science professionals in state-of-the-art facilities and in the field.


      Love being in the lab? Develop your interest in the physical sciences with a chemistry minor at DWU.

        General Science

        Study the wonders of biological and physical sciences.


          Develop your love for math. Learn the skills to harness theories, understand technology application, and present research with confidence.

            Wildlife Management

            Embrace an outdoor lifestyle and promote environmental stewardship with a degree in Wildlife Management.


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