Bachelor of Science
College of Arts and Sciences

Biology is the study of life and serves as the basic science for such areas as medicine, agriculture and ecology. Life forms as diverse as bacteria, humans and plants are investigated from a variety of perspectives. Most biologists tend to concentrate in one or more of the sub-specialties of botany, zoology, molecular biology, ecology, genetics, neurobiology or microbiology. Some biologists conduct the basic research necessary to develop new technologies, while others use those discoveries in such areas as medicine and agriculture.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities in biology are numerous and varied. The health field employs a large number of biology graduates as environmental health specialists and public health specialists. Research positions are available in both government and industry, including such areas as industrial microbiology, environmental toxicology and pollution control.

Some students continue their education in medical, dental, optometry or veterinary medicine school or attend graduate school to further specialize in an area of interest. Biology teachers are also needed in junior and senior high schools.

Career opportunities vary depending upon the particular specialization of the student. Graduates are employed in a variety of capacities from grain inspector to industrial hygienist for a pharmaceutical company. Specialists may find employment with governmental agencies in natural resource management, urban forestry, wildlife ecology, freshwater or marine biology and agricultural research.


The major is designed to provide training in the major areas of biology while allowing flexibility to accommodate the specific interests of individual students. All students are required to take the biology core program consisting of a biology seminar for entering freshmen, two introductory course covering biological principles and a course in genetics.

The biology major requires mathematics through calculus, organic chemistry and at least one course in physics. This rigorous curriculum is a positive aspect when viewed by prospective employees.

Within this framework a student may choose to take an array of courses in this discipline and may specialize in one of three areas: ecology and conservation biology, aquatic and marine biology, and the newest specialization forensic biology.

Students interested in ecology and conservation biology will gain a solid foundation in ecology, evolution and organismal biology while developing the quantitative, analytical and technical skills essential to qualify for professional positions or advanced study.

Marine and aquatic biology is a sub-discipline of oceanography and limnology. With the oceans as the final frontier of discovery on Earth, marine and aquatic biologists will study marine and freshwater organisms, their behaviors and their interactions with the environment.

Forensic biology deals with the analyses of biological/genetic properties of evidence in legal matters, drawing from genetics, cell biology, microbiology, medicine, molecular biology, entomology, botany, biochemistry and wildlife biology.

Special Features

In addition to its highly qualified faculty and five-story teaching and research facility, the department boasts extensive instrumentation including: scanning and transmission electron microscopes, spectrophotometers, environmental growth chambers, cell culture room, fluorescence light microscope, DNA sequencers, thermocyclers, ultra centrifuges and equipment for radioactive tracer studies. Through lab exercises we teach students how to use this equipment.

The University and the department are committed to exposing students to the latest techniques and research opportunities. The department maintains a 3,000-gallon inland marine laboratory in conjunction with a cooperative program with the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Miss. A 65-acre forest preserve is used for field trips and research, as well as an ecological research center. Students interested in plant sciences and molecular biology/genetics have access to a greenhouse and a 20,000-specimen herbarium.

A 7,200 square-foot approved animal facility with surgical, breeding, holding and treatment rooms is an annex to the Life Sciences Building. Opportunities also exist for off-campus study at affiliated biological field stations or by participation in one of the department’s field trips.

Forensic biology students will benefit from the Fall 2014 anticipated opening of a new 30,000 square-foot Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation crime lab that is being built on the Bowling Green campus. This unique partnership between the State of Ohio and BGSU advances forensic sciences in Ohio, helps prepare the next generation of Ohio scientists, investigators and public safety professionals, and establishes the University as being among a select group of universities nationally with an on-campus crime lab.

The department also offers several undergraduate awards, assistantships and scholarships to biology majors.

Preparation for College

Students having interests in the biological sciences should try to enter college with at least one year each of high school biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics through advanced algebra. Students without this background may still do very well if they are skilled at reading, math, and writing and have an aptitude for science.

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Two, three or even four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Biology, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: