Department of Biology


Accelerated master's option.Includes accelerated master's option
Indicates a program may be completed online.Program can be completed online

Master's programs

Mission statement

The faculty of the Department of Biology believes that a broad perspective is valuable for all areas of study within the field. Therefore, the department is comprehensive in its approach, including study at all levels of biology, from cells and microbes to ecosystems. The mission of the Biology department is the dissemination of biological knowledge (through classroom teaching and community service) and the generation of new biological knowledge (through research). This mission is embodied in six areas of scholarly activity, which include (1) service courses for non-majors, (2) the undergraduate program in biology, (3) the graduate program in biology, (4) faculty research and development, (5) service to the civic community, and (6) service to the research community. We seek a faculty composition that offers excellent teaching and research in all fundamental subject areas within biology, including teacher education. Our mission includes the following shared values:

  • Ethical behavior in scholarly and research activities
  • A broadly-based understanding of the natural world
  • Hands-on learning through laboratory and field experiences
  • Critical-thinking and problem solving through the scientific method
  • A climate that is supportive of diversity
  • Excellence in teaching and advising
  • Generation of knowledge through research by both faculty and students
  • Dissemination of knowledge through publication and presentations
  • Student involvement in research and internships
  • Student participation in university-based organizations related to biology
  • Student and faculty involvement in professional societies
  • Exposure of students to other cultures and ecosystems through study-away courses
  • Outreach to the local community
  • Collaborations and partnerships with private, nonprofit and government agencies


Department head

S. Alicia Mathis


Temple Hall, Room 212