In the Department of Biology at UNI, you will be surrounded by students who are curious and intent upon learning more about the broad discipline of biology.

After completing a series of core courses, biology students are able to specialize in several areas of study.

  • Bachelor of Arts in biology offers basic preparation for entry-level positions, graduate work or an advanced degree in all health-related areas.

  • The biology: biomedical emphasis offers preparation for allopathic, osteopathic, chiropractic, pharmacy, physical therapy, dental, veterinary, optometric, podiatric and other health-related programs. In addition, it prepares students for the graduate study in biomedical sciences.

  • The biology: evolution, ecology and organismal biology emphasis provides education for students interested in a career with private and governmental organizations conducting endangered species recovery, ecological restoration, biological surveys, toxicity evaluations, environmental impact analyses, field research, museum or herbarium curation, or who wish to work in zoos, nature centers, museums or botanical gardens. This emphasis also provides a suitable background for students wishing to pursue graduate degrees in related fields.

  • The Bachelor of Science in biology is especially appropriate for students planning graduate study. It is an extended major designed to prepare students for careers that require a higher degree of concentration in subject matter and advanced-level courses. The combination of required and elective courses needs to equal a minimum of 68 credit hours.

  • The biology: teaching major prepares students who are excited about passing on a love of science to the next generation. The program combines coursework in biology with UNI’s outstanding teacher preparation program.

All of our faculty are involved in research and students are encouraged to become a part of this endeavor. In the research setting, students can have hands-on learning throughout a variety of different research studies. Lecture class size in the upper division courses is typically small and students in all lab courses will find they have access to individualized attention. 

In 2015, the acceptance rate of UNI students into the University of Iowa College of Medicine was the highest of all the Iowa Regents institutions.


If you’ve taken courses at a two- or four-year institution other than UNI and want to get an idea of what courses will transfer, check out our Transfer Plan-It tool. 


Students with Syndavers

With more than 500 students, the biology department offers many opportunities to get involved. Join one of the many pre-professional clubs, honors society or student clubs and interact with students that share your interests.

Student with microscope

You can be a discoverer of scientific information, not just a consumer. Qualified students in biology programs have the opportunity to work with faculty members on research projects, giving you the opportunity to truly be a scientist and have great experience to add to graduate and professional school applications.

Student doing experiments
Outstanding facilities

The biology department is housed in the McCollum Science Hall, Biology Research Complex and the Center for Energy and Environmental Education. These buildings have well-equipped lecture halls and laboratory classrooms. There are also 160 acres of native and reconstructed prairies and forests in the UNI Biological Preserves System, two greenhouses with a variety of climates, a scanning-electron microscope and more.


96% of last years students are continuing their education or employed


Lab Analyst

Pharmacy Tech

Medical Scientist

Wastewater Analyst

ER Technician


Have questions or want more information? Fill out the form below and someone from the department will contact you directly. To receive general university information from UNI’s admissions office, please click on ‘Request More Info About UNI’.

Theresa Spradling​
Department of Biology, Head & Professor
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0421
(319) 273-2456
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