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Biology

Biology majors study living organisms and the processes of life. Choose from four areas of emphasis to focus your studies: cellular and molecular biology, ecology and environmental biology, genomics and neuroscience.

Description

What is Biology at WVU like?

Description

When you explore biology, you begin to understand the extraordinary nature of the world — from genes to ecosystems, molecules and cells, structure and function, organisms and their environments.

Through in-depth instruction at the cutting-edge of our discipline, hands-on research conducted with award-winning faculty and experience with next-generation resources and equipment, Biology majors at WVU learn to question, experiment and innovate. We provide all the opportunities of a large university with a small college feel.

As a Biology major, your career goals may include biological research, medical school, pharmacy, business or education. Students interested in health professions also have access to additional information and advice through the Pre-Health Advising and Professional Development Office.

At a Glance

Areas of Emphasis

Tailor this major to your interests by taking courses in one of these areas:

  • Cellular and Molecular Biology
    Focuses on how cells function at the molecular level.
  • Ecology and Environmental Biology
    The scientific analysis and study of interactions among organisms and their environment. Includes the study of interactions organisms have with each other, other organisms and with abiotic components of their environment. Topics include the diversity, distribution, amount (biomass) and number (population) of particular organisms, as well as cooperation and competition between organisms, both within and among ecosystems.
  • Genomics
    Genomics is an area within genetics that concerns the sequencing and analysis of an organism's genome. The genome is the entire DNA content that is present within one cell of an organism. Experts in genomics strive to determine complete DNA sequences and perform genetic mapping to help understand disease.
  • Neuroscience
    The scientific study of the nervous system. The scope of neuroscience has broadened to include different approaches used to study the molecular, cellular, developmental, structural, functional, evolutionary, computational and medical aspects of the nervous system. Techniques used by neuroscientists have also expanded enormously, from molecular and cellular studies of individual nerve cells to imaging of sensory and motor tasks in the brain.

Tracks

Tailor this major to your interests by taking courses in one of these areas:

  • B.A. Biology: Pre-Medical Track
  • B.S. Biology: Pre-Medical track

Opportunities

What makes Biology at WVU unique?


Research and Academic Opportunities

  • Laboratory courses include genomics, bioinformatics, comparative anatomy, ecology, ichthyology, invertebrate zoology, molecular genetics, plant systematics and recombinant DNA technology, as well as many other laboratory experiences across the biological disciplines.
  • Through the WVU Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, selected students receive a $3,500 stipend for eight weeks of research with a faculty mentor. An additional $2,000 is available for travel to a professional conference or for supplies.
  • The WVU Cancer Institute offers research fellowships every summer in clinical and basic cancer research. The highly competitive fellowship program provides funding and opportunities for students who want to pursue careers in cancer research or medicine.
  • The WVU Center for Neuroscience offers internships of research-intensive training for qualified students. Research opportunities incorporate molecular- to systems-level analyses of nervous-system function. Projects are offered in sensory, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience; in neural injury and neuro-degeneration; and in neuropsychiatric diseases.
  • WVU's nanotechnology initiative is the focal point for discovery and innovation in nanoscale science, engineering and education (NSEE).
  • West Virginia’s only research journal exclusively for undergraduate authors, MURR publishes outstanding student research.
  • Undergraduate research experiences are funded by the National Science Foundation. Over 100 universities across the U.S. offer paid summer research internships in biology. Typically, they pay a stipend, room, board and travel.

Student Organizations

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

View all of the student organizations you can join.

Professional Organizations

Network with professionals in your field as a student member of:

WVUteach

You can earn a secondary teaching certificate through WVUteach while completing a four-year degree in WVU's Biology major.

Careers

What can you do with a degree in Biology?

Possible Careers

Wondering what you can do with a degree from WVU's Biology major? Check out these ideas from WVU Career Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is the midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Employers

Graduates from this major have gone to work at:

Courses

What are the courses like in Biology at WVU?

Major Map

Check out the course requirements and suggested plan of study for WVU's Biology major.

View the Major Map
 

For a program overview, learning goals and course descriptions, visit the course catalog.

Popular Courses

BIOL 348:
Neuroscience 1

An introduction to neuroscience, including basic neuroanatomical neurophysiology, and the relationship between the central nervous system, physiology, and behavior.

BIOL 409:
Biochemical Basis of Therapeutics

This course explores the process of drug discovery and development. The topics emphasized include the biological factors that determine success, failure, or limitation of therapeutics. Other topics include, specific therapeutic areas and regulation.

BIOL 418:
Medical Genetics

The use of genetic principles to uncover biological mechanisms of both inherited and infectious diseases. The role of the human genome. The evolution of genetic diseases and the impact on human populations. Genetic medicine and current medical treatments.

BIOL 426:
Molecular Biology of Cancer

Exploration of molecular pathways leading to the development of cancer with emphasis on gene expression, cell cycle regulation, and signaling pathways targeted in conventional therapies.

BIOL 440:
Comparative Anatomy

A functional and evolutionary study of vertebrate structure. (Dissection kit required.)

BIOL 453:
Molecular Basis of Disease

Examine medical, ethical, and legal/regulatory issues emerging from the Human Genome Project and its applications to personalized medicine.

BIOL 454:
Immunology

Explores the fundamental principles and practices of immunology including how the immune system is organized, how it functions to keep us healthy, and how it can cause allergies and autoimmune disease.

BIOL 455:
Evolution of Infectious Diseases

The application of phylogenetics, microbiology, immunology, and epidemiology towards understanding the evolution of infectious diseases. Students will develop a fundamental understanding of the significance of evolution and ecology in infectious disease emergence and control.

BIOL 475:
Neurobiological Diseases

The physiological mechanisms of neurobiological diseases. Impact of neurobiological diseases on society. Standard and experimental treatments. Current research.

Cost

How much does Biology at WVU cost?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates for the 2018-19 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current West Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

West Virginia Resident
Per Credit $403
Per Semester $4,836
Fall and Spring Semesters $9,672
Non-Resident
Per Credit $1,095
Per Semester $13,140
Fall and Spring Semesters $26,280
International
Per Credit $1,095
Per Semester $13,440
Fall and Spring Semesters $26,880
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Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU. In addition to guaranteed admission agreements Biology has transfer articulation agreements with:

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

Requirements

What are the requirements to apply for Biology at WVU?

Program Requirements

In addition to meeting WVU's base admission standards, first-time freshmen must also meet the following requirement for the 2017-18 academic year:

For direct admission to the Biology program:
  • ACT Math: 19
  • SAT Math: 520

If you don't meet the requirements for WVU's Biology major, check out some related programs.

University Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Biology major, you must first meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2018-19 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Next Steps

I like this major. What are the next steps?

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