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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.


What is Biology at WVU like?


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.

Biology program highlights:

At a Glance

Next Steps

Interested in this major? Here are some suggested next steps:

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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, Ecosystems and Global Change
    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.


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

Fast Facts

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, Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review (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.

Living-Learning Communities (LLCs)

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

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

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:


How does this degree prepare students for a career?

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.


Graduates from this major have gone to work at:


What are the courses like in Biology at WVU?

Plan of Study

Check out a program overview, learning goals, course descriptions and suggested plan of study for WVU's Biology major.

View the Plan of Study

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:

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 and Aid

How much does Biology at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

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Estimate your eligibility for merit scholarships at WVU Morgantown.

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Net Price Calculator

Estimate your cost of attendance and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships at any WVU System campus.

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Ways to Save

Here is a way for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

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.

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

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits


What are the requirements to apply for Biology at WVU?

To be admitted to WVU's Biology major, you must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Next Steps

I like this major. What are the next steps?

Apply Now

Your first step to becoming a Mountaineer is applying for admission. Our online application makes the process as convenient as possible.

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Request Information

Want to know more about Biology at WVU? Fill out the Request Information form to receive more information about the program and life at WVU.

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It's the next-best thing to being here – you can virtually tour residence halls and the WVU Morgantown Campus.

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