Examine our Origins...
Biology is a diverse and rapidly expanding field of study that addresses issues relevant to health, agriculture, industry, and the environment. Biologists are responsible for new discoveries in medicine and molecular biology, increasing crop yields and pest resistance, defining the ecological relationships that maintain our planet, and examining the origins and evolution of species, to name just a few. As the scope and pace of biological discoveries increase, so do the career opportunities for students in this exciting and rapidly expanding field of study.
The department staffs and maintains state of the art computing facilities, confocal microscopy facility, a core DNA analysis lab, a graphic design facility, a greenhouse, a growth chamber facility, an herbarium, a museum, and a Molecular Analysis Core Facility.
In addition to our own state-of-the-art facilities, we collaborate with several top-ranked institutions in our area:
- Argonne National Laboratory
- Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
- Brookfield Zoo
- Field Museum of Natural History
- The Morton Aboretum
- John G. Shedd Aquarium
- Burpee Museum of Natural History
- Monsanto - Waterman Seed Technology Center and Ball Seed Company
- Lincoln Park Zoo
Research in a Biology Professor’s Lab: Being involved in actual research is the best way to learn the process of science. Here at NIU, students can work closely with a professor in a lab setting and gain valuable experience in the general principles of experimental design, analyses, interpretation, literature search, and scientific writing.
Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP), Undergraduate Special Opportunities in Artistry & Research (USOAR), Research Rookies and Undergraduate Research Assistantships: Students can begin hands-on, faculty-mentored research as early as freshman year with the Huskie Research Rookies program. The USOAR program is open to all undergraduate students with a drive to pursue original ideas. URAP offers financial and scholarly support for undergraduates to work with senior faculty on research projects. Faculty serve as mentors and research guides, offering exciting and engaging ways to enhance the educational experience.
What can I do with this Degree?
This program prepares students for employment in a variety of biological areas in government, education, and industry, for entrance into graduate study in a biological discipline, and for professional schools such as medical, dental, podiatric medicine, optometry, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy. Although some may seem obvious, there are many opportunities that are often overlooked:
“Through their substantial research and teaching experience, the faculty and staff of NIU’s Biology program provide a fertile environment in which a student may develop and nurture intellectual curiosity for processes of the natural world.”
NIU BIOS major, class of 2014
The Department of Biological Sciences offers a major leading to the Bachelor of Science Degree. The program prepares students for employment in a variety of biological areas in government, education, and industry, for entrance into graduate study in a biological discipline, and for professional schools such as medical, dental, podiatric medicine, optometry, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy. With some additional course work and student teaching, students may also be certified to teach at the middle school and high school levels (Biology and General Science).
Who Studies Biological Sciences?
- A. R. Ammons, poet
- Francis Crick, Nobel Prize winner who determined the molecular structure of DNA
- Charles Darwin
- Alan Henderson, player with the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Bryan Keith “Dexter” Holland, performer, The Offspring
- Joe Kernen, anchor on CNBC
- Barbara Kingslover, author
- Lisa Kudrow, actress
- Gregor Mendel, “the father of genetics”
- Explore Majors
- Biological Sciences
- Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Computer Science
- Environmental Studies
- Foreign Languages and Literatures
- Geology and Environmental Geosciences
- Mathematical Sciences
- Nonprofit and NGO Studies
- Political Science
Zulauf Hall 312
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Zulauf Hall 201