Biology at Western State Colorado University
The Biology Program provides a comprehensive educational experience consistent with the liberal arts philosophy of the University. The contemporary curriculum includes hands-on learning through laboratory and field experience. Small classes and low student to- faculty ratios allow meaningful interaction between biology students and faculty, both in and out of the classroom. Professors advise students’ academic scheduling and career options. Students are encouraged to conduct research projects with faculty and to participate in internships with private entities and local agencies.
Biology majors receive broad training in the life sciences leading to a variety of careers. Our graduates pursue entry-level careers in biological research, education, and applied sciences such as wildlife biology, fisheries, and forestry. The Biology Major prepares
graduates to succeed in graduate school and professional schools in disciplines such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, ecology, and wildlife biology.
Five different emphases are offered: Cell and Molecular Biology, Environmental Biologyand Ecology, General Biology, Pre-Allied Health, and Secondary Education Licensure. All majors receive training in fundamental biological principles and in supporting sciences appropriate for each emphasis. The Program’s flexibility allows students to specialize
in areas of their interest.
The Cell Biology/Pre-Medicine Emphasis is recommended for students pursuing careers in biotechnology, graduate programs in laboratory biology, and professional programs in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy.
The Environmental Biology and Ecology Emphasis is recommended for students with career interests in environmental biology including ecology, conservation biology, environmental science, and natural resource management. Students may concentrate in wildlife biology within the Environmental Biology and Ecology Emphasis.
The General Biology Emphasis is our most flexible major. Students pursuing this emphasis work closely with their academic advisor to select from a variety of upper division elective courses and supporting science courses to create a self-designed major in areas such as botany, zoology, molecular ecology, and integrative biology. This emphasis allows students to integrate the study of structure and function at all levels of biological organization from molecules to ecosystems and across all branches of the tree of life. The Allied Health Emphasis is designed for students planning to enter professional programs in nursing, medical technology, chiropractic, optometry, physical therapy, public health, and physician’s assistant programs. Because the admission requirements of these schools varies greatly, students must consult with their advisors to design a curriculum that meets their professional interests.
The Secondary Licensure Emphasis qualifies students for the State of Colorado License in Secondary Science Education.
Research in Biology
Biology majors at Western State Colorado University have the opportunity to conduct independent research through our endowed Thornton Undergraduate Research Program. Students receive personalized mentoring by faculty who are experts in fields of research including wildlife biology, conservation, developmental biology, evolutionary ecology, aquatic ecology, virology, and genomics, to name only a few.Our outstanding faculty provide quality learning in the classroom and through hands-on activities in our outstanding indoor laboratories and in the living laboratory of the Gunnison Basin. Small classes and low student-to-faculty ratios allow meaningful interaction between biology students and faculty, both in and out of the classroom.
Many biology graduates pursue careers in biological research, education, and applied sciences such as wildlife biology, fisheries, and forestry. The biology major prepares graduates to succeed in graduate school and professional schools in disciplines such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, ecology, and wildlife biology.