Careers in Biology
A degree from the Division of Biological Sciences opens the door to many career options. The strength of our degree program is the flexibility of class selections and the ability to tailor your biology experience. We offer a wide-range of courses including animal, plants, and human foci. From Animal Communication to Invertebrate Zoology we have courses for every career.
The vast majority of our majors plan to attend a professional program, such as medical, dental, optometry, veterinary, podiatry, or pharmacy, once they have earned their undergraduate degree. While biology is not a required degree for these professional programs, it is the most popular choice for undergraduates because of the rigorous courses and flexibility our degree offers. Our majors do quite well on the pre-professional entrance exams (MCAT, DAT, OAT, GRE, PCAT).
If you have any questions about any of these disciplines, please contact the Biological Sciences Undergraduate Advising Office for additional information. They can help with information about prerequisites, testing information, and volunteer opportunities, as well as advising and preparation courses for the entrance exams.
>> Biological Sciences and Pre-Professional Tracks <<
This document outlines how the Biological Sciences major requirements fit with many pre-professional tracks.
Many of our majors go on to graduate schools across the country. The Division of Biological Sciences actively recruits outstanding graduate students from both national and international pools. Selected candidates are interviewed, and the best are admitted to the Division for its graduate studies program. Contact our Graduate Advising Office for more information.
Students may participate in undergraduate research through a variety of mechanisms during their years at Mizzou. Research gives you the opportunity to see how scientists apply knowledge gained in the classroom to real world questions as well as the opportunity to work with and get to know researchers who work in your field of interest. Research experience also enhances the resumes of students interested in applying to graduate or professional school. It also is essential in helping you determine if science is a good career choice for you. For these reasons, the Division of Biological Sciences actively encourages its undergraduates to take advantage of the many undergraduate research opportunities.
Not interested in medical school but unsure what you want to do with your biology degree? The Division of Biological Sciences offers a 1-credit hour course, Biological Career Explorations, for biology majors interested in learning about personal and social determinants of career choice, constructing a career portfolio, and interacting with current professionals.
The MU Career Center also has a wide variety of self-assessment tools, publications, and information on a multitude of careers. Many students enter college undecided or uncertain about a major or career path. A career course is an excellent way in which students may explore career possibilities and reflect on their values and interests. Career Explorations is an undergraduate course offering from the MU Career Center that combines objective assessments and subjective self-reflection to help students develop the skills to make informed and satisfying career decisions that align with their personality and goals.
Internships in Biological Sciences
Internships in Biological Sciences (BIO_SC 2940) is a course designed to provide students with an opportunity to gain practical experience that extends what they learn from their formal coursework. Students also gain first-hand experience of doing research or other work in a company or another non-academic setting. Students are responsible for arranging the details of their internship experience, including finding a company at which to do an internship and an individual at that company/institution who will serve as a mentor. Students may earn up to 3 credit hours. Contact the Biological Sciences Academic Advising Office for more information, prerequisites, and course requirements.
The University of Missouri employs students through regular part-time jobs and through the Federal Work Study Program.
George Wallace, Ph.D.
Vice President, Oceans & Islands Division, American Bird Conservancy
“At MU, all of us in John Faaborg's lab were working at the interface between research and conservation, where the science of ecology was driving our thinking about how to conserve birds, especially birds that migrate between the US and Canada and the Tropics. For many of us, preparation at MU allowed us to choose paths in academia, government, or the private sector where we continue to apply and build on what we learned to conserve birds.”
Above average in time to complete a doctorate degree
Median years required to complete a doctorate in the Division of Biological Sciences is 5.4 years, well below the national average of 6.9 years in the life sciences (March 2010; Council of Graduate Schools).