The Department of Biological Sciences provides a strong foundation in both traditional and modern areas of biology for students preparing for careers in the biological sciences. Careers for our typical graduates span the spectrum from professional study at graduate, medical, dental, or other health-related schools to technical positions in biology-related fields in industry or government. In partnership with the College of Education, we also prepare students for teaching careers in the field of biology. All majors in Biological Sciences are afforded the opportunity to focus their education on their specific career goals through the selection of elective courses while affording the flexibility to adjust that goal with all curricula having common core courses and requirements. Each student is expected to perform a research project as a graduation requirement (Capstone) and to participate in journal clubs, summer internships, and attend seminars.
The goals of the Department enable students:
- To develop a clear and unbiased method of investigative thought;
- To develop an appreciation for and an understanding of the natural world;
- To develop a knowledge of biological principles that a modern citizen needs to make intelligent and effective decisions and adjustments to the demands of life;
- To be competent in communicating ideas and concepts;
- To succeed in advanced study and diverse careers requiring bioscience expertise.
Curriculum Options in Biology
BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJOR (BS): Biology is the study of living systems and includes how they are organized, how they function, how they grow, and how they interact with their surroundings. The organizational structure of our degree program provides the foundation for all our concentration areas and utilizes electives to provide the flexibility to prepare students for their specific career. The concentration areas include: Health Professions , Cell/Molecular/Biotechnology , and General Biology .
A unique component of the BS degree in the General Biology concentration is our Biology Education  concentration. This program is designed for students who plan to teach biology on the secondary level. At DSU, you complete your biology degree by selecting biology electives that meet the teacher preparation requirements so that you become "highly-trained" and then complete a one-year masters degree in teaching (student receives an MA degree).
FORENSIC BIOLOGY MAJOR (BS): Forensic Biology is the application of the scientific principles, methods and techniques to situations of legal importance. The DSU Forensic Biology degree is a cross-campus partnership to provide the diverse skills required of an investigator and requires students to take 9 courses in biology, 4 courses related to criminal justice, 5 courses in chemistry, one course each of statistics, psychology and drawing in addition to their general education requirements. The DSU Forensic Biology degree will provide students with the theoretical background and basic laboratory skills needed to pursue a career or advanced study in related fields.
All students in the Biological Sciences pursuing a bachelor's degree (BS) at DSU are required to complete the General Education program as required of all students. In addition, all majors in Biological Sciences must complete core courses in Biology 101-102, 210, 215, 310, a research project, and biology-based seminar courses. The specialization is in the flexibility of an additional 18 credits of student-selected advanced Biology courses (see specific degree concentrations). These elective courses are chosen with close faculty advisement. A grade of "C" or better is required in all Biology courses. In addition, the biology major must complete 5 courses in Chemistry, 2 in Physics, and meet Mathematics requirements.
MINOR in BIOLOGY: For a minor in biology, eighteen (18) hours are required, distributed as follows: Biology 101-102, 210 and six (6) hours of electives.
MINOR in FORENSIC SCIENCE: At DSU, a Minor in Forensic Science is available across most departments in the University. Depending on the student's major, a varied number of courses need to be taken. In principle, this minor will require students to take courses in biology, forensic science, courses related to criminal justice, a course in statistics, and courses in chemistry (the specific courses will depend on the student's major).
DEPARTMENTAL CLUBS AND STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS: The department has three student run clubs, each with different missions: Health Professions Student Organization, Forensic Biology Club, and Biology Club. All biology majors are encouraged to participate in at least one of these organizations.