Contact Information
Address: 2001 New Science Facility
Phone: 906-227-2310
Fax: 906-227-1063
Web Address:
Department Head: John Rebers
Biology at NMU

The Biology Department offers programs leading to the bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and master of science in biology. The department offers three separate majors: biology, zoology and biology/secondary education. Students with a biology major have the opportunity for further specialization by choosing from one of four concentrations: general biology, ecology, microbiology and physiology. The department also contributes course work to interdisciplinary programs in biochemistry, environmental science, diagnostic genetics and science technologist. The department offers three minor programs of study: biology, human biology and biology education. The offerings complement programs in nursing, health, liberal arts and sciences, physical education, clinical laboratory sciences, and environmental conservation, among others. The courses emphasize fundamental concepts of biology at the subcellular, organismic and population levels. The laboratory courses provide students with first-hand experience in understanding biological concepts, thus furthering their understanding of life.

Biologists should have a knowledge of organisms at all levels ranging from molecular activities within cells to ecosystem dynamics. For this reason, the biology tracks and the zoology major are built around a common core of courses. The remaining courses for the major are selected to satisfy the student’s interests and career plans. A strong background in the physical sciences is helpful to a biological career.

Student Organizations
  • Pre-Dental Club
  • Pre-Medical Club
  • Pre-Veterinary Club
  • Student Michigan Education Association
  • Tri Beta Society
  • Wildlife Society
Department Facilities
  • greenhouse
  • herbarium
  • Lake Superior research boat
  • Longyear Forest
  • molecular biology facilities
  • small-animal facility
  • zoological collections
Department/Program Policies

A 2.00 grade point average is required for all biology courses taken for any non-teaching major in the department. Exceptions must be requested via petition to the department’s academic programs committee. Students majoring in secondary education biology or minoring in biology education must maintain a grade point average of 2.70 or greater with no grade below a “C” in the professional education sequence, the major and/or minor and required cognates combined.

Students enrolled in biology laboratory courses must pay replacement costs for damaged supplies (e.g., glassware and microscope slides) or equipment (e.g., microscopes) having value in excess of one dollar. Records of assessments for damage are maintained in the department, and students are notified of any costs due no later than the last laboratory meeting.

Recommendation for Students Bound for Graduate School

Students who plan to apply to a professional school or pursue graduate work in biology are strongly advised to take Organic Chemistry I and II (CH 321, 322) and a year of physics.

Many graduate programs in the biological sciences, including the one at Northern Michigan University, require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for admission. Students intending to pursue graduate study in the biological sciences should take this examination early in their senior year.

Bachelor Degree Programs

Liberal Studies: Complete information on the liberal studies requirements and additional graduation requirements, including the health promotion requirement, is in the “Liberal Studies Program and Graduation Requirements” section of this bulletin.

Courses within each major that can be used to satisfy liberal studies requirements are listed with the Roman numeral (in brackets) that coincides with the liberal studies division the course falls under.

Minor Programs

Courses within each minor that can be used to satisfy liberal studies requirements are listed with the Roman numeral (in brackets) that coincides with the liberal studies division the course falls under.