Biology is a vast field relevant to all humans. Anyone studying biology develops a better understanding of how living systems work, how all living organisms are related, and how we affect our environment. KU’s Undergraduate Biology Program (UBP) offers a deep and enriching educational experience for its students. It prepares students for careers in scientific research, medical professions, conservation work, public safety, and more.  Opportunities are available for independent study, undergraduate research, field experience, student hourly employment, undergraduate teaching assistantships, and participation in student organizations.

Undergraduate degrees and majors

With careful planning and commitment to a full-time course load, you can graduate in four years. Please explore our degrees page to view sample four-year plans and degree requirements for various biology majors.

Undergraduate research

Undergraduate students interested in research find many opportunities to work with faculty mentors to gain new experiences and develop professional skills. This work can range from helping out in a lab to conducting independent research. Students also can earn honors recognition for their research. Additionally, KU offers students a unique opportunity to study in the tropical forests of Central America thanks to a partnership with the Organization for Tropical Studies in San José, Costa Rica.

Student organizations

Biology clubs allow students to interact with faculty and students while expanding their interest in biology. The biology majors advisory committee (BMAC) advises the UBP director on all undergraduate issues.  KU has a chapter of the national Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. Biology students also could participate in the Genetics Club, the Microbiology Club, and countless pre-professional clubs, such as pre-medical and pre-veterinary clubs.


Faculty or lecturers with doctoral degrees teach all biology lecture classes at KU. This ensures that students receive up-to-date information from experts. Faculty members work on the forefront of research on AIDS, genetics, the environment, and new drugs. They have attracted many state, federal, and private grants. The Undergraduate Biology Program has strong professional ties in industry and government and attracts graduate students from around the world.

Preparing to be successful in a biology major

So that our incoming students can start preparing to be successful as a future biology major at KU, we wanted to give you some information that might be helpful.  To ensure that our students will be able to succeed as majors, we have admissions requirements for officially declaring any of our biology majors.  Our admissions requirements are not intended to be roadblocks to students but rather a means of having students take foundational courses in biology and chemistry in their first year-and-a-half to two years at KU so that they are well prepared to take more advanced courses in the major.  We have sample two-year plans (pdf) that show typical course schedules for students still completing biology major admissions courses. 


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