Understand living organisms.

Biology is the science behind living organisms, including the origin and history of animal and plant life, and their characteristics, function, processes and habits. Biology majors develop the fundamentals needed to pursue diverse career opportunities. Graduates are often hired by local companies specializing in biotechnology, conservation and basic science research. Many graduates pursue diverse professional degrees including dentistry, law, medicine, optometry, pharmacy and podiatry. Numerous graduates also reach advanced research positions by undertaking additional scientific training in master’s and doctoral programs in the biological sciences.


Program type:

Major, BS or BA



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Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in -


The Bachelor’s degrees in Biology are available as both a BA and a BS, with both designed to prepare students for basic technical positions and graduate or professional studies in the life sciences. Both have the same core courses and general education requirements, but the BA has more emphasis on associated humanities areas, while the BS requires additional in-depth study, laboratory experience, communication skills and background in associated science areas.

Outcomes and Career Outlook

Upon completion of the BA or the BS in Biology, graduates will be able to understand the overriding principles and theorems within and between the content areas of anatomy, botany, cell and molecular biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, microbiology, physiology and zoology. Specifically, graduates will understand the structure and function of basic biological units of living organisms; information flow, exchange and storage from parent to offspring or from parent cells to progeny cells; pathways and transformations of energy and matter that govern metabolism; systems that govern interactions between organisms or between organisms and their environment; biodiversity at the genetic, organismal, community, and global scales; and evolution, common ancestry and changes to biological populations over successive generations.

Employment of biology graduates is projected to grow up to 7% to 2029, with a median annual salary of $64,650, according to wage and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2029

Career Opportunities

  • Assistant/Scientist
  • Conservation Biologist
  • Environmental Educator
  • Health Sciences Professional
  • Laboratory or Field Research
  • Medical and Technical Sales & Support Representative
  • Professor
  • Regulatory/Government Affairs Specialist


Plan of study

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Student organizations

Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations. Here are several opportunities you may be interested in as a biology major:

Honors College

The UMSL Honors College is a certificate program that can be paired with any major without adding extra classes or extending time to graduate. Classes in the Honors College are seminar-style, meaning that they are based in reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking. This unique class format fosters an intellectual climate centered around democracy, diversity, civility and academic excellence.

Undergraduate research

We encourage and support students as they engage in exciting activities in and outside of the classroom that enrich their academic and professional understanding of their chosen area of study. All majors are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to produce discipline-specific intellectual or creative innovations to their field.