Ready to start your path to a rewarding career in health care, conservation biology, biotechnology, teaching, or any other in  biology’s vast array of exciting opportunities?


The Department of Biological Sciences offers three majors and one minor. Each major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree:

For complete description of all courses offered by the Department of Biological Sciences, please see UMW Course Catalog, Biology


Read some of our student success stories here.


Department News

UMW students dominated the undergraduate research grant competition at the Virginia Academy of Science‘s 2022 Fall Meeting held in October. Nine UMW biology and biochemistry students brought home $750 each to support their research projects, nearly sweeping the competition, which included students from James Madison University, Christopher Newport University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and several other institutions. Congratulations to the winners (Abigail Algeier, Jay Boudreau, Grayson Collins, Dylan Crann, Abigail Delapena, Emily Landry, Shreya Murali, Tim Philbeck, and Emily Sizemore) and their advisors (Drs. Swati Agrawal, Randy Reif, and Parrish Waters)!


The department is thrilled to welcome Dr. Laura Sipe to the faculty! An interdisciplinary cancer biologist, Dr. Sipe completed her doctorate at the University of Virginia. As a post-doctoral scholar at University of Tennessee Health Science Center, she investigated how metabolism and diet impact breast cancer progression and the ability of cancer to evade destruction by the immune system. Dr. Sipe will bring her expertise in cancer, immunology, and metabolism to UMW to research a novel pathway linked to breast cancer aggressiveness. Students in her laboratory will investigate oxidative stress, genetic instability, and immune evasion in breast cancer. She will teach Cell Biology (BIOL340), Biology of Cancer (BIOL440), and Immunology (BIOL441). “I am looking forward to engaging students in the classroom and in cancer research. My favorite part of science is translating that “What would happen if” or “I wonder” thoughts into well designed experiments”. Additionally, Dr. Sipe is excited to hit Fredericksburg’s many bike paths and explore the beautiful Rappahannock River by kayak.





To keep up with department news and events, students should self-enroll in the department’s Canvas site: