The mission of the biology program at the University of Mary Washington is to provide a strong undergraduate education in the fundamental principles of biology and train students in the research methods and techniques used by biologists. The program is designed to prepare undergraduates for future careers in life sciences research, biotechnology, teaching and related professions, conservation, medicine, dentistry, and other allied health fields.
Graduates of the department engage in a variety of internships and move on to undertake a variety of careers in the life sciences. Read about some of our student success stories here.
The Department offers three majors and one minor, each major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology:
To keep up with Biology Department news and events, students should self-enroll in the Biology Dept Canvas site:
COVID-19 in Context
COVID-19 in Context is an 8-week online summer course starting June 1 that will be open to everyone – UMW students, faculty, and staff, as well as alumni and the broader community.
Biology Major Lauren Closs Named a Fulbright Scholar
Biology major Lauren Closs has been named a Fulbright Scholar, a truly high distinction! Upon completion of her UMW degree in May, she’ll be off to Norway to study the effects of the reproductive hormones LH and FSH on the reproductive behavior of fish. Closs is no stranger to Norway. As part of her participation in UMW’s Summer Science Institute, she spent seven weeks last summer studying the role of these hormones in mate guarding behavior and reproductive success of the medaka, a common laboratory model fish. Closs continued her project back on campus at UMW over the last academic year under the direction of Dr. Dianne Baker. For her Fulbright, she will rejoin collaborators in the Weltzien Lab at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Oslo to make further progress. Her work promises to advance knowledge about the physiology underpinning vertebrate reproduction and to facilitate success of economically important fish breeding programs. The prestigious Fulbright Scholar program was established to foster international academic and cultural exchange and cooperation. In addition to her Fulbright, Closs has presented her research at scientific conferences, such as the Society for Comparative and Integrative Biology Annual Meeting, and is a candidate for Honors in Biology. Congratulations, Lauren!
Spring 2020 Scholarship and Award Applications
This year’s deadline for departmental scholarship and award applications is Monday, April 20. Please see the Scholarships and Awards page for more details.
Alternative Grading Scheme for Spring 2020
The University of Mary Washington has instituted the following alternative grading scheme for the Spring 2020 semester:
Credit (CRT): for grades of C or higher. This grade satisfies General Education, major requirements, and prerequisites of C or higher.
Pass-19 (P-19): for grades of C-, D+ or D. This grade will satisfy General Education, most major requirements and some prerequisites, but will not fulfull Biology prerequisites that require a C-.
No Credit (NCRT): for failing grades which will award no credit.
Biology Majors are encouraged to contact their advisors with questions about how these scheme applies to their courses.
UMW Kaplan Test Prep Courses
New Tracks Added to the Biology Program
The Department of Biological Sciences has added two new majors to its undergraduate program. The new Conservation Biology Major is designed for students interested in public or private-sector careers in fields such as endangered species protection and recovery, habitat conservation, conservation biology education, and fisheries and wildlife management. The new Biomedical Sciences Major is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in the health sciences. The track provides students with the knowledge and the skills to be successful candidates for graduate study in a broad range of health related fields including medical, dental, physician’s assistant, nursing, physical therapy, and more.