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


Valeria Ortiz Jimenez and Dylan Crann had a good problem this year – deciding which elite dental school’s offer of admission to accept! Ortiz Jimenez was accepted to six dental programs and has decided to attend Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Crann got into ten schools and chose University of Pennsylvania. Both students hold leadership roles in UMW’s Pre-health Society and participate in other extracurricular activities and volunteer work. Additionally, they completed independent research projects with Biological Sciences faculty mentors. With Dr. Lynn Lewis, Ortiz Jimenez studied the effects of a chemotherapeutic agent on pathogenic oral bacteria, while Crann examined social isolation’s role in the development of depression-like signs in laboratory mice with Dr. Parrish Waters. Ortiz Jimenez and Crann exemplify what UMW students can achieve if they work hard, become involved in campus life, and take advantage of research opportunities. The future is indeed bright for these students, as well as for all the teeth which will soon cross their paths!


To read more about Valeria and Dylan, please visit the Student Successes page.


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)!





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