UMM students actively study biology, combining critical laboratory techniques with wide-ranging field explorations to investigate the central practices of modern biology. Your classes will be small and you will have ample opportunity to work closely with your instructors throughout your studies. From genetics to ecology; the study of microscopic species to the large mammals of the forests of Maine – you will become familiar with the full range of biological science. Biology majors also benefit from an NSF-funded Geographic Information Systems Lab, which is a powerful tool for mapping and biological research.
Students may complete optional concentrations in:
- Wildlife Biology
- Fisheries Biology
- Health Professions: The pre-professional concentration is designed for students planning to pursue careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, or other professions requiring a rigorous background in the life and physical sciences.
Why Study Biology at UMM?
Nothing looks better on a résumé than practical experience. Biology majors at UMM enjoy hands-on experiences throughout the curriculum. In addition, you will have opportunities to participate in an internship for career-oriented experience, and to work one-on-one with one of our dedicated instructors on a senior thesis project or an independent study.
Pine forests, ocean waters, unspoiled rivers and streams-Downeast Maine’s stunning natural resources are like a second classroom for UMM students. It’s an ideal location for a naturalist and you will graduate with a solid undergraduate education that enables you to pursue professional employment or further your education.
Careers in Biology
Our Biology program is a great start towards career fields such as:
- Aquaculture & Fisheries
- Field Research
- Health Sciences
- Laboratory Research
- Secondary Education
- Veterinary Medicine
Bachelor of Arts in Biology
Eric H. Jones, Assistant Professor of Plant Biology
125 Science Building
William H. Otto, Professor of Chemistry
107 Science Building
Frequently Asked Questions
Biology majors at UMM have been successful obtaining internships at The Mount Desert Island Biological Labs, the Jackson Laboratory, and other biomedical laboratories. Students have completed projects with Departments of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Marine Resources, and National Park Service. Some have completed internships at zoos in Texas and Florida.
With a degree in Biology you’ll be qualified to work as a laboratory or field technician, research assistant, environmental technician, animal technician, fisheries scientist, naturalist and forest ranger.
We have recent graduates who have completed veterinary school at Tufts University, the Royal College of Veterinary Medicine, and University of Georgia and medical school at U. New England. We have recent graduates who have earned Master’s degrees in public health, medical lab technician, veterinary assistant and Ph.Ds in biology, animal science, and molecular biology.
Our Biology program is designed to be able to be completed within four years. The most significant hurdle to completion of a Biology degree within four years is background in mathematics. Students who enter the Biology program placing into developmental math courses can end up taking an extra year to graduate. It is possible in these situations to make up coursework in mathematics over the summer term however and we have several programs in place to help you succeed in your math courses.
We work closely with the registrar’s office here at UMM to ensure that any coursework you’ve taken at other institutions is vetted for transferability into our program. While some of these transfer agreements are automatic, others are examined closely by the faculty to determine whether they are equivalent to our courses so that you receive credit for work you’ve already done.
We have a number of work study jobs available for Biology majors across campus. Some students obtain valuable scientific experience through their work study, such as help to prepare laboratory materials for Biology courses, analyzing biological samples or digitizing UMM’s natural history collections.
We have several programs available to help students who are struggling with coursework in Biology. These include study groups, and individual consultation with Professors.
At the tutoring center, located in Torrey Hall, you’ll find other students serving as tutors for courses that they have been successful in. You can arrange to meet with them one on one or just stop in to the center for help.
We also have a Supplemental Instruction (SI) program at UMM that supports students in first year science and math courses. SI leaders are UMM students who attend lectures and labs and who run SI sessions where they help you, the students, to teach each other the material presented in your courses. SI leaders are carefully selected students who have learned a lot about learning and who receive extensive training in peer led team teaching methods. After your first year at UMM you may be selected to be an SI leader yourself.
Biology majors are required to complete a capstone requirement for the degree program and this capstone can be a senior thesis that is based on original research. Students with a 3.0 GPA are also eligible to arrange independent research for credit. We have a number of students who have presented their original research at conferences over the past four years, and a handful who have gotten their work published.