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Bachelor of Science in Biology


The natural world captivates you with its multifaceted presence. Below the surface, every layer you peel back reveals innovative processes and interactions all the way from the cellular level to large ecosystems home to several species. Even something deceptively familiar beckons you to explore and tackle a new challenge. If you’re passionate about nature and its organisms and have dedicated yourself to learning more, begin the next stage of your journey with a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree from Saginaw Valley State University.

We approach our surroundings much like you do. The seemingly mundane aspects of life are rife with intricacies ready for scientific discovery. The BS in Biology program opens a window to the plethora of possibilities, in the classroom, laboratory, and SVSU’s ecological research areas. An introductory curriculum connecting biology to chemistry and physics creates a gateway to studying the natural world and the diverse, complex processes composing life. From this solid, versatile

framework, you’ll select an area of interest to specialize your knowledge of biology’s multiple disciplines and applications. As our department guides your scholarly endeavors, we consider how your scientific interests and enthusiasm for discovery translate into a career or advanced education, and in turn, courses, laboratory work, and fieldwork serve as a key stepping stone to medical school, a graduate program in biology, or an entry-level research position.

Considering the myriad of paths, the Department of Biology strives to shepherd your success in the right direction. Small class sizes allow for more personalized instruction from our esteemed faculty members, themselves crucial to the university’s research and development and prepared to point you toward projects and more enriching opportunities that not only interest you but provide a chance to apply your knowledge in a hands-on setting.

In fostering a supportive, engaging environment, our department emphasizes real-world training as the bridge toward your future. This commitment starts with our modern laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment and extends to the Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute and Wetlands Preserve for biological fieldwork and organizations like Biology Club and the Health Professions Association.

For more information, contact Department Chair Dr. Arthur Martin at

Cardinal Points

  • SVSU's 782-acre campus also contains an ecological research area where a variety of biological fieldwork is performed. 

  • SVSU established the Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute which focuses on the environmental science and citizenry of the Saginaw Bay area and features a strong pool of student interns.

  • SVSU has a Wetlands Preserve which provides a natural habitat for wildlife, including rare birds, and serves as an educational facility for biology students and professors.  

  • Biology majors have the chance to be one of 10 students accepted into the Roberts Fellowship Program which is a leadership development initiative that culminates in a trip to Asia.

Biology doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It intertwines with other natural sciences and, at the same time, is divided among botany, environmental, evolutionary, medical, molecular, cellular, genetic, and zoology disciplines. Our bachelor’s degree in biology reflects this structure. As a student declaring your major, you’ll start to fulfill your ambitions through introductory courses in biology, chemistry, and physics.

This baseline supplies you with the tools and investigation skills to advance onto higher-level courses angled toward medical content and research. From here, you’ll reach a crossroads where you’ll be expected to select from one of four majors based on potential career outcomes:

  • Biological Science, for broad training across the vast and exciting spectrum of disciplines;
  • Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, and Biomedical Sciences, ideal if you’re striving toward medical school and eventually a career in medicine or another health profession;
  • Evolution, Ecology, Organismal Biology, a course of study emphasizing fieldwork in preparation for an outdoors-based career in conservation and restoration; and
  • Biology Major for Teacher Certification, which translates your passion into a career instructing and motivating students at the secondary level.

Explore all paths of study to chart out your route from school into the workforce.

In considering your goals and the layout of the Bachelor’s in Biology degree, SVSU requires all undergraduate students to complete a minimum of 124 credits across their major, Basic Skills courses, General Education requirements, and second major or minor. Those selecting this program will take 33 credits of required courses, 28 credits toward their major, and 12 credits of electives. Review the structure and all course descriptions.

Highlighted Courses

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Key Electives

Click here to see a listing of programs




Complementary Minors/Majors

Our Students After Graduation...


Spectrum Health Medical Group
Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center
The Dow Chemical Company
VCA Clinton Township
Evergreen Physical Therapy

Graduate Programs

University of Michigan
Michigan State University

Career Opportunities

Physician of Infectious Diseases
Medical Technologist
R&D Technologist
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Pharmacy Manager
Physical Therapist/Clinic Director

  • 6% projected growth for employment of biological science teachers through 2026. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • $49,021 is the median yearly pay for a biologist in the U.S. in 2019. ( Salaries)
  • With a bachelor’s degree from SVSU’s biology program, students are ready for a multitude of careers including those that take place in industry and laboratories, private research institutions, public health departments, state and federal governments, and colleges and universities.

Cardinal Successes

These stories offer insight into how SVSU students have turned their education into successful opportunities yielding real-world success.

Cole Pero

Read more…

Miranda Strasburg

Read more…

Fully integrated into social networks, SVSU Connect is a valuable networking space dedicated to the community of SVSU students, faculty and alumni which cultivates a culture of helping and giving back. In addition to connecting with each other, students at all points along their journey can reach out to alumni mentors for guidance and insight into making the most of their SVSU experience and successfully transitioning into life after graduation.