Where life begins...

Contact Us:

Dr. Theresa Spradling, Head
University of Northern Iowa • Department of Biology • 144 McCollum Science Hall • Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0421
Tel: (319) 273-2456 • Fax: (319) 273-7125
Megan Kaisand, Office Coordinator • Email:

Welcome to the Department of Biology

Department of Biology in McCollum Science Hall
Students traveled to the Galapagos Islands with Biology Professor Dr. Clayton.
Class sizes are small and taught by faculty.
The Department of Biology provides advanced lab experiences using the newest technology.

Welcome to the Department of Biology

We Have a Lot to Offer You...

A degree in biology is one of the most versatile degrees available for college students, providing opportunities in medicine, health care, scientific research, genetic counseling, biotechnology, laboratory science, pharmacy, environmental and business consulting, ecosystems management, conservation, education, and more.

The supportive and caring faculty and staff in the Department of Biology provide specialized opportunities and individual attention that foster student success!  Take a look at what our amazing students achieve:

  • UNI biology students are extremely successful in gaining admission to medical programs such as University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Des Moines University.  UNI admission rates consistently beat national averages.  For students admitted to medical programs, biology is the most common major.

  • Many of our biology students go on to be medical doctors, dentists, physical therapists, veterinarians, occupational therapists, optometrists, pharmacists, nurses, and physicians assistants.  Our students have tremendous advantages because of the scientific background that a biology degree provides and because of the personal enrichment opportunities (like research, field experiences, and opportunities for international travel) that are available with biology faculty.

  • Many of our undergraduate researchers gain valuable experience by presenting and by publishing their work.  See some examples at UNI Scholarworks Biology Undergraduate Student Work.

  • For students interested in continuing scientific research beyond their BS or BA degree, undergraduate research opportunities have propelled our recent graduates on to graduate work at top universities (for example, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Florida State University, University of Texas, University of Wisconsin, University of Nebraska), studying a vast array of topics that includes, for example, genetics, autism, evolutionary biology, cancer, and ecology.  

  • Students in our Masters in Biology program prepare for future careers with exciting research opportunities.  See some examples of graduate student work at UNI Scholarworks Biology Theses.

  • Our student clubs and pre-professional organizations are active, engaged groups of students working together to serve the community, to help each other prepare for entry exams to professional programs, and to facilitate interactions with professional schools.

  • Ecological and conservation research at UNI is supported by a strong partnership between departmental faculty and the UNI Tallgrass Prairie Center, providing hands-on opportunities for undergraduate- and graduate-student researchers.

  • Our science education program is unique and exciting because students gain top-notch training both from biologists and from science education specialists, leading to a degree in biology along with the professional education sequence needed for teachers in Iowa.


Biology at UNI Offers Students a Wide Array of Opportunities Beyond the State of Iowa

  • UNI Biology students have participated in National Student Exchange:

    • University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau • University of Montana • University of Kentucky • Montana State University • University of Rhode Island • New Mexico State University • Oregon State University • University of South Carolina • Boise State University • University of Northern Arizona • University of Virgin Islands, St. Thomas • California State University - San Bernadino

. . . and Around the World

  • UNI Biology students have participated in Study Abroad:

                • South Africa • Australia • Turkey • France • England • Iceland • Galapagos • New Zealand    

Department Snapshots