Biology

Meet Our Students

Ashley Munie is the President of the Murray State chapter of the Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society and will be attending the University of Michigan in the fall to begin a Ph.D. program in immunology.

Career Outlook

Many students interested in professional careers in medicine and other health-related fields choose biology as their undergraduate major. In addition, excellent career possibilities exist for students in secondary and college/university teaching and research. Kentucky and other states as well as federal agencies hire conservation, wildlife and fisheries students, and there is also a need for environmental consultants in the private sector. A brief list of additional occupations with a background in biology include genetic counseling, biotechnology, conservation ecology, microbiology, toxicology, paleontology, herpetology, ecology, limnology, physiology, pharmaceutical sales representative and medical research. Most of these occupations require training beyond the baccalaureate degree (i.e., at the M.S. or Ph.D. levels).

Our Programs

Our diverse undergraduate programs include General Biology, Secondary Certification to teach at the high school level, Biomedical Sciences to be able to conduct research, pre-health professional tracks including Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Physician's Assistant, Pre-Physical Therapy and Fisheries and Aquatic Biology, Conservation & Wildlife Biology, Secondary Certification in Biology and a variety of curricula to support career choices in Pharmacy, Optometry and Physical Therapy. Of course, these are not the only career opportunities for students with a biology degree; many exist with industry, state and federal government agencies, and academia. Some of the special training for these jobs is reflected by the research interest of our faculty, such as wildlife biology, microbiology, physiological ecology, conservation biology, aquatic ecology, cell and molecular biology, fisheries biology, taxonomic botany, mammalogy, herpetology, and animal behavior. We are proud of the accomplishments of our graduates. Our department has a high acceptance rate for those applying to medical and other professional schools as well as to graduate programs; our students excel on entry exams such as the MCAT, DAT and GRE. This is testimony to our rigorous undergraduate curriculum, and the quality of our faculty. The faculty have excellent records in obtaining external grant support and publishing their research. Research is considered an important undergraduate experience, and our faculty mentor and publish with students in their research programs.

Meet Our Faculty

Dr. Michael Flinn, Murray State Regents Teaching Award 2015, Murray State Outstanding Advisor 2015

Research and Other Opportunities

The faculty in biology are committed to the principle that one of the most exciting and rewarding undergraduate experiences is working on an independent research project. All permanent faculty members have active research labs (click here for list of faculty research specializations) and mentor both undergraduate and graduate student researchers. The faculty have excellent records in obtaining grant support, attending conferences and publishing their research. We strongly encourage students to become involved in research, present their findings at conferences and become co-authors on publications with faculty mentors. Additional opportunities in the department include participation in national and international field trips, internships and cooperative programs and teaching laboratories as a Teaching Assistant.

Departmental and Associated Facilities

Departmental facilities include lecture rooms, study lounges and more than 20 teaching and research laboratories in the Biology Building. The new Physics/Biology/Chemistry building, opening Fall 2016, will house additional lecture halls, research labs and office space for Biology students and faculty. A computer lab and visual aids center is operated through the Science Resource Center in the Blackburn Science Building.

The department is fortunate to be associated with it one of the premiere biological stations in the country. The Hancock Biological Station (HBS), located on Kentucky Lake less than 20 minutes from the campus, is a year-round teaching and research ecosystem facility where students have unique opportunities to interact with faculty and visiting scientists. A variety of field courses is taught each summer at the Station. With the Mid-America Remote Sensing Center, a state-of-the-art satellite imaging lab, and the Chemical Services Laboratory, HBS forms the Center for Reservoir Research, one of the funded Centers of Excellence in the Kentucky State educational system. A remnant cypress swamp, Murphy's Pond, is another resource available for student research.

We hope you will visit our facilities, and if you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Biology office.

For more information contact: Dr. Claire Fuller, Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, Murray State University, 2112 Biology Building, Murray, KY 42071-3361, 270.809.2786

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