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Why Biology?

  • UMM Students

“People ask me all the time whether pursuing a science degree at a liberal arts institution is ‘enough science.’ Yes! An undergraduate student just can’t beat the breadth of education across many areas combined with just the right amount of focus in your major...and more breadth to explore several aspects of that field. That’s biology at a liberal arts institution like Morris.” 

—Timna Wyckoff, associate professor of biology

Discipline Goals

  1. To provide students a broad base of fundamental biological knowledge and an appreciation of relevant safety and ethical considerations in evolution, genetics, cell and molecular biology, the diversity of life, and ecology

  2. To provide students in our upper-level electives detailed knowledge in specific fields including experience collecting and interpreting data both in the field and in the laboratory

  3. To provide students opportunities to apply knowledge of chemistry, statistics and mathematics to biological systems

  4. To advance student skills in written and oral communication of biology

  5. To prepare and encourage students to conduct original undergraduate research at Morris or at other institutions

  6. To prepare students for academic and professional postgraduate education, and/or a variety of careers in the fields of biology, including secondary education

  7. To provide discipline-specific courses for non-majors to serve Morris’s general education requirements

Morris—HHMI Pathways to Science Program

The University of Minnesota, Morris has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). This grant encourages success in science for students from all backgrounds. HHMI selected 47 small undergraduate universities and colleges in the United States as the recipients of grants totaling more than $50 million for its science education initiative.

The grant is led by Morris biology faculty members in collaboration with faculty throughout the Division of Science and Mathematics. The goals of this grant are to strengthen Morris’s preparation of undergraduates for careers in science, increase the number of undergraduates continuing their education into graduate programs, and develop and improve on effective mentoring strategies.

Personalized Interaction With Faculty

Interaction with faculty and overall academic experience make Morris students the most satisfied graduates in the University of Minnesota system. Here are some reasons why:

Faculty, not teaching assistants, teach all Morris classes and labs, which means you will be taught by experts in their field…

  • Morris is home to the highest percentage of Horace T. Morse Award recipients in the University of Minnesota system.
  • Morris classes are intentionally small, which allows the faculty to know students by name.
  • Morris faculty provide graduates with professional connections after graduation.

Research Opportunities

Research is the core of the Morris biology program. More than 50 percent of Morris biology majors conduct independent research at Morris and across the country.

Opportunities include:

Local research opportunities extend beyond Morris and include Internships with:

Students frequently publish articles or present at national conferences with their faculty partners.

Successful Outcomes

Biology and the other laboratory science disciplines at Morris have a strong track record of preparing students for science careers. Morris biology majors enjoy great success in professions including:

  • Medicine
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Nursing
  • Education
  • Nutrition
  • Natural resource management