The zoology major is a gateway to the diverse areas of modern biology. The major can be tailored to prepare students for advanced study and careers in many different areas: health professions and public health; law; life sciences research in university, government, and industrial settings; education including museum, nature center, secondary school, and college teaching; biotechnology; and environmental studies.
Specialized preparation is offered in ecology, systematics, limnology, morphology, molecular biology, cellular biology, developmental biology, genetics, neurobiology, physiology, evolution, and behavior. Several possible areas, emphasizing different interests, are outlined in the courses section. They include ecology, evolution, and behavior; anatomy, physiology, and organismal biology; and cellular, molecular, and developmental biology. The department encourages undergraduate participation in research and offers summer research scholarships to outstanding students.
The zoology major emphasizes critical thinking and conceptual skills that come from an understanding of how scientific information is obtained and evaluated, and of how this information can be applied to societal issues. The major provides a solid foundation in genetic, cellular, physiological, ecological, and evolutionary principles, and in the related disciplines of chemistry, physics, and mathematics. As a result, the major fosters an understanding of biological complexity including the interrelationships among humans and natural systems.
The unique characteristics of the zoology major include:
- broad-based, yet integrated training in wide-ranging areas of biology;
- solid foundation of basic principles and processes in biology;
- flexibility and advising needed to allow students to tailor the major to their specific goals;
- wide range of opportunities for undergraduate involvement in independent research and senior thesis.
All students who are interested in pursuing the zoology major must schedule an appointment with a department advisor. No major declaration forms are required to declare zoology.
Note: Students in the College of Letters & Science (L&S) may be declared by a department advisor immediately. Students who are not currently in L&S need to either transfer into L&S or have permission from their school or college to pursue an additional major in zoology. Instructions for transferring into L&S are available on the L&S Student Academic Affairs website.