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Biological Sciences

Availability: Gulf Park and Hattiesburg Options

Why Study Biology?

Biology is the scientific study of life, living organisms, interactions among living organisms, and interactions among living organisms and their environment. Biology is a broad field with many applications and potential job opportunities, including such diverse areas as medicine, wildlife management, biotechnology, genetics, behavior, conservation, paleontology, and population dynamics. Students in this program are provided flexibility to focus on certain areas of biology, namely microbiology, biomedical sciences, environmental biology, or biology teaching.

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600Majors and 60 Graduate Students
5Degree Options
1Study Abroad Opportunity

What Will I Learn?

The Biology curriculum builds a foundation in organismal biology, genetics and cellular biology, physiology, and ecology as well as chemistry, physics, and statistics. Students then have flexibility in choosing specific courses  that are tailored to fit specific career goals. Laboratories, field studies, and internships train students with practical skills, writing and speaking ability, and critical thinking to be more competitive in the job market and to prepare them for professional school or post-graduate studies.

The College offers the Stephen Hatten Pre-Medical Externship for pre-medical students and a comparable Pre-Dental Externship for pre-dental students. Advisors can also help students find other internship opportunities.

Opportunities for research are available in almost every area of biology for both Honors and non-Honors undergraduates. In addition to faculty-funded research, the Mississippi IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) and USM's Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research fund a number of research projects and summer activities.

The School has dozens of scholarships for students in biology, some specifically tailored for different emphases (e.g., pre-medical, pre-dental, microbiology), hometowns, or year of study.

The School of Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences offers a Tropical Ecology in Belize & Guatemala Study Abroad course each year. Lecture meets after spring break, where academic topics in tropical geography, climate, biomes, organisms, ecology, and conservation and not-so-academic topics like health, safety, and appropriate behavior in Belize and Guatemala are covered. In mid- to late-May, we travel for two weeks to Belize and Guatemala, where we study tropical flora and fauna in several different ecosystems (coral reefs, pine savannahs, rainforests, and mangrove swamps) and interact with groups working on conservation in Central America.

Biology Faculty

Our biology faculty teach and do research using a wide variety of organisms, scales, and techniques. Our faculty work on viruses and bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals, work at the molecular and biochemical level to the ecosystem level, and use techniques ranging from molecular biology and bioinformatics to field studies and laboratory manipulations. Major research facilities in the biomedical sciences and in organismal biology and ecology are available.

For questions regarding General Biology, Ecology & Organismal Biology, contact Dr. Carl Qualls at Carl.QuallsFREEMississippi.

For questions regarding Biomedical Sciences or Microbiology, contact Cynthia Littlejohn at Cynthia.LittlejohnFREEMississippi.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

The Biological Science, (Licensure) B.S. program at the University of Southern Mississippi is designed to meet the licensure standards set by the Mississippi Department of Education.  The University of Southern Mississippi cannot determine whether a particular licensure program meets requirements for licensure outside of the State of Mississippi. Students seeking licensure in another state are advised to contact the appropriate licensing board in that state to determine specific requirements of guidelines for reciprocity. For a list of the state departments of education, see the U.S. Department of Education website - State Contacts page.

For questions regarding the Licensure program, please contact Allison Downing at Allison.DowningFREEMississippi



Contact Us

School of Biological, Environmental and Earth Sciences

Bobby Chain Technology Center (TEC), Rm 103
118 College Dr., Box 5018
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

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  • Medicine, Dentistry, and Biomedical Research
  • High School and College Teaching
  • Conservation and Ecology
  • Biotechnology and Laboratory Management
  • Food or Environmental Biology
  • Wetland Delineation and Restoration
  • Dr. Kacy Redd, 2001
    Assistant Vice President of STEM Education Policy, Association of Public & Land Grant Universities
  • Dr. Joshua R. Ennen, 2009
    Aquatic Conservation Biologist, Tennessee Aquarium
  • Dr. Aimée K. Thomas, 2010
    Assistant Professor of Biology and Assistant Director of the Office of Teacher Certification, Loyola University
  • Matthew Reudelhuber, 2006
    Environmental Protection Specialist, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Dr. Amanda Perkins, 2005
    Veterinarian, Cat Hospital of Metairie
  • Dr. Emily L. Burke, 2000
    Otolaryngologist, Greater New Orleans Ear Nose Throat Doctors