About this Bachelor's Degree

Today is an exciting time to study biology. The last half-century has witnessed unprecedented breakthroughs in genetics, cellular biology and neuroscience, as well as critical advances in understanding the environment around us.

The Department of Biological Sciences, one of the largest academic units at The University of Southern Mississippi, provides high-quality education through programs of instruction and research in basic biomedical science, ecology and environmental biology, microbiology and marine biology.

We offer two baccalaureate degrees, both available on the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses: the Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences, where a student has the option of emphasizing coursework in any one of several areas of study, including environmental biology; and the Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology.

Most undergraduates interested in pre-health professions—such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, veterinary medicine or occupational therapy--choose to major in biological sciences for at least two reasons:

  1. their inherent interest in the life sciences
  2. a curriculum that prepares them for competitive entry into professional school. We offer an MCAT Preparation course (BSC 399), the early results of which point to an increase in MCAT scores and higher acceptance rate.

Student Learning Outcomes / Program Objectives

  • Students will gain content knowledge such that they can obtain employment consistent with their interest in the biological sciences, and/or pursue professional school/graduate education, or be satisfied that the degree met other personal objectives.  
  • Students will demonstrate technical skills consistent with their major.
  • Students will exhibit effective skills in scientific writing and oral communication of scientific information.
  • Students will develop an understanding of the scientific process.
  • Students will acquire broad-based content knowledge of Biology, namely: Understanding the characteristics that unite living organisms; understanding diversity of life; understanding the similarities and differences among organisms, i.e., systematics; understanding the relationship between structure and function at all levels of organization; understanding the physical and chemical properties of organisms and processes that occur in living things; understanding the cellular basis of life; understanding the nature and function of the gene and the flow of genetic information in the cell, the organism, and the population; understanding homeostatic control mechanisms that allow organisms to respond to changes in the internal and external environment; understanding the interdependence and interrelationships among organisms and between organisms and their environment; understanding the origin of life and the process of evolution; understanding the historical background leading to contemporary views on major biological topics and awareness of the dynamic processes of scientific inquiry.