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Our Program

From molecules to ecosystems, from microorganisms to people, biologists use the methods of science to gain a better understanding of the nature of the living world. This knowledge can then be applied to solve problems in agriculture, medicine and the environment. 

The biology department at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls offers a flexible curriculum, as well as opportunities to work closely with the department’s award-winning faculty. Students will have hands-on experience with laboratory techniques and field research. They will have the ability to communicate scientific ideas in verbal and written forms and to employ electronic technology used in disseminating scientific information.

Three Options

Biology students may choose from the following options:

  • General Biology option: Includes courses representing all areas of biology.  This option is required for biology/secondary education majors and suitable for any students desiring a broad background in biology.
  • Biomedical Sciences option: Emphasizes courses related to human/animal health and relevant laboratory skills.  It is appropriate for students going to medical, veterinary, or other professional schools in health-related sciences, as well as those interested in biomedical research.
  • Field Biology option: Includes courses that focus on developing a biological understanding of the environment.  This option is best for students interested in ecology research or working for government agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more information about Biology, please contact:

Mark Bergland - Chair
414 Agricultural Science

Global. Innovative. Excellent.

Undergraduate research is an important part of a student’s academic career at River Falls. Our campus is home to the Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity (URSCA) Office. In addition, dozens of UWRF students each year present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). As a biology major, there are many opportunities to complete research as an undergraduate, including:

Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center

Founded in 2001 by Dr. Timothy Lyden, the center originally focused on normal placental cell biology. It has been selected as the primary biological center in the state of Wisconsin. Current examples of research at the center include:

  • Expanding a working "library" of natural extracellular matrix (ECM) materials.
  • Development of translational medicine applications of our 3D culture technology in cancer as well as other clinically relevant areas.
  • Development of complex composite artificial tissues or ATs based on cell lines, primary fetal stem cells and human embryonic stem cells.

Bacteriophage Discovery

Students are able to get engaged in undergraduate research in their freshman year through an opportunity funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Research on honey bees and work on phage identification is conducted and published by first-year River Falls students.