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MSU Home :: Academics :: Biology and Chemistry :: Academics

The Department of Biology and Chemistry offers eight undergraduate B.S. degrees.  Three degrees in Biology: Biology Area, Biology Teaching Area, and Biomedical Sciences Area.  Five degrees in Chemistry: Biomedical Chemistry Area, Professional Chemistry Area, General Chemistry Major, Environmental Chemistry Major, Chemistry Teaching Major.

Each degree was designed for a specific career track, but in many cases there is overlap. Below is a discussion of each degree and its strengths. Prior to these descriptions, it is important to know the difference between an Area degree and a Major degree. An Area degree is focused on the discipline, but also includes many supporting courses. For instance, the Biology Area degree requires a significant number of courses in Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics. A Major is also focused on a particular discipline, but does not have as many supporting courses. Instead, it requires that you take a minor in addition to the Major to obtain breadth. Chemistry Majors usually take an Integrated Science Minor. For a listing of the curriculum maps linked to each degree type, click on the name.

  • Biology Area – designed for students interested in environmental and organismal science. The courses cover the range of Biology from molecules to cells to organisms to interactions between organisms. 
  • Biology Teaching Area – this is very similar to the Biology Area, but Education courses are added into the curriculum and the electives ensure broad knowledge so that the student is able to teach broadly within the discipline. 
  • Biomedical Sciences Area – developed specifically for students intent on attending a health professional school, pursuing a career in biomedicine, or pursuing graduate education in biomedical disciplines. The courses are heavily weighted toward biomedical subjects. 
  • Biomedical Chemistry Area – this degree is somewhat the mirror image of the Biomedical Sciences Area, except that it is for students interested in Chemistry. Chemistry students pursuing this degree will be prepared for health-professional school, a career in biomedical chemistry, or entry into graduate school in a biomedical chemistry area. 
  • Professional Chemistry Area – for students interested in pursuing a career in a chemistry laboratory, industrial, government or academic. 
  • General Chemistry Major – this degree is a broad degree in chemistry and is useful for many different career choices. Many students in the pre-health careers opt for this degree because they would like to have a Major/Minor rather than an Area degree. Students wanting to pursue a career in chemistry may also take this, though it does not have the same depth as the Professional Chemistry Area. 
  • Environmental Chemistry Major – the degree was expressly designed for students that want to pursue careers in environmental chemistry immediately after graduation, or that want to go to graduate school in Environmental Chemistry 
  • Chemistry Teaching Major – this is similar to the General Chemistry Major, except that Education courses are added to the curriculum. 

 Graduate Programs



News in
Biology & Chemistry

  • Two new faculty members join the department
  • Dr. Gibbs awarded two NIH-KBRIN grants
  • Dr. O'Keefe receives funding to conduct environment assessments in Tennessee
  • Dr. Ellison awarded NIH-KBRIN grant
  • Students receive travel grant to attend national ACS meeting
  • Dr. Hare awarded NIH-KBRIN grant
  • Dr. Dennis awarded NIH-KBRIN grant
  • Dr. Peyton awarded KY
  • Dr. Risk mentors high school students from Puerto Rico
  • Dr. Risk takes students to Costa Rica for plant study
  • ACS Students receive travel grant to attend national ACS meeting
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