Note: MSU's programs in the biological sciences are distributed across multiple departments. MSU does not have a single Department of Biology. For additional options see Biological Sciences at MSU.
Department of Ecology
The Department of Ecology offers a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences which emphasizes a solid grounding in biology and the fundamental sciences, and which allows students to specialize within four options: Organismal Biology, Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Management, Conservation Biology and Ecology, and Biology Teaching. Organismal Biology emphasizes the basic sciences of zoology and botany; Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Management and Conservation Biology and Ecology emphasize the application of knowledge to the conservation of the biota and natural resources; Biology Teaching prepares students for career as a high school biology teacher.
Many positions for professional biologists require a graduate degree. The degree options are intended to provide the solid knowledge and skills required of all college graduates as well as the prerequisite educational background for graduate programs.
Students interested in secondary school biology teaching and Montana state certification must fulfill the Biology Teaching option which includes the professional education courses as well as a solid biology and basic science core; a teaching minor or second area of certification is recommended.
Requirements for Admission to Upper Division Courses in Biology
For admission to upper division (numbered 300 or higher) Biology (BIOB, BIOE, BIOO) and Fish and Wildlife Management (WILD) courses, students must have completed at least 45 total university credits with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 for all courses and have also earned a "C-"or better for any prerequisite courses. Limited exceptions may be made by consent of instructor. Any student who obtains enrollment in an upper division biology course without satisfying these requirements will be required to withdraw from the course.
To graduate with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, students must earn a grade of "C-" or better for every course required for the specific option (Conservation Biology and Ecology, Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Management, Organismal Biology, and Biology Teaching), including courses taken to fulfill required biology elective credits, all required courses in non-biology rubrics, and all upper division courses.
All students will earn a B.S. in Biological Sciences with at least one of the following options or concentrations to be completed.
- Conservation Biology and Ecology
- Fish and Wildlife Ecology and Management
- Organismal Biology
- Biology Teaching
The graduate degree programs offered in the Department of Ecology provide opportunities for students to pursue M.S. and/or Ph.D. degrees in various disciplines under the guidance of faculty. Graduate students may conduct research on a diversity of topics pertaining to their individual areas of interest: terrestrial and aquatic ecology, fish and wildlife management, evolutionary biology, quantitative ecology, and conservation biology. Both Master's and Ph.D. degrees require a thesis or dissertation and a research publication.