​​​Program Description

From single-cell organisms to the most intelligent mammals on Earth, life exists all around us. While pursuing a biology major at Central Michigan University, you will be immersed into the lives of animals, plants and microorganisms, studying the science of how they interact with each other and their environment. With a biology major with a concentration in ecology, evolution and conservation, you will study, both in the lab and in the field, how different life forms coexist, all while forming the foundation of conservation efforts.

Points of Pride

  • CMU is the only university in Michigan, and one of only two in the Midwest, to operate an island research station, the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island, located in Lake Michigan off the northern shores of the Lower Peninsula.
  • With everything from 3-D printing to eDNA, CMU offers state-of-the-art technology and modern methods of research.

Put Your Degree to Work

With a biology degree in hand and a vast knowledge of the core biological concepts in evolution, cell biology, genetics, ecology and physiology of all organisms, you will see career opportunities in research laboratories, government agencies, consulting firms, conservation organizations and museums.

​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data

JobMedian PayJob Growth through ​2024​
Forester$60,220 per year7% (2,700 new jobs)
Wildlife biologist$59,680 per year4% (800 new jobs)
Conservation scientist$60,220 per year7% (2,700 new jobs)​

For More Information

Visit the biology website or contact:

Department of Biology
Biosciences 2100
Phone: 989-774-3227
Fax: 989-774-3462

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Biology Major: Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Concentration

This Biology Major will prepare students for graduate programs or careers in the fields of Ecology, Evolution, Natural Resource Management, or Conservation Biology.
Total: 64-74 semester hours
Core Courses I
(20 hours)
BIO 111
Foundations of Evolution and Diversity
4
BIO 112
Foundations of Cell Biology
4
BIO 211
Foundations of Genetics
4
BIO 212
Foundations of Form and Function
4
BIO 213
Foundations of Ecology
4
Core Courses II
(3 hours)
BIO 500
Biological Statistics
3
Required Courses I
(3-4 hours)
Select one Ecology course from the following:
BIO 367
Introduction to Marine Sciences
3
BIO 440
Wildlife Ecology
3
BIO 518
Animal Behavior
3
BIO 519
Invertebrate Systematics and Ecology
4
BIO 525
Plant Ecology
4
BIO 526
Limnology
3
BIO 527
Limnological Methods
2
BIO 555
Great Lakes Wetland and Aquatic Plants
4
BIO 560
Avian Ecology
3
BIO 561
Wetland Ecology and Management
3
Required Courses II
(3-4 hours)
Select one Evolution course from the following:
Note: Students who choose BIO 566 will also have to take the pre/co-requisite course BIO 565.
BIO 305
Entomology
3
BIO 306
Natural History of Vertebrates
3
BIO 390
Comparative Animal Physiology
4
BIO 501
Evolution
3
BIO 509
Ichthyology
4
BIO 511
Aquatic Insects
3
BIO 515
Ornithology
4
BIO 519
Invertebrate Systematics and Ecology
4
BIO 523
Fresh Water Algae
4
BIO 540
Mammalogy
4
BIO 549
Herpetology
3
BIO 557
Dendrology
4
BIO 562
Plant Systematics and Evolution
4
BIO 565
Microbial Diversity and Physiology
3
BIO 566
Microbial Diversity and Physiology Laboratory
1
BIO 575
Applied Bioinformatics
4
Required Courses III
(3-4 hours)
Select one Conservation course from the following:
Note: Courses may not double count toward Required Courses I, II, and III.
BIO 365
Environmental Contaminants
3
BIO 366
Freshwater Biology
3
BIO 510
Fisheries Biology
4
BIO 541
Wildlife Biology and Management
4
BIO 561
Wetland Ecology and Management
3
BIO 585
Conservation Medicine
3
Other Requirements I
(16 hours)
Note: You may only count one of MTH 130 or 132, not both.
CHM 131
General Chemistry I
4
CHM 132
General Chemistry II
4
MTH 130
Pre-Calculus Mathematics
4
MTH 132
Calculus I
4
PHY 130QR
College Physics I
4
Other Requirements II
(7-14 hours)
Select two of the options below:
Notes: Students selecting Option B must also select Option A. Students who have taken MTH 132 to fulfill Other Requirements I may not select Option D.
OR2A-BIO:EEC
Option A
(4-8 hours)
OR2B-BIO:EEC
Option B
(3 hours)
OR2C-BIO:EEC
Option C
(6 hours)
OR2D-BIO:EEC
Option D
(4 hours)
OR2E-BIO:EEC
Option E
(4 hours)
Other Requirements III
(0 hours)
Capstone Exit Exam and Survey This capstone experience may include taking the Biology Major Field Test, analyzing and interpreting data, and/or completing an exit survey.
Electives
(9 hours)
Select advanced level elective courses from the following in consultation with a Biology advisor. Courses selected in Required Courses I, II, or III may not count toward elective credit. At least 2 courses must be at the 400-level or higher.
Notes: Credit toward the Biology Major may only be earned in BIO 397, 497, and 597 with permission of advisor. Students who choose BIO 566 will also have to take the pre/co-requisite course BIO 565. Students who choose BIO 527 will also have to take the pre/co-requisite course BIO 526.
BIO 305
Entomology
3
BIO 306
Natural History of Vertebrates
3
BIO 320
Biology of Bacteria
3
BIO 334/GEO 334
Soil Science
3
BIO 337
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
4
BIO 365
Environmental Contaminants
3
BIO 366
Freshwater Biology
3
BIO 367
Introduction to Marine Sciences
3
BIO 390
Comparative Animal Physiology
4
BIO 391
Plant Physiology
4
BIO 397
Special Topics in Biology
1-6
BIO 403WI
Undergraduate Research
3-4
BIO 440
Wildlife Ecology
3
BIO 495
Undergraduate Internship in Biology
1-4
BIO 497
Special Topics in Biology
1-9
BIO 501
Evolution
3
BIO 509
Ichthyology
4
BIO 510
Fisheries Biology
4
BIO 511
Aquatic Insects
3
BIO 515
Ornithology
4
BIO 518
Animal Behavior
3
BIO 519
Invertebrate Systematics and Ecology
4
BIO 523
Fresh Water Algae
4
BIO 525
Plant Ecology
4
BIO 526
Limnology
3
BIO 527
Limnological Methods
2
BIO 540
Mammalogy
4
BIO 541
Wildlife Biology and Management
4
BIO 549
Herpetology
3
BIO 555
Great Lakes Wetland and Aquatic Plants
4
BIO 557
Dendrology
4
BIO 560
Avian Ecology
3
BIO 561
Wetland Ecology and Management
3
BIO 562
Plant Systematics and Evolution
4
BIO 565
Microbial Diversity and Physiology
3
BIO 566
Microbial Diversity and Physiology Laboratory
1
BIO 575
Applied Bioinformatics
4
BIO 585
Conservation Medicine
3
BIO 597
Special Topics In Biology
1-9
MAR 301
Marine Science II: Marine Biology
5