• golden spider

    Revealing the Mysterious Powers of Spider Silks

    UVM biologists Ingi Agnarsson and Linden Higgins were part of a team that cracked open a complex puzzle in the largest-ever investigation of spider silk genes.

  • Sea Stars

    Sea Stars Under Threat

    So much is still unknown about a disease that is devastating regional sea star populations. UVM assistant biology professor Melissa Pespeni and Melanie Lloyd ’08 are looking for answers.

  • Ellen Martinsen

    Discovering Malaria in White-Tailed Deer

    Ellen Martinsen G’09, was collecting mosquitoes at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, looking for malaria that might infect birds—when she discovered something strange.

The Department of Biology is composed of award-winning faculty, stimulating coursework, and inspired students who are training to answer some of our world's biggest questions. We know that hands-on experience is the key to learning, so our department is devoted to providing interactive opportunities to apply coursework to real-life, real-time problems. 

Faculty in the department are all active researchers, funded by major grants from the NSF, NIH, and other agencies. They publish in top journals, and enjoy international reputations. They bring this deep scholarship and productive research efforts into the undergraduate classroom, providing courses from the introductory to advanced level that engage and challenge students and promote critical thinking skills. 

Undergraduate Experience: Diverse and Rigorous

As an undergraduate in biology, you'll experience small class sizes that promote close collaborations with faculty, a rare combination in a university setting. We offer a variety of programs including biology, zoology, and environmental science, along with a myriad of electives that allow you to customize your major.

Graduate Experience: Linking Research and Education

Working in the lab

Our graduate students are mentored by world-class scientists with dynamic research groups. Faculty and students regularly present research at national and international conferences and publish original research in the best international journals. Learn about graduate education in biology.

On the Cutting Edge

Our scientists are working hard to address many of today's most pressing challenges, including human degenerative diseases, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and biodiversity losses from climate change. UVM is a nationally-recognized research institution—as a student in the biology department, you’ll work shoulder to shoulder with renowned scholars doing important research that has real-world applications.

After UVM: As a Biology Graduate

Taking notes in the research lab

"What can I do with a major from the biology department?" The quick answer is: "What can't you do?" Our majors assure that a student receives a broad, general, modern, rigorous education which prepares a student for an enormous range of careers. Our graduates enter excellent medical, dental, and veterinary schools, graduate programs and law schools. They also launch careers in business, university research and government. Explore careers and outcomes.

What sets UVM biology apart?

  • We provide small-enrollment classes from the start, which is highly unusual for larger universities.
  • All courses, from introductory biology to advanced, are taught by faculty with the Ph.D. degree and many years of scientific research and teaching experience.
  • Our courses are dynamic: biology is growing (and changing!) at an ever-increasing rate. We update our classes each semester to bring the most recent, exciting findings into lectures.
  • As a UVM student, you have a passport to natural areas surrounding the city of Burlington that serve as living-research laboratories. Being a short drive away from field sites in wetlands, ponds, streams, and secondary-growth forests makes UVM an amazing place to study life sciences.