The Biology Department at Augsburg College focuses on teaching students the core principles of biology while providing courses in a wide variety of biology sub-disciplines. These courses, combined with opportunities for research, give students the tools with which to better understand, analyze and interpret the ever evolving field of biology and provide students the background to enter graduate and professional programs.
A Biological Revolution
We are in the midst of a revolution in biology. From the unraveling of information locked within the human and other genomes to the complexities of interactions between organisms in diverse ecosystems in changing environments, biologists and members of the public are grappling with an almost overwhelming flood of new information. By focusing on the core principles of biology, students are given the tools with which to interpret results coming out of the revolution, and by early exposure to original independent research projects, given the opportunity to themselves contribute to our understanding of the natural world. Integration across biological sub-disciplines is emphasized, paralleling the integration taking place in the maturing field of systems biology. As biological phenomena become amenable to the analytical tools of chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science, biology is increasingly a multidisciplinary venture. Thus, a firm background in these sciences is also important for the successful study of biology. Biological forces have many profound effects on society, and in turn humanity has strongly affected our biosphere. Thus, service-learning opportunities are tightly integrated within the curriculum.
Augsburg has a strong commitment to undergraduate research. There are a variety of opportunities in the Biology Department to work with faculty on individual research projects both during the academic year as well as during the summer. Students at Augsburg also participate in research programs at other institutions.
For many, an undergraduate major in biology serves as a springboard for further study. Augsburg graduates have gone on to graduate studies in the life sciences, leading to careers in college or university teaching, basic and applied research, and public health. Many have entered professional programs in medicine, veterinary medicine, and dentistry. Other graduates have gone directly into secondary education, biomedical and biotechnology industries, laboratory research, natural resources, and environmental education.
- There are currently over 200 majors and minors in biology
- The ten-year average of biology majors reveals that more than 60% have continued on in graduate or professional programs (plant biology, neuroscience, immunology, cell biology, environmental science, medical school, PA, PT, dental, nursing)
- The department includes seven full-time faculty and another three full-time equivalents covered by adjunct instructors.
- Four biology faculty are heavily involved with year-round research efforts working with collaborators at the University of Minnesota.
- Each biology major takes nine courses in biology along with 4-8 supporting courses in chemistry, mathematics and physics. All of these courses include labs.
- The biology department offers or shares in offering five courses in the general education or service to other majors such as Environmental Studies, Social Work, Education, Music Therapy and Physical Therapy.