As a University of Mary Washington biology major, you might collect samples on the Rappahannock River one day then contribute to a class discussion on ecology the next. Our biology major goes beyond molecules and microscopes, feeding your curiosity about living things, fostering the scientific process, and challenging you to find fresh approaches to research.

Areas of Study

Course offerings include human biology, organism function and diversity, botany, chordate anatomy, plant ecology, animal ecology, entomology, histology, genetics, nutrition and metabolism, microbiology, parasitology, animal behavior, neurobiology, endocrinology, vertebrate zoology, ornithology, virology, the biology of cancer, and more.


UMW Biology majors may qualify for paid internships through the Commonwealth STEM Industry Internship Program. The Department of Biology helps students learn about and apply for internships in the fields of research, medicine, zoology, botany, and ecology. Students also may find internships with museums in the Fredericksburg area or nearby Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

The biology program at UMW was the perfect stepping-stone on my way to veterinary school. The professors and other faculty were so encouraging to me and my peers, and having small classes where I could know them personally made that relationship all the more meaningful. I got a solid education and felt very prepared for my entrance into a professional school.

– Alexis Pennings ’14, student, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine


To receive honors in biology, you must have a 3.0 grade-point average overall and 3.25 in the major. You’ll complete a research project, write an honors thesis, and deliver an oral presentation to department faculty.

Major Requirements

The biology major requires 40 credits including five required courses, a required senior seminar, one course designated research-intensive, and one additional upper-level course with a laboratory component.

Minor Requirements

The minor in biology requires 22 credits in core and elective biology courses. You’ll take at least three 300- to 400-level biology courses, two with a laboratory component.


The Department of Biology presents several scholarships and awards annually to outstanding biology majors

Program taught in:
  • English
University of Mary Washington

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Last updated August 14, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2019
4 years
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Sep 2019
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Sep 2019

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