The Department of Ecology offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, which may be earned in one of four options:
- Biology Teaching
- Conservation Biology & Ecology
- Fish & Wildlife Ecology & Management
- Organismal Biology
The Department of Ecology does not offer online degrees at this time.
Read about other biology-related undergraduate degrees offered at MSU in the undergraduate catalog.
The Biology Teaching option in the Biological Sciences major is designed for students who wish to become licensed to teach Biology in grades 5-12. Upon completion of the degree, students are eligible for licensure in the state of Montana. Secondary education students are encouraged to pursue a teaching minor in an additional content area and should contact an advisor for details. Obtaining a teaching minor will require more than eight semesters. For more information on admission to the Teacher Education Program, Student Teaching, Licensure, Professional Expectations and more, please visit: The Teacher Education Page
The Biology Teaching Option includes 40 credits of Biology (28-30 credits of basic biology courses, plus 11-12 biology elective credits), supporting Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics courses, 18 credits in the university Core 2.0, 24 credits of professional preparation, and Student Teaching. Biology electives must include 8 credits of advisor-approved upper division credits in biological sciences.
The primary goal of the Conservation Biology and Ecology option is to give students a clear understanding of the ways that natural and human-related processes affect biological diversity and relate this knowledge to its broad societal context. The program of study for the Conservation Biology & Ecology option will (1) train students broadly and comprehensively in ecology and conservation biology, (2) provide extensive coursework in the scientific method and statistical analysis, and (3) be highly interdisciplinary, reflecting the broad scope of conservation biology. The curriculum provides strong qualifications for graduate school, which is required for careers in conservation biology and ecology. Read more about the Conservation Biology and Ecology Program.
The option in Fish and Wildlife Management is a professional degree program offered for those students who have an interest in employment in these fields. Study leading toward a bachelor's degree emphasizes basic principles of animal ecology, with considerable work in related fields. Students graduating with a bachelor's degree may be qualified for entry-level positions in natural resources management. However, the four-year option primarily provides prospective fish and wildlife biologists adequate background for applying to graduate programs, required for most professional positions. Read more about the Fish and Wildlife Management Program.
The Organismal Biology option provides a rigorous program of study in plant or animal biology at the whole-organism, species, population, and community levels, while allowing students the greatest flexibility in selecting those biology courses which best meet their interests and objectives. It accomplishes this by requiring students to select 20 required credits in biology in consultation with their advisor to achieve a personal curriculum. In addition, students can use the elective credits to develop strength in a second area which may enhance their prospects of gaining employment with a bachelor's degree or their prospects of acceptance into specialized graduate programs. Most professional positions in biology require completion of one or more graduate degrees, and the Organismal Biology Option is excellent preparation for graduate studies.