7 reasons ‘the life science’ might be right for you
About 600 students are pursuing NIU undergraduate degrees in biology, which has long been among the university’s most popular areas of study – for more reasons than we could possibly count here.
But we certainly can hit some of the highlights.
Here are 7 reasons a biology major might be a great fit for you.
Biology is downright fascinating
Plants, animals, people. DNA sequences, biotechnology, bioinformatics. It’s hard not to be excited by the study of life in all its forms—and we live in a day and age when some of the world’s most exciting discoveries and innovations are happening in the field of biology.
One (hyphenated) word: Pre-med
One of the first questions many prospective students ask is: “Does NIU have a pre-med program?” The answer is yes. Roughly 30 percent of biological sciences majors are interested in going on to professional schools specializing in such areas as medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary science. An undergraduate biology degree is a great start, and NIU’s Biomedical Science program will provide curriculum related to pre-professional health majors.
(Added bonus: NIU and the University of Illinois at Chicago have an agreement that guarantees admission of talented NIU students into the prestigious UIC College of Pharmacy.)
Cool research opportunities
Developing new antibiotics. Restoring a native Illinois prairie. Investigating cancer biology and potential new therapies. NIU students often work with professors on such research projects and even develop their own lines of research under faculty supervision. At NIU, you could have opportunities to participate in biology research in a wide variety of areas that also include molecular virology, evolutionary ecology, genomics and bioinformatics.
The Department of Biological Sciences boasts award-winning educators with a diverse mix of interests. While working to fight disease, stop extinctions, improve crops and save the environment, they take our students along for the ride of their lives, never losing sight of NIU’s top priority: student career success.
We know internships lead to student career success, and opportunities abound—typically more than we can fill. One-third of our biology majors or more choose to take advantage of internships. They include learning experiences at hospitals, veterinary clinics, national parks, county forest preserves and companies such as Baxter, Monsanto, Abbott Laboratories and Eli Lilly.
Student career success
Our students’ successes speak for themselves. Here’s a sampling of what recent graduates of our program are doing now.
- Emily Virgin - pursuing a Ph.D. at Utah State.
- Therese Millet -veterinary school, University of Illinois
- Kolver Matos - dental school, Marquette University
- Alicia Jones - pharmacy school, Midwestern University
- Manas Chug - dental school, University of Michigan
- Haley Blackburn - pharmacy school, University of Illinois Chicago
- Steve Szlembarski - medical school, Midwestern University
- Casey LaBarbera - dental school, Marquette University
- Will Widick - veterinary school, University of Illinois
- Hannah Savage – Ph.D. program, University of Texas
- Matt Schnizlein – Ph.D. program, University of Michigan
- Rajpal Kullar - pharmacy school, University of Illinois Chicago
Interested in learning more about biology at NIU? Visit the Department of Biological Sciences .