Biological Sciences

The Department of Biological Sciences develops critical thinkers by engaging students in active learning, individual research experiences, and interdisciplinary collaborations. The department offers degrees in biology, microbiology, and neuroscience. Additionally, students may choose a specialization in ecology and conservation biology, forensic biology, marine and aquatic biology, or pre-health biology. Our research and teaching encompass both fundamental basic science and targeted efforts to address societal challenges, including those of medical and environmental relevance.

The mission of the department is four-fold:

  • Providing high-quality undergraduate and graduate student instruction and training
  • Conducting biological research of national and international significance
  • Providing professional leadership to national and international scientific communities
  • Aiding society through public outreach, education and applied research, embracing our mission as a public university for the public good

Are pollinators sensitive to climate change, urbanization?

We don’t have to be farmers or gardeners to know that pollinators are key to some of the most essential foods that we eat. Bees, along with birds, bats and other insects, transport pollen from one flower to another, helping to form the seeds and fruits that we enjoy eating.
At Bowling Green State University, the lab of Dr. Kevin McCluney,  associate professor of biological sciences, is looking at the lives of bees. A grant from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture provides the funding to research how bees are impacted by climate change and urbanization. Read More

Novel virus leads researchers closer to cause of Toledo water crisis

A 2019 study by Bowling Green State University researchers discovered a novel virus that could substantiate a hypothesis that viral infections led to a toxin release in the 2014 Toledo water crisis. Katelyn McKindles, a doctoral student in biology and the lead author of a recently published paper about the discovery, said they found a new cyanophage, viruses that infect blue-green algae, which could be linked to toxic algal blooms. Read More

BGSU researchers join DeWine's H2Ohio water quality initiative

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative, a comprehensive, data-driven approach to improving Ohio’s water quality, has enlisted the Lake Erie and Aquatic Research Network (LEARN)  to partner with ODNR on the H2Ohio Initiative’s wetland monitoring plan. The group will assess the effectiveness and future role of implemented and planned wetland restoration projects under the H2Ohio Initiative. A team of Bowling Green State University scientists is part of the multi-organizational effort to help monitor wetlands in the state. Read More

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in Biology are expected to be able to:

  • Understand the basic principles of living systems at the molecular, cellular, and organismal level and how these principles are unified through evolution;
  • Understand the nature, methods of acquiring, and limitations of scientific evidence and be able to participate in the process of scientific inquiry;
  • Value the importance of living systems, Natural Science in general, and specifically biological science, basic research, and scientific thinking to society;
  • Communicate scientific information and reasoning in writing, orally, and in other presentation formats;
  • Apply and extrapolate biological science knowledge and skills to address local/global needs and problems.
Upon completion of the M.S. degree, students in the Biological Sciences are expected to be able to:
  • Demonstrate a command of fundamental principles of biology;
  • Evaluate and critique biology-oriented science, social and ethical issues;
  • Effectively relate scientific concepts in both oral and written formats.
Upon completion of the M.S. and Ph.D. degree, research (Plan 1) students in the Biological Sciences are expected to be able to:
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the research literature in their area of expertise;
  • Integrate research methodologies and experimental strategies to develop a Master's Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation;
  • Doctoral students will also develop a manuscript suitable for peer-reviewed publication in a professional journal.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Biology program will undergo its next Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2019-20.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Biology program does not lead to professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)     
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Biology program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.


  • Marine and Aquatic Biology
  • Ecology and Conservation Biology
  • Forensic Biology