The Bachelor Degree in Zoology

Christa Schwintzer, Coordinator
christas@maine.edu
310 Deering Hall
(207) 581-3115
Trish Costello, Contact Person
teresa.costello@umit.maine.edu
5751 Murray Hall
(207) 581-2540

Zoology is the study of all aspects of the biology of animals, including human beings and the many vertebrate and invertebrate animal species that populate the earth. Zoology majors study how animals function at the cellular, tissue, organ, and organismal levels, how they have evolved, how they contribute to biodiversity, and how they interact with each other and with their physical environment. The study of zoology includes not only learning what is currently known about animals but also learning how to do research to increase our basic knowledge about animals and to solve problems in many fields including medicine, agriculture, and ecology. Students with a degree in zoology can pursue a variety of careers in human and veterinary medicine, scientific research and development, education, environmental monitoring and regulation, and private design and consulting.

Students choose between a BS or BA degree. Both the BS and BA degrees provide a strong background in the biology of animals, but the BS degree requires more math, chemistry, and physics and is pursued by most of our students. The BS program prepares students for a career in the health professions, graduate study in zoology, or a career that requires a higher level of technical skill. In contrast, the BA degree has a stronger focus on the social sciences and humanities and is particularly well suited for students pursuing a double major or seeking an international perspective.

Students pursuing a BS in Zoology can declare a concentration in Pre-Medical Studies and students pursuing a BA or a BS in Zoology can declare a concentration in Ecology. Students in both degrees may also declare a minor in Neuroscience.

The Zoology curriculum offers a wide range of choice.

The program is solidly grounded in the basic sciences (general biology, chemistry, math, and physics) needed to understand the latest research in the biology of animals. It also allows a wide range of choice in upper level animal biology courses permitting students to tailor their degrees to their particular interests within zoology. Students choose from a large number of upper level courses taught by distinguished faculty who are accomplished teachers and have cutting edge research programs. The courses include 50 taught by biology faculty and an additional 22 taught by faculty in related disciplines (biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, plant science, animal science, marine science and wildlife ecology). Each student works with an academic adviser in the faculty to develop a curriculum that best meets the student’s goals and allows for exploration or specialization as desired.

Students have many opportunities for research. Students interested in research have many opportunities to participate in important investigations in faculty research laboratories or in the field. This can be for academic credit or for employment during the academic year or the summer and is an important resume builder. Students in their third and fourth years of study who intend to pursue graduate studies are strongly encouraged to include independent research under the guidance of a member of the biology faculty in their program.

Special opportunity. The Schoodic Experience for incoming first year students takes place at the Schoodic Research and Education Center in Acadia National Park in the week before classes start. Incoming students meet their faculty advisors and each other, are introduced to the academic program, view animals and plants in a variety of habitats, and enjoy recreational time in a beautiful setting.

Specific Program Requirements

Program Goals and Objectives

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