Why Study Biology at IU Southeast?

Graduate success defines the biology program. How do we know we have been successful? Assessment of graduating biology students recently showed 94% of students demonstrated a broad understanding of biology that was Excellent or Very Good. A recent survey of graduating students showed 93% of students believe their understanding of biology was Excellent or Very Good.

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Graduate success defines the biology program.  How do we know we have been successful?  Assessment of graduating biology students recently showed 94% of students demonstrated a broad understanding of biology that was Excellent or Very Good.  A recent survey of graduating students showed 93% of students believe their understanding of biology was Excellent or Very Good.  The five year average of students who have graduate showed 19% went to professional school, 13% were accepted into graduate school, and 21% directly obtained jobs in science.  Note that the 32% who attended professional or graduate school which is above the national averages of 29%.  Our allied health students also have been highly success obtaining jobs using their degrees.

Why are students successful?  It is because the upper level biology and allied health classes and labs have small class sizes and are taught by award winning full-time faculty.  Each degree includes relevant course work, for example, the biology major includes 11 biology courses, most with laboratories, that cover 8 core areas.  The department has high quality and current laboratory equipment that gives students the opportunity to use the same equipment and techniques used in commercial and research laboratories.  The tenure-track faculty members are Ph.D. researchers, are members of the Indiana University Graduate School, and are up-to-date in their fields.  We provide opportunities for our students do research as part of our faculty research programs in a wide variety of specialties.  The faculty are also available to help student focus on their career goals.

Biology is the science that studies life. It is multidisciplinary because it includes many different fields, ranging from cell biology and genetics to evolution, plant science and ecology. Some careers are applied, using biological knowledge to address problems in society and industry, while others are in research, advancing knowledge to produce new solutions.

Special Features

The biology program has highly successful graduates due to the small class sizes and outstanding, state-of-the-art facilities. Numerous additional opportunities exist for students as laboratory assistants, who aid in preparation of laboratory classes, research assistants, who work with professors doing basic research, and internships with local employers.

Bachelor of Science in Biology

The B.S. in Biology degree provides acknowledgment to the stronger background in science and math and will better prepare students for research-oriented careers as professional biologists and medical professionals. The degree may also serve as a terminal degree for a variety of biology professions.

Bachelor of Arts in Biology

The liberal arts track and biology core curriculum expose the student to major subject areas in biology while providing considerable flexibility for each student. For example, minimal mathematics and chemistry requirements allow students to develop minor subject areas or a second major in another science area or in an outside field such as education, journalism, or business. This degree is suitable for students who may apply for admission into law school or for those who seek employment in business, environmental studies, teaching, or industry. The B.A. liberal arts degree described above will not automatically fulfill requirements for entrance into medical, dental, optometry, medical technology, other allied health programs, or most graduate school programs. Students desiring eventual admission into a professional program or laboratory related fields should follow the B.S. in Biology degree program.

Minors in Biological Sciences

The Biology Departments offers three minors in Biological Sciences.  Both the Microbiology Minor and the Plant Science Minor are options for majors and non-majors.  The Biology Minor may be completed by non-biology majors only.

Bachelor of Arts in Biology & Chemistry (Double Major)

This program is recommended for pre-professional students such as pre-medical and pre-dental students who have a strong interest in both biology and chemistry.

Certificate in Environmental Science

This 25 credit hour program prepares science majors or graduates for employment in the environmental field. It provides skills such as field collecting, water sampling, report and scientific writing, soil sampling, regulatory policies, chemical and analytical methods, and research methods. Students must be in a degree program in the natural sciences including biology, chemistry, geoscience, or physics OR having completed a BA or BS degree. Once admitted, the student should remediate any prerequisites (listed below). Some of these can be taken simultaneously with the required courses.

Biologists have the best jobs in the world, according to the Jobs Rated Almanac (Les Krantz, editor). When ranked among 250 other occupations, biologists came out #1. As a biologist, be prepared to enjoy:

  • high income (average $92,000/year)
  • low stress
  • low physical demands
  • high potential growth
  • high job security
  • a pleasant work environment.

If you chose a career in biology, you made the right choice! Biology provides fascinating and satisfying work for the individual seeking discovery and knowledge of his or her world. Furthermore, biology remains one of the strongest areas for employment and can lead, with further education, to high paying careers. A biology degree can open the door to opportunities in environmental or laboratory-based sciences, or provide the necessary credentials to succeed in professional and graduate school. College graduates with a four-year degree are directly employed in many fields, such as:

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Science
  • Laboratory Technology

Professional opportunities include:

  • Medical Doctor
  • Veterinarian
  • Dentist
  • Optometrist
  • Ph.D. Biologist or Researcher

Job Opportunities for Undergraduates

The Courier Journal Classifieds offer a great Internet resource for finding local work opportunities. For those looking for possible career options, you may find it beneficial to visit Monster.com and other related web sites.

LAB SUPPORT has hired many of our undergraduate biology majors in the past for work as lab assistants. Students have the opportunity to work full-time, primarily during a night shift, for a four month period. After this time, the Laboratory Corporation of America may offer a permanent employment position, or the student may choose to continue work at Lab Support or return to school. Contact Lab Support at (502) 851-1706 for more information about employment. The Cincinnati/Dayton office can be reached at (513) 241-4555. The Columbus office can be reached at (614) 438-2631.

TECHNICAL ASSOCIATES, INC. is a recruitment agency based in the Shelbyville, KY area. This company specializes in helping staff laboratories with qualified biologists, chemists, and industrial lab technicians. Technical Associates, Inc can recommend the undergraduate or recent graduate to laboratories in the Ohio Valley area, providing short-term employment opportunities or permanent positions. Industrial lab technicians need not have a degree, but must have exposure to college level chemistry and good written and verbal communication skills. Recent graduates that seek to apply should have a B.S. or B.A. degree and 0-1 years experience. Skills in lab technique and instrumentation are required. Technical Associates, Inc can help provide the essential work experience that may lead to a career in research or other scientific fields. Technical Associates, Inc is located at 18 Village Plaza, PMB 179, Shelbyville, KY 40065. Call (502) 664-8324 or fax (502) 647-9108. They can also be reached by email at chemplacement@aol.com.

Academic Advising

All students who have been admitted to IU Southeast and declare their major in Biology will be advised through the School of Natural Sciences. First year students are required to meet with a Professional Advisor once during their first academic year. 

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with an advisor to review academic requirements, discuss prospective courses, and consider how those courses fit into the overall academic and career plan.

To schedule an appointment with one of the Biology Professional Advisors, please call the Natural Science Advising Office at (812) 941-2184.

Faculty Advising

In addition to meeting regularly with a Professional Academic Advisor, it is recommended that students meet with a Faculty Advisor during the Junior and Senior years. 

Dr. Kent Edmonds (Pre-Medical & General Pre-Professional)

Dr. Jan Fleischer (Pre-Medical & General Pre-Professional)

Dr. Gretchen Kirchner (Pre-Vet)

Dr. David Taylor (Graduating biology majors and all other advising purposes)

Dr. Michele Zimmerman (Pre-Allied Health & Pre-Pharmacy)

Recommended Preparation for a Major in Biology

  • General Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Other Science Courses
  • Mathematics through Pre-Calculus
  • Rigorous courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences


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Omar Attum
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2634
Office Location: LF 306
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Pamela Connerly
Tenured Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2131
Office Location: LF 304
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Douglas Darnowski
Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2657
Office Location: LF 318
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Kent E. Edmonds
Professor of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2376
Office Location: LF 308
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Gail Emmert
Academic Laboratory Coordinator
Phone: (812) 941-2185
Office Location: LF 320
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Randy Hunt
Professor of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2380
Office Location: LF 322
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Sandra Johnson
Senior Lecturer of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2078
Office Location: LF 302
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Gretchen Kirchner
Professor of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2635
Office Location: LF 312
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Beth Rueschhoff
Assistant Professor of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2027
Office Location: LF 316
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David Winship Taylor
Professor of Biology
Curator of Herbarium
Head of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2377
Office Location: LF 314
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David Treves
Associate Professor of Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2129
Office Location: LF 310
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Michele Zimmerman
Senior Lecturer of Biology
Coordinator of Allied Health Programs
Phone: (812) 941-2192
Office Location: LF 324
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Susan Reigler
Visiting Lecturer of Biology
Research Associate in Biology
Phone: (812) 941-2016
Office Location: LF 305A
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Suparna Mukhopadhyay
Adjunct Lecturer of Biology
Research Associate in Biology
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Staci Nole-Wilson
Adjunct Lecturer of Biology
Research Associate in Biology
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Benita Sabie
Adjunct Lecturer of Anatomy and Physiology
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Teddie Phillipson-Mower
Adjunct Lecturer of Biology
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Caroline Doyle
Adjunct Lecturer of Physiology
Office Location: LF 258
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The School of Natural Sciences offers a wide range of biology courses to provide the best and most complete education possible.

William B. Hebard Memorial Scholarship

Estimated Amount: Varies
Criteria: Outstanding junior or senior majoring in biology. GPA criterion for selection.

  • IU Southeast Scholarship Application
  • Essay
Renewal Criteria: Application not required
Applicant Contact: Office of Student Financial Assistance

Bill Forsyth Memorial Scholarship

Estimated Amount: up to $1500
Must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, with senior standing. Minimum GPA of 3.5. Preference given to pre-professional students (graduate school, pre-dental, pre-medical or pre-veterinary). Must be majoring in biology-no double majors. Preference to students with undergraduate research or laboratory teaching experience.
Renewal Criteria: Application not required
Applicant Contact: School of Natural Sciences

Donald W. Volmer Scholarship

Estimated Amount: up to $1000
Criteria: Part-time or full-time outstanding, upperclass, undergraduate biology student at IU Southeast.
Renewal Criteria: Application not required
Applicant Contact: School of Natural Sciences

Erin Elzy Scholarship

Estimated Amount: up to $1500
Criteria: Biology major with need, as measured by the FAFSA.
Renewal Criteria: Must reapply
Applicant Contact: School of Natural Sciences

James Y. McCullough

Estimated Amount: Varies
Criteria: Graduate fellowship to outstanding graduates in biology or chemistry from IU Southeast who choose to pursue graduate study in biochemistry or molecular genetics at Indiana University.

  • IU Southeast Scholarship Application
Renewal Criteria: Must reapply
Applicant Contact: School of Natural Sciences

J. J. Barr Scholarship

Estimated Amount: $5,000
Criteria: Recipients must study or major in biology, business chemistry, environmental field, public water supply or other related programs; must be college senior/others for master's degree study, graduate students/others for doctoral degree study, doctoral student.
Renewal Criteria: Must reapply
Applicant Contact: Princeton Review

Students in the Biology Program gain valuable technological skills that are valued by employers and provide an advantage to those who pursue graduate and professional degrees. Innovative teaching approaches such as individual and group research projects are encouraged and facilitated by our modern classrooms and research laboratories.

Teaching and research equipment used for genetics, molecular and cell biology labs include:

  • PCR Thermal Cyclers
  • Real Time PCR
  • Electrophoresis
  • Darkroom and X-ray Developing Facilities
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Level II Hoods
  • Florescent Microscopes
  • Inverted Microscopes

Development and anatomy labs include:

  • Downdraft Hoods for Dissections
  • Light Microscopes mounted with Digital Cameras

Shared and core equipment include:

  • Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscopes
  • Autoclaves
  • -70°C Freezers
  • -130°C Freezers
  • Walk-In Growth Chambers
  • Centrifuges

Students enrolled in ecology and conservation biology courses gain experience using radio telemetry and camera traps that are integrated with advanced GPS and mapping technologies to study wildlife.