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Biology Degree

Program Offerings

• Bachelor of science degree in Biology
• Accelerated Master of science in Biomedical Engineering (earn your bachelor’s in BIOL and master’s in BME in five years)
• Master of science degree in Biomedical Engineering
• Doctor of philosophy degree in Biomedical Engineering
• Minors in Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Science

What is Biology?

The biology program combines basic biological science with strong background in chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, cell and molecular biology, physics, and mathematics. The program incorporates fundamental biology and chemistry courses with emerging technologies, such as recombinant DNA technology, microbial genetics, biochemistry, and bioinformatics. Students will be taught to think critically and will be equipped to apply biological principles to solver real world problems.

The biology degree offers various areas of emphasis and can be tailored to fit your career goals. Areas of emphasis include:

1) Pre-professional studies (pre-med, pre-vet, pre-dentistry, etc)
2) Molecular biology
3) Environmental Science
4) Pre-biomedical engineering.

What does a biologist do?

Many biology graduates pursue graduate study in a variety of areas including biomedical science and medicine, dentistry, immunology, biomedical engineering, pharmaceutical science, genomics, atmospheric and environmental science, nanoscience, forensics, and medical research. Biology graduates also enter the workforce in biotechnical and medical industries, governmental agencies, research labs, patent offices, environmental agencies, biological sales, and many other cross-disciplinary careers.

First-Year Courses

General chemistry
General biology
Intro to Applied Biological Sciences

Course Curriculum

Link to Catalog

Internships and Co-ops

77% of Mines students gain real-world experience through paid internships, co-ops and research. Biology students enjoy internships with such businesses as:
• Sanford Medical Research
• Rapid City Regional Health
• Department of Energy
• Center for Community and Pediatric Research Avera-McKennon
• Game, Fish and Parks
• Avera
• Sanford Health
• South Dakota Department of Health
• Oak Ridge National Laboratory
• US Department of Defense
• Evidence section of the Rapid City Police Department

Career Outlook

The average starting salary of Mines 2017-18 biology graduates was $60,000, but graduates use their degree to launch into a professional healthcare program or graduate program. Graduates have been accepted into many reputable programs including Mayo Clinic Graduate Research Program, Mayo Medical School, Immunology Research Program at University of Alabama School of Medicine, Sanford School of Medicine, SD Mines Biomedical Engineering or Nanoengineering, Regenerative Medicine Utrecht (Netherlands), USD Public Health, and Des Moines University of Osteopathic Medicine. The job placement rate for 2017-18 biology graduates was 94 percent.


• Medicine
• Pharmacy
• Medical research
• Biomedical engineer
• Patent law
• Environmental health
• Genetics
• Radiology
• Forensics
• Epidemiology/public health


Biology graduates from SD Mines have gone on to work for organizations such as:
National Institutes of Health
US Food & Drug Administration
Environmental Protection Agency
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Regional Health
Sanford Health
Avera Health
US Patent Office
Nalco Water

Biology Research

Faculty in the Department of Chemistry, Biology, and Health Sciences conduct basic and applied research in diverse areas of chemistry and biology. Opportunities for research with collaborative partners and other University departments continue to expand. Participation in research is strongly encouraged at the undergraduate level. Current research projects include:

• Environmental Planning and Management
• Antibiotic resistance in bacteria in Rapid Creek
• Parasitology
• Extremophilic bioprocessing
• Uranium Biotransformation
• Human Telomere Biology and Cancer
• DNA Structure and Function/Neurodegenerative Disease
• Other Collaborative Projects with community partners




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