Department Chair: Dr. Andre DeLorme,, (701) 845-7573
Faculty Contact: Dr. Andre DeLorme,, (701) 845-7573
Department Office: 203 Rhoades Science Center, (701) 845-7452
Schedule a Visit:, (701) 845-7101 or (800) 532-8641, ext. 7101


The Biology major is designed to give you a broad preparation and experience for a variety of biology-related fields. We also have an emphasis in preparing you for professional schools and graduate work. Opportunities that are not part of any regular program exist on and off campus to provide sound practical experience, such as student assistants, research experiences in our research labs, participation in the campus-tutoring programs, field studies, and biological travel tours. Internships at numerous facilities (such as Northern Prairie Research Center, Mercy Hospital, and the Fish Hatchery) are  available to you to develop and apply your skills. Classes involve field study in local areas such as the Fish Hatchery, Lake Ashtabula, and the Sheyenne River Valley. 

There are well equipped research labs and you are encouraged to be involved in research. VCSU prepares you by educating you with hands on opportunities that are usually reserved for graduate students. You have the chance to run the planetarium, conduct research, and gather samples. Students travel to regional and national scientific meetings to present on their current research. All faculty members in the program have earned their Ph.D. Several have research grants and research labs which they run with the assistance of VCSU students.


You are invited to join the VCSU Pre-Professional Club upon arrival as VCSU. This club is for students interested in continuing their education in graduate school or professional programs such as medical school, physical therapy, chiropractic, optometry, and dentistry. This club provides support for students going through the application process and provide opportunities to practice aptitude tests such as the GRE, mCAT, LSAT, and DAT. For those that enjoy outdoor activities there is the Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation club which organizes trips and fundraisers. There is also the opportunity to participate is such activities as choir, band, theatre, and intramural athletics.

Practical Experience

The Rhoades Science Center includes  a greenhouse  for work in biology and botany, a planetarium and laboratories for biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, computer science, and photography studies. Students have access to:

  • Fully equipped Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Laboratory and Biomedical Research Laboratory
  • Weather stations
  • River gauge station
  • Fish hatchery
  • The dam and reservoir at Lake Ashtabula
  • The Soil Conservation Service
  • North Dakota State Extension Service
  • Biology faculty have ongoing connections with North Dakota Department of Health, N.D. Parks and Recreation, Northern Prairie
  • Wildlife Research Center, and the US Army Corps of engineers and with faculty involved in graduate programs at UND and NDSU

“VCSU’s science department is amazing. I feel blessed to have all these fantastic teachers who come with real world experience under their belts. When I ask them a question, they are always so knowledgeable and willing to help you out. Alongside the awesome faculty, the classes take you out on outdoor experiences that help you further not only your knowledge but the experience that employers are looking for.”  —Michaela Halvorson, Milnor, N.D.

General Education Requirements

English Composition
Select one of the following:6
College Composition I
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition II
Introduction to Professional Writing
College Composition III
Speech Communication
Select one of the following:3
Fundamentals of Public Speaking
Interpersonal Communication
Intercultural Communication
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Elementary Statistics
Lab Science
Select two of the following:8
Concepts of Biology
General Biology I
General Biology II
General Zoology
Introductory Chemistry
Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry 1
General Chemistry I 1
General Chemistry II
Introduction to Earth Science
The Earth Through Time
Concepts of Physics
Introductory Astronomy
Introductory College Physics I
Introductory College Physics II
University Physics I
University Physics II
Introduction to Psychology Lab (Corequisite: PSYC 111 Introduction to Psychology) 2
Technology, Engineering, and Design
HPER 100Concepts of Fitness and Wellness2
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Computer Information Systems
Introduction to Programming in Java
Introduction to Structured Programming I
Discovering Computing
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Film
World Literature I
World Literature II
American Literature I
American Literature II
Civilization, Thought, and Literary Heritage
Ethics and Philosophy of Science
1st Year Spanish I
1st Year Spanish II
2nd Year Spanish I
2nd Year Spanish II
Introduction to Theatre Arts
Acting One
Art and Music
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to the Visual Arts
Fine Arts and Aesthetics
Music Appreciation
Music Fundamentals
World Music
History of Rock and Roll
Social Science
Select two of the following:6
Understanding Media and Social Change
Human Communication
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Human Geography
United States to 1877
United States to Present
World Civilizations to 1500
World Civilizations since 1500
Environmental History
Native American Studies
American National Government
State and Local Government
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
Additional Humanities or Social Science
Select one additional course from Humanities or Social Science or select from the following:2
Drawing I
Ceramics I
Survey of Geography
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Group Piano for Non-Majors
Concert Choir
Athletic Band
Concert Band
Planetarium Science
Theatre Practicum
Total Credits39

Major Requirement

Required Courses
BIOL 150General Biology I4
BIOL 151General Biology II4
BIOL 170General Zoology4
BIOL 311Botany4
BIOL 315Genetics4
BIOL 310Microbiology4
or BIOL 441 Cell Biology
BIOL 410Field Ecology4
or BIOL 470 Limnology
BIOL 491Integrated Science Capstone2
Directed Electives
Select twelve hours from the following:12
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
Environmental History
North Dakota Flora
Research Methods
Aquatic Entomology
Environmental Contaminants
Conservation Biology
Yellowstone Ecology
Human Sexuality
Laboratory Preparation and Management
Field Ecology
Restoration and Plant Ecology
Biostatistics and Experimental Design
Cell Biology
Independent Study
Independent Study
Independent Study
Undergraduate Research
Special Topics
Special Topics
Special Topics
Special Topics
Soil Science and Survey
Total Credits42

Total General Education 39-41 Hrs
Total Major Requirement 42 Hrs
Total Credits Needed to Graduate 120 Hrs

For degree and graduation requirements, visit degree requirements and graduation requirements.

Plan of Study 

First Year
BIOL 1504BIOL 1514
CHEM 121 (Gen Ed)5CHEM 116 (Gen Ed)4
CIS 170 (Gen Ed)3COMM 110 (Gen Ed)3
ENGL 110 (Gen Ed)3ENGL 125 (Gen Ed)3
UNIV 1501 
 16 14
Second Year
Art & Music (Gen Ed)3BIOL 1704
BIOL 3114BIOL 3154
HPER 100 (Gen Ed)2Elective3
MATH 103 (Gen Ed)3Literacies (Gen Ed)3
Minor course4 
 16 14
Third Year
Additional Humanities or Social Science (Gen Ed)2BIOL 315 or 4414
Biology Directed Elective4Elective4
Elective2Minor Course4
Minor course4Social Science (Gen Ed) 3
Social Science (Gen Ed) 3 
 15 15
Fourth Year
Biology directed elective4Biology directed elective4
BIOL 410 or 4704Elective3
BIOL 4912Minor course4
Minor course4Minor course4
 14 15
Total Credits 119

Please note:  This plan is intended for general information only.  Students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic advisor each semester before registration.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the Biology Program the students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the major concepts in biology.
  2. Exhibit critical thinking skills by applying the scientific method to solve problems.
  3. Exhibit the ability to read and communicate in a scientific style.
  4. Analyze the consequences of activities on themselves and their environment.