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Biology, BS - Area 4: Integrative Biology, Animal Biology Emphasis

Integrative Biology Animal Biology BS

Are you intrigued by the complex relationships between organisms and their environments? The Bachelor of Science in Biology degree, focused on Integrative Biology, at the University of Central Missouri may be right for you.

Choose the emphasis in Animal Biology to study the molecular engines that animals use to relate to — and impact — their environments. 

We will teach you the skills and techniques that form a bedrock for research teams studying integrative biology. Most of your UCM courses will be held face-to-face and concentrate on lab work and research, with some lecture courses available in hybrid and online formats.

What is integrative biology?

UCM’s Integrative Biology program in Animal Biology will cover the gamut of life, from molecules to the ways organisms interact with each other and their physical environments. Our Animal Biology majors concentrate on discovering and understanding the mysteries of life on both micro and macro levels. You’ll study organisms and their interrelationships with larger ecosystems, as well as the vital internal relationships that occur on a cellular and genome level.

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Dr. Scott Lankford
Chair, School of Natural Sciences
W.C. Morris Science Building, Room 306A
Warrensburg, MO
Tel: 660-543-4933

College of Health, Science and Technology

Department of Biological and Clinical Sciences

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On-campus nature preserve for fieldwork

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Diverse undergrad research projects

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Ph.D. faculty lead labs in specialty areas

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Small, teamwork-oriented labs & classes

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Hengshui University exchange program

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Large animal & aquatic research center


What you will study

Integrative Biology majors at the University of Central Missouri study and learn research methods to understand the diversity within the major groups of living organisms. These include fungi, algae, plants, insects and other invertebrates, amphibians, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals. You’ll learn the structure, functions, classification, development and evolution of your favorite organism. 

To earn your Integrative Biology degree in Animal Biology, you’ll complete core coursework, followed by courses in specialty topics. The classes you may take as an Animal Biology major include:

  • Mammalian Physiology
  • Wildlife Disease
  • Molecular Technology 
  • Endocrinology
  • Histology

Research lab work is at the core of our Animal Biology degree

UCM offers a full range of specialized lab-based courses for Animal Biology majors. 

Ph.D. faculty, not graduate assistants, teach the vast majority of all lab courses to give you expert guidance in the specialized areas that help you understand what integrative biology is, including molecular biology, genetics, anatomy, physiology, ecology and evolution.

In the real world, many Animal Biology majors work in labs, often conducting animal research in integrative biology. We prepare you for this and other career paths with an Animal Biology degree.


Unique learning opportunities in Animal Biology

The UCM approach to learning is active, lab-based and focused on real-world skills and knowledge you’ll need to reach your career goals as an Integrative Biology major in Animal Biology. 

  • Career-building internships and clubs: Internships with the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Department of Natural Resources, nonprofits and businesses provide real-world experiences to learn firsthand what integrative biology is. UCM chapters of the American Fisheries Society and Wildlife Society, among other clubs, offer Integrative Biology majors opportunities to build relationships and explore different career options. 
  • Co-curricular grants and research projects: The UCM Biology faculty involve Animal Biology majors in research projects from start to finish. You’ll learn how to secure grants and design and conduct studies that make a real impact. You’ll also master presentation skills and have opportunities to co-publish research studies.
  • Extensive field and lab work: Build your research skills in real-world, professional settings, such as our 300-acre Pertle Springs Nature Preserve; 3,000-square-foot animal and aquatic research center; and state-of-the-art molecular and cellular biology labs.


What can you do with an Integrative Biology degree from UCM?

UCM professors have long-standing relationships with many regional government agencies in fields related to your Animal Biology degree. Coursework and internships can open career opportunities for Integrative Biology majors in Animal Biology with agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey, the Department of Natural Resources or the Missouri Department of Conservation.

With your Animal Biology degree, you could also consider job opportunities with nonprofit organizations, research laboratories, businesses or educational institutions. 

What is Integrative Biology and what careers can I pursue?

Since the study of integrative biology ranges from the molecular level to large ecosystems, your career choices are exciting and diverse. With your Integrative Biology major in Animal Biology, you could work in agriculture, regulatory affairs, food sciences, bioinformatics, animal breeding or forensic science and many other career fields. Many UCM Animal Biology majors choose to continue their studies to become veterinarians, pharmacists, senior researchers, medical doctors or geneticists and more.   

Use the interactive tool below to explore potential career pathways and salaries with an Animal Biology degree from the University of Central Missouri.




Financial assistance options for your Animal Biology degree

The University of Central Missouri offers a variety of ways to finance your education, including university scholarships, awards and other financial aid.

Many scholarships are also available specifically for Biology majors, including undergraduate students in UCM’s Animal Biology degree program. You may qualify to apply for opportunities such as these:

  • Carlos Kays Biology and Earth Science Scholarship
  • Dr. John Beishe Biology Scholarship
  • Steven H. Mills and Stephen W. Wilson Research Award
  • John Hess Health Professions Scholarship
  • UCM Honors Project Research Fund
  • Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program

You can learn more about program-specific scholarships at the UCM Scholarship Finder.


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Take your degree further.

To further specialize your Integrative Biology degree in Animal Biology, you may want to continue your studies at UCM in a master’s degree program. 

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Make yourself more marketable.

Add a minor to UCM’s Integrative Biology major in Animal Biology to focus on legal protections or conservation efforts related to wildlife and the environment. 

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Explore programs related to integrative and animal biology.

If you have the desire to study animals, you may also want to explore these undergraduate programs related to an Animal Biology degree. 


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