Biology Department

Biology students researching a stream


Interested in studying genetics, physiology, and ecology? Want a career in medicine, molecular biology, or conservation? Western Carolina University's Department of Biology provides the ideal environment to train you for these and other careers in biology.

Teaching and research drive the Department of Biology. Our interactive undergraduate and graduate programs are founded on our faculty’s rich tradition of teaching and will prepare you for a successful and fulfilling career.

Undergraduate Program

Pursuing an undergraduate biology degree at Western Carolina University includes a program of discovery in genetics, physiology, and ecology. If you enjoy the field of biology, our core curriculum is designed for you with research opportunities ranging from regenerative medicine and protein dynamics to animal behavior and ecological conservation.

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Graduate Program

Our inclusive curriculum prepares you to succeed at the next level of your career, whether that's working in an environmental testing lab, a biomedical research lab, the US Fish and Wildlife, or as a teacher. Discover which program fits your skills and interests.

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Faculty and students are able to take advantage of our advanced research facilities and equipment, including the department’s Southern Appalachian Biodiversity and Ecology Center and Herbarium. We’re also affiliated with The Helen Patton Environmental Research Center and within driving distance of the Highlands Biological Station, which promotes education, research, and outreach focused on the ecology and biotic diversity of the Southern Appalachian Region.

Departmental facilities available to undergraduate and graduate students include:

  • Mammalian cell culture facility
  • Instrumentation for research in biochemistry
  • Nikon C1 Scanning Laser Confocal Microscope
  • Zeiss photomicroscope with bright field, phase, Nomarski, and incident fluorescence capabilities
  • Applied Biosystems 7500 RT-PCR machine
  • 3130 Applied Biosystems Genetic Analyzer Capillary SequencerHerbarium of more than 25,000 specimens
  • Aquatic research facility equipped for live animal studies
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