Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics Department


Teaching, health care, green jobs: a biology or related degree from Northern will open many doors. You'll learn in four teaching and four research laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment. The biology program covers the key subdisciplines of cell, organismal biology, and ecology.
A bachelor's degree in a biology discipline from Northern can be your ticket to continuing your education in a wide selection of careers as a:
  • Medical doctor
  • Physician assistant
  • Nurse
  • Optometrist
  • Physical therapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Veterinarian
Or, equip yourself for research in a growing industry with an associate's degree in biotechnology. You'll take specialized courses covering cell culture, bioinformatics, and proteomics. A 2-credit internship also is part of the AS degree. A biotechnology certificate also is available, with certification possible in as little as one year.
Field experiences
A bonus is field experiences - imagine shadowing scientists at a national wildlife refuge - and opportunities for independent research.

Chemistry & Physics

Chemistry and physics form the cornerstone of Northern's preprofessional programs in the health fields, including pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-veterinary science and pre-health sciences. Courses in chemistry and physics prepare you for graduate studies or employment in education, industry or medicine.

Excellent facilities
At Northern, you'll learn to operate a wide range of modern instruments in a state-of-the-art, newly remodeled building.
Small classes, personal attention
Your experience studying chemistry and physics at Northern will be distinguished by small class sizes and personal attention from professors. At Northern, you'll enjoy many opportunities to explore your individual interests in these central fields of science.


Northern State University is one of the leading producers of mathematics teachers in South Dakota. Math students hone their abilities to question and analyze and learn valuable critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Mathematics is an essential tool for many majors and plays an important role in the system-wide core, institutional graduation and degree requirements for all students.
Many career paths
A math degree from NSU prepares students not only to be math teachers, but also for careers in the engineering, manufacturing, business, economics, technology or computer science industries, or to pursue graduate studies.
Competition opportunities
The Department of Mathematics gives NSU's math majors opportunities to compete in regional, national, and international competitions, and helps arrange an annual math competition for high school students in northern South Dakota.

The traditional class setting is complemented by the appropriate use of scientific and graphing calculators and computer technology. Students explore concepts through concrete examples and applications. Applications of mathematics provide students with some insight into the relationship between mathematics and other disciplines.

A degree in mathematics is useful in a wide variety of professional fields such as business, economics, computer science, education, and technology, as well as for graduate studies in mathematics or closely related fields. Students are encouraged to consult with the department regarding career potentials.  

Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate research is a critical component of Northern’s DNA. As a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, you'll work closely with faculty on research.