NSU's biology major emphasizes hands-on activities and critical thinking to bring you to a better understanding of the study of life.
    About The Program

    As a student in Northern's Bachelor of Science in Biology program, you'll work on-on-one with caring, supportive faculty who encourage independent thinking skills that will prepare you to become a leader in your biological field. Most upper-level courses have no more than 25 students. Northern's biology faculty members teach their own labs - they'll get to know you as a person.

     

    Northern biology students work in science labs with the latest equipment, including a DNA analyzer, confocal microscope, and anaerobic chamber.  And the new Jewett Regional Science Education Center will advance educational and research opportunities for the university and region.

     

    In NSU's biology program, you're encouraged to explore your interests and dive deeper into your studies with our focus of hands-on research. Here, you can work with professors on research projects, and present your results in publications or in public at Northern's Undergraduate Scholarship and Activity Forum or elsewhere.

     

    Our program has even been recognized on this national list of universities with the best biology degrees! 

    Careers

    Many biology majors work at for-profit businesses and corporations. Others teach in educational institutions; work for government, nonprofit foundations and research organizations; or operate their own business or consulting service.

     

    Potential jobs include health technologist and technician, nurse, pharmacist, dietitian, therapist, physician assistant, farmer, forester and salesperson (non-retail).

     

    Many students pursue careers in allied health -- such as medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, mortuary science, dentistry, and optometry -- and organismal biology professions including zookeeper, naturalist, and biologist.

     

    Northern's placement rate the past five years was 82 percent for medical school and 83 percent for dental school - learn what our graduates have to say about the advantages of earning their undergraduate degree at Northern in this article!

     

    For more information on careers in your major or help choosing a major, contact Career Services.

    Internships

    We'll work closely with you and our connections to find internships and field experiences that accord with your scientific interests.

    Contact Information

    For more information about this degree, contact Jessica Ness, or call 605-626-2272 or 605-626-7900. Or, contact NSU Admissions at 605-626-2544 or admissions@northern.edu.

    Ph.D. Portland State University
    B.A. University of Oregon
     
    Dr. Amy Dolan joined Northern's faculty in 2018. She grew up on a homestead in Nikiski, Alaska. Dr. Dolan attended the University of Oregon and graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology and Spanish. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in biology at Portland State University, studying genetics, reproductive biology, mate choice, and reproductive success of eastern kingbirds. Dr. Dolan lives on a farm with her husband Ryan, and their three children: Oliver, Ruthie, and Zet.
     
    Courses Taught
    Biology Survey
    General Biology
    Environmental Biology
    Human Biology
    Anatomy
    Gross Anatomy
    Bioethics
    Hematology
    Histology
     
    Publications
    Christopher M, Chutter, Lucas J. Redmond, Nathan W. Cooper, Amy C…
    Ph.D. University of South Dakota
    M.S. South Dakota State University
    B.S. South Dakota State University
    A.A. Winona State University
     
    Dr. Alyssa Kiesow joined Northern’s faculty in August 2007. Born in Little Falls, Minn., and raised in St. Cloud, Minn., she is Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, assists with sponsored grants and research, and serves on the South Dakota Academy of Science Executive Committee. She received multiple degrees from state institutions. Dr. Kiesow earned her Ph.D. in biological sciences with a research focus in genetics from the University of South Dakota.
     
    Research Interests
    Dr. Kiesow's primary research interests range from genetic structure of animal populations to epigenetics of developing embryos. Recent research focuses on the effects of various toxins on embryonic development in sea stars, sea urchins, and Xenopus laevis.…
    Ph.D. Montana State University
    M.S. Montana State University
    B.S. State University of New York
     
    Dr. John Long joined the science and mathematics department at Northern in May 2015. He received a Ph.D. in ecology and environmental sciences from Montana State University in 2014; an M.S. in ecological and environmental statistics from Montana State University in 2011; and a B.S. in applied mathematics from State University of New York in 2008.
     

    Courses Taught

    Biological Statistics I

    Biological Statistics II

    Introduction to Physics I

    Introduction to Physics II

    Geographic Information Systems (GIS) I

    Geographic Infromation Systems (GIS) II

    Remote Sensing

    Biogeography

     

    Research Interests

    Dr. Long's…

    Ph.D. University of Southern Mississippi
    M.S. University of North Dakota
    B.S. University of North Dakota
     
     
    Dr. Eric Pulis joined Northern's faculty in 2018. Originally from central Minnesota, he attended the University of North Dakota, where he received his B.S. in fisheries and wildlife biology and his M.S. in biology. Dr. Pulis earned his Ph.D. at the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Coastal Sciences, where his research focused on the taxonomy and systematics of some parasitic flat worms found in fishes. He is currently the advisor for the NSU Environmental Club.
     
    Research Interests
    Dr. Pulis's primary research interests are in the ecology, evolution, and diversity of parasites of wildlife and fishes.…

    B.S. Biology, minor Psychology, University of North Dakota

    A.A. Exotic Animal Training and Management, Moorpark College

     

    Ms. Kelly Pulis, hailing from Vinton, Iowa, joined Northern in 2019 as biology lab manager.

    Ph.D. University of South Dakota

    M.S. North Dakota State University

    B.S. North Dakota State University

     
    Dr. Jodie Ramsay started at NSU in 2001. Her area of expertise is plant science. She grew up in Minnesota and spends much of the summer there, where she co-owns a greenhouse. Dr. Ramsay is the director of NSU Regional Science Fair and serves as the faculty mentor for Rising Scholar (dual credit) biology courses taught across eastern South Dakota.
     
    Courses Taught
    Biogeography
    Ecology
    Environmental Biology
    Environmental Science and Conservation
    Freshman Seminar
    General Biology I
    General Biology II
    Plants and Civilization
    Plant Structure and Function
    Plant Systematics
    Senior Seminar
    Soils and the Environment