Prospective Students

Prospective Students

Thank you for your interest in the undergraduate program offered by the Department of Integrative Biology, formerly the Department of Zoology, at Michigan State University. Three undergraduate degrees in zoology will continue to be offered: B.S. in Zoology, B.S. in Environmental Biology-Zoology, and a B.A. in Zoology. A fourth degree, the B.S. in Integrative Biology is also available. We do not offer online degree programs.

Zoology is a branch of natural science that deals with integrative study of animal biology. It is concerned with every level of biological organization from gene to ecosystem, and with structure, physiology, behavior, genetics, development, distribution, and evolution of animals. In a broad sense, zoology may also focus on interrelationships between humans and other animals. The department’s courses span the entire range of modern biological disciplines concerned with animal diversity. There is ample opportunity for students to obtain a broad biological education while also concentrating on aspects of particular zoological interest. Many of our courses integrate laboratory components that provide hands-on experience.

Programs in the Integrative Biology Department can help students prepare for a wide variety of careers such as biomedical research, biotechnology, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, marine biology, evolutionary biology, environmental science, behavioral biology, captive animal biology, and teaching.

As a prospective science major, we strongly recommend that you develop a strong background in mathematics and writing in high school. Majors are expected to acquire a broad background in the sciences fundamental to the understanding of modern zoology or integrative biology. General chemistry and mathematics are normally taken in the freshman year and physics in the junior year. The biological science sequence should be started as soon as possible since these courses are prerequisites to further study in zoology.

If you can find opportunities to get involved with animals and nature, such as through school clubs or volunteer work at a zoo or nature center, that's good, but not necessarily critical before beginning an undergraduate program. Once you get to the college level, it would certainly be important to find jobs and volunteer work related to your chosen field and career path. Internships are another way of getting good experience that can help you get into graduate school or to find a job, and MSU offers many possibilities.

We hope that exploring this website will give you a sense of all that the department has to offer students. If you have further questions, please call the Department of Integrative Biology Office at (517) 355-4640 or send an email to