Disciplines and Programs


Biochemistry bridges the biological sciences and chemistry. This degree program is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the structural and functional relationships between the chemical constituents of cells and their roles in life processes. The degree in biochemistry prepares a student for careers in industry, medicine, teaching and research.

Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences provides basic training in a broad range of subjects including Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics and Organismal Biology. Interdisciplinary programs in Biochemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies and Microbiology are available for specialized concentrations. These all have quite similar prerequisite programs and, with a carefully chosen program, it is relatively easy to transfer from one to another. Students who may be interested in one of these programs are strongly urged to see the appropriate program adviser as soon as possible.


This program is designed primarily for students who intend to go into chemistry as a profession or who plan to continue their studies at the graduate level. A student may earn a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry by completing the prerequisite, concentration, and cognate courses listed herein and by fulfilling CAS&L distribution and graduation requirements.

Earth Sciences/Geology

The Earth Science Program provides students with a strong background in geology, astronomy, and oceanography and enables them to study and understand processes that have shaped the earth and the solar system over the last 4.6 billion years.

Environmental Science

The environmental science concentration provides students with a strong background in areas of science related to environmental concerns and with an opportunity to study environmental problems from a scientific point of view that integrates biology, chemistry, earth science and physics.

Environmental Science M.S.

The Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES) is a two-year program designed for students who wish to pursue graduate study on a full or part-time basis so they can balance professional and personal goals. Courses are primarily held in the evening, and occasionally on Saturdays. With approximately 73 students enrolled we stress personalized, individual attention to graduate student education and research. In-service teachers seeking a science-oriented M.S. are welcome. The MSES program provides a choice between emphasizing the environmental aspects of biology, chemistry, or geology or a more broadly focused approach involving courses in each of the above fields. Faculty and students are engaged in the research of environmental issues including wetlands delineation, the treatment of nitrate contamination groundwater with microbiological techniques, the impact of land use on groundwater and surface water quality, the use of phytoremediation in the cleanup of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contaminated soil and brownfield investigation and remediation.

Environmental Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies degree program focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of environmental problem solving at the local, regional and international levels. Students can choose from among four (4) focus areas.

Integrated Science

The B.S. in Integrated Science is designed for students seeking to teach science in high schools.  The sixty credit hour degree meets the State of Michigan’s requirements for 12 credit hours each in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science and Physics.  An additional 12 credit hours in any one of these areas provides a minor in the area as required by the State of Michigan.  Students successful in completing this program and passing the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification in Integrated Science will meet the standards for the ‘highly qualified’ designation.  This degree is only for those students who are also seeking a certificate in secondary education.  It is also a degree intended for students who desire to teach in smaller school districts.  Students seeking employment in large districts should consider majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science or Physics and minoring in another of these 4 areas.


Microbiology is the study of organisms that usually require the aid of a microscope in order to be seen. Micro-organisms include viruses, bacteria, archaea bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa. Microbiologists seek to understand the interactions between these organisms and components of our biosphere.

Physics and Astronomy

Physics is the study of the most fundamental properties of matter and energy. The physics program has been designed with the recognition that a student might choose to concentrate in physics for a variety of reasons. In addition to meeting the needs of those planning to continue their physics education in graduate school, the program serves students planning to pursue technical careers immediately after graduation, those seeking to enter medical, dental or other professional schools, and those planning to earn certification as teachers.