Redefining the Classroom

Unique Opportunities for Undergraduate Students

Whether you're interested in ecology, human biology, plant science, animal science, microbiology, genetics, physiology, natural resource biology, cell or molecular biology, field work or laboratory work - LSSU is a great place to study biology. Our program offers a number of unique opportunities for undergraduate students, including hands on training in state of the art equipment, both in the field and in the lab. All biology students complete a senior thesis project which teaches you both research and communication skills. This experience will help you in finding a job or gaining admittance to the graduate school of your choice. Whether you're interested in ecology, human biology, plant science, animal science, microbiology, genetics, physiology, natural resource biology, cell or molecular biology, field work or laboratory work - LSSU is a great place to study biology

Why Students Study Biology at LSSU

At Lake Superior State University class sizes are small and labs are taught by faculty rather than graduate students, Our faculty are not only experts in their field of interest but are also dedicated teachers. Hands-on experience includes working with sophisticated laboratory equipment and the opportunity to work at many diverse terrestrial and aquatic field sites. Graduates of the department complete a capstone senior thesis or service-learning project which they design, implement, analyze, and present their findings on a topic of their choosing.

Health Professions Concentration (Pre-Vet, Pre-Med)

The B.S. in Biology with a minor in chemistry prepares students for medical, dental, veterinary, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic, and physician assistant graduate studies.  Biology students will work with a pre-professional advisor to select the electives best suited for the health professional program of their choice while also providing a well- rounded biology education.  The LSSU Biology department is recognized by all health professional schools in Michigan as a top rate biology program.  LSSU participates in the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine's Early Assurance Program.  Pre-medical students at LSSU have the opportunity to apply for and gain admission to MSU-CHM during their junior year in college.

"Our pre-professional advisor knows all the ins and outs of applying to all the professional schools and provides excellent advice for that. Our pre-professional society (the student group for pre-professional students) is very active in ways that helps students enhance their applications to professional schools. We have had a number of our students go on to vet school, last year our two applicants into vet school ended up going to Michigan State University and Purdue. This year of the six students that applied to professional schools, all six got it. But i want to emphasize that it's up to each individual student to gain the experience they need to have the best chance of success in veterinary or any other professional school. Our program helps, but it's up to the individual student. Our small classes, our individualized attention, our academically rigorous programs, our collaborative atmosphere, our senior thesis program all can help you prepare yourself for application to professional schools."

-- Gregory Zimmerman, Professor, Department Head


Cross-Discipline Approach to Learning

Lake Superior State University students Miccah Szucs (l) and Frank Weber watch LSSU biology professor Gregory Zimmerman (r) convert powdered biomass - wood, grass, weeds – into pellets that can be used for fuel. Engineering professor Paul Weber’s energy systems and sustainability class received a briefing and demo on the process Oct. 1 at Bay Mills Community College’s Waishkey Bay farm in Brimley, Mich. Zimmerman and his students have been prototyping the technical and economic framework for burnable biomass pellets, primarily derived from reed canary grass. Regardless of the source, the pellets generate about 8,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of energy per pound, which, at about ten cents/pound, is competitive with propane as furnace fuel. Zimmerman recently landed a grant that will harvest invasive wetland plants as a potential source of biomass for the pelletizing process. The pellets are also ideal for animal bedding and compost.

Career Options

Is Biology right for you?

  •  Research Biologist
  • Field Biologist
  • Physician, Veterinarian, Dentist
  • Other Health Professional
  • Zoo, Nature Center Staff
  • Consultant
  • Sales Representative
  • Technical Writer or Illustrator
  • Histologist
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Elementary or Secondary Teacher
  • University Professor

Low Student to Faculty Ratio

Biology students at LSSU benefit from a low student to faculty ratio. Most upper level classes have 30 students or less and laboratory sections are often limited to less than 15 students. This affords the faculty time to interact individually with closely with students to ensure that they have the opportunity to apply the laboratory and field skills required of professional scientists.

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