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Department of Biological Sciences

107 Irvine Hall
Athens, OH 45701

Ralph DiCaprio
Department Chair and Professor  
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College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Student Affairs
Athens, OH

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Undergraduate Admissions

120 Chubb Hall
1 Ohio University
Athens, OH 45710

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Pre-Physical Therapy  

The biology pre-physical therapy program is designed to meet the prerequisites of the physical therapy program at Ohio University and at most institutions. This major is also designed to provide students with a solid background in the life sciences. It should be noted that there are no uniform requirements for physical therapy schools. If you are interested in applying to a particular physical therapy program you will need to consult the school's catalog or Web site for exact prerequisites.

Biology is the study of life and its component parts, from molecules to cells to ecosystems. It encompasses the entire biosphere that is the Earth. The current state of biological knowledge has taken centuries to accumulate, and with modern molecular and other analytical techniques, our understanding of biological processes is growing rapidly. The first two years of the biological sciences curriculum provide a solid basis for an understanding of life, from the micro to the macro level, as well as in-depth introductions to three unifying topics: cell biology, genetics, and evolution. Specialized curricula at the upper level include courses designed to prepare students for specific careers, graduate schools, and professional schools. Regardless of the special curricular track chosen, the student will graduate with a solid foundation in biological sciences, as well as a thorough preparation for biological careers and advanced education.

The B.S. degree program in biological sciences is designed for students who seek flexibility and breadth in their programs. This track is particularly well suited for students who plan to enter a biological sciences graduate program or professional school. To fulfill the minimum of 54 hours in biology, courses can be chosen to prepare for the student’s specific area of interest, while fulfilling the biology breadth requirement. This track also fulfills the needs of students interested in specializations in Clinical Laboratory Science/Medical Technology, Exercise Physiology, or Neuroscience. See below for more information on these areas.

Career Opportunities

We prepare students for graduate or professional school, and career paths in biotechnology, biomedical research, and related areas. These are fields that are experiencing tremendous growth in employment opportunities both in academia and in the private sector.

The Department of Biological Sciences provides a specialized curriculum for students interested in one of the following:

PreoptometryPreveterinary medicine

While no specific major is required by any of these schools, this curriculum provides students with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biological Sciences, prepares them for their professional school experience, and fulfills course requirements for entry into most schools. Applicants to these schools are required to take one of the following admission tests: Dental Admission Test (DAT), Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Optometry Admission Test (OAT), and either the Veterinary Admission Test (VAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for veterinary school.

Students will be assigned an academic advisor who specializes in the type of professional school he or she is interested in attending. A student should contact the schools of choice and consult both their academic advisor and the department preprofessional advisor for specific course and exam requirements.


Special Features

The Biological Sciences campus at Ohio University consists of five buildings that contain modern research facilities. The new Life Sciences Building opened in 2003. The University also maintains a 682 acre land lab adjacent to the campus available for both teaching and research.

Special research facilities available include an electron microscopy facility; a quantitative microscopy and imaging facility with a laser scanning confocal microscope; exercise and metabolic physiology facilities; a hybridoma facility; a molecular genetics laboratory with computer-assisted DNA, RNA, and protein sequencing facilities; a phosphorimager and fluorimager; a gel documentation system; an NMR facility; mass spectrophotometry facilities; a transgenic mouse facility; a fluorescence activated cell sorter. AAALAC-accredited animal holding facilities are available for terrestrial and aquatic animals.

The Alden Library has approximately 1.1 million volumes and receives over 1000 biological and biomedical journals. Staff and students also have access to the shared resources of the OhioLink system of libraries across Ohio.

The Department maintains a 15,000 specimen vertebrate collection.

Students in majors in the biological sciences are encouraged to explore student clubs related to their academic areas. Some suggestions are:

AMSA PreMed Club
Microbiology Club
PreSOMA Osteopathic
PreMed Club
Pre-Optometry Club
PreDentistry Club
Pre-Physical Therapy Club
Pre-Veterinary Club
Wildlife Club

Our Faculty

The Department of Biological Sciences has 38 faculty members who provide quality instruction and research opportunities in a broad spectrum of disciplines leading to the B.S., B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, allowing students to pursue a career in the biological sciences, move on to professional schools, or become educators/researchers.

To view our entire faculty, please click here.



Biological Sciences  

Biological Sciences—Cellular and Molecular Biology  

Biological Sciences—Marine, Freshwater, and Environmental Biology  

Biological Sciences—Microbiology  

Biological Sciences—Pre-Physical Therapy  

Biological Sciences—Pre-professional Program  

Biological Sciences—Wildlife and Conservation Biology  

Biological Sciences—Human Biology  

Biological Sciences—Environmental

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 19 departments, 27 majors and dozens of other special curricula. The college is committed to advancing the interrelated areas of teaching, research, and outreach in a learning-centered community. The college instructs students based on core disciplines for the entire university.

Arts and Sciences is home to nearly one-third of all OHIO's undergraduate and graduate students. The college encourages research and applied scholarship among all of its faculty members. They also create many opportunities for undergraduates to be involved in research as well. The college takes an active role in making knowledge accessible and in applying it to issues that affect the wider community.

All departmental majors provide sound preparation for future careers by requiring you to think and write critically and to communicate well - the preferred skills in all areas of the public and private sector. Certificate programs are open to students who are enrolled in any baccalaureate program, regardless of college or major. Minors in the College of Arts and Sciences may be combined with any regular majors or special curricula programs. With careful planning, minors can be completed within four years.

Ohio University

Established in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest public institution of higher learning in the state of Ohio and the first in the Northwest Territory. Admission to Ohio University is granted to the best-qualified applicants as determined by a selective admission policy.