Six Reasons to Major in Biology if You are Planning a Career in a Health Profession


1: Sterling Record of Success

For 30 years, UAB’s Department of Biology has sent more of its majors to medical, dental, and optometry schools than any other department at UAB or any other university in Alabama.

“My UAB undergraduate major in Biology was my key to getting into medical school. The Biology major prepares more pre-med students for acceptance to, and success during, medical school than any other. My brother Jack and I both majored in Biology at UAB and were the first siblings to be accepted to the same class at UAB School of Medicine. Twenty-eight years later, my own daughter, Hilary, now a third-year medical student at UAB School of Medicine, was accepted with her Biology major that she also earned as a pre-med student at UAB. In addition to preparation for medical school, the Biology major at UAB offers countless opportunities to work with world-renowned faculty and take part in the most cutting edge research and learning experiences.” — Greg Flippo, MD (UAB Biology, Class of ’82)

2: Laboratory Experience

Health professional schools like to see that applicants have plenty of experience in the laboratory. The Biology Department’s key health professional preparatory classes such as microbiology, anatomy, and physiology all have associated teaching laboratories.

3: Research Opportunities

Health professional schools also like to see applicants who have had laboratory research experience. During the 2015-2016 academic year, over 300 of our undergraduate students were enrolled in independent research courses with faculty in the Biology Department and across campus. Students may join laboratories studying cancer, genetics, microbiology, spinal cord injuries, food safety, viruses, brain development, and many other subjects (explore our research and internship opportunities). With several new majors, including this year’s addition — immunology — representing new collaborations between the Department of Biology and Departments in UAB’s medical school appearing in the coming years, research opportunities will be even greater. If you want to participate in research, the department will make it happen.

4: Professional School Requirements are Included in all Biology Tracks

Almost all of the courses needed for medical, dental, optometry, and veterinary school are included in the requirements for any track in the the Biology major. This means that students will not be required to make adjustments to his or her major or add courses to a program of study in order to be prepared for medical school.

5: Award-winning Faculty

The relationship between faculty and students is vital to those who hope to attend medical, dental, optometry, or veterinary schools. As a Biology major, your courses will be taught by award-winning faculty. You will have the opportunity to hear lectures from and conduct research under scientists who are known throughout the world.

6: Experienced Academic Advising

Approximately 60% of students who apply to health professional schools each year are Biology majors. For this reason, our Biology advisors are very familiar with professional school requirements. Your Biology advisor and instructors will know how to guide you and how to prevent common mistakes. Your instructors will also know what health professional schools look for in a letter of recommendation.

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Why major in biology?

Faculty Research. Learn more about the Undergraduate Immunology Program.