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Biology Degree

What is Biology?

Biology is the study of life itself.

As a biology major at South Dakota Mines, you will study the very basic blocks of life: how organisms come to exist, how they are built, how they grow and function, and what they do.

This degree prepares you for a career in research or fields such as medicine, clean energy research, bioprocessing, and more.

What does a biologist do?

Biologists study the relationship between life and the environment surrounding it as well as study adaptability, pollution change, famine, ecological change, and more.

As a biology major at South Dakota Mines, not only will you learn in the classroom, but you will also research and explain the living world around you. You will study humans, plants, animals, and the environment in which they live, gain a better understanding of how the body and nature works, and how external factors influence specific organisms.

Courses for this Degree

• Microbiology
• Genetics
• Molecular Cell Biology
• Biochemistry
• Bioinformatics
• Biogeochemistry
• Human Anatomy
• Biomedical Physiology
• Cancer Biology
• DNA Structure and Function

Course Curriculum

Catalog Links: Biology

Internships and Co-ops

On average, 73% of South Dakota Mines students have applicable work experience when they graduate thanks to internships and co-ops. For these co-ops and internships, students receive an average salary of $22.62/hour.

As a Mines biology major, you will have the opportunity to intern with businesses like:

• Sanford Medical Research
• Monument Health
• Department of Energy
• Center for Community and Pediatric Research Avera-McKennan
• Game, Fish and Parks
• Avera Health
• Sanford Health
• South Dakota Department of Health
• Oak Ridge National Laboratory
• US Department of Defense
• Evidence section of the Rapid City Police Department

Career Outlook

Graduates often use their degree to launch into a professional healthcare program or graduate program. Our graduates have been accepted into many reputable programs including:

• Mayo Clinic Graduate Research Program
• Mayo Medical School
• Immunology Research Program at University of Alabama School of Medicine
• Sanford School of Medicine
• South Dakota Mines Biomedical Engineering or Nanoengineering
• Regenerative Medicine Utrecht (Netherlands)
• University of South Dakota Public Health
• Des Moines University of Osteopathic Medicine
The job placement rate for 2022 biology graduates was 100% with an average starting salary of $45,000.


• Medicine
• Pharmacy
• Medical research
• Biomedical engineer
• Patent law
• Environmental health
• Genetics
• Radiology
• Forensics
• Epidemiology/public health


Biology graduates from South Dakota Mines have gone on to work for organizations such as:

• Avera McKennan
• US Food & Drug Administration
• Environmental Protection Agency
• Mayo Clinic
• Oak Ridge National Laboratory
• Monument Health
• Sanford Health
• Avera Health
• ImmutriX Therapeutics

Biology Research

As a biology major at South Dakota Mines, you don’t have to wait to do research. You will have the opportunity to do research in diverse areas of biological sciences, even as an undergrad, including:

• Human Telomere Biology and Cancer
• Genomic instability and neurodegenerative disease
• DNA structure and Function
• Environmental planning and management
• Aquatic ecology
• Extremophilic bioprocessing

Program Offerings

• Bachelor of Science in Biology, BS
• Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, BS
• Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering, PhD
• Minor in Biology




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