Biological Sciences Minors

A minor allows an undergraduate student to specialize in a secondary discipline. A student may minor in any subject, provided the title of the minor differs from the title of the student’s major or major concentration.

To pursue a minor, you must first be enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program and file a Curriculum Add/Drop Form with the Registrar's Office to declare the minor. We recommend that you begin your minor studies as early as possible in your academic career.

Researcher experimenting with vials of color liquid that contain DNA


Through our Biochemistry Minor, Explore biologically important molecules, mechanisms, and processes—and gain practical laboratory experience while doing it. Major topics studied in biochemistry course work include purification of proteins; enzyme kinetics; intermediary metabolism and regulation; bioenergetics; membrane structure; mechanisms and regulation of protein, DNA, RNA, and polysaccharide synthesis; and current techniques in gene cloning and protein engineering.

Researchers in a stream collecting data

Biological Sciences

Gain an overall understanding of the broad field of biological sciences. Students may follow one of two tracks: the cellular and genetic track that focuses on cell and gene function or the organismal track that focuses on the evolution and ecology of plants and animals.

Two researchers in the woods at the base of a tree collecting samples

Bioprocess Engineering (Interdisciplinary)

Understanding biological processes allows major chemical, pharmaceutical, and food manufacturers to develop lifesaving medicines and improve the food supply for a hungry world. The rapid growth of biological processing methods in industry creates a strong demand for graduates with expertise in this area. Two paths are available: an engineering track and a biological track.

Two researchers on a research vessel taking measurements of the Keweenaw Waterway

Ecology (Interdisciplinary)

The Ecology Interdisciplinary minor provides students from many disciplines the opportunity to study ecology, and develop a deeper understanding of organismal interactions within the environment. It will provide students with both the foundations and in-depth examination of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. 

A researcher holding a talapia with both hands

Fish Biology

The fish biology minor focuses on native fisheries and aquatic ecosystems ecology—providing a strong background for both students wishing to enter the job market immediately following graduation, and those wishing to pursue advanced degrees in the field. Emphasis is placed on species interactions, fish conservation, anthropogenic effects, current and historical fisheries, and data analysis. The impact of local and global issues upon Great Lakes fisheries is also investigated.

A researcher holding up a petri dish with an organism growing inside


Through the microbiology minor, students will gain a deep understanding of the environmental, ecological, organismal, and medical aspects of the field of microbiology. Laboratories are an essential component of many of these courses—further strengthening a student’s hands-on skills in this exciting field.

Researcher looking at a microscopic image of a mineral on a screen of a large microscope

Nanoscale Science and Engineering (Interdisciplinary)

Take part in the nanoscale revolution. Nanotechnology is a rapidly developing field that seeks to understand, control, and exploit the novel physical properties displayed by matter at the nanoscale, or at dimensions between approximately 1 and 100 nanometers (for example, a DNA strand is 2.5 nanometers in diameter). Nanotechnology applications—such as drug-delivery and water-filtration techniques, nanofilms, and carbon nanotubes—are highly interdisciplinary and include virtually all fields of engineering and the natural sciences. This minor will give you the necessary multidisciplinary background in physics, chemistry, biology, instrumentation, and application-specific areas.

Researcher taking a piece for view under a microscope from leaf samples on a sheet

Plant Biotechnology (Interdisciplinary)

The plant biotechnology minor provides students with an introductory understanding of the broad field of biotechnology, with particular emphasis on plant systems. Discover how genetic information is used to develop plants with high nutrient content, the ability to remove toxins from the environment, and protect plants from insects and disease.

A researcher taking a sample from a sapling

Plant Sciences (Interdisciplinary)

The Plant Sciences Interdisciplinary Minor provides students the opportunity to study and develop an understanding of the plant sciences and their role as a foundation of modern society. Students who elect to pursue this minor will take a required course in botany, and be able to choose electives ranging from plant-microbe interactions to genomics to forest ecology.