Explore the connections and changes we make over time: you'll do that here.

An organismal, ecological, and evolutionary biology option is for the student who is preparing to do graduate work with an interest in field biology, botany, zoology or ecology. It’s designed for students fascinated with the diversity of living things.

What You’ll Do

The curriculum includes rigorous coursework in evolutionary biology, ecology, plant biology, and animal biology. Core courses will prepare you for any area of biology.

  • Select courses in physics, organic chemistry, geology, and calculus.
  • Gain hands-on experience at the Miller Reserve Wetlands Restoration Project, the Kelso Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Reis Biological Research Station.
  • Engage with faculty advisors who are both active in research programs and readily involve students in their research programs.

What Can You Do with an Organismal, Ecology, & Evolutionary Biology Degree?

At Southeast, a biology education goes beyond the classroom. We have amazing success stories to prove it. Southeast alumni are tackling careers at notable institutions.

Employment Opportunities of Recent Graduates

  • Monsanto
  • National Park Service
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • LAD Foundation
  • Open Rivers & Wetland Field Station

And, our students are gaining valuable experience to complement their classroom work with internships and field experiences at:

  • Missouri Department of Conservation
  • World Bird Sanctuary
  • Black Hills South Dakota
  • St. Louis Zoo
  • Whiterock Nature Preserve

Organismal, Ecological, & Evolutionary Biology (BS) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Outcomes & Careers

  • $88k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a microbiologist is $88,950.

  • $95k

    Biological Scientist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a biological scientist is $95,920.

  • $87k

    Environmental Scientist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for an environmental scientist and geoscientist is $87,480. 

What You'll Study

Degree Map

The Organismal, Ecological, and Evolutionary biology curriculum includes coursework to prepare you for career paths in research, education, public policy and ecology, and evolutionary biology. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

A minimum 2.0 GPA in the major and overall are required to graduate with a B.S. in Organismal, Ecological, and Evolutionary Biology“Critical Courses” are italicized and bolded. Data shows that students who have completed this course in the first two years and have earned the noted grade are most likely to complete this program of study.

Required Courses:

  • BI163 Evolution & Ecology (4)
  • BI173 Cell & Organismal Biology (4)
  • BI283 Genetics (4)
  • BI389 Career Development in Biology (2)
  • CH184 General Chemistry I Lab (1)
  • CH185 General Chemistry I (3)
Choose one math course:
  • MA116 Precalculus A (3)
  • MA137 Precalculus (5)
  • MA139 Applied Calculus (3)
  • MA140 Analytical Geometry & Calculus I (5)
Choose one additional math course:
  • MAxxx Additional math (for which MA116 is a prerequisite) (3)
  • MA155 Statistical Reasoning (3)
Experiential Learning Requirement (2 hours):
  • BI551-553 Biology Field Studies (2)
  • BI563-565 Experience in Museum Curation (1-3)
  • BI570 Development of Instructional Materials (1)
  • BI582 Internship in Biology (1-3)
Organismal, Ecological, & Evolutionary Option Required Courses:
  • BI300 Introduction to Evolutionary Biology (3)
  • BI332 General Ecology (3)
  • BI438 Biogeography (3)
  • BO310 Plant Biology (4)
  • ZO310 Zoology (4)
Biology Electives (7 Hours):
  • Any BI, BO, ZO, BT courses, 300 level and above (7)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year    

Fall Semester (15-17 Hours)     
  • UI100 (1) 
  • BI163 (4) 
  • CH184/185 (4) 
  • MA116/137/139/140 (3-5) 
  • General Education (3) 
Spring Semester (16 Hours)     
  • BI173 (4)
  • EN100 (3) 
  • Additional Math (3)
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA of 3.0

Sophomore Year    

Fall Semester (16 Hours)  
  • BI283 (4) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • Elective (3)
Spring Semester (16 Hours)    
  • BI332 (3) 
  • BO310 (4) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA of 3.0

Junior Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)    
  • BI389 (2) 
  • ZO310/010 (4) 
  • Biology elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
Spring Semester (15 Hours)     
  • BI300 (3) 
  • Biology elective (4) 
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (2)

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA of 3.0

Senior Year    

Fall Semester (14 Hours)     
  • Experiential Learning Course (2) 
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
Spring Semester (13 Hours)  
  • BI438 (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (4)
  • Elective (3)

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA of 3.0

A “Milestone” signifies a significant stage for a student in the completion of a degree.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Hands-on Learning

You’ll gain hands-on real-world experience through required 80 hours outside the classroom, gaining experience conducting, presenting, and publishing research.


"I’ve been going to the Saint Louis Zoo since I was a little kid, and the Primate House was my favorite part to go to every time. When I decided on my major and found out I needed an internship, the Saint Louis Zoo was the first place I thought of. I get to learn all about the species that they care for in the Primate House and how different each of them are. I am seeing how zoos work and how much they do for the animals and the conservation work of animals all around the world."

Emma Ahern

Biology Major Emma Ahern, at the St. Louis Zoo’s Primate House where she interned.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Contact Us
Rhodes Hall 224
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 6200
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701