The Ohio State University at Marion

​Biology degree approved for Marion campus

Students can begin classes toward OSUM’s newest baccalaureate program this fall.

Students enrolled at Ohio State Marion in autumn 2015 can start the path toward an Ohio State Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with all the needed courses offered in Marion.

University administrators anticipate hiring new biology faculty and adding the necessary coursework over the next few years to allow students who begin the biology program at Ohio State Marion this fall to complete the entire degree on the Marion campus by the time the first cohort of students is ready for graduation.

Adding the biology major in Marion has completed the review and approval process at all levels, beginning with Ohio State Marion’s faculty, the Division of Natural & Mathematical Sciences, the College of Arts & Sciences, and lastly the Council of Academic Affairs at Ohio State. Final approval was granted December 3, 2014.

According to Ohio State Marion Dean & Director Gregory S. Rose, adding the biology major to the growing list of Ohio State degree programs available in Marion ties directly to the campus’s long term strategic plan.

“We are currently in the design phase of our Science & Engineering Building to be closely followed by construction,” explained Rose. “Offering expanded degree programs in STEM areas is a significant part of our strategy to transform Ohio State Marion into a destination campus for students who want to prepare for professional careers in the fields of science and engineering.”

Caroline Breitenberger, Ph.D., Director of Ohio State’s Center for Life Sciences Education and Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, sees the added major as a welcome opportunity for students to continue their Ohio State degree on the regional campus.

“The addition of this major to the Marion campus offerings will provide an additional and welcome avenue for Marion area students who are interested in the life sciences, who will now be able to complete their undergraduate degree without having to change campuses,” said Breitenberger.

Bob Klips, Ohio State Marion Associate Professor of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal anticipates an eye opening experience for students considering majoring in biology.

“Biology is such a broad field of study. I am excited about the idea of our future biology majors becoming motivated to engage the full breadth and diversity of the biological sciences, not just biology as it relates to health sciences, but ecology, conservation, research, and the full expanse of the field.

According to Klips, Ohio State Marion has so many tools that add to this major, the diversity of the faculty, research opportunities, the Larry R. Yoder Prairie Nature Center, and the campus’s long standing commitment to sustainability and the environment to name a few.

Ohio State Marion Associate Dean Bishun Pandey feels the program provides a perfect educational stepping stone for students who aspire to become doctors or continue their education in a host graduate degree programs.

“Having a science degree on the Marion campus, especially in biological sciences,” said Pandey, “prepares our students to pursue graduate degree programs in many life science areas such as zoology, molecular genetics, forensic biology, microbiology, cellular and molecular biology.”

“It also provides our students an opportunity to become certified science teachers for grades K-12,” he added. “Students who are considering becoming a physician or working in the medical field can complete all their undergraduate degree requirements at Ohio State Marion.”

Susan Gershman, Ohio State Marion Assistant Professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, noted that the decision to add the major offers not only a benefit to those majoring in biology, but to other students on campus through expanded course offerings.

“Both biology majors and non-majors,” said Gershman, “will now have the opportunity to take a variety of additional courses in biology, microbiology, anatomy, ecology, and evolution."

"By offering a major in biology at Ohio State Marion, we hope that we can make a career in biological and biomedical disciplines accessible to more students,” added Gershman.

Careers in Research & Teaching
Students majoring in biology often choose careers as research scientists or college professors, for which students must first obtain a PhD. In the private sector, a master’s degree may be sufficient for a research or product-development position. Some biology majors, particularly those with research experience, find research assistant positions directly after obtaining their bachelor’s degree.

Careers in Medicine
Many biology students go on to careers in medicine or some other health profession. While a major in the biological sciences is not a requirement for medical school (or other professional schools in the health sciences), it has many advantages, with its exposure to the basic principles of life’s processes and the theoretical underpinnings of sophisticated medical procedures.

Careers with an Undergraduate Degree
An undergraduate major in the biological sciences does not limit one’s options to careers in medicine or biological research. It is excellent preparation for a career in education at the level of K-12. Some students move into other science careers such as business (e.g., pharmaceutical sales), or they obtain jobs in nature centers, parks and recreation, or government. Each year, many biology students choose to use their science background and the training they have received in analytical thinking and communication in careers that best suit their talents and interests, for example in business, law, or journalism. Salaries are commensurate with level of education and prior job experiences.

Other complete Ohio State majors & programs currently offered at Ohio State Marion include: business management, early & middle childhood education, English, history, psychology, RN to BSN option program, and social work, as well as the first two-years of course work in any Ohio State engineering degree program. Additional baccalaureate programs for Marion campus students, such as sociology, criminology, and health & rehabilitation sciences are currently under consideration by the university.

In addition, The Ohio State University at Marion offers pre-professional programs in pre-dentistry, pre-law, pre-medicine, pre-occupational therapy, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, and pre-veterinary medicine.

If you are interested in learning more about Ohio State Marion’s new biology major or other courses, degree programs offered, contact the campus at 740-389-OSUM or visit: