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Mission

The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences offers two majors: a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. in Environmental Science.  Each major consists of two parts:  a core curriculum and a concentration of study.  Biology majors must take the biology core curriculum and select a concentration of study in General Biology, Preprofessional (Premedical, Predental, Premedical Technology), or UTeaCh-Biology.  Environmental Science majors must take the Environmental Science core curriculum and select a concentration of study in Biology, Chemistry, Engineering Science, Geology, Geographic and Cartographic Sciences, Mathematics, or Sociology/Anthropology. In addition to requirements in the biology and environmental science majors, students must satisfy all university and general education requirements for graduation.

Students are urged to consider attendance at the institutions affiliated with UTC’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences that offer field course experience in the life sciences: Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Mississippi, offering courses in marine biology; and Highlands Biological Station, Highlands, North Carolina, offering courses related to the biology and ecology of the Southern Appalachians.

UTC offers several programs of study that allow a student to be accepted into professional school without first earning a bachelor’s degree, or to receive a UTC bachelor’s degree after successful completion of the first year of professional school.  Special preprofessional programs in dentistry, medical technology, medicine, cytotechnology, dental hygiene, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine are described in greater detail in the Pre-professional section.


 The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences perceives that its role at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is to function as a vital part of the metropolitan university community in the promotion of scholarship, research, and service. To carry out this role the department has the following mission:

  • To introduce students to the philosophy and methods of science through lecture, laboratory, and field experiences;
  • To provide courses and programs in biology and environmental sciences which have as their goal academic excellence and thereby provide an opportunity for students to obtain an education of a superior quality;
  • To assist students in preparing for post-graduate goals, whether to enter the work force or continue in formal education;
  • To develop student awareness of the need for critical thinking and lifelong learning;
  • To nurture the evolution of a curriculum for majors in biology, environmental science, and related areas that includes traditional information and contemporary frontiers in the life sciences;
  • To remain alert for emerging curricular and service needs;
  • To pursue opportunities for educational cooperation;
  • To recruit, give opportunity to, and retain students of diverse personal backgrounds with special effort for those historically under-represented in the sciences, i.e., minorities and women;
  • To encourage research by all faculty members;
  • To maintain the humane treatment of animals used in research and teaching while realizing the necessity of animal experimentation in the biological sciences;
  • To increase funding from outside sources for biology and environmental science;
  • To support interdisciplinary programs, e.g.. University Honors;
  • To remain committed to continuing faculty development;
  • To encourage cooperation and respect among students, faculty, and administration;
  • To recruit new faculty members, as needed, who are recognized as fully qualified for university level instruction and research;
  • To remain committed to evaluation of departmental effectiveness.
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