Biology

Why study biology?

Biology isn't just about memorizing facts. It's also about exploration of natural life, experiential learning and fascination with the natural world.

  • Biology students have access to some of the best clinical facilities around as Sioux Falls is a regional medical hub.
  • Present-day biology regularly uses chemistry, mathematics and physics as tools, so Augustana provides students with a sound background in these basic fields as well.
Biology at AU

Biology at AU

Virtual Cadaver Table at AU

Augustana University has one of only two known Anatomage Virtual Cadaver tables in South Dakota and one of only a few in the region. The Anatomage table is state-of-the-art technology that allows students to explore, discover and study the human body. The table offers the most realistic virtual cadaver with stunning visualization of full-body anatomy in life-size.

Virtual Cadaver Table at AU

Virtual Cadaver Table at AU

Course Descriptions

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Biology at AU

Biology at AU

Careers

Graduates secured careers as zoologists, researchers, physicians, dentists, occupational therapists, optometrists, political lobbyists, quality control specialists and technical writers. 

Hands-On Learning

Many students in biochemistry undertake paid research, engage in mentorship in research, internship and personalized advanced courses, present at national conferences and co-author peer-reviewed publications.

Augustana supports research through several grants, including an NIH grant providing $500,000 per year for undergraduate research and new equipment. 

Students have participated in research at:

  • Local biotechnology employers — SAb, Alumend, OmegaQuant, POET
  • Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN)
    • Augustana has welcomed 24 students, on average, every summer for the last five years thanks to funding from BRIN, funded by the National Institutes of Health. The biology department hosts 10-week fellowships each summer, where students work collaboratively with faculty to explore various research questions and use cutting-edge technologies in the Froiland Science Center. Department members also conduct field research and collaborate widely with regional and national universities.
  • EPSCoR
  • Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR)
  • Campus institutes — Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School, University of Texas, Vanderbilt
  • NASA’s Johnson Space Center

Internship opportunities include:

  • Avera or Sanford Health
  • Great Plains Zoo
  • Butterfly House & Aquarium
  • South Dakota Bureau of Personnel, including Department of Environment & Natural Resources and Game, Fish, & Parks
  • Vance Thompson Vision

Biology students study away in:

  • Florida and the Gulf Coast — focusing on marine biology with AU faculty
  • Kenya — focusing on global food insecurity and education with AU faculty
  • Guatemala and Belize — focusing on tropical ecology and Spanish immersion with AU faculty
  • San Jose, Costa Rica — at Universidad Veritas

Courses & Organizations

Students can choose to emphasize in these areas:

  • Neuroscience — provides students who wish to pursue neuroscience-related careers in medicine and research a strong foundation in the natural sciences with interdisciplinary explorations of psychology or philosophy
  • Cell & molecular biology — helps students interested in learning about the molecular and biochemical underpinnings of health and disease achieve careers in health professions or research in genetics, developmental biology, immunology, microbiology or physiology
  • Ecology & environmental science — supports the career goals of students interested in doing research in evolutionary, ecological or organismal biology, or working in environmental, conservation or resource management sciences
  • Allied health — benefits students interested in pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy, pre-chiropractic and pre-optometry

Biology students often participate in:

  • Tri-Beta Honor Society
  • Biology Club
  • Augie Green
  • Pre-Medicine Club
  • Kidney Disease Screening and Awareness Program