University of Maine at Augusta

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If you’d like to combine a firm foundation in the liberal arts with an emphasis in the sciences, our Biology program is for you. Our courses in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics will guide you toward advanced work in the biological sciences, while science electives will enable you to build expertise in an area of special interest.

Degree Offered: Bachelor of Arts
Available on the Augusta campus

Experts in their field, the Biology professors at UMA are first and foremost teachers focused on the student. Combine that with UMA’s small classes and labs, and you’re guaranteed to receive the attention and career guidance you need.

Beyond course and lab work, the Biology department also offers the student opportunities to work directly with faculty on innovative scientific research projects, or intern at a collaborating institution such as the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory of the Department of Health and Human Resources, or volunteer in Haiti as part of a course in global health

UMA’s Biology majors graduate with a broad spectrum of career options. Many of our graduates have obtained positions in laboratory science in both the public and private sectors and in education, while others have pursued graduate study in the biological sciences, medical school, and in allied health programs leading to careers as a physician’s assistant or pharmacologist. Biotechnology, environmental monitoring, and research laboratories are other possibilities for the UMA Biology graduate.

Recent Accomplishments and Awards – Congratulations to All!

Biology major Tristen Ripley was accepted to Tufts Medical School Maine Track Early Assurance Program. This program grants medical school admission to a select group of sophomores.  Tristen’s stellar academic record combined with his experiences in Haiti as a part of BIO 494 Perspectives in Global Health set him apart from the other applicants.

Mathew Collins (BA BIO, 2012) selected as student graduation speaker.  Listen to Mat’s speech at Graduation 2012.

Science Faculty Receive Awards at Convocation, September 21, 2012

Peter Milligan, Associate Professor of Biology – Distinguished Scholar Award

Susan Baker, Associate Professor of Science – Distinguished Educator Award and selected as a faculty speaker at Convocation.

Connect with the  UMA Biology Program on Facebook!


As a Biology major you will become a problem-solver who likes challenges. You will learn to be accurate, reliable, work well under pressure and finish a task once started. You will also communicate well, both verbally and in writing. Listed below are some representative skills and abilities that you will acquire.

Investigation Communication
Understanding cause & effect
Observing carefully
Designing experiments
Relating lab findings to common disease process
Utilizing formulae
Using medical terminology
Writing reports
Educating others
Training others
Working as a team member
Technical Analysis
Using laboratory equipment
Maintaining laboratory equipment
Monitoring quality control
Applying principles of safety
Attending to detail
Collecting & processing specimens
Perceiving patterns/structures
Examining specimens
Conducting tests
Analyzing data

As a Biology graduate, you will be able to apply your skills in a variety of settings including health care, business and industry, government and research organizations. The following is a list of some of your career options.

Health Care Government/Public Service
Laboratory Technician
Clinical Toxicologist*
Diagnostic Virologist*
Physician Assistant*
Medical Doctor*
Water Quality Inspector
Forensic Laboratory Assistant
Food Technologist
EPA Staff Member
Science Teacher (HS, College)*
Research Business/Industry
Cancer Researcher*
Pharmaceutical Research Assistant
Genetics Researcher*
Color Development Chemist
Brewery Laboratory Analyst
Paper Mill Lab Technician
Pharmaceutical Sales
Sales Representative for Biotechnical Instrumentation and Reagents

* Graduate level study is generally required for these occupations.

Upon completion of this program, students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of science and its influence on society and the natural world in order to be responsible and reflective professionals by:
    • Understanding that all living things have characteristics in common, share and evolutionary history, and belong to the biosphere.
    • Understanding the importance of biological diversity
    • Making informed assessments of the opportunities and risks inherent in the scientific enterprise
    • Having a knowledge and skill base that enables them to continue to educate themselves about scientific and technological issues
    • Having an understanding of the knowledge, skills and attitudes concerning the nature of scientific enterprise, integrative concepts, and the social and historical context of science
  • Demonstrate competencies in the biological sciences ta level that prepares them for graduate programs or careers in the field by:
    • Having an understanding of the methods and processes of scientific inquiry
    • Understanding that cell structure, physiology, and biochemistry serve as a foundation for organisms in the biosphere
    • Understanding the chemical basis of life
    • Demonstrating technological proficiency and sound knowledge of safe laboratory practices
  • Demonstrate quantitative and analytical skills needed by:
    • Applying mathematical tools to analyze scientific problems
    • Developing and analyzing experimental data sets
    • Obtaining a basic understanding of statistics and statistical applications
    • Demonstrating a quantitative understanding of experimental error and uncertainty

Annual UMA Biology Speaker

- UMA Biology Department Presents Charles Lubelczyk: Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Lyme & Vector-Borne Disease Laboratory   Use of Wildlife Serosurveys for Detection of Emerging Arboviruses in Maine. The two main mosquito-borne viruses (also known as arboviruses, for arthropod-borne viruses) recognized in Maine and known to cause human and animal disease are Eastern Equine Encephalitis... Read more »

Rachel Morris, BA in Biology 2007

- Rachel grew up in Nobleboro, Maine, enrolled at UMA in 1990 and earned her Associates in Medical Laboratory Technology 2 years later. After that she spent a year working as an MLT at Togus Veterans Administration Hospital. As a high school student, Rachel thought that she wanted to follow the pre-med path. However, when she... Read more »

Ethan Percy, BA in Biology (Pre-Med Emphasis) 2015

- Ethan moved to Woolwich, Maine, a little over a decade ago. He enrolled at UMA in 2011, earning his BA in Biology 4 years later. Within his first year at UMA, Ethan successfully completed his first biology and chemistry courses and gained confidence in his educational aptitude. At this point, he switched his major from... Read more »

Jillian King, BA in Biology 2014

- Jillian grew up in Wiscasset, Maine, and enrolled at UMA in 2010, earning her BA in Biology 4 years later. During her first year at UMA, Jillian took her first biology course and knew that she was destined for bigger things than originally planned, so she switched her major from Nursing to Biology. This was only the... Read more »

Nancy Keune, BA in Biology 2005

- Nancy grew up in West Gardiner, Maine, and enrolled in UMA in 1989 as an undeclared student; later, she transferred to a college in Florida and earned a BA in International Business. She then spent 10 gratifying years working at Walt Disney World, managed Disney’s Institute for Youth and adult educational programs. This is where... Read more »

Pamela Barter-Chessman, BA in Biology (Pre-PA Emphasis) 1998

- Pam grew up in Rockland, Maine, and enrolled at UMA in 1985, earning her Associates in Medical Laboratory Technology 2 years later. She then spent 17 enjoyable years working as an MLT for a local cardiologist and later at Togus Veterans Administration Hospital. While working at the VA as an MLT, she grew to admire... Read more »

Tristen Ripley, BA in Biology (Pre-Med Emphasis) 2014

- Tristen grew up in Liberty, Maine, and enrolled at UMA in 2010, earning his BA in Biology 4 years later. As a sophomore, he was accepted into Tufts Medical School’s Maine Track Early Assurance Program. This special admissions option became available to Tristen due to his phenomenal academic achievements, combined with his experience in Haiti... Read more »

Program Checksheets

The Bachelor of Arts in Biology curriculum is outlined here.


MLT 2+2 Option

UMA also offers a pathway to the BA in Biology for individuals who have completed an NAACLS accredited Medical Laboratory Technology Associate degree, or are concurrently pursing the UMA AS in MLT program.  The curriculum is outline here.

University of Maine at Augusta