Major spotlight: Biology

Chloe Nguyen, Staff Writer

The study of biology is the study of life, and students at Wayne State College can choose it as their majorStudents majoring in biology will be studying in the Life Sciences Department, located in the Carhart Science building. As a biologist, students will get to explore living and breathing creatures, while studying organisms from the tiniest insects to the largest mammals, including humans.  

“Hopefully the students get inspired when they get to see my enthusiasm and have the desire to learn for themselves, because it was the thing that motivated me to learn and to teach biology,” Wayne State Biology Professor Shawn Pearcy said.  

According to Wayne State’s official website, there are countless opportunities for careers with a biology degree, including positions with state and national parks, fisheries, wildlife management organizations and research labs. With a bachelor’s degree in biology, students can be candidates for graduate school in medicine, dentistry, nursing, physical therapy, physician assistant, chiropractic or veterinary medicine. 

“Most of the students who are in the science career [field] have ultimately decided to go to additional school for physical therapy and dentistry,” Pearcy said.  

The Biology Degree Program offers Bachelor of Arts degrees and Bachelor of Science degrees to Wayne State students. Popular minors for students to choose from include environmental studies, chemistry, public and global health, foods and nutrition and physics. 

“Typically, labs are held once per week,” Pearcy said.” Tests vary based upon the instructors, but personally, I usually have three exams in a semester, and that includes the final exam. I also have three quizzeswhich for me, big quizzes are like small tests.” 

“I always recommend the students to look at the stuff, study every single day and keep up with the current materials,” Pearcy said. “If you waited for two or three weeks off, you’re going to find it difficult to relearn all the materials that have been covered.” 

Generally, the students will have a test or quiz every other week. However, any students wishing to work directly with patients must complete the United States Medical Licensing Examination. 

You’re going to go through the information at a fast rate, and it’s important that you stay on top of the materials, Pearcy said. There are no requirements that students need to have to enter the program. However, there are board exams students have to take before they can touch a patient. 

The USMLE is a three-part exam, and requirements vary in each state. The first part of the exam will assess whether students can understand and apply basic science concepts to the practice of medicine. The second part assesses students’ ability to apply medical knowledge, skill and practices to patient care under supervision. The third part will assess whether students can apply medical and clinical science knowledge in unsupervised patient care. 

Students interested in biology as a major can contact the Records and Registration office by email at [email protected], or by phone at 402-375-7239. The office is in the Hahn Administration building in room 116.