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Biology: The UDC Edge

Biology students at the University of the District of Columbia are fully engaged in the research life of the university. Through the STEM Center for Research and Development and other research initiatives offered by UDC and the biology program, you have ample opportunities to gain research experience as an undergraduate, putting your classroom knowledge to work and providing unique preparation for graduate study or employment in the field.

In addition, the biology program is one of the leading research centers on cancer biology in the region, and students have the chance to work in partnership with expert faculty researchers to better understand this debilitating disease.

Bachelor’s Degree (BS) in Biology

Amongst the most popular and acclaimed degree programs at UDC, the bachelor’s degree program in biology provides you with a challenging and supportive learning environment, where faculty are your mentors as well as your instructors.

The program has a special emphasis on inquiry-based learning, giving you the opportunity to engage in grant-funded research as well as educational experiences in the metropolitan D.C. area from the moment you step onto campus. These real-world experiences—including opportunities to attend seminars and conferences, serve as science fair advisors, visit with the leading biology and health care thinkers and researchers in the field, and conduct research in a laboratory setting—complement intensive classroom learning.

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Curriculum and Requirements in the UDC Biology Program

The biology program at UDC offers a bachelor’s of science degrees that requires a 120 credit plan of study for graduation. The program is organized around specific knowledge competencies on biology phenomena; tangible skills in research, technology, and the operation of state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation; and the ability to collect, analyze, and present scientific information effectively and to apply this information to solving real-world problems. 

Students are also exposed to a variety of different aspects of biology, including:

  • Microbiology
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Ecology
  • Biotechnology

Student Organizations and Activities in the UDC Biology Program

The biology program at UDC is one of the most active and engaged on campus. Students have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities, including:

  • The STEM Center for Research and Development is a valuable resource for biology students and other students in STEM disciplines. The center offers course, research, and enrichment activities designed to strengthen students’ academic skills and engagement and to increase graduation rates.
  • The Minority Biological Research Support and Minority Access to Research Careers grant programs expose degree program students to current technologies and state-of-the-art equipment through hands-on research opportunities.
  • The UDC Cancer Research and Education Academy supports minority science students with an interest in cancer research and addressing health disparities in the D.C. area. It is closely aligned with UDC’s master’s degree program in Cancer Biology, Prevention and Control as well as the undergraduate program.
  • Biology students may also join the following student organizations:
    • Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society
    • Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society
    • Biology Club
    • Chemistry Club
    • Student chapter of National Institute of Science

Faculty Spotlight: UDC Biology Program

Carolyn Cousin, Ph.D., professor and program director, is an experienced cell biologist and parasitologist with a longstanding research interest in the area of schistosomiasis. She has received more than $5 million in grants from the NIH and the Agency for International Development to fund this research. Cousins also served as the principal investigator on a USDA-funded grant to examine the current perception of African Americans on cancer in the District of Columbia. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her teaching and research, both from within the university and from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Washington Post, Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.

Career Pathways and Prospects

With a biology degree from UDC, you are prepared to pursue an employment or advanced graduate study in a wide array of rapidly expanding, high-demand fields:

  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary sciences
  • Biomedical researcher
  • Cancer biologist
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Microbiology
  • Health policy
  • Health care administration
  • Teaching
  • Laboratory research

You may also consider UDC’s master’s degree program in Cancer Biology, Prevention and Control, offered in partnership with Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Contact info:

Deepak Kumar, Associate Professor, Chair

E: dkumar@udc.edu | T: 202.274.5937 | F: 202.274.5776