Major Decisions: Animal Biology

By: Southern Utah University

Choosing a major early in your college life has proven to be an indicator of career success. If you already know what you want to do for a career our series will help you choose a major that will match your career path. I’m Scott Wyatt, President of Southern Utah University. We strive to provide relevant education for you to meet your career goals. What spotlight do we have today Ellen? This is spotlight on Biology with Dr. William Heyborne.

Thank you so much for being with us today. Thanks Ellen. So tell me, how did you get into this field? When I came to the university I thought I was going to be a veterinarian, and then I got a taste of some research and really, really liked that and decided, hey I can make a career out of this. I’ve been a biology major ever since. What other kinds of people are kind of drawn to biology? I think the best biology students are student who are naturally inquisitive, who just spend a lot of time looking around at the natural world and asking lots of questions.

I think a second trait that is really imperative for a science student is to just have a really strong work ethic. If we flip that around and think about, maybe students that won’t be as successful in the sciences, if you are looking for all the answers, go somewhere else right? But if you are naturally curious and have lots of questions and want to pursue answers, then come on over to the sciences and we will help you. What types of jobs are available after studying this? Right now it seems like a lot of the jobs for kind of entry level with a bachelor’s degree right out of college, are kind of this intersection between technology and other science disciplines. And so if people are interested in going into industry I would encourage them to really get a very broad science background. Take some computer science classes.

Take a lot of chemistry; take some physics because that seems to be where the jobs are. Strictly for biology, a lot of the folks who leave our program go to work for the land management agencies, resource management agencies; the Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service State Parks, those sorts of places. And then, of course, those that go onto graduate school and professional school, so a really diverse group. We’ve intentionally built research experiences into our courses. Even our first year freshman level courses, at a time when lots of universities are cutting labs for introductory courses, we are trying to ramp ours up and make them more hands on more reflective of what it is really like to be a scientist. So we put a lot of resources into those early courses.

Major Decisions: Animal Biology

Then you couple that with the really awesome pre professional programs that we’ve developed here over the years and partnership with the rural health scholars program. We have acceptance rates to pharmacy school, medical school, and dental school that are just unsurpassed. We have among the highest acceptance rates in the state and if not the country.

We’re just doing some really great things here. Students can get a real top notch education. Treanor: That’s great! Thank you so much. Heyborne: Thanks Ellen. Treanor: This has been spotlight on biology with Dr. William Heyborne.

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