Undergraduate Biology Program

Biology, the study of living things, is an exciting and dynamic field that offers many areas of focus. Students may choose to study how life forms function at the molecular, cellular, organismal or ecological levels. The biological sciences provide opportunities to study viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals and to investigate the biochemical, physiological, anatomical, behavioral, or ecological processes that make each organism unique.

The objectives of the Biology Program are:

(1) to present to the general university student the methods of science and the fundamental principles of biology;

(2) to provide students with broad foundation training in biology in preparation for professional careers in teaching, medicine, dentistry (and other health professions), biotechnology, industry, government and research; and

(3) to provide training in specialized fields as service to programs in Agriculture, Psychology, Health, Home Economics, Kinesiology, and others.

The Biology major may choose from among two degree programs: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science.

BA, BS degrees in Biology

2012-2014 Catalog Curriculum
2010-2012 Catalog Curriculum

Specializations are available in General Biology, Zoology, Botany, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Biotechnology.

Careers in Health Professions, Biomedical Research, Wildlife Biology, Graduate School, Science Teaching are all possible choices for graduates of these degrees. 

Academic Distinction

Graduation with “Academic Distinction in Biological Sciences” is available at SHSU. This honor is recognized at the commencement ceremony, posted to the diploma, and to the academic transcript. Requirements for earning Academic Distinction are:

1) Student must complete six hours in the Academic Distinction program. This must be two semesters of a three or four hour credit version of BIO 495, Independent Study, with a selected faculty mentor. These credits by University rule cannot count towards any requirement in the degree plan, i.e. they must be in addition to normal graduation requirements.

2) Before a student enrolls in BIO 495 and declares an intention to earn Academic Distinction, the student must obtain written permission from the Department Chair, the Director of the Honors College, and the Academic Dean (Dean of Sciences).

3) Student must maintain a GPA in their major of 3.50 or above and overall GPA of 3.25 or above to be eligible for Academic Distinction.

If you are interested in the Academic Distinction program, please contact the Department Chair.


Undergraduate Environmental Science Program

The Environmental Science minor provides the student with concepts, methods, and practical/laboratory and field experience in environmental pollution assessment and pollution control technology. The program is designed to meet the growing demand for environmental scientists in government, industry, and consulting due to a growing body of environmental legislation.


Medical & Allied Health Programs

Students majoring in Biology with the ultimate goal of pursuing entry into programs leading to degrees in all phases of the medical and dental arts, or allied health should be advised by the Office of Medical & Allied Health Programs:


For further information regarding Medical & Allied Health Programs contact:

Medical & Allied Health Programs
Sam Houston State University
Box 2209
Huntsville, TX 77341

936.294.1401 or FAX 936.294.3873

Department of Biological Sciences

1900 Ave. I, Lee Drain Building (LDB) Suite 300
P.O. Box 2116
Huntsville, Texas 77341
Phone: 936.294.1540 Fax: 936.294.3940

DNA electrophoresis showing the inserts in eight different (Escherichia coli) clones. We are cloning promoters from Mycobacterium smegmatis which are active in stationary phase.

Primm Lab

The Steelcolor Shiner (Cyprinella whipplei) is a common minnow that consumes terrestrial and aquatic insects and is an important player in regulating nutrient dynamics in stream ecosystems.

Hargrave Lab

Habitat assessment and inventories of small mammal populations.

Thies Lab

Reconstructing the paleoenvironment of northwestern Botswana by comparing indigenous species with fossil material excavated from two cave systems.

Thies Lab

The orangethroat darter (Etheostoma spectabile) is a common darter that consumes benthic grazing invertebrates affecting a stream primary productivity and creating a trophic cascade within an aquatic ecosystem.

Hargrave Lab

A collaboration with Dr. Howard K. Reinert at the College of New Jersey to investigate habitat use of the Boa constrictor which has recently invaded the island of Aruba. Potential niche overlap could become a concern for the conservation of the endangered Aruba Island Ratttlesnake.

Lutterschmidt Lab

Rhodobacter sphaeroides, a purple photosynthetic bacteria, whose genome has been completely sequenced and fully annotated.

Choudhary Lab

Methyl green agar plates for examining whether microorganisms synthesize and secrete DNAse enzymes which degrade extracellular DNA for nutrient acquisition.

Primm Lab

The desert bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) of California's and Mexico's Peninsular Ranges is a federally listed endangered species. Physiological adaptations allowing this large mammal to survive desert conditions are studied in Turner's lab.

Turner Lab

A chromatogram of DNA sequences from various clones.

Choudhary Lab

A gregarine (Nubenocephalus secundus) parasitizing the midgut epithelium of the blue-ringed dancer (Argia sedula). This is one of many new gregarine species described from an investigation for the biodiversity of these aquatic insect parasites.

T. Cook Lab

Parental feeding rates to nestlings are monitored at nests of Carolina Wrens as part of a study on parental investment strategies.

Neudorf Lab

A unicellular bi-flagellated alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii) is a model organism for studying the inctracellular signaling mechanisms that control movement of eukaryotic cilia and flagella.

Gaillard Lab

A genus of parasitic plants (Harveya) depends entirely on its hosts for water, minerals, and photosynthates. Such plants are of unique interest in molecular evolution and systematics.

Randle Lab

A fossil jaw of a gerbil lying outside of Gcwhihaba cave, Botswana. Gerbils are important indicators for paleoenvironmental reconstruction in the region.

Lewis Lab

A radio-tracked female Northern Cardinal as part of a study on extra-pair mating strategies.

Neudorf Lab

The white-tailed deer persists in historic home ranges despite encroaching development. Studies of urbanization influences fecundity, distribution, enzootic and epizootic disease, and parasites are of interest.

Turner Lab

Chromatophore is the photosynthetic apparatus of R. sphaeroides which allows this organism to harvest light energy.

Choudhary Lab

Female timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) demonstrate seasonal differences in baseline and stress-induced hormone responses due to reproductive condition. Corticosterone is significantly higher in gravid females due to stressors related to reproduction.

Lutterschmidt Lab

By examining what causes variation in modern African rodents, like this gerbil, we can better understand how environments have changed where we find their fossil ancestors.

Lewis Lab

A population of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cells exhibiting phototaxis, migration toward light. Some pharmacological agents inhibit phototaxis by inhibiting flagellar motility of the cells.

Gaillard Lab

Species-specific mange mite recorded for the first time in Texas from 6-year-old male white-tailed deer. Infection of the deer may be related to effects of crowding in rural/urban deer herds.

Turner Lab

The southern redbelly dace (Phoxinus erythrogaster) is a common stream minnow that consumes benthic algae, playing an important role in the regulation of periphyton biomass in small headwater streams.

Hargrave Lab

Male Northern Cardinals are banded and measured as part of a study of extra-pair mating behavior.

Neudorf Lab

We are investigating the reproductive timing and potential of the Boa constrictor which has recently invaded the island of Aruba and has become a concern for the conservation efforts of the endangered Aruba Island Rattlesnake.

Lutterschmidt Lab

Distribution, abundance, and reproduction of rural/urban deer herds are a growing concern in southeast Texas. Habitat impacts relative to human encroachment and high deer populations are being studied by Turner's lab.

Turner Lab

A large lineage of small moths (Gelechioidea) remains poorly known in the Nearctic, with only 30% of its species described. Modern morphological and molecular systematics are used with behavioral and ecological data to study and infer systematic relationships.

Bucheli Lab

A gregarine (Nubenocephalus secundus) parasitizing the intestine of the blue-ringed dancer (Argia sedula) by attaching to the epithelium with a long slender epimerite and a wide "suction cup"-like protomerite at its anterior.

T. Cook Lab

The reptile fauna from northwestern Botswana, including this chameleon, is helping us better understand how and why the climate has changed in this region over the last two million years.

Lewis Lab

This neotropical hemipteran (Neoplea absona) in the family Pleidae was a specimen used to revise the genus. Pleids, or pygmy backswimmers, are predators of micro-crustaceans in stagnant waters.

J. Cook Lab

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