The Department of Biology offers majors in Biology and Environmental Science leading to a Bachelor of Science degree and a minor in Biology. Biology students may elect a curriculum for a major in Biology, Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Pre-Optometry, or Teaching Certification (Elementary or Secondary).

The Department also offers study beyond the bachelor's degree leading to a Master of Science in Biology. A limited number of teaching assistant-ships are usually available. Interested students should consult the Graduate Programs section of the catalog or the chair of the Department of Biology. There are opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to join funded projects. Students should contact appropriate faculty for these opportunities.
There are currently 35 faculty members who actively engage in Integrative and Integrative and Organismal Biology Research as well as Research in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Each faculty member has approximately 600 square feet research lab space located in the science building. The labs are outfitted for research in the above areas and both undergraduate and graduate students actively participate in research in the Department of Biology. Additional equipment is also available for use through the Department of Biology's pool of teaching and instructional equipment.

The Department of Biology maintains active research programs as well as a high standard of excellence with regard to teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. A Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) is located next to our building. This center offers significant collaboration opportunities in research.

Mission Statement

The Department of Biology is committed to excellence in instruction, scholarly accomplishment, research, professional service and student success. The Department provides a broad-based undergraduate education in Biology so as to give students the opportunity to pursue a career best-suited to their interests and abilities. Graduates are prepared to enter the workforce or continue their education in graduate or professional school. The Department provides rigorous pre-professional preparation for students seeking careers in biological sciences and health professions.

The Department also provides a service function to the University by providing a means for students to fulfill their science requirement. Non-majors receive instruction in scientific methods, a general overview of biology, new discoveries, and the importance of biology in society. An M.S. degree program provides the opportunity for advanced study, specialization, and research. The program prepares students for further graduate study at the doctorate level and for careers in the biological sciences and related disciplines.

The Department of Biology is committed to the discovery of new knowledge through research that is conveyed to professional and lay constituencies through publication and presentation and participation in policy decision-making.

The Department of Biology also engages the community through outreach programs, continuing education, educational leadership, and collaborations with local school districts and governmental agencies. Faculty members are also encouraged to take leadership roles in societies of their research specialties.


Student to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Edith Jones, one of our students who works with Dr. Robert Gilkerson
in mitochondrial dynamics research is traveling to Dr. Christopher
Vakoc's  lab at the prestigious Cold Harbor Laboratory in New York for
a period of 10 weeks. Her project is funded by the National Institues of
Health (NIH). Edith will work on proteins that are involved in leukemia.


Read article of  local newspape (In Spanish)

Photo by El Mañana - Luis Suñer



I. Integrative and Organismal Biology

Ecology and Systematics
Physiological Ecology
Remote Sensing

II. Cellular and Molecular Biology

Genetics and Molecular Biology
Organismal and Cellular Physiology

Contact Us

Dr. Frederic Zaidan III, Chair
Department of Biology
The University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley
1201 West University Drive
Edinburg, Texas 78539
Phone (956) 665-3537


  Webmaster: Dr. Luis Materon

1201 W. University Drive Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
956/665-UTPA  1-866-441-UTPA
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