Study Biology-Human Biological Sciences at the University of Montana

Earn your degree in biology, with a concentration in human biological sciences, and prepare for diverse health careers and professional school opportunities.

Human biological sciences, also known as human biology, cover a broad spectrum of biology, chemistry, math and physics. A popular option for pre-med and pre-dentistry students, the human biology program makes it easy to acquire all of the coursework required by most medical schools, and allows you to tailor coursework for a wide variety of health professional schools and career pathways.

As a biology major at UM, you’ll work in one of UM’s most research intensive programs, alongside caring and dedicated instructors who publish extensively in the top scientific journals in our fields. You’ll also benefit from exceptional advising opportunities to help you get into the career or health professional school of your choice.


labs and field sites studying health and ecology


 of UM biology degree alumni working in a field related to their program of study


estimated average salary of UM biology bachelor's degree graduates

Other degree options for biology at UM

What can you do with a biology degree?

Most of our human biology majors go on to medical, dental or other health profession schools. It’s the top major for our pre-med students, who significantly exceed the national average in getting accepted to medical school. If you’re looking to start working in your field immediately after graduation, our bachelor’s in biology with a human biological sciences focus will prepare you for careers in research (especially with the pharmaceutical industry, scientific companies and government agencies) as well as policy development and consultation.

Human biology jobs

What jobs can you get with a biology degree? Careers for a biology major with an emphasis in human biological sciences include:

  • Physician
  • Physician Assistant
  • Dentist
  • Nutritionist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Research Technician
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Public Health Educator
  • Emergency Preparedness Specialist

Montana employers who have hired students from our human biology program include St. Patrick’s Hospital/Providence Health, Community Medical Center, National Institutes of Health Rocky Mountain Laboratories, and Center for Translational Medicine. Learn more about biology careers.

Human biology salaries

We estimate that graduates of our bachelor’s degree in biology earn an average of $72,263 per year. However, how much you actually earn will vary depending on your job, experience and education. To give you an idea, here are average salaries of several careers you might choose to pursue with a major in human biology:*

  • Physicians and surgeons: $208,000
  • Dentists: $164,010
  • Physician assistants: $115,390
  • Dietitians and nutritionists: $63,090

*Based on recent data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Video: UM biology student profiles: Devin Hunt

UM student Devin Hunt recently received a 100th percentile score on the MCAT, an almost unheard of achievement. The biology and microbiology major was awarded a yearlong fellowship next year with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“I fully credit the broad and robust training in the biological sciences and general microbiology I received at the University of Montana. That training, combined with faculty who pushed my boundaries of understanding, encouraged and supported me in advising and offered me opportunities at every turn, is really what UM does best.”

- Devin Hunt, UM human biology and microbiology major

Experiential learning in the human biology degree

If you’re interested in opportunities to get involved with groundbreaking biological research as an undergraduate, you’ve come to the right place. UM is home to more than 40 laboratories that actively research a wide array of biological, biochemical and pharmacological problems, and almost all of them engage undergraduates in their research efforts.

In the human biology program, you might find yourself contributing to research on how agricultural chemicals affect the immune system, how specific genes control mating and aggression in flies, or how viruses and bacteria coordinate with host cells to evade detection for pathogenesis or symbiosis. These are incredible opportunities to gain hands-on laboratory experience that will be a valuable addition to your credentials as you pursue admission to professional school or seek employment with your degree.

Career development in the biology major

At UM, you’ll enjoy all the opportunities of a major research university, combined with the personal attention and one-on-one mentorship you would typically only find at a small college. We are dedicated to helping all of our biology majors succeed in their career endeavors, as well as their academic pursuits.

For one, we’ve designed a curriculum to satisfy many of the requirements for coursework in health professional schools and graduate schools, with specialized scientific training to help you hit the ground running in your career. Our biology program also has a strong focus on advising, including career-specific advising for students aiming for medical, veterinary, physical therapy, physician’s assistant, and dental schools.

As many of our human biology majors are pre-health professionals, you’ll find vibrant, active clubs and associations for pre-med, pre-veterinarian and other pre-health professions that are ideal for making new connections and building expertise in your field.

Human biology program faculty

With a major in biology at UM, you’ll have access to faculty with expertise in cellular biology, molecular biology, microbiology, microbial ecology, immunology, developmental biology, neurobiology, biochemistry, and molecular evolution. Our instructors are known nationally and internationally, and publish extensively in the top scientific journals in our fields. Even more, they are caring and dedicated teachers who are here to help you succeed — in the laboratory, in the classroom and in the real world.  

Biology scholarships

Get additional help paying for your degree in biology. We offer a variety of departmental scholarships you can add to your financial aid to help cover tuition costs and more. Explore scholarship opportunities for biology majors at UM.

Biology degree requirements

The human biological sciences concentration includes upper-level core coursework in developmental biology, biochemistry, genetics, human anatomy and microbiology. The program also includes laboratory coursework requirements in chemistry, physics and other diverse areas of biological sciences, depending on your specific interests.

View all classes for the human biology concentration of the biology degree.