Earning acceptance into the graduate school of your choice feels good. Attending that graduate school free of charge, while also receiving a stipend, may seem too good to be true.
It is true, though, and we have the graduates to prove it. In just the past few years, we’ve put students into funded Ph.D. programs at prestigious schools like the University of Wisconsin, Michigan Tech University, Rutgers and North Carolina.
“I’m really pleased that our graduates with a passion for biology have had incredible success being accepted by some pretty high-powered programs,” says Paul Pickhardt, Lakeland’s natural sciences division chair. “If you pursue a masters or Ph.D. in biology, and you’re applying to good programs, they will pay you to go to school.”
We can help you get there
Whether your goal is to attend graduate school or land a job with your biology bachelor's degree, we will put you in position to succeed. We cover all the academic bases, guiding you through a wide array of classes ranging from genetics to molecular biology to chemistry and physics.
Lakeland’s signature approach to education involves hands-on teaching and interactive learning. Our biology program is a testament to that, with application-based lab work that breaks the mold.
“In our environmental science courses, for example, our students go out in the field and do science as if they were actually professional biologists,” says Pickhardt, a 2011 Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award winner. “And across the curriculum, we try to emphasize that our labs aren’t cookie-cutter like they are at other places. They’re certainly not being taught by a grad student or teaching assistant.”
Biology Major (54-55 semester hours) for Education and non-education Majors
- BIO 111 Life Sciences I (4 semester hours)
- BIO 112 Life Sciences II (4 semester hours)
- BIO 262 Genetics (4 semester hours)
- BIO 350 General Ecology (4 semester hours)
- BIO 475 Scientific Analysis & Writing I (2 semester hours)
- BIO 476 Scientific Analysis & Writing II (2 semester hours)
- CHM 131 Principles of Chemistry I (4 semester hours)
- CHM 132 Principles of Chemistry II (4 semester hours)
- One of the following:
- MAT 220 Probability and Statistics (3 semester hours)
- MAT 231 Calculus I (4 semester hours)
- Two courses from one of the following groups:
- PHY 211 General Physics I (4 semester hours)
PHY 222 General Physics II (4 semester hours)
- PHY 251 Physics I (4 semester hours)
PHY 252 Physics II (4 semester hours)
- PHY 211 General Physics I (4 semester hours)
- 15 additional biology (BIO) and/or biochemistry (BIOC) semester hours, at the 200 level or higher, with at least 10 semester hours at the 300 level or higher.
Note: To qualify for Early Adolescence through Adolescence (grades 6-12) teaching certification, a student must complete the courses listed above, the Early Adolescence through Adolescence Professional Sequence, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's (DPI) statutory requirements.
Listed below are just some of the jobs or graduate school positions Lakeland College biology students from recent graduating classes have landed:
- Graduate student, Washington University
- Culinary development scientist, Johnsonville Sausage
- Graduate assistant, Cartwright Graphics/University Wisconsin-La Crosse
- Graduate research assistant, Ph.D. program, cellular and molecular biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Fire controlman, United States Navy
- Certified industry analyst, Dean’s Foods-Verifine Dairy
- Medical laboratory technician, University of North Carolina Hospitals
- Health educator, United States Peace Corps
- Research assistant, Oak Ridge National Lab
- Graduate research assistant, The Ohio State University
Name: Phil Sontag
Hometown: Altoona, Wis.
Title: Ph.D. graduate student, environmental science
Business: Rutgers University
Some large, predatory fish contain dangerous levels of mercury, and if consumed in large enough quantities, they present risk to humans.
But how does the mercury get into the fish? How does it work its way across the food web? Why does its concentration increase with each move up the chain?
Those are some of the questions Phil is trying to help answer through his intensive graduate research.
“When someone talks about mercury poisoning from eating fish tissue, 95 percent of that is methylmercury, which is what I’m studying,” Phil explains. “I’m focusing on the base of the food web, the concentrations in ocean water and how it enters phytoplankton and algae.”
Eventually, Phil would like to be a professor at a large university, so he can continue his research while also teaching. But before then, adventure awaits. Next year he’ll board a research ship bound for Antarctica, where he will study trace metals.
When Phil came to Lakeland, he started as an Exercise Science and Sport Studies major, but when he took a required general biology class, he quickly thought, “all right, I’m changing majors.”
“I was introduced to phytoplankton, and everything just took off from there,” he says. “Professor Paul Pickhardt is a really great guy who met with me to discuss papers, clarify things and explain things to me when I needed help. I got so much personal attention. You’re not going to get that one-on-one treatment at a big school.
“I definitely think Lakeland prepared me for generating research ideas, and the critical thinking was a huge thing there. Lakeland was just a really good place for me, a place where I was able to imagine what I could do in the future.”
Biology at Lakeland
From the ponds on our picturesque campus to the jungles of Belize, your biology journey at Lakeland College will provide you with opportunities near and far.
Every other May, a group of 10-15 Lakeland students travels to Belize for an interactive tropical biology course that emphasizes investigative research in a tropical rainforest. Students live in a lowland forest for nine days, plus study coral reef ecology on the reefs of Belize for a few days.
“If you asked all of the students who have made this trip, I think the response would be unanimous that it’s a life-changing experience,” says Pickhardt.