Greetings from the McMurry Department of Biology. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to helping you build the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a career related to health, medicine, nature and the environment — or as a science educator at the secondary level.

We’re scientists through and through — with a love of discovery and passion for teaching that shows in the enthusiasm of our students and the accomplishments of our alumni. We stay in touch with practicing professionals to keep our content focused on the skills and knowledge employers are looking for. You can count on relevant courses that are continually enhanced.

Look around to learn more about the world of biology at McMurry. We’re excited for you to join our exploration of life’s wonders inside and around us.

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Areas of Study

The study of biology is as broad and fascinating as life itself. We offer degrees in four of the field’s more sought-after areas.


Biology is a field-based, ecologically focused discipline that provides the knowledge and skills for understanding the diverse world of wildlife and nature. It’s an excellent choice if you’re interested in an environmentally or ecologically focused career — or if you’d like to train as a veterinarian or continue other advanced studies in the biological sciences. Your learning will focus on animals, plants, ecology and the environment — with lots of opportunities to apply your knowledge in the field. You’ll complete an internship or original research project as part of your education. At McMurry, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in biology or choose a minor in biology. Biology

Biomedical Science

Through the study of biomedical science, you’ll develop a deep and practical knowledge of contemporary biology that sets the stage for a career as a researcher, health professional, microbiologist, geneticist, forensic scientist and more. The research-rich and skill-focused curriculum focuses on molecules, cells, microbes, and human biology and health. For your capstone project, you’ll select an internship or design and complete your own research project. Your studies will earn you a Bachelor of Science in biomedical science. Biomedical Science

Environmental Science

If you’re interested in a broader view of life and the environment, you’ll gain practical knowledge and marketable skills by studying environmental science. As human activity accelerates its impact on the health of our planet, you’ll focus your studies on biology, geology, and the chemistry of ecosystems and the environment. You’ll prepare yourself for a career in the public or private sectors where the need for environmental assessment, remediation and management is growing. Your capstone project as a researcher or intern will bring everything you’ve learned into focus. At McMurry, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in environmental science. Environmental Science

Life Science

If you’re interested in all facets of biology, life science provides a broad exposure to life in all its forms. The curriculum offers strong human, animal, plant, microbe, molecular, genetic, physiological and ecological components. Combining this degree with a minor in curriculum and instruction, life science will prepare you for a career as a biology teacher. You’ll complete an internship or original research project as part of your education. You can choose to earn a Bachelor of Science in life science or a Bachelor of Science in life science grades 7-12, which requires a minor in curriculum and instruction in life science grades 8 -12. Life Science

Sustainability and Renewable Resources

As a Sustainability and Renewable Resources major, you’ll take a broad set of courses, including biology, chemistry, conservation, environmental pollution, climate change, environmental sociology, environmental stewardship, and environmental policy and regulation. Sustainability and Renewable Resources

Advanced Degree Pathways

The department of biology has advanced degree pathways with graduate programs and health professions schools that enable our students to move seamlessly into the next phase of their education. We also work with selected community colleges to facilitate the transition of community college students into McMurry biology programs. The biology department is continually evaluating other opportunities for articulation agreements. To learn more, please contact pre-health advisor Dr. Larry Sharp.


McMurry to Parker University 3+3 Program
Students apply for acceptance to the doctor of chiropractic program at Parker University. Accepted students enter the doctoral program after their junior year at McMurry, and their first year of professional courses transfer back to complete the Bachelor of Science in biology, biomedical science, life science or kinesiology.

McMurry to Texas Chiropractic College 3+3 Program
Students apply for acceptance to the doctor of chiropractic program at Texas Chiropractic College. Accepted students receive early admission and transfer courses back to complete their McMurry Bachelor of Science in biology, biomedical science or life science.

Community College

Cisco College
McMurry encourages the transition of community college students into biology programs by maximizing credit for class work completed. The community college-to-McMurry articulations with Cisco College include one specifically between their biotechnology program and our Bachelor of Science in biomedical science program. Where formal agreements aren’t in place, we provide equal consideration to any student entering McMurry from an accredited college or university.


McMurry to UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry Dental Early Acceptance Program (DEAP) 3+4
Pre-dentistry students apply for this program during their freshman year. Accepted students complete three years of prescribed courses at McMurry and enter the UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry rather than returning to McMurry for their senior year. After the first year of dental school, students receive their Bachelor of Science in biology, biochemistry or biomedical science. This allows students to complete their McMurry Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Dental Surgery in seven years.

Physical Therapy

McMurry to Hardin-Simmons University Doctor of Physical Therapy 3+3
Students apply for this program early in their McMurry career. If accepted, they enter the doctor of physical therapy program after their junior year. Courses taken in PT school also count toward completion of their McMurry undergraduate degree.


McMurry to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Jerry H. Hodge School of Pharmacy 3+4
Students apply for this program early in their McMurry career. If accepted, they enter the doctor of pharmacy program after their junior year. Courses taken in pharmacy school also count toward completion of their McMurry Bachelor of Science in biochemistry or biomedical science. This articulation agreement can also be pursued by students who begin studies at a community college, transfer to McMurry and then move on to pharmacy school.

Student Opportunities

Pre-Professional Programs

The mission of the McMurry University Pre-Professional Program is to provide the curricular advising and career guidance needed by our students as they prepare themselves for application to and successful completion of a professional school program. Pre-Professional Programs

Biology Club

The McMurry Biology Club is a group of like-minded individuals with a strong interest in biology and the biomedical sciences. Most members are majoring in a biology-related field, but anyone with a love of biology is welcome to join. The club hosts a variety of events—fundraisers, campouts, trash pickups and more—that give biology-minded people an interesting and enjoyable way to get together and “talk shop.” Email Dr. Terrence Boyle, advisor, to learn more.

Brady Cox Endowment

The Brady Cox endowment, honoring the late Dr. Brady Cox, funds a scholarship to support students by broadening their experiences to improve their preparation for successful futures as health professionals.  Students may apply for a maximum of $250 to defray travel expenses associated with conference attendance or group trips with a health professions theme.  Contact Erica Medina, your faculty advisor, or your academic coach for more information! More Information

TriBeta Honor Society

McMurry is home to the Pi Beta chapter of the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society. TriBeta is dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research. The group often collaborates with the Biology Club membership and is open to all students who meet TriBeta’s requirements, including good academic standing and a B average in all biology courses. TriBeta

Departmental Honors and Awards

Each spring, the biology department presents awards to outstanding freshman, sophomore, junior and senior biology, biomedical science and life science majors. The top junior in the department receives the Ko Sari-Bob Uselton scholarship; the top biomedical science major receives the Danny Cooley award and scholarship. Honors Program

Research Opportunities

Because learning by doing is the most powerful way to learn, we actively engage students in the process of discovery in three ways.
  • Courses are discovery based. Class labs often include small research projects to teach experiment design, data collection and analysis of results.
  • Students are invited to join faculty research. This can take the form of weekly participation in a research project or summer research conducted on campus or in other research centers. Current departmental research teams include the Brant Scouts, Crab Boyle and Oncogeniuses.
  • Students are required to complete a capstone experience. These senior-level projects confirm that our students have the working knowledge and skills to design, conduct, analyze and present scientific information.

Research-Based Financial Support

The Science and Mathematics Advisory Board administers two special programs that provide financial support for student researchers. The Clark Beasley Summer Research Stipend is a competitive award for biology, biomedical science and life science students who want to participate in summer research with a biology department faculty member. The Charles and Lisa Bloomer Research Stipend is a competitive award for any science major participating in research with a sponsoring faculty member during the regular academic year.

Global Learning Endorsement

The Global Learning Endorsement provides an opportunity for students to highlight academic achievement in global/international studies on their transcript. This endorsement will provide helpful documentation of the student’s expertise for employment in an increasingly globalized world. Learn More

Beyond McMurry


An undergraduate education in biology is an excellent foundation for a broad range of careers and advanced study.
  • Allied Health
  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Assessment
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Remediation
  • Environmental Studies
  • Forensics
  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Health Research
  • Medicine
  • Microbiology
  • Natural History
  • Science Education
  • Science-related Sales
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Wildlife Research

Join the Ranks of Accomplished Alumni

On average, 80 percent of McMurry's biology, biomedical science and life science graduates pursue careers or advanced degrees in a science field. This record continues the success our graduates have achieved for decades, including serving as presidents of the American Medical Association, Texas Dental Association and International College of Dentistry.

You’ll find McMurry biology graduates leading the way in a wide range of fields:
  • Law
  • Pharmacy
  • Research scientists
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Dentistry and Medicine
  • Hospital Administration
  • Zoos and Wildlife Management
  • Science Education at the Secondary and Collegiate levels
  • Governmental positions with the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations and others
  • Health professions, including chiropractic, optometry, physical therapy, physician assistant, podiatry, prosthetics and others

Biology Faculty and Staff

Joel Brant Department Chair / Professor of Biology
Thomas Benoit Professor of Biology
Terrence Boyle Assistant Professor of Biology
Malaney O’Connell Assistant Professor of Biology
Anna Saghatelyan Professor of Biology
Larry Sharp Chief Health Professions Advisor • Associate Professor of Human Health Science
Gary Wilson Professor of Biology


The McMurry Science and Mathematics Advisory Board offers advice, sponsors educational projects, helps recruit students and funds activities that benefit McMurry, its faculty and students.

The advisory board works to:

  • Promote McMurry and improve the quality of education received by students through programs and projects that enhance science and mathematics
  • Increase the flow of innovative ideas to the administration and faculty by scientists, mathematicians and the community
  • Involve supporters of the science and mathematics departments in shaping the future of McMurry’s science and mathematics programs
  • Promote and coordinate recognition of science and mathematics alumni who have demonstrated outstanding success and leadership in their professions
  • Participate in revenue generation for specific projects and needs for the science and math departments