College of Life Sciences and Agriculture

Anthony S. Davis, Dean
Kimberly J. Babbitt, Associate Dean
Anton Bekkerman, Associate Dean


The College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) provides students a fundamental education in the agricultural, biological, life, natural, and social sciences. Advanced technical and professional courses are offered to prepare students for graduate school or entry-level positions in their chosen field. Preparation can vary from fundamental studies of cancer cells to community service planning, resource protection to genetic engineering, and molecular biology to biotechnology.

A blend of Discovery and foundational science courses, careful selection of supportive upper level courses, and ample opportunities to engage in internships, research, and study abroad experiences ensures graduates develop the background and experiences necessary to be competitive in the job market. Potential employers include federal, state, and local governments, consulting firms and industrial organizations. Graduates are employed as watershed, soil, and natural resource managers, associates in biomedical and agricultural research laboratories, marketing analysts and extension specialists, nutrition supervisors and environmental regulators, and information educators and communication experts. Community governments employ graduates as service planners and land-use specialists, teachers in traditional education, public health technicians, and urban pest control specialists. Positions are available in private and commercial organizations in production agriculture, food processing, landscaping, agribusiness, sales, and private planning. Graduates may also pursue entrepreneurial careers.

Additionally, COLSA prepares students for advanced study in their chosen field of interest where graduate study is required for attaining their career goals.


The college offers three undergraduate degrees: the bachelor of arts, the bachelor of science, and the bachelor of science in forestry. Some of the courses prescribed in these degree programs partially fulfill the University's Discovery requirements. Students should see their advisers for specific information.

General Science Certification

Students majoring in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, biomedical science, biology, environmental conservation and sustainability, environmental sciences, forestry, wildlife and conservation biology, or zoology may seek certification to teach science at the middle, junior, or high school level.

For further information, contact the coordinator of teacher education in the Department of Education.

Academic Advising

All students are provided both faculty and professional advising. Additional advising is provided to students pursuing a pre-professional health or veterinary track.
Undeclared Status

Students may select a major upon entering the college or wait until registration for the sophomore year. Students who are uncertain about choosing a specific major may remain undeclared during their freshman year. In most cases, they should take the following courses, after which they should be ready to declare a major:

Plan of Study Grid
LSA 400 Freshman Academic Experience I 1
BIOL 412 Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology 4
CHEM 403 General Chemistry I 4
Discovery Program requirement 4
Discovery Program Requirement or an introductory course in any department in the college 4
LSA 402 Freshman Academic Experience II 1
BIOL 411 Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular 4
CHEM 404 General Chemistry II 4
MATH 424B Calculus for Life Sciences 4
Discovery Program requirement 4
 Total Credits34

Undeclared freshmen should explore possible majors by taking courses in the areas or programs that interest them most. They should talk to faculty, students, and their adviser concerning requirements, job opportunities, etc. in the various programs and should be prepared to declare a major when they register for the first semester of the sophomore year.

Bachelor of Arts

The bachelor of arts degree is available in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, and Zoology. Students must accumulate 128 credits, attain a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average, satisfy Discovery requirements, and complete a foreign language requirement (see University Academic Requirements for specific B.A. language requirements). Check individual departmental listings for specific major requirements and minimum acceptable grades in major courses.

Bachelor of Science

The bachelor of science degree is available in all departments or programs. University requirements are the same as for the bachelor of arts degree, except that a foreign language is not required and minimum acceptable grades may differ in some programs. Check individual departmental or program listings for specific major requirements.