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Zoology Major

Undergraduate Catalog Link

Additional information about the zoology major, its degree requirements, critical tracking, and recommended semester plans can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

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Advising

Academic advising for the zoology major is provided by the Life Sciences Advisors in the CLAS Academic Advising Center. Refer to the Dept. of Biology Undergraduate Advising page for more information.

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Overview

The major in zoology offers students a modern, high-quality foundation education in the life sciences, with a particular emphasis on animal systems. Students gain knowledge about the diversity of life (its evolution and significance) and about the structure of organisms and ecosystems and how they function (i.e., the acquisition, flow, organization, and uses of information, energy, and nutrients in living systems). This knowledge is gained through direct laboratory experimentation, fieldwork, and independent research projects that are integrated with more formal coursework.

Zoology majors focus on the study of individual organisms and populations, as well as their relationships to each other and the environment, with the core foundation of evolution and ecology. Courses also emphasize the disciplines of genetics, anatomy, physiology and behavior along with other specialized fields of interest. Courses introduce zoology majors to a wide variety of topics while allowing individual interests to be studied. Advanced undergraduates are encouraged to participate in research with faculty.

Most career opportunities require advanced studies beyond the bachelor's degree. Students may choose a zoology specialization to prepare for graduate studies or employment in disciplines such as zoology, ecology, conservation and biology research; a preprofessional specialization to prepare for medical, dental or veterinary programs; or a secondary-education specialization to prepare for secondary-school teaching.

Ultimately, the undergraduate degree in zoology will be shaped by a students' course, laboratory and field work, as well as the instructors whom they encounter. These experiences will help to shape their goals as a zoologist.

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Degree Requirements

Refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for the specific degree requirements of the zoology major.

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Additional Life Science Courses

Students may select up to two courses from among the approved additional life science courses to count towards the 32 credit Zoology major requirement. Note that such courses can NOT be used to satisfy another requirement category.

Tracks

There are three specialization tracks in the Zoology major:

  1. Zoologist Specialization
    This specialization track is designed for students whose career goals include participation in basic or applied research in the life sciences, with an emphasis on the ecology, evolution, behavior, anatomy, development and/or physiology of animals. Students in this specialization should work closely with a department mentor to plan for graduate school or other career choices. Mentors and advisers will provide guidance for admission to graduate school and will help students select appropriate graduate programs. Refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for course requirements in this track and a recommended semester plan.

    Students in this specialization are strongly encouraged to participate in supervised research through Individual Studies in Zoology (ZOO 4905, three or more credit hours) beginning in the junior year or earlier. They should take the Graduate Record Examination in the fall of the senior year; and should complete applications to graduate schools by January before an expected fall-term admission.
  2. Pre-Professional Specialization
    This specialization track is designed for students who seek admission to medical, veterinary, dental, and optometry schools. Note that these students should also contact the Office of Health and Legal Professions Advising for further assistance in preparing for professional school. Refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for course requirements in this track and a recommended semester plan.

    Students in this specialization are strongly encouraged to participate in supervised research through Individual Studies in Zoology (ZOO 4905, three or more credit hours).

    Pre-veterinary students. To meet the UF Veterinary School admissions criteria, your zoology major curriculum should include the following minimum courses: PCB 3063, BCH 4024 or CHM 3218; MCB 3020/3020L; ANS 3006C and ANS 3440. You should also consider ZOO3713C (Functional Vertebrate Anatomy) and/or PCB4723C (Physiology and Molecular Biology of Animals). Complete admissions requirements for UF and other veterinary schools can be found here.
  3. Education Specialization
    This specialization track is designed for students who plan to teach in the life sciences in secondary schools or community colleges. Please consult an adviser in the College of Education.
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Minor

Students majoring in most other disciplines (except biology) can minor in zoology. The zoology minor requires a total of 17 credit hours of zoology coursework, which should include the core biology courses (8 credit hours) and at least three additional zoology courses from the Department of Biology at UF (except ZOO 4905 and PCB 4905). Credit for the core biology courses can be transferred from another institution.

Majors in zoology can minor in most other disciplines, and this is a good way to organize students' electives around areas of interest. For instance, a zoology major can get a minor in chemistry by adding just two chemistry courses: CHM 3400, 3610 or any 4000-level CHM course. Consider language and humanities minors, too. Note that zoology majors cannot minor in biology, nor can biology majors minor in zoology (the curricula for the zoology and biology majors are too similar).

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Academic Learning Compact

The Bachelor of Science in zoology offers you an education in the life sciences, with a particular emphasis on animal systems. You gain knowledge about the diversity of life (its evolution and significance) and about the structure of organisms and ecosystems and how they function (i.e., the acquisition, flow, organization and uses of information, energy and nutrients in living systems). You will learn about the scientific method and how it facilitates the discovery of new knowledge in zoology and biology. This includes how to critically evaluate hypotheses and conclusions in science using verifiable data and how to clearly and effectively communicate the major concepts and hypotheses in zoology and biology in an appropriate style of presentation.

Refer to the Zoology Major Academic Learning Compact in the Undergraduate Catalog for specific requirements and student learning objectives.

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Admissions

Incoming students (including transfer students) do not apply directly to the Department of Biology, but rather to the University of Florida. The Department of Biology does not have input into which students are admitted, and therefore our faculty do not "select" particular students for our majors.

We recommend that students who want to transfer from a two-year junior college complete the following "core" science and mathematics coursework in their first two years: Biology (e.g., BSC 2010/2011 plus lab), Chemistry (e.g., CHM 2045/2046 plus lab), Organic Chemistry (CHM 2210/2211 plus lab), Physics (e.g., PHY 2048/2049 or PHY 2053/2054 plus lab), Analytical Geometry and Calculus 1 (e.g., MAC 2311), and Analytical Geometry and Calculus 2 (e.g., MAC 2312) or Statistics (STA 2023). A detailed list of recommended steps for transfer students is available here.

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FAQs

Refer here for answers to frequently asked questions about majors in the Department of Biology.

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Careers

For a directory of career opportunities in the life sciences, click here.

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Contact

We are located on the University of Florida campus with our main office at 220 Bartram Hall and our teaching and faculty labs are located in Bartram, Carr, Dickinson and Rolfs Halls.

Undergraduate Coordinator: Dr. Ed Braun.

Dr. Braun can be reached at:
biouc-l@lists.ufl.edu

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