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Undergraduate Programs


Genetics, Development and Cell Biology (GDCB) considers undergraduate education to be a cornerstone of the university, and is a major participant in the development and offering of three world-class interdepartmental undergraduate majors: biology, genetics and bioinformatics and computational biology.  Please visit the GDCB teaching excellence webpage to learn more about GDCB faculty involvement in the department's teaching mission.  See information below to learn more about each undergraduate major and select program button to visit the home page of the major.


Iowa State University is great place to study biology. With over 200 faculty who are biologists, biology students have the opportunity to learn from research and educational leaders in all fields of the biological sciences.  To complement the outstanding biology academic program, students are also encouraged to become involved in biology through a number of activities, including the BEST learning community, international field trips, attending summer biological field stations to take courses or do research, doing research with faculty members on campus, or joining student clubs.

GDCB and Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology (EEOB) offer the Biology major.

Biology Undergraduate Program Newsletter:  Bionews, Vol 2, No 1, Summer 2014


Iowa State University has a long history of world-class research and education in genetics, making it one of the premier institutions for students to study genetics.  Genetics is the scientific study of heredity, the understanding of which is fundamental to all the biological sciences. The interdepartmental Genetics program offers a full range of instruction in all aspects of the genetics, from the molecular genetics of microorganisms to population genetics.

GDCB is one of three departments, along with EEOB and Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology (BBMB), to offer the undergraduate Genetics major.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Demand for individuals trained in bioinformatics and computational biology has exploded in recent years as huge amounts of data have been created through the advances of genome sequencing. Iowa State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences now offers a B.S. program in bioinformatics and computational biology (BCBio) that will prepare students for careers at the interfaces of biological, informational and computational sciences.

GDCB is one of three departments, along with Computer Science and Mathematics, offering this undergraduate major in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCBio). 

Botany class circa 1890
Botany class circa 1890

As of 1 July 2003, the Department of Botany and the Department of Zoology and Genetics ceased to exist on the Iowa State campus. This was part of a Regents approved reorganization of the Biological Sciences that resulted in the formation of two new departments, GDCB and EEOB.

As part of the reorganization process, the faculties of the Botany and Zoology and Genetics departments voted to discontinue offering undergraduate degrees in Botany and Zoology after the 2003-2005 catalog. Those students who would have majored in Botany or Zoology would now participate in an expanded Biology, Genetics or the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCBio) majors depending on their interests and career goals.