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Annual Biology Events and Student Journal

Annual Trick to the Treat of Research and Internships
Come and learn about the research and internship experience from your fellow NSU Biology Students 

Annual Pre-Health Day
Come and hear from professionals in health-related fields. Many of our presenters were biology students here at NSU. You can also register for a mock professional/graduate school style interview 

Ocean Science Research Symposium
An opportunity to showcase your research and hear from graduate students and researchers in the College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography

Undergraduate Symposium
A Research Symposium where undergraduate students present their work in a variety of fields

TEDxNSU – Talks by Faculty and Students
TEDxNSU occurs every winter semester

Undergraduate Student Journal
Submit your paper to our very own journal designed to showcase undergraduate research


The Mission of the Department of Biological Sciences (DoBS) is to provide students with a strong foundation in biology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Department is committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service, providing opportunities and connections for current students and graduates to achieve success in their careers.

Within the Biology Department, there are opportunities for study at both the undergraduate level (with a biology major) and at the graduate level (with a master's in biological sciences) and also a certificate in computational molecular biology. The masters in biological sciences has three paths of study: A 12-month concentration in Health Studies, and 2-year paths of study that involve either a capstone or thesis project. Students may become involved in various research projects including the fields of genomics and the study of the microbiome, which are the bacteria that make up other organisms, including ourselves. 

Featured DoBS graduate,Valentina Ramirez
 Featured DoBS graduate, Valentina Ramirez


In the Department of Biological Sciences, students have the opportunity to interact and study with faculty who excel in the areas of teaching, service, and scholarship. Every year, students participate in a wide variety of service and research opportunities under the direction of deparment faculty, including internships assisting surgeons with an organ transplant team at the Medical University of Graz, Austria, conducting research in a virology lab at Harvard University, and working alongside medical school students and practitioners as part of the International Human Cadaver Prosection Program held at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Students in our department are also able to connect with a growing network of alumni who are leaders in the various fields of medicine, science education, and biological research, among others.


 Click below to learn more about our programs



Health Sciences

Health Studies


Comp. Mol. Biology


Student Internship


Bio. Student Award

The biology major, with a premedical emphasis, provides a strong curriculum in biology with significant study in the physical sciences. This major can provide the basis for graduate study in specialized fields of biology, for professional training in medical fields, and for teaching. Professional careers in the medical fields and in biology involve graduate study beyond the baccalaureate degree; therefore, both the core and the major have been designed to meet the admission requirements of many medical, dental, pharmacy, optometry, allied health, and veterinary schools, and of schools for graduate study in the biological sciences. Dual admission and combined programs with the Nova Southeastern University Health Professions Division are available for select, qualified students. Information on these programs can be obtained form the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

To learn more, click on the link below:

Biology Major


Admissions Requirements:

  • Completed NSU application
  • Bachelor’s degree in science from an accredited institution or an approved degree credentialing agency for international students.
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Major GPA of at least 3.0
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • International students must meet the English proficiency requirements
  • GRE, MCAT, DAT, OAT or PCAT scores required

This concentration is a 12-month, 30-credit program designed to better prepare graduates of undergraduate science programs for entrance into health or medical professional schools.  It offers the opportunity for students to enhance their academic records, to improve graduate entrance test scores, and to obtain a graduate degree. 

The concentration is geared toward the student who has completed an undergraduate science degree and is desirous of working towards a graduate degree in Health Studies.  The student will obtain a Master’s of Science degree at the end of the program that will prepare them for future careers in any health-care professions, other graduate science programs or employment.  They will be exposed to rigorous course work that is indicative of graduate health programs. 

A comprehensive examination is given at the end of the Winter semester to allow the assessment of student performance over the course of study.  A passing grade must be achieved, and a second opportunity will be provided two weeks after the first attempt.

A Kaplan Prep course will be offered to assist students in achieving an acceptable exam score, and will be available in the summer semester to students who have been accepted into the program and registered for classes in the Fall semester of the same year. Students will choose the test prep course appropriate to their career goals as Kaplan offers test preparation for various standardized tests e.g., MCAT, DAT, and PCAT.

For more information about the Health Studies Concentration, contact Dr. Deanne Roopnarine 954-262-8196

Masters in Biological Sciences with a Concentration in Health Studies: CURRICULUM

SUMMER 1 (5 credits)

  • BCOR 5000 Graduate Seminar (3 credits)
  • BMHS 5100 Field Rotations (2 credits)

FALL 1 (13 credits)

  • BMHS 5200 Pathophysiology (3 credits)
  • BMHS 5300 Pharmacodynamics (3 credits)
  • BMHS 5400 Advanced Regional Anatomy/Lab (4 credits)
  • BMHS 5500 Advanced Biochemistry (3 credits)

WINTER 1 (12 credits)

  • BCOR 5585 Genomics (3 credits)
  • BCOR 5150 Immunobiology (3 credits)
  • BMHS 5250 Systems Neuroscience (3 credits)
  • BCOR 5350 Principles of Epidemiology (3 credits)

Comprehensive Exam (in the style of a standardized exam) – 2 attempts possible


Apply Now


Admissions Requirements:

  • Completed NSU application
  • Bachelor’s degree in science from an accredited institution or an approved degree credentialing agency for international students.
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  • Major GPA of at least 3.0
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • International students must meet the English proficiency requirements
  • GRE, MCAT, DAT, OAT or PCAT scores required

The thesis and capstone paths within the M.S in Biological Sciences are designed to enhance the education of students for jobs and careers in all fields of biology, including PhD programs and professional medical programs.  Traditionally, Master’s in Biology programs have placed heavy emphasis on course-based learning. Reflecting the hands on and critical thinking skills that are required for careers in biology, our thesis and capstone programs place increased emphasis on research. In both the thesis and capstone paths, students will have ample time to perform research in various capacities. This ensures that students can develop critical thinking skills focused on applications, while tackling significant questions in biology. Both paths of study culminate in the creation of a novel and significant piece of writing, ensuring that graduates can effectively communicate their scientific findings to the community at large.  All entering M.S. students are accepted into the capstone path.  Additional research proposal development is required to enter the research path.

Students in either path will benefit from:

  • Access to faculty who are leaders in their fields, which range from genomics, quantitative microbiology, ecology, immunology and systems biology. Faculty profiles can be found here.
  • Access to funding to present their work at conferences.
  • Small class sizes that enhance learning and faculty interactions.
  • Competitively allocated teaching assistantships that include stipends and scholarships.
  • Access to resources at both of our state of the art campuses in sunny South Florida; the Oceanographic Campus located in Dania Beach, FL, and Main Campus, located in Davie, FL.
  • Access to a seminar series where the best and brightest minds in a wide range of fields present their research.

The total number of credits in both paths is 36 credits.


Capstone path

All students that are accepted into the M.S. program begin in the capstone path. Students in the capstone path take four core courses, and five elective courses. Students must take 3 capstone research courses (3 credits each) totaling a minimum of nine credits.

Central to the capstone path is the submission and defense of a capstone paper. This is typically done at or near the completion of formal coursework. The capstone is a scholarly review, based upon a comprehensive literature search, and synthesis of the chosen topic, typically involving analysis of previously published data. Carrying out a capstone takes place with guidance from a major professor. Typically, capstone students find a major professor by approaching faculty in the student's area of interest. Prior to beginning a capstone and registering for capstone credits, the student must write a proposal, which must be approved by the student's major professor, committee, and the Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, and be submitted to the Program Office.


Thesis path

Given the research-centered focus of the thesis path, students will take a minimum of 5 thesis research courses (3 credits each) totaling a minimum of 15 credits. 

A thesis is an original contribution to knowledge resulting from the systematic study of a significant problem or issue. To be allowed entry into the thesis track the student must secure agreement from a faculty member to be the student's major professor. Students in this path are strongly encouraged to approach professors in their first semester of study. Prior to beginning thesis research and registering for thesis credits, the student must write a proposal, which must be approved by the student's major professor, committee, and the Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and the Program Office.

Students in the thesis path will benefit from:

  • Access to labs in our state of the art research facilities at the Oceanographic Center Campus and/or the Collaborative Center of Research.
  • Funding to support supplies for their thesis project.
  • Substantial one-on-one time with their faculty supervisor.
  • A collaborative and rigorous research atmosphere.
  • The ability to perform hands on research to develop answers to some of the most pressing questions in biology.

Prospective students are welcome to contact faculty members regarding current opportunities in their research lab.

For further details, students are referred to section 3.8 of this catalog and to the online guidelines for the capstone or thesis track found on the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography Student Information page.


Capstone and Thesis Curriculum

Core Courses - 12 Credit Hours

  • BCOR 5000 Graduate Seminar
  • BCOR 5585 Genomics
  • BCOR 5150 Immunobiology
  • BCOR 5350 Principles of Epidemiology

Biological Science Electives - 9 Credit Hours (Thesis Path) or 15 Credit Hours (Capstone Path)

There are 2 required electives for both the thesis and capstone path which are:

  • BCOR 5580 Scientific Methods and Experimental Design
  • BCOR 5779 Biostatistics

Students can choose from any of the electives listed below, as well as those listed in the MSMS program

  • BCOR 5560 Biodiversity/Biogeography
  • BMHS 5200 Pathophysiology
  • BMHS 5300 Pharmacodynamics
  • BMHS 5400 Advanced Regional Anatomy/Lab
  • BMHS 5500 Advanced Biochemistry
  • BMHS 5250 Systems Neuroscience
  • BMME 5500 Molecular Evolution
  • BMME 5600 Training in Standard Molecular Biology Methods
  • BMME 5701 Ecosystems Applications
  • BMME5750 Stable Isotopes
  • BMME 6000 GIS and Environmental Remote Sensing
  • BMME 6001 Laboratory q-PCR and Culture Techniques
  • BMME 6600 External Biology/Biotechnology Internship
  • BMME 6650 Molecular Forensics
  • BMME 6700 Advanced Molecular Genetics Laboratory Methods
  • BMME 6750 External/Biology/Biotechnology Internship II
  • BMME 6770 Bacterial Evolutionary Genetics
  • BMME 8050 Programming Data Structure/Algorithm
  • BMME 8051 Database Management and Applications
  • BMME 8052 Data Visualization
  • BMME 8053 Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • BMME 8054 Data Mining
  • BMME 8058 Ichthyology
  • MSMS 5060 Scientific Communication
  • MSMS 6209 Biodiversity

Research Courses - 9 Credit Hours (Capstone Path) or 15 Credit Hours (Thesis Path)

  • BMME 7000 Thesis (3 credits x 5 = 15 total hours)
  • BMME 7010 Capstone (3 credits x 3 = 9 total hours)


Apply Now

Graduate Certificate In Computational Molecular Biology

About the Certificate

A recent report from Georgetown University indicated that the American healthcare sector of society will continue to grow, potentially creating >4 million new jobs by 2020. More than 80% of these new jobs will require advanced degrees (GenomeWeb's 12th Annual Salary Survey).

Part of this surge will include the analysis of DNA or "genomic" data (the complete set of coding instructions- A,C,G,T - required for an organism to live). For example, medicine will become more "personalized", since having one's own genome sequence could possibly better determine the probability of disease, or adverse effects to drugs based on unique genetic differences. Modern DNA sequencing has recently compared our genomes to that of our extinct ancestor, the Neanderthal, and found high levels of similarity and integration.

Therefore, in this context, this computational molecular biology certificate intends to assist students' entry into the genomics industry and workforce, projected to grow (see companies such as It will provide a solid foundation to both genomics and computer science fields, introduce bioinformatics theory, resources and databases, and enable a gateway to more advance studies in computational molecular biology.


  • Interpret complex genomic data
  • Manage large caches of genetic sequences
  • Database management & applications
  • Bioinformatics and data analysis
    • Four Courses (2 computer science & 2 molecular biology)
      • BCOR 5585: Genomics
      • BMME 8050 (MSIT 501): Foundations of Programming
      • BMME 8051 (MMIS 630): Database Management and Applications
      • BMME 8053: Introduction to Bioinformatics
    • Available online/in house
    • Courses do not have to be taken over consecutive semesters
    • Enrollment at any term
    • Applicants with any undergraduate major will be considered for admission.

Admissions Information

All of NSU's programs are fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Apply Now

Of great interest to many biology majors at the College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography is participating in hands-on original research. Under the supervision of a working research scientist, our students have the opportunity to earn credit toward their degree by doing cutting-edge research in the fields of biology, genetics, cell biology, endocrinology, ecology, chemistry, biochemistry, and mathematics. Research questions currently under investigation by faculty members include: the effects of protein buildup on contact lenses, Florida panther genetics, shark population genetics, Gulf Stream ecology, bioinformatics, brain structure and function, and fish reproductive cycles.

In addition to original research, NSU biology students are offered opportunities to shadow physicians and nurses in local hospitals.

The Clinic Exploration Program (CEP) offers students the opportunity to shadow medical professionals on the job in many of NSU’s medical and health clinics. Program participants gain a broad perspective that shows how various medical fields work together and a practical, up-close review of several medical career options.

All undergraduate students may take part in CEP, no matter what major they pursue. Each rotation lasts two hours per week, for three weeks. Because this is a volunteer program, member commitments are flexible and voluntary.

Who Can Participate

Any NSU undergraduate student in good standing who wants to participate in CEP must:

  • have a 2.5 GPA or higher
  • be registered for classes
  • complete OSHA and HIPAA trainings
  • be curious about various health professions
  • conform to scheduled assignments, dress codes, and other professional responsibilities

How to Enroll

  • complete the Clinic Exploration Program Application
  • schedule and complete OSHA blood-borne pathogen safety training
  • take HIPAA Privacy and Security training
  • turn in completed application to program coordinator in Parker building, suite 367

Students are offered the opportunity to participate in CEP each semester. Registration for the program is open during the previous semester.

Participating Clinics

  • Athletic Training
  • Audiology
  • Dentistry
  • Internal Medicine
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Sport Medicine


Photo Album

Nova Southeastern University provides foundational study in core and emerging disciplines and technologies to prepare students for graduate and professional study, career development, and responsible citizenship.  While producing highly educated graduates, undergraduate students will benefit from the basic science/clinical researchers and research opportunities exhibited by medical centers listed below. The internship allows for intercampus and institutional interaction in scientific research disciplines whereby young scientists gain exposure, direction and guidance during their developing career paths. 

Who Can Participate:

  • Participants will be limited to undergraduate students with the rank of JUNIOR or SENIOR in the semester following the summer internship.
  • Candidates must submit a completed application with 3 letters of reference (two science and one non-science reference), have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (overall) and 3.0 (basic sciences). 
  • The student must have satisfactorily completed Organic Chemistry and one other upper level biology course (Microbiology or Cell and Molecular Biology).
  • A transcript of grades or the CAPP report equivalent for all applicants shall be required.
  • Strong emphasis will be placed on the candidate’s personal statement and desire to seek a career as a basic science/clinical researcher AND explore another culture. 

Participating Centers: This unique collaboration and joint project between the Halmos college of Natural Sciences and Oceanography at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and:

  • Spain
  • Medical University of Graz, Austria
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas
  • Harvard Medical School/Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA

How to Enroll

  • Complete the Internship Program Application
  • Turn in completed application to program coordinator indicated on applications

Students are offered the opportunity to participate in internship programs every summer. Registration for the program is open during the prior fall semester.

Featured Department of Biological Sciences Alumni

Noemi Bermudez by Noemi Bermudez
Noemi Bermudez

NSU provided me with amazing opportunities to grow as a student and future physician. The Biology program had professors who challenged me in positive ways and a variety of courses to choose from. Professors like Dr. Jaffe and Dr. Loomis provided mentorship along with internship, research, and community service opportunities that prepared me to pursue a career in medicine. When it was time to apply for medical school, it was easy to obtain letters of recommendation from professors who knew me well. The Razor's Edge Leadership Program, Honors Program, President's 64, and extra-curricular activities were also great parts of my experience at NSU. I advise current students to work hard, develop healthy relationships, create healthy habits that promote mental and physical well-being, and have fun!

Jennifer MarreroJennifer Marrero by Jennifer Marrero

Nova Southeastern University pushed me to new limits and helped to define who I am today. The education I received from NSU is memorable and defines life-long learning. If it wasn't for attending NSU, I wouldn't be as effective in my day to day activities.

Sunil Patel by Sunil H. Patel
Sunil Patel

NSU's Biology Program served as a gateway to my career in Osteopathic Medicine and medical profession. It challenged me in various aspects, particularly academically, allowing me to be prepared for rigorous curriculum for medical school ahead. I felt prepared for the first year of medical school. I was also nominated and a recipient of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, which opened many opportunities when applying to medical school and as well residency programs. What impressed me most was the proximity and closeness of relationship I developed with faculty and other students, creating a life long friendship.

Austin Price by Austin Lawrence Price
Austin Price

Nova did a spectacular job of preparing me for the rigors of medical school. I currently attend Nova’s DO school. I am thoroughly pleased with my undergraduate education at NSU. The friendships I developed and education I received were top notch. The faculty includes some of the most caring individuals I have ever met in my life. I am eternally thankful to various teachers including Dr. Jaffe, Dr. Roopnarine, Dr. Schmitt, Dr. Smith, and many, many more for their outstanding level of teaching and the standards that they held me to in this integral stage of my learning and self development.

Veronica Akle by Veronica Akle
Veronica Akle

The biology program at NSU provided me with the foundations to continue with graduate school in the life sciences. What I like the best was the accessibility of the professors. Many of them gave me opportunities to spend summers or entire semesters in their labs learning about the research they did. However, my most valuable experience was meeting outstanding women in science and education that were were important role models to follow. Having someone to look up to is very important, and having the opportunity to see those hard working women having successful careers, beautiful families and prosperous futures was inspiring. My professors at NSU changed my life.

Shannon Aldridge by Shannon Aldridge
Shannon Aldridge

NSU was definitely the best life decision I've made thus far. The small class sizes allowed me to connect with professors in order to thoroughly understand the material as well as expand my professional development. Each new class make connections to previous ones, and the professors made it fun to learn by giving us hands on experiences in laboratories as well as in the field. The travel study programs available were my favorite part of the curriculum, I participated in as many as I could. My plans for the next five years are to continue working at OdySea in order to utilize the funded research to obtain my Masters Degree.

Please visit our Alumni Connections Page to learn more about our graduates

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