Biological Sciences

The Department of Biological Sciences offers the Bachelor of Science in Biology.  This degree is designed to meet the needs of students with a variety of career goals.  Many of our students intend to enter professional programs in medicine, physician’s assistant, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy or occupational therapy after they complete their bachelor’s degrees at LSUA.  Others plan to attend graduate school or pursue employment in one of the biology sub-disciplines such as cellular and molecular biology, microbiology, botany, zoology, physiology, or ecology.  Another subset of the students is interested in the applied biological fields of wildlife biology, fisheries, or forestry.

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Beyond the Classroom

Biological Science Organization
Premed Advisory
Undergraduate Research
Internships
Student Learning Support
Student employment

Mission Statement

The Department of Biological Sciences at LSU of Alexandria is a Faculty of teacher-scholars committed to student empowerment and success through quality instruction, innovative teaching, and mentorship of original undergraduate research (conducted in laboratory and field and communicated to the scientific community). Small class sizes facilitate faculty-student interaction where biology is taught as a series of facts and also as a way of knowing. Students become knowledgeable of conceptual and applied biological principles within the context of a liberal arts education and master skills in oral and written communication, analysis, and teamwork in preparation for graduate studies, professional school, and careers in the natural and life sciences. Faculty provide experiential education, promoting students to question, critically evaluate, and use scientific thinking to make informed and ethical decisions as scientifically literate and responsible citizens. The department is deeply committed to social justice and inclusivity. No race, gender, class, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or nationality is alienated or marginalized. All faculty, staff, and students are treated with dignity and respect. Differences are welcomed and celebrated, and unique talents are recognized and nurtured.

Department News

LSUA Department of Biological Sciences Receives $432K Grant

May 27, 2020, 10:10 AM
Funding will be utilized for enhancing curriculum and equipment

The Louisiana State University of Alexandria has been awarded a $432,033 grant by the Board of Regents of the State of Louisiana. The grant is part of the Departmental Enhancement Program and will be utilized for enhancing the biology curriculum through undergraduate research productivity.

Dr. Nathan Sammons and Dr. Carol Corbat, both professors in the LSUA Department of Biological Sciences, co-authored (with contributions from all of the faculty within the Department) the grant proposal submitted last fall for review by a discipline-based panel of out-of-state consultants. Of the 173 proposals submitted to the Board of Regents, LSUA was pleased to be ranked second, just behind Tulane University.

“I’m still so stunned,” said Corbat. “I never in the world thought we’d receive this award the first year we applied.”

The grant is to be awarded over the next five years and, per the Board of Regents final report, will enhance the undergraduate research program at LSUA through curriculum modification, infrastructure changes to support cellular-molecular biology research, and the creation of a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE).

The Department faculty will spend the first year developing the curriculum logistics and purchasing research equipment. Implementation of the programs will begin in year two.

The upgrade to equipment in the Department will provide more opportunities for students and faculty to have research published in high-profile research journals. Current LSUA equipment has been a hindrance because of its age. The instrumentation to be purchased is the “Next Generation” of its kind which includes the ability to sequence and quantify DNA at a high level of precision.

The revamp in the undergraduate curriculum seeks to attract those students who aren’t initially research driven.

“The goal is to reach a new demographic. As a University, we will always have students who know they want to do research before they ever come to campus. We want to attract those students who don’t realize this is something they can do, or have interest in, until they get here,” said Sammons.

The first step in implementing this new curriculum includes a modification to the introductory biology course which will incorporate a research component. Students can then choose to take a research intensive path throughout the rest of the degree program.

Another one of the driving factors for the creation of this advanced program derives from data.

“Data has shown that increasing the opportunities students have for undergraduate research, increases student success. This includes higher graduation rates, deeper engagement in science, and the continuation to advanced degrees,” said Sammons.

The grant funding will have a significant impact on the students and faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences, but also the University as a whole.

Per the consultant’s comments, “It (the proposal) directly supports the departmental and institutional missions to provide quality instruction, experiential learning, and innovative teaching to LSUA students, to ensure student success and to provide a robust academic environment.”

Additional Resources

If you would like to know more about the Biological Sciences department, please give us a call at (318) 473-6431 or drop by and see us in the Science Building 127.