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What will I learn?

A major in Zoology is an appropriate beginning for those planning careers in teaching, research, or other employment in animal biology, environmental biology, fisheries biology, veterinary medicine, or wildlife biology. Students majoring in Zoology are required to develop an individualized curriculum in consultation with a faculty advisor within the program.

A student majoring in Zoology may work toward either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. The B.A. with a major in Zoology provides the opportunity for a broad, liberal arts education by allowing students to take 20-25 hours of courses in areas of interest outside the major. The B.A. is appropriate for students who desire a strong background in zoology, but have interests in biology-associated careers in business, law, journalism, zoo keeping, or other fields.

Students seeking a B.S. with a major in Zoology must choose one of five specializations: animal biology, environmental biology, fisheries biology, pre-veterinary science, or wildlife biology. The B.S. requires more courses in physical sciences and mathematics than does the B.A., and is appropriate for students planning careers as practicing zoologists in one of the emphasized fields, particularly those who wish to pursue graduate studies. Each B.S. student will complete an independent-study project under the supervision of their faculty mentor, submit a written summary of the project, and present their results as part of ZOOL 482 (Senior Seminar), to be taken during the final year of study.

To prepare for a major in Zoology at SIU Carbondale, students should have a solid high school background in biology, mathematics, and physical sciences, as well as practiced writing skills and a sustaining curiosity about animal life. Students transferring to SIU after two years at a community college should have completed introductory biology, introductory chemistry, and pre-calculus sequences.

Zoology majors must take ZOOL 215 (Sophomore Seminar) immediately after completing BIOL 211 and BIOL 213, or (for transfer students) during the first semester of enrollment at SIU. ZOOL 215 provides students with an orientation to the program and requirements of the major, and assigns them faculty advisors who will act as mentors until graduation.

B.A. and B.S. degrees require a minimum of 41 semester hours of biology or zoology courses. No more than 11 semester hours of biology or zoology courses that are used to satisfy degree requirements for another major may be used to meet the Zoology requirements.

SIU has an affiliate agreement with the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL). Qualified students can enroll in credit-bearing courses at GCRL with credits articulating as free electives in Zoology at SIU.


  • Animal Biology
  • Environmental Biology
  • Fisheries Biology
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Which department am I in?

School of Biological Sciences

Study options

Full Time (120 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$26,000.00 per year
This fee is for 2021 and it may, subject to change in the coming year
Start date

22 August 2022, 17 January 2023


School of Biological Sciences

Life Sciences II, Mail Code 6501,

Southern Illinois University, 1125 Lincoln Drive,



62901, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students must have completed a high school or equivalent. Academic Requirements (grade point averages are on a 4.0 scale and are calculated by SIU): 26 credits or more at another college/university - submit college/university transcripts showing a GPA of 2.0 or greater on all coursework; 0-25 credits at another college/university - submit high school AND university/college transcripts showing 2.0 GPA on all coursework; 5 Passes on the GCE O or A level exams (under the Cambridge/ed excel model).

For international students

Students need to have Transcripts from high school and/or college. At SIU Carbondale, applicants for admission will be eligible for automatic admission if they are on track to complete our course pattern requirements and who meet one of the following criteria: A cumulative high school GPA of 2.75; A ranking in the top 10% of their graduating class.

English Language Requirement: Any one of the following methods will automatically meet the minimum English requirement. Applicants who do not meet the automatic English language admission requirement will undergo a holistic review to determine potential admissibility.

TOEFL (IBT internet-based test) - 68

TOEFL (paper based test) - 520

ITEP - 4.0 (academic plus only)

IELTS - 6.0

2 Face-to-face English composition classes taken in the U.S. at the college level with a grade of A or B

More than 48 college-level credit hours completed at a U.S. institution

If an applicant is from a country whose primary language is English

Graduation from a U.S. high school having spent the final 2 years in the U.S.

Meeting the SAT or ACT requirements for admission of domestic freshmen

Duolingo English Test (accepted during COVID-19 closures)- 95

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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