Ohio Wesleyan's comprehensive Biological Sciences Department offers a vast array of faculty expertise, courses, facilities, and research opportunities in botany, zoology, microbiology, and genetics. You can choose from seven different majors leading to graduate school or careers in science, healthcare and medicine, education, private industry, government agencies, and a world of other options. Our students graduate with a strong foundation in scientific skills and concepts, coupled with a liberal arts perspective that prepares them to become leaders in solving complex problems in biology and beyond. All faculty members in the department are academic advisers, and all are available to help you select courses and chart your path.


From nematodes to African elephants, Ohio Wesleyan students studying zoology explore the breadth of the animal kingdom and the ecosystems they inhabit around the world. OWU offers two distinct zoology majors so you can align your program with your particular goals. Each of these majors includes features that offer special preparation for a variety of fields, such as medicine, environmental science, genetics and molecular biology, biomedical engineering, neuroscience, K-12 teaching, museum curatorship, animal care, and more.

Plants & Microbes

Plants, fungi, algae, bacteria, and viruses have shaped human civilization. These organisms form the base of our food supply, start pandemics, cause crop failures, allow baking and brewing, facilitate genetic engineering, and cycle carbon, water, and vital nutrients through the global ecosystem. OWU's botany, microbiology, and genetics programs are built upon a hands-on, experiential curriculum that prepares you to impact the planet's high-stakes issues in health, agriculture, technology, and the environment.

Department Features

  • Advanced research labs and state-of-the art instrumentation, including a confocal microscopy laboratory, a scanning and transmission electron microscope laboratory with full-time staffing, real-time thermal cyclers, and fully outfitted, modern molecular biology labs. OWU also boasts a multi-climate greenhouse, 16,000-specimen herbarium (botanical museum), two forested nature preserves, and a campus arboretum.
  • Internships, fellowships, research grants, and travel opportunities. Recent OWU students have interned at zoos, veterinary clinics, nature preserves and wildlife centers, university research labs, and hospitals.
  • Diverse course offerings that span the biological world from the molecular and cellular to the organismal to the ecosystem. All courses include both practical and theoretical approaches, most have an in-depth laboratory component, and many include significant fieldwork. Also, the department regularly offers travel-learning courses with destinations such as Tanzania, Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, and elsewhere.
  • Active student-faculty research collaborations, including a competitive Summer Science Research Program. Students commonly present their research findings at local, regional, and national scientific conferences and contribute to manuscripts published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals.

Available Majors

Available Minors

Department Contact Info


Schimmel/Conrades Science Center
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015

P 740-368-3907
F 740-368-3999

Social Media

Facebook OWU Zoology page

Department Contacts

Chair: Amy Downing
Professor of Biological Sciences
Schimmel/Conrades Science Center 325
740-368-3890 | aldownin@owu.edu

Academic Assistant: Joshua Seiders
Schimmel/Conrades Science Center 201
740-368-3907 | jjseiders@owu.edu