Major Spotlight: What is a Zoology Major?
Some biologists study plants, others study microbes, and some study fungi, such as mushrooms. But if you want to study living things that move a bit faster, then major in zoology. Zoologists study animals with and without backbones, from worms, insects, and mollusks to fish, birds, and, of course, mammals.
If you choose this major, you’ll study the whole organism. But you’ll also look at its parts, from the chemical makeup of its body to its cells and organs. In addition, you’ll study whole populations of species and the ways animals adapt to their environments.
Zoology majors study animals, their internal workings, and their activities.
“I love this field because it is so exciting to study and learn about the intricate details of how animals function and reproduce, especially within an evolutionary framework.”
Douglas Meikle, Professor, Miami University of Ohio
Are You Ready To...?
- Publish a research paper in a scientific journal
- Help a professor with his research on, for example, the effects of parasites on animal populations
- Join the campus chapter of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.
- Complete an independent research project
- Dissect a fetal pig
- Take chemistry, physics, and advanced math in addition to biology classes
- Collect invertebrates out in the field
- Spend time in lectures and in labs
It Helps To Be...
Fascinated with the natural world and all sorts of animals: your studies will include everything from your favorite zoo animals to the smallest insects.
- Does the program focus on a particular facet of zoology, such as cellular and molecular biology or ecology? Does this focus interest you?
- How large are classes?
- Are professors readily available outside of class?
- Will you have opportunities for independent research?
- What kind of access will you have to lab and computer equipment?
- Are labs equipped with the latest technology?
Did You Know?
Not only will you take biology courses, but you’ll take chemistry, physics, and advanced mathematics as well.
In ecology, you’ll examine how animals live in their environments. You’ll look at the ways they interact with other members of their species as well as the ways they relate to other animals. You’ll also explore the way creatures interact with plants and the nonliving things that surround them. Typical topics covered in class include mating, food webs, and parasitism.