Zoology class.

Program Overview

Quick Facts

  • Delivery: On Campus
  • Credits: 120
  • Only True Zoology Concentration in the State
  • Most Zoology Courses Dedicated in the State to Specific Fields
  • Great Preparation for Post-Graduate School or Veterinary School
  • Can Pair with Pre-Veterinary Program to Meet All Requirements

Zoology, or the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, is a broad and exciting field, and our concentration offers you the flexibility to tailor your degree to match your interests.

While the topic of zoology might first evoke images of zookeepers and veterinarians, our world also needs research-focused scientists who can use their knowledge of animals to explain and sustain our environment. For example, what can bird migration patterns tell us about global climate change? And why are North American bats—which help us by eating large numbers of pest insects—suddenly developing the fatal “white nose syndrome”? Both of these questions are part of our zoology faculty’s current research.

We offer complete courses in various subjects—animal behavior, ornithology, mammalogy, herpetology, ichthyology, entomology, animal parasitology, and more—that form a comprehensive curriculum to provide you with a strong foundation in animal biology.

The zoology concentration is one of the most popular programs in our department, and our graduates are prepared to enter a job in the zoology field right away or to apply for graduate programs in their preferred subfield in animal biology.

Meet the Biology Faculty Who Teach in this Concentration

Research Opportunities

Ball State’s zoology faculty are more than teachers—they are also active researchers that have numerous undergraduate and graduate students working alongside them.

Some of the research projects our students have assisted with include:

  • behavioral ecology of freshwater fish
  • migration and song patterns of the cerulean warbler
  • treatment and management of “white-nose syndrome” disease in bats
  • urban Canada goose ecology and management
  • disease testing in local white-tailed deer populations
  • physiological and ecomorphological mechanisms underlying ecological communities

Classrooms Indoors and Out

Ball State University manages a number of resources, collections and properties used for teaching and research in the zoology concentration. Indiana is also home to several regional and state parks that provide great opportunities for birding, plant taxonomy, ecological research and more on field trips.

Student Organizations

The Ball State chapter of The Wildlife Society founded in 1995 provides an opportunity to connect with other students in your concentration for support, professional development opportunities and academic discussion. Through biweekly meetings, this student run club offers insight to the profession through speakers, such as alumni of the program that now work for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and other governmental and nonprofit agencies.

Small Class Sizes

Our low student-to-professor ratio and small class sizes give you daily contact with professors in lecture, laboratory and out in the field, plus the individualized attention you need to excel. You will get to know our faculty, and they will get to know you!

The concentration in zoology fulfills part of the requirements that lead to a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree with a major in biology. All biology majors must also complete the biology core curriculum and the University Core Curriculum.

Credits Required

Total to Graduate: 120

  • Biology Core Curriculum: 37-38
  • Zoology Concentration: 24-25
  • University Core Curriculum: 66-70


All biology majors in every concentration are required to complete a core curriculum in biology that is separate from your concentration requirements and from the University Core Curriculum.

These foundational courses provide you with an overview of the principles in biology and develop a necessary competency in chemistry, physics and math.

Biology Core Courses: 18 credits

  • BIO 111 – Principles of Biology 1
  • BIO 112 – Principles of Biology 2
  • BIO 201 - Symposium
  • BIO 214 – Genetics
  • BIO 216 – Ecology
  • One of the following:
    • BIO 314 – Methods in Genetics
    • BIO 315 – Methods in Cell Biology
    • BIO 316 – Methods in Ecology

*Note:  All zoology concentration students are required to take BIO 316.

Other Required Courses: 18-20 credits

  • CHEM 111 – General Chemistry 1
  • CHEM 112 – General Chemistry 2
  • PHYC 110 – General Physics 1
  • One of the following:
    • CHEM 230 – Organic Chemistry for the Life Sciences AND CHEM 241 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
    • CHEM 231 – Organic Chemistry 1 AND CHEM 241 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
  • One of the following:
    • MATH 112 – Precalculus Trigonometry
    • MATH 114 – Precalculus Trigonometry (accelerated 8 week course)
    • MATH 161 – Applied Calculus 1
    • MATH 165 – Calculus 1 


The courses you will take to complete the zoology concentration are:

  • BIO 210 – Introduction to Botany
  • BIO 316 – Methods in Ecology
  • ZOOL 330 – Structure and Development of Vertebrates OR ZOOL 432 – Invertebrate Zoology

For the rest of the concentration, you will customize your program with 12 credit hours from the following courses:

  • BIO 440 - Evolution
  • BIO 448 – Biometry
  • BIO 450 – Animal Behavior
  • CHEM 360 – Essentials of Biochemistry
  • ZOOL 347 – Animal Parasitology
  • ZOOL 440 – Ornithology
  • ZOOL 441 – Entomology
  • ZOOL 444 – Ichthyology
  • ZOOL 445 – Herpetology
  • ZOOL 446 – Mammalogy
  • ZOOL 484 – Aquatic Entomology

For a complete list of all the courses you will take for your degree and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

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Take the Next Step

Do you want to learn more about our program or have questions about the application process or financial aid? We’re here to help! One of the best ways to understand why Ball State is right for you is to schedule a visit through our Office of Undergraduate Admissions to see it for yourself. Or if you’d like to speak directly to someone in our department, please feel free to call or email us.


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