an image of a student thinking  


George N. Mbata, Ph.D
Interim Chair
Biology Department
Fort Valley State University
Fort Valley, GA 31030
Phone: 478-825-6240
Fax: 478-825-6104
Biology students

The Biology Department is one of the outstanding departments on the Fort Valley State campus. We have a great record for preparing students to enter professional schools like dentistry, medicine, and pharmacy. We also have a large number of graduates going on to graduate schools at major institutions of higher learning. Since 1991 44.6% of Biology graduates have gone on to earn graduate and professional degrees. If you or someone you know wants to be successful in any area of Allied Health please consider us! Health careers are not the only thing we can prepare you for either. We offer a Bachelor of Science in Biology with the following concentrations:

  1. Allied Health Science
  2. Fisheries
  3. Wildlife Conservation
  4. Forensic Science

If you want to stand out in a crowd, we can help you do it! Not only do you have the benefit of a dedicated and experienced faculty in the classroom, we also extend our educational efforts beyond the classroom. These are a few of the many things we do for you, the student:

  1. Help you find and be accepted to summer research programs and/or internships on campus or with major research institutions or national agencies such as the Purdue University, Danforth Plant Science Center, Michigan State University, University of California, US Geological Service, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, etc.
  2. Help you prepare research presentations for professional meetings such as the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Society of In Vitro Biology, etc.
  3. MCAT/GRE/PCAT/DAT standardized test preparation
  4. Study abroad in such places as Kenya and Belize
  5. Take you on field trips to such places as the Centers for Disease Control, Cumberland Island National Seashore, Medical College of Georgia, Florida Everglades, etc.
  6. Arrange speaker and recruiter visits from graduate or professional schools, businesses, and national agencies such as USGS, EPA, Monsanto, University of Georgia, Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine, USDA/APHIS, etc.

Biology majors go places and do things that the typical undergraduate never has a chance to do. Join the Biology family and be an FVSU Wildcat!

  • George Mbata, Ph.D
    Interim Chair and Professor of Biology

    Department: Biology
    Location: 104 ACL Building,
    Phone: (478) 825-6550
    Fax: (478) 825-6104
    Dr. Melinda Davis

    Department: Biology
    Location: 102 Academic Classroom and Lab Building
    Phone: (478) 825-6240
    Fax: (478) 825-6104
    Dr. Frederick McLaughlin
    Associate Professor

    Department: Biology
    Location: 106 ACL Building
    Phone: (478) 825-6852
    Fax: (478) 825-6104
    Mrs. Seema Dhir
    Assistant Professor

    Department: Biology
    Location: 306, ACL Building
    Phone: (478) 825-6849
    Fax: (478) 825-6104
    Dr. Jasmine Paul
    Assistant Professor

    Department: Biology
    Location: 107 ACL Building
    Phone: (478) 825-6114
    Fax: (478) 825-6104
    Dr. Teresa Shakespeare
    Associate Professor

    Department: Biology
    Location: 105 ACL Building
    Phone: (478) 825-6172
    Fax: (478) 825-6104
    Dr. Celia Dodd
    Assistant Professor

    Department: Biology
    Location: 305 ACL Building
    Phone: (478) 825-6494
    Fax: (478) 825-6104
  • The Allied Health Science concentration in the Biology major serves as the pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-nursing, and pre-allied health professional program.

    Allied Health Student in Lab

    After completion of the second or third year of this program the student will have met the requirements for entrance into most of the medical, dental, nursing and allied health schools in the United States.

    In response to the need for personnel in the field of allied health science, the department also offers course work and counseling which allow students to prepare for pre-professional careers as physical therapists, medical technologists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, pharmacists, and others.

  • Fisheries Biology and Wildlife Conservation opportunities are provided within this program to give the student a sound background in the ecological and organismal biology, as well as fundamental concepts and procedures related to fish and wildlife conservation and management. Classes require field trips to collect data in places such as Okefenokee Swamp, Cumberland Island National Seashore, the Everglades, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    Bluefin Fish

    Students must participate in an internship which provides on-the-job training. These internships can be local or more far flung. Students have participated in aquaculture studies in Nepal, black bear studies in the Great Smoky Mountains, salmon studies in Alaska, crab studies in Washington state, breeding bird habitat surveys in Georgia, and winter flounder age and growth studies at the National Marine Fisheries Sciences Center in Woods Hole, MA. By the end of the program the student is prepared for graduate school or employment with federal, state and private agencies.

  • The Forensic Science concentration is offered in collaboration with the Criminal Justice faculty. It is designed to prepare the graduate to do laboratory analyses of biological and chemical samples from crime scenes. It trains students to collect and preserve physical evidence; reconstruct a crime scene to determine relationships among pieces of evidence; examine, test, or analyze physical evidence such as fibers and fingerprints; analyze fluid evidence and DNA samples; interpret laboratory findings to identify physical evidence; prepare reports and testify as expert witnesses on evidence or laboratory techniques in trials and hearings. Upon completion of the degree graduates will be employed by laboratories providing analyses of evidence for state and federal agencies.

    Student in Biology Lab

    Major area courses are selected from biology, zoology and botany. Courses offered by the department are designated: BIOL, BOTN, or ZOOL. Students are also required to take 16 hours of Chemistry (24 hours for Forensic Science); 8 hours of Physics (except for Forensic Science which has no Physics requirement); and 3-4 hours of Mathematics beyond Pre-calculus. Students in the Forensic Science Concentration are also required to take 18 hours of Criminal Justice courses. A grade of C or better is mandatory in all required and elective courses in science and mathematics. Students must complete a Senior project or internship and pass a Senior Exit Exam before graduating. Departmental advisers will assist students in choosing courses to prepare them for professional health and graduate programs as well as employment.

  • Student Swimming

    Study abroad programs are available for class credit to the individual or groups of students. The Biology Department has sponsored study abroad classes covering wildlife conservation and environmental issues in Kenya and watershed management concerns in Belize. Faculty has also been involved in study abroad in Sweden and Denmark comparing the health care systems of these socialist countries to our own.

  • Beta Kappa Chi Scientific Honor Society

    Students working in a lab

    Beta Kappa Chi is a scientific honor society that has a legacy "to encourage and advance scientific education through original investigation, the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and the stimulation of high scholarship in pure and applied science." STEM majors with GPAs of 3.0 overall and 3.0 in their majors are invited to join upon the completion of 90 hours of course work.

    Science Club

    Students working in a lab

    The activities of the Science Club include sponsorship of benefit socials, field trips, co-sponsorship of seminars, mentorship of middle school students, judging of area science fairs, presentation of a Homecoming Building Display and parade, community cleanup, visits to senior citizen centers, and attendance at the Annual Meeting of Beta Kappa Chi/National Institute of Science.

  • FVSU/MCG Pre-Health Science Collaborative Program

    The Pre-Health Science Collaborative Program between the Fort Valley State University (FVSU) and the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) was designed to increase under-represented minorities in health professions. The program has three (3) components: a) College Component, b) Three week summer Pre-Health Pipeline Program for High School Students and c) a Middle School Component.

    Student on a Bike

    The College component activities consisted of eight (8) monthly seminars conducted by health professional students from MCG and active health professionals and educators, trips to MCG and other health professional schools, attendance at professional science meetings, hosting recruiters, MCAT and standardized test preparation, and assistance in preparation of professional school applications.

    The Pre-Health Pipeline Program for high school students includes science enrichment and instruction in mathematics as well as practice to develop writing and oral communication skills to improve SAT scores. High school juniors and seniors spent three (3) weeks on campus interacting with college instructors and other student participants. Enhancement also includes field trips to the Medical College of Georgia, the National Science Center (Fort Discovery), Morehouse College School of Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control, the Carter Museum and Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. Evening sessions featured area health professionals who discussed their respective careers.

    Middle school activities include visits to area middle schools by students and faculty who participate in judging Science Fairs and making science and health related presentations to selected classes. Middle school students are also invited to participate in field trips to MCG and other selected sites.

    Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program/Fort Valley State University and Middle Georgia College

    A Tree

    The Bridges program is a collaborative effort between FVSU and MGC sponsored by the National Institutes of Health designed to aid students at MGC in continuing their education beyond the community college level. Student participants in this program are offered enrichment courses in Cell Biology, Ethics in Biomedical Research, Biology Seminar and Techniques in Biomedical Research during the academic year.

    In the summer students participate in a summer research internships at FVSU. At the end of the summer program students deliver research presentations at the Southeastern Regional Bridges Science Conference. Later the students attend the Annual Biomedical Research Conference (ABRCMS) and other professional meetings to present their research posters.

    Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation

    Student with an Airplane

    FVSU is a member of the Peach State LSAMPS consortium. The goal of this program is to increase the number of underrepresented minority students statewide who complete undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Activities include workshop sessions, participation in service projects. Biology and other STEM majors are eligible for support depending on their progress toward their degrees.

1005 State University Drive • Fort Valley, GA 31030 • 478-827-FVSU

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