The Department of Biology has a rich history and culture that dates back to the 19th century. Prior to re-branding into the Department of Biology, much of the life sciences was housed in what was called Department of Zoology as established in 1907 with Dr. Ernest E. Just. The Botany department offered its first course in 1867 and was established as a department in 1922. These would later merge to become the Department of Biology and be housed collectively in the Ernest Everett Just Hall - Biology Building.
The department has established a strong instructional and research unit in contemporary biological sciences and maintains a faculty that is committed to optimizing the pursuit of new knowledge and the discovery of new information through original research and to the communication of specialized information and skills.