The Biology Department provides students with training in many aspects of the biological sciences. Through lecture, laboratory, and field work, students gain valuable experience that prepares them for careers in allied health programs, industrial and biological research, environmental careers, and teaching. Students desiring certification for teaching biology in grades 5–12 take an additional major in middle–secondary education.

Biology majors must achieve an average GPA of 2.50 in their biology coursework before graduation. Transfer students must complete one-half of their major and one-third of their minor credits at Marian University.

The Biology program provides vast every student with opportunities for individual and team research, field work, and internships to provide the skills needed for biologists to collect, interpret, and analyze data to solve current and future issues.  Our program prepares students for research, medical careers, veterinary science, education, and advanced degrees in biology. New facilities feature modern laboratories and student only research space.


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Faculty John Morris

John Morris

John  Morris received his BS from the University of Minnesota in 1984 and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1991; both degrees were in Chemical Engineering.  He did post-doctoral research at the Biological Process Technology Institute at the University of Minnesota.  His dissertation and post-doctoral research involved protein separation for biochemical applications with focuses on precipitation and chromatography.  John entered the medical device field in 1993 working for Possis Medical, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN.  Over a period of 9 years as an engineer, research manager, and consultant he worked on the design, testing, and manufacturing of the AngioJet® Thrombectomy System.  This device allows radiologists and cardiologists to quickly and safely remove blood clots from the circulation, such as in the case of heart attacks.  John also worked for St. Jude Medical on devices used to correct coronary arrythmias.  He made the jump to academia in 2003 and has taught classes in Chemistry, Biology, Math, Statistics, and Environment Science at both Marian University and UW-FdL. He is current the Chair of Math and Natural Sciences and has a research interest in growing produce in a sustainable manner which he does in part by his involvement with the Sabre Garden project.


Student Ben Walters

Ben Walter

I first visited Marian after being recruited to play volleyball and after that visit I decided to attend here. I liked the coach and the other recruits, but I also liked the university itself. The small size of the school allows for closer contact with peers and with professors. This allows for great mentoring opportunities with professors as well as one on one time if I don’t understand the material. Strong relationships with classmates are also common because you see a lot of the same people when you take the same classes, so you get to know them quite well. Since a lot of people know each other, both students and staff contribute to an atmosphere of community where everyone wants the best for each other. That was my best option for success, and coupled with playing volleyball, made Marian a great fit for me.


alum mary jo newmann

Mary Jo Neumann

Mary Jo Neumann MS, a native to Fond du Lac, obtained her undergraduate degree of Biology and graduate degree, Organizational Leadership & Quality from Marian University.   She has been involved in the fitness/wellness industry for the past 34 years.  Her career has led to a diverse contribution to the health and wellness promotions field in our community.  She serves as the Director of Healthy Living for the Fond du Lac Family YMCA overseeing four divisions with a major focus in chronic disease management programming.

With her education and experience, Mary Jo has applied her expertise in lifestyle management in many ways.  The programs she currently is involved in are based upon exercise, nutrition and lifestyle management including; Diabetes Prevention, LIVESTRONG – Cancer Survivors, Parkinson’s exercise class,  physician referral Cardiac Rehab III, and a physician referral Healthy Living Exercise Program. She serves as an adjunct professor for the Exercise Sport & Science degree at Marian University.  Her passion is public speaking and has served as a keynote speaker for Marian University in the past.  Mary Jo has written weekly columns for the Reporter and hosts weekly radio spots for Sunny 97 and KFIZ.

Mary Jo contributes her success in the health and wellness field to the need for continuing education to be in sync with current trends, a desire to change lives one step at a time with practical approaches to healthy lifestyle management, and the support throughout her career she has received from family and peers.