Program Overview

With health care projected to be the fastest-growing industry in the economy, UNE’s Medical Sciences track of the Medical Biology major puts you on sure footing for success. As one of only a handful of private universities with a comprehensive health care mission, UNE can provide its Medical Biology undergraduates up-close interaction with graduate health professions students and opportunities to perform research with faculty across health disciplines.

We offer our GradVantage program for admission into our medical, dental, physician assistant, and physical therapy programs as well as accelerated pathways to our medical and dental colleges.

Why UNE for Medical Biology Medical Sciences Track

Because we’re a comprehensive health sciences university, you’ll have the opportunity to work side-by-side with faculty and graduate students in Maine’s only medical and dental schools, as well as our School of Pharmacy and our many graduate health professions programs.

  • Research opportunities across the health care fields
  • Early exposure to interdisciplinary, team-based care
  • GradVantage program for admission to UNE’s colleges of osteopathic medicine and dental medicine as well as our physical therapy and physician assistant graduate programs
  • Accelerated 3+4 programs with UNE’s medical and dental colleges
  • 4+1 B.S./M.S. track
nicole robitaille

The advisors, professors, and professional staff at UNE really helped prepare me for my future.

Medical Biology (Pre-Physician Assistant Track - MPA), Physician Assistant (M.S.)


There are many ways you can navigate this major.

Examples of Available Courses

  • Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathophysiology
  • Genetics
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • One Health Approaches to Medicine
  • Animal/Behavioral Ecology
  • Parasitology

We offer accelerated 3+4 tracks as pathways to our medical and dental colleges. And our 4+1 B.S./M.S. track lets you complete your undergraduate degree and master’s in Biological Sciences in just five years. Our GradVantage program is also available for admission to several of our graduate programs.

Graduate Program Pathways

As a Medical Biology student, UNE offers you three accelerated ways to earn your graduate degree. We offer 3+4 tracks as pathways to our College of Osteopathic Medicine and College of Dental Medicine. We have a 4+1 option to earn you B.S. and M.S. in Biological Sciences in just five years. And you can take part in our GradVantage program for early admission to our medical, dental, physical therapy, and physician assistant graduate programs.

4+1 Accelerated Master of Science in Biotechnology

UNE has also partnered with The Roux Institute at Northeastern University to offer a 4+1 accelerated M.S. in Biotechnology. In this program, you can enroll in graduate-level courses as an undergraduate and transfer up to 12 credits to Northeastern's master's degree program offered by the Roux Institute. By doing so, you earn two degrees in five years.

To be eligible, you must be enrolled in either the B.S. in Medical Biology - Medical Sciences track or the B.S. in Biochemistry program at UNE.

For more information and to enroll in the program contact your academic advisor.

Honors Program

Academic Advising

First and Second Year Advising

All first-and second-year students are assigned a professional academic advisor. Academic advising gives you the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of:

  • Major specific and core required courses
  • Course selection, registration, and academic plans
  • Adjusting to the academic transition to college
  • Minors or secondary majors
  • Building internships and study abroad into your academic plan
  • On-campus resources available at UNE

You are encouraged to schedule appointments to meet with your advisor on a regular basis and not just in the weeks preceding the registration process.

Faculty Advisors

During your first two years, a member of the Biology faculty will serve as your secondary advisor. After the conclusion of your first two years, a faculty advisor will take over as your primary advisor for the remainder of your undergraduate studies. Faculty advisors are a great resource for information on curriculum-specific questions, research opportunities, and to provide insight into graduate programs or career options in your field of interest.

As a student in a Biology program, you are required to attend mandatory pre-registration advising appointments* with your primary advisor in the fall and spring. You will be given an alternate pin number to use at the time of registration and will receive an email with details on how to sign up for these meetings. Until you attend a mandatory advising meeting, you will not have access to register for classes in the following semester.

Pre-registration advising meetings must be completed during mid-October through mid-November of your fall semester and mid-March through mid-April of your spring semester.

*A drop-in appointment, faculty advisor meeting, or an appointment with a peer advisor will NOT complete this requirement.

Pre-Health Advising

Assistant Director of Pre-Health Advising James Gaffney works with all students interested in applying to a graduate school in the health professions. 

You are expected to perform successfully on admissions tests specific to your graduate program. For information regarding test prep options and when to take these exams, contact James Gaffney.

Learn more about pre-health advising

Meet Kheilin

A Medical Biology Major Planning to Become a Doctor

She cares deeply about how she impacts others, from her future patients to her friends, family, and community. Kheilin is one of the many UNE students who are gaining the skills and knowledge to make an impact and be of service.


Whether your ultimate goal is to become a health provider or enter the workforce in medical research, biotechnology, or another cutting-edge profession, UNE’s Medical Biology–Medical Sciences track prepares you as a knowledgeable scientist, a critical thinker, and a valuable member of any professional team. Our graduates have pursued many different careers, including:

  • Physician
  • Dentist
  • Veterinarian
  • Occupational/Physical Therapist
  • Medical Researcher
  • Clinical Researcher
  • Drug Development Scientist
  • Genetic Counselor
  • Medical Editor
  • Instrument Technician

Career Advising

Whether you have a specific career goal in mind or a vague idea of the field that interests you, Career Advising is here to help you plan your next step.


healthcare jobs expected to open in U.S. between 2016 and 2026

(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


In addition to the typical resources found on a college campus, we also offer extensive computer resources, laboratories, and classroom facilities.

Harold Alfond Center

Sitting at the center of campus, facilities within the Harold Alfond Center for the Health Sciences include numerous lecture halls and teaching labs used by all majors within the School of Biological Sciences.

It is also the primary hub for undergraduate research within the School, housing the majority of faculty research labs and our indoor-access greenhouse.

Take a virtual tour of the Alfond Center

Launch Alfond Center for Health Sciences

Peter and Cécile Morgane Hall

Morgane Hall contains the administrative offices of the School of Biological Sciences and most of its faculty. There are two lecture classrooms, two multi-purpose biology labs, and a genetics and microbiology lab.  

The building also houses chemistry and physics labs with models and computer simulators for in-depth study of both biological and physical science concepts.

Take a virtual tour of Morgane Hall

Launch Morgane Hall

Experiential Learning

We rely heavily on case studies to challenge you to apply scientific concepts to real-world problems. But the classroom is only where hands-on experience begins. In the lab, you’ll engage in research with faculty from across health care fields, colleges, and disciplines. And internships allow you to directly experience different professions in an immersive environment.


  • Opportunities for undergraduates to participate in cutting-edge research across health care fields
  • Mentorship from faculty at a university categorized as having “High Research Activity” by Carnegie Classification
  • Paid research positions available

Research Opportunities

Cellular and Molecular Biology Labs

Labs dedicated to cellular and molecular research include:

  • Kristin Burkholder, Ph.D., Microbiology Lab
    • Studies the interaction of bacterial pathogens with their environment and host cells by employing techniques of classical microbiology, molecular biology, cell culture and microscopy.
  • Geoff Ganter, Ph.D., Drosophila Neurogenetics Lab
    • Employs genetic, microscopic, and behavior analysis approaches to identify targets for future pain medications.
  • Jenn Garcia, Ph.D., Molecular Genetics Lab
    • Uses techniques such as northern blotting, next-generation sequencing, immunoblotting, molecular cloning, quantitative PCR, microscopy, and yeast genetics to understand mechanisms that regulate gene expression in response to stress.
  • Lei Lei, Ph. D., Molecular Biology Lab
    • Studies developmental neurobiology and molecular evolution using molecular and bioinformatic tools


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Labs

Labs dedicated to ecology and evolutionary biology research include:

  • Ursula Roese, Ph.D., Chemical Ecology Lab
    • Investigates chemical interactions between plants, insects, and microorganisms as well as applications that involve testing of plant compounds against human pathogens - using extractions and head space collections, as well as instrumentation to analyze organic compounds, including Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionization Detection (GC-FID) and Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)


Medical Biology Labs

Labs dedicated to medical biology research include:

  • David Sandmire, M.D., Physiology Lab
    • Contains software and hardware equipment to measure beat-to-beat heart rate variability (HRV) as a gauge of sympathetic nervous system activity to objectively estimate anxiety level in response to art making


Our students have performed internships at numerous sites, including:

  • Family Eye Care
  • Biddeford-Saco Dental Associates
  • Kennebunkport Emergency Medical Services
  • Oral Surgery Associates
  • Dempsey Center
  • York County Shelter Programs
  • American Cancer Society

For more information email Donna Gaspar Jarvis in the Academic and Career Advising Center at

Travel Courses

UNE's travel courses allow you to stay on track with your lab sciences and College of Arts and Sciences core curriculum while gaining enriching international experience.

The below travel courses are taught by Biology faculty.

Costa Rica

BIO 290/290L or BIO 451 Tropical Forests and Global Change

Greg Zogg, Ph.D.

This is a spring semester course that includes travel to Costa Rica for nine days during spring break, where you will explore the biodiversity of both tropical rainforests and dry forests. You will conduct fieldwork examining how human-induced changes in the environment — such as defaunation, invasive species, and global warming — impact these two forest types.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to zipline through the forest canopy, spend time at the beach, and enjoy the sights and sounds of tropical forests. Upon return, you will spend the rest of the semester drawing upon your travel experience to help you identify strategies to protect these natural systems from further human disturbance.

This course can be taken at either the 200- or 400-level, with students enrolling at the 400 level having greater expectations in terms of both depth of study and workload, and serving as research team leaders on group projects before, during, and after travel to Costa Rica.

U N E biological sciences students walk the rainforest in Costa Rica while taking a travel course

Greece and Italy

BIO 290 Anatomy Through Classical and Renaissance Art

Kaushik Dutta

This is a semester-long seminar examining the importance of anatomical study as represented in the art of ancient Greece and Rome, and its re-emergence and elaboration during the Italian Renaissance.

The highlight of the course is a 10-day trip to Greece and Italy in May during which you will tour sites in Athens, Rome, Florence, and Bologna, representing the birthplaces of ancient and modern anatomical science. You will discover the many varied connections between anatomical study and art, especially in Renaissance Italy.

An individual research project with a multimedia presentation will be required.

To enroll in these courses, you must submit an application to the Global Education Program. You can also apply for a Global Education scholarship when applying to these courses.