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The Department of Botany & Microbiology (or BOMI) is one of 2 biology departments at OWU, with faculty who specialize in botany, ecology, environmental biology, microbiology, immunology, genetics, and molecular biology.  The ability to offer several specialized and accredited majors within the biological sciences sets OWU apart from many other liberal arts colleges. Students may elect from the following majors offered directly through the BOMI department:

               Biology (may also be declared in Dept. of Zoology)


               Genetics (may also be declared in Dept. of Zoology)


BOMI faculty also offer many courses that contribute to other biological science majors, including:


               Environmental Studies


               Health and Human Kinetics

Please visit the Department of Zoology to learn about other popular biological science majors at OWU.

With a small student-to-faculty ratio in classes, students have multiple opportunities to directly interact with their professors during class, and to learn hands-on research techniques that are desired in the workplace and in applying for advanced post-graduate degrees (e.g. Ph.D., M.D., M.S., etc.).  

Several types of apprenticeships are offered through the Botany & Microbiology department, and students that major within the department are well-suited to careers or graduate degrees that include the following:

     Health professional:

          Medicine   Dentistry   Nursing   Physician Assistant   Public Health

     Clinical microbiology

     Plant pathology


     Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals

     Food science and safety

     USDA Forest Service Laboratories

     Molecular and Cell Biology

     Bacteriology, Virology, or Mycology

     Genetic Counseling


There are also several opportunities for students to volunteer in a research lab or engage in Independent Study projects for course-credit.  Research in the BOMI department spans many disciplines, from field work in Ohio to Malaysia, to studying bacterial physiology and virology in research labs, to studying plant growth in space! Please visit the Faculty page and the Research Opportunities page for more information.

Many faculty offer regular field trips in their courses, as well as Travel-Learning courses to allow field visits to distant locations.  Faculty in the BOMI department are deeply motivated by both teaching and research, and publish their research regularly, which often includes student authorships. The BOMI department maintains or is affiliated with several facilities or specialized research equipment that allows for dynamic research, not common at many other peer colleges, including:

     Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope

     Nature Preserves:  Bohannan Nature Preserve and Krauss Nature Preserve

     Confocal Microscope

     Gravitropic Monitoring (ROTATO)

     Moore Greenhouse


     Molecular Biology equipment (for DNA, RNA, and protein analyses)

Research funding for students is available through several OWU resources, including:

     Theory-to-Practice grants

     Student Initiated Projects (SIPs)

     Summer Science Research Program (SSRP)

     Krauss Research Fellowship

The department also offers awards annually to students for excellence in academic performance, departmental service, and independent research. Please visit the Student page for more information.