Chemical and Biological Sciences

College of Science, Math, and Nursing


Dr. Matthew Bork, Chair

Dr. Deborah Breiter

Dr. William Doria

Dr. Jaimee Kubatzke

Dr. Beth Lipton

Dr. James Marshall

Dr. Kari Severson



The cornerstone of the Chemical and Biological Sciences is the scientific method. In the CBS Department students gain the foundational knowledge to understand the world in which they live. By understanding that world and the organisms that share it, our students can ask questions, propose answers, and carry out experiments to further our knowledge and prepare for a future in science. Scientific experiments and developments are a driving force in technology, industry, medicine, conservation, and education. 

To prepare for careers in these fields, students in the CBS department can choose between a variety of majors in Biology, Biochemistry, or Chemistry. Prospective majors usually begin their study of Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry in their first year. However, transfer students who have completed their first or second years elsewhere may still be able to obtain a degree in four years if they have been following a science-track major. Emphasis on laboratory work allows students to apply theory-based lecture material while learning basic laboratory skills and using modern instrumentation and scientific computer software. All majors will also have the opportunity to complete an undergraduate research project as part of their degree. During these projects students can either work with a faculty member on campus or take advantage of summer opportunities at major research universities or in industry. 

The Chemical and Biological Sciences Department also offers courses designed for the non-science major, such as “Foundations of Anatomy and Physiology”, “Earth Systems Science”, “Chemistry in Our Environment”, and "Secrets of Science". These courses provide practical scientific knowledge for fields such as athletics, business, education, psychology, political science, and allied health, while also helping students to better understand and critically analyze information they are presented in their day to day lives.

Career Opportunities

Rockford University students earning a degree in Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry are well-prepared for graduate school, medical/professional school, or careers in forensic science, environmental science, the chemical industry, biotechnology, genetic counseling, and pharmaceutical sales, along with other health-related fields. Many of our students have gone on to become physicians, dentists, veterinarians, medical technologists or pharmacists. Still others have become secondary teachers through our state of Illinois-approved program for Biology or Chemistry teachers. Many students combine a Biology, Chemistry or Biochemistry major with a minor in business, psychology or a foreign language to prepare for careers in science or health-related fields. Scientific careers in environmental management and conservation exist through business and governmental agencies. Private industry uses trained scientists in areas such as sales, management, research and development, and scientific writing. Graduates have career opportunities as educators in colleges and universities, in primary and secondary schools, as well as in museums, zoos, aquariums and nature centers. Careers are available that link these sciences to other disciplines, such as art, law, ethics and economics.