Letter from the Department Head

Welcome to the Department of Biology. We begin fall 2018 with 300 new biology students and if you are part of the 49% of students who were accepted after applying to our major we want to say Congratulations! This website is very complete and offers all the information you need about our courses, degrees and faculty. The Department is focused on student success and as such we are the campus leader on the utilization of high-impact educational practices to increase student retention and graduation rates. Specifically, the Department of Biology:

Was the first to require a Freshman Seminar for all new students, focusing on college skills and career advising;

Leads the university in the number of Freshman Learning Communities it provides for VSU students;

Leads the university in the percentage and actual number of faculty who conduct undergraduate research experiences with students;

Has required a Senior Seminar capstone experience for decades;

Is the only department that provides ePortfolios to all incoming freshmen;

Has $1.1 million dollars in endowed funds used to award scholarships each year.

All freshmen who remain in biology will experience at least three of the above high-impact practices by the time they graduate. In addition, as a result of the dedicated faculty, the intentional advising and the design of the degrees, the Department has achieved a zero percent achievement gap for the last three years in the graduation rates between white and minority students – and achievement that is extremely rare in academia. So again, welcome to our successful program and if you are not with us yet – apply today!

If I can be of any help to you as a prospective or current student, please e-mail me at rlgannon@valdosta.edu.

Please follow the link below if you would like to receive a brochure about the Department of Biology.


Robert L. Gannon, Ph.D.
Professor and Head of Biology