The current structure was created by a 1999 reorganization of biological sciences, which transformed the way basic sciences support human health, the environment, renewable energy, agriculture and biotechnology at the University of Minnesota.

CBS departments and other components now include:

Undergraduates choose from seven majors: Biology; Biochemistry; Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; Genetics, Cell Biology and Development; Microbiology; Neuroscience and Plant Biology.

CBS faculty are also involved in a number of graduate programs. Some are administered by single departments while others are collaborative efforts involving multiple departments and colleges. Programs span basic life sciences, conservation, and microbial engineering.