Study the science of life.

In the Department of Biology, the emphasis we place on personal attention and close interaction between faculty and student provides our majors with a solid core of learning and preparation within biology as well as mathematics, physics and chemistry. Experiential learning is key, and we encourage every student to pursue hands-on field and laboratory experiences, opportunities to participate in faculty-student collaborative research, travel courses, professional conferences, community service, and professional practicum training.

Fast Facts

  • Study in our new Orris C. Hirtzel and Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel DNA Sequencing Center, which features two DNA sequencers allowing for the rapid and robust amplification of DNA sequences from any organism
  • Within six months of graduating, 89 percent of our grads find placement in graduate school or a career in their chosen field

  • Get your hands dirty in the department-owned Jean B. and J. Douglas James Ecological and Wildlife Preserve, a 35-acre forest and wetland habitat

Learning Outcomes

The Biology Department has identified four learning outcomes that all biology majors should meet before they earn their degrees. Those outcomes and the methods by which each is assessed are:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in three major areas of biology: cellular and molecular biology (including genetics), ecology and evolution, and organismal biology
  • Critically analyze scientific information
  • Demonstrate proficiency in lab, field, and/or clinical techniques
  • Communicate scientific findings in a professional manner


We emphasize experiential learning as part of our curriculum so students can gain experience through job shadowing, internships, volunteering, and entry-level employment.


Don’t just learn from a classroom—escape to exotic locations and take advantage of opportunities like the biannual tropical marine biology trip to the Caribbean islands.


Capstone projects require each senior bio major to conduct their own research, with help from a faculty member, to present at the end of their senior year.