Division of Science and Mathematics

The discipline of biology encompasses many subject areas ranging from the study of the molecular and cellular functions of organisms to the ecological interactions among organisms. As biology majors, students gain a solid background in the discipline while also gaining the ability to apply biological principles to our world. In their first two years of the biology major, students are introduced to the breadth of the discipline in three core courses that provide a foundation in biological diversity, ecology, evolution, genetics and cell biology. In addition, students take appropriate courses in mathematics, chemistry, and physics or computer science. Upon declaration of the major, students build upon this foundation by choosing one course from each of the following areas: cell and molecular biology, organismal biology, and ecology and evolution. Three additional elective courses from these areas or from a select number of courses in other major programs allow the student to craft a major reflecting his or her personal interests. At the senior level, our majors enroll in the capstone senior seminar course.


Stephanie Dew (chair), Stephen Asmus, Stephanie Fabritius, Amanda Falk, Mark Galatowitsch, Matthew Klooster, Anne Lubbers, Marie Nydam, Kelly O’Quin, Margaret Richey, Rose-Marie Roessler

Student Representatives

Tristen Morrow, Kate Sarkan

Recommended First-Year/Sophomore Preparation

Students contemplating a major in biology should plan to take BIO 110 in their first year. CHE 131 and CHE 132 may be taken during either the first year or the sophomore year. For those who qualify, CHE 135 may substitute for both CHE 131 and CHE 132. Normally, students should plan to take BIO 210 no later than the spring of their sophomore year. CHE 241 and BMB 210 should be completed no later than the fall of the junior year. Any prospective biology major with specific graduate/pre-professional school goals should consult with a member of the biology faculty (or one of the specific pre-health careers advisors) early in the student’s academic career to determine both the types of courses that should be taken and the specific terms in which these courses should be taken to best attain the post-graduate goals. See the health professions advisory committee's website for more details.

Biology Courses

Course Descriptions