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Earn a B.S. in Biology degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology

As you think about what major is right for you, you might be thinking "I really liked biology in high school. Maybe I should major in that."

Well, biology is a great academic choice with some of the highest projections for job growth in the coming decade. Because it relates to many different scientific fields and disciplines, you'll have a range of careers from which to choose after graduation. You can more narrowly define your plan of study by selecting courses related to your specific career interests in biology.

Regardless of whether you want a science-intensive or a technical career, upon graduation you'll be prepared for a huge number of job options in fields like healthcare, environmental science, research and development, or education. If working in one of these fields is your career goal, earning a B.S. in biology will help you get there.

Why choose a B.S. in biology at Marian?

The field of biology is very interdisciplinary. Modern biologists study the human genome, climate change, human and agricultural diseases, global food supply, and conservation of natural resources, to name just a few.

In general, biologists draw on their expertise in mathematics and the physical sciences to increase knowledge and solve problems in specific fields of biology, such as:

  • Bio-organic chemistry
  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental science
  • Genetics
  • Physiology and exercise science

Marian University’s curriculum will give you excellent preparation for a career in biology. You will:

  • Learn the language of biology and biological terminology for accurate scientific communication.
  • Explore the origins of biological theories and concepts in comparison to their continued evolution through scientific and technological advances.
  • Study and practice the scientific method, learning how to conduct precise, systematic experiments and use lab equipment, gathering and analyzing data.
  • Get hands-on research experience and mentoring from faculty, including how to present your research findings verbally, in writing, and graphically.

Your courses will be challenging, but you won’t be alone. Our biology faculty will guide, encourage, and support you. When you graduate, you'll have accomplished more than you ever thought possible.

What will you study?

As a B.S. in biology major, you will complete general education, elective, and core courses that are specifically sequenced to provide you with early foundational knowledge during your first two years. During years three and four, you’ll build upon this foundation for a deeper learning experience.

The B.S. in biology degree requires that you complete at least 128 total credit hours, with at least 60 of those credits in mathematics and sciences. Courses for these 60 credits must be selected from chemistry, math, physics, or biology at the 100 level or above.

Specific courses you’ll complete include:

  • BIO 202, 203, 204, 205, 291, 490, and 491
  • CHE 151, 152, 305, and 306
  • MAT 215 or above
  • PHY 110 and 111

You’ll also be required to complete a second major, an interdisciplinary academic minor, or a concentration area outside of the College of Arts and Sciences. This allows you to pursue exciting interdisciplinary learning opportunities. For example, if you are a pre-med student majoring in biology, you might choose to earn a minor in medical humanities, which will enable you to enter medical school with a broader understanding of patient care from social, cultural, and ethical perspectives.

Near the end of your studies, you’ll complete a capstone experience in which you refine a scientific manuscript, popular press article, case study, or other scientific writing and submit your work for publication.

Four-year plan for B.S. in biology majors

B.S. in biology course checklist

Internship opportunities

Because we embed research projects in the early portion of your studies, you’ll have more time during your junior and senior years to: (1) pursue career-specific internships, (2) build a professional network, and/or (3) prepare to be a competitive candidate for admission to graduate and professional schools.

The internship and employment market in Indianapolis is thriving.

  • You will have excellent access to internship positions at top life science start-up enterprises, businesses, and corporations like Beckman Coulter, Cook Medical, Covance Laboratories, Dow Agrosciences, Eli Lilly and Company, Roche Diagnostics, and Zimmer.
  • Other organizations where students pursue internships include the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana State Police Laboratory, Indiana Forest Alliance, Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, Indiana Eye Clinic, Cornea Research Foundation, and more than a dozen hospital and healthcare facilities in the greater Indianapolis area.

What are your career paths?

Biologists work in a wide range of settings—from field stations in Alaska operated by federal environmental agencies to corporate and university research laboratories, hospitals and public health clinics, and classrooms.

The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks a number of professions that have their roots in biology.

Occupation

Growth through 2026

2016 median salary

High school science teacher

8 percent

$58,030

Lawyer or attorney*

9 percent

$118,160

Environmental scientist and specialist

11 percent

$68,910

Science and technical writers

11 percent

$69,850

Physician

15 percent

$208,000

Biological science professor or instructor (post-secondary)*

16 percent

$75,320

Dentist*

17 percent

$159,770

Optometrist*

17 percent

$106,140

Medical and health services manager*

20 percent

$96,540

Genetic counselor*

28 percent

$74,120

Physician assistant*

37 percent

$101,480

*This occupation may require an advanced degree.

Other entry-level career paths from which you might choose include:

  • High school biology teacher
  • Food safety inspector
  • Healthcare technician
  • Basic or applied researcher
  • Biostatistician
  • Laboratory coordinator

Many biology majors have career goals like these, which require completing advanced degrees:

  • Medical doctor
  • Dentist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physician assistant
  • Physical therapist
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Genetic counselor
  • Veterinarian

If one of these careers is your ultimate goal, our faculty can help you prepare to pass national exams like the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), Dental Admission Test (DAT), and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

They can also advise you about applying for admission to master’s and doctoral degree programs at top universities across the nation.

For admission information

Office of Undergraduate Admission
(317) 955-6300 or (800) 772-7264
admissions@marian.edu

For program specifics

Dr. Kim Vogt
Chair, Department of Biology
(317) 955-6435
kvogt@marian.edu

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Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.