Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biology
Are you interested in the biological systems of plants, animals, humans, and other living organisms? Love the liberal arts and humanities? Consider earning a B.A. in biology, which offers the best of both worlds.
Biology is a broad field that branches into many different disciplines and a range of career paths. With this major, you'll graduate with a firm foundation in both the sciences and the humanities. You'll also be prepared to pursue careers that are science-related but don't involve working in a research laboratory.
Why choose the B.A. in biology at Marian?
Marian University’s Bachelor of Arts in Biology curriculum includes math and science courses that will give you a good understanding of biological concepts and theories.
The core of your coursework, however, will be built on a broad, traditional liberal arts platform, providing you with the subjects and skills that are essential to take an active role in civic life.
This means you can take more courses in writing, art, language, psychology, communications, philosophy, global studies, and other humanities than students who pursue the B.S. in biology.
The B.A. in biology is a great choice for careers that emphasize skills like managing people, collaborating and effective teamwork, and interacting with the public in advocacy, policy, or informal educational settings.
As a student, 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.
- Get hands-on research experience and mentoring from faculty.
- Study and practice the scientific method, learn how to conduct precise, systematic experiments, and use lab equipment to gather and analyze data.
- Effectively present your research findings verbally and graphically.
Your courses will be challenging, but you will have access to student resources and expert faculty who will guide and support you every step of the way.
Upon graduation, you’ll have sharp problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and other skills that employers want.
What will you study?
To earn a B.A. in biology at Marian, you will complete general education courses to build foundational intellectual and knowledge acquisition skills. You’ll also complete a number of required core and elective courses.
Examples of specific courses you’ll complete include:
- BIO 202, 203, 204, 205, 291, 490, and 491
- CHE 151 and 152
- PHY 110 and 111
Sample four-year plan and checklist
Degree requirements include at least 12 credit hours of biology courses above the 200 level, with at least six of those at the 300-level or above. You may apply up to three credits of biology internship or research coursework to that total.
For greater depth in your academic preparation, you’ll select a second major or minor in another field of study. This will help define your career path, make you more marketable upon graduation, and give you an opportunity to explore another area of study that interests you.
You’ll also 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.
As you near the end of the core curriculum, our biology careers course will enable you to explore your strengths, values, and career interests. You’ll select elective courses tailored to your career goals and prepare application materials for internships, jobs, and/or graduate study.
The internship and employment market in Indianapolis is thriving. You will be encouraged to pursue at least one internship, although many of our students complete two or more internship experiences.
- If you are interested in the business of healthcare, the life sciences, and related fields, you’ll 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.
- On the other hand, if you are interested environmental or nonprofit work in fields like public advocacy, education, and policy, you can choose to pursue internships with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Forest Alliance, Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Cornea Research Foundation, and dozens of other agencies.
What are your career paths?
With a B.A. in biology, you can choose from professional careers in an array of public and private settings. If your ultimate career goal requires an advanced degree, you may also apply for admission to a master’s or doctoral program.
Some students choosing this major want to teach biology or science in middle or high school settings. Others want to become lawyers, patient advocates, science writers or marketers, medical illustrators, or pharmaceutical sales managers.
In general, most B.A. in biology graduates (1) want to work in positions on the business, administrative, and human sides of science or (2) apply to graduate programs that are related to healthcare or the environment.
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of labor Statistics, here are some employment outlooks for biology-related careers:
Growth through 2026
2016 median salary
High school science teacher
Lawyer or attorney*
Environmental scientist and specialist
Science and technical writers
Social and community service Manager
Biological science professor or instructor (post-secondary)*
Medical and health services manager*
Other career choices might include:
- Agricultural manager
- Botanist or horticulturalist
- Animal behavior and training
- Renewable energy specialist
- Marketing and public relations
- Waste management and pest control
If you decide to pursue graduate study, our faculty can help you prepare to score well on national exams like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), among others.
They can also advise you about applying for admission to master’s and doctoral degree programs at top universities across the nation.
*This occupation may require an advanced degree.