• academic - science 07
Biology Major
  • Overview

    Capital’s Department of Biological and Environmental Science offers a biology degree that presents a well-rounded study of the disciplines of biology, coupled with individual flexibility in a final program. Students work with an academic adviser to design a major best suited to their personal goals and needs. Students also are encouraged to participate in internships and independent studies in order to better prepare for either graduate school or a job following graduation.

    Central to the study of the biological sciences is the pur­suit of research. While all Capital students are not required to do research, students are given the opportunity to pur­sue various research options, and are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities. Most of the Capital faculty are actively engaged in research in their fields of expertise and encourage undergraduate students to join the efforts. Many of these research efforts lead to presentations at regional or national scientific meetings, and the publication of abstracts of their work. Such experiences are valuable in gaining admission to the best graduate programs in any field of biology.

    Course requirements for all majors and minors can be found in our online course bulletin. 


    Biology majors take a set of core courses designed to expose them to the major theories and disci­plines of biology, including foundations of biology, genet­ics, microbiology, ecology and cell and molecular biology. All courses include hands-on laboratory components and discovery lab experimentation, and all labs are taught by department faculty members. Students then build upon this core by selecting an area of major concentration. The concentrations are: biochemistry/molecular biology, zool­ogy/animal science, ecology/environmental science and integrated/general biology. The concentration is completed through advanced courses, as well as research and inde­pendent studies. Advanced course options are listed on the back of this sheet.

    Both laboratory and field-based research opportunities exist for biology majors, ranging from animal reproduc­tion to wildflower populations to synthesis of new drugs for human disease. In addition, all senior biology majors are required to demonstrate proficiency in library and Internet research methods, and must present research findings both in oral and poster formats.

    Many graduates of the biology program continue their studies in graduate school, pursuing either a master’s or doctorate degree. Preparation for these programs gener­ally involves taking the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA. Recent graduates are pursuing degrees in immunology, molecular genetics, forensics, wildlife biology, aquatic invertebrates, pharmacy, environmental law, cytogenetics and biochemistry. Others have entered the job market after graduation and are serv­ing in areas such as food microbiology testing, parks and recreation management, teaching, pharmaceutical sales and zoo animal handler. Biology majors also pursue options in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, envi­ronmental science and occupational therapy. For further information on any of these options, please see separate fact sheets under these headings.


    Eight laboratories in the Battelle Hall of Science are used for biology teaching and research. In ad­dition, several small lab facilities, an animal care facility and a two-story greenhouse are available to be used for faculty and student research. All labs are equipped with online computers as well as equipment and models specific to the courses and projects that take place in that room. A state-of-the-art molecular biology laboratory allows students to grow living cells under controlled conditions, while the biochemistry lab has equipment to perform DNA fin­gerprint analysis. Two cadavers are stored and used in the anatomy lab, and the botany lab opens directly into the second story of the greenhouse.

    The biological sciences department maintains member­ships in many organizations that provide journals and other resources for biology majors, including the Ohio Academy of Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Nature Conservancy, Ohio Scientific and Educational Research Association and the Sierra Club. A departmental resource center is maintained where students can use these and many other effective resources for study or leisure.

    The Life Science Organization (LSO) is a student group supported by the biological sciences department. Students bring in outside speakers to learn about graduate school and career opportunities, perform service in the commu­nity and help to educate the campus about biological and scientific concerns. Students who maintain a high GPA, are active in LSO and provide service to the community may be inducted into the local chapter of Beta Beta Beta national honor society.