Majors & Minors

Biology

Learn to think critically through the study of living organisms and their relationships to the environment.

Contact

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce

Professor of Biology & Chair

Phone

512.863.1974
Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce

Professor of Biology & Chair

Biology
Biology

Majoring or minoring in biology is your gateway to a richer understanding of living organisms, from the molecules within cells to the biosphere that encompasses all of Earth’s ecosystems. At Southwestern, you’ll deepen your knowledge of molecular processes, ecological diversity, genetics, the human body, and evolution through our rich and wide-ranging curriculum. You’ll engage in thoughtful assignments and projects while gaining hands-on experience in our state-of-the-art on-campus laboratories. You will have opportunities to conduct research and collaborate with our engaged and enthusiastic faculty on a range of projects, such as studying

  • the diversity and distribution of snails using genetics and field sampling
  • DNA repair and mutation
  • the development and progression of breast and uterine cancer
  • gene expression within bacteria
  • the complexities of antibiotic resistance
  • the relationship between natural selection and gene evolution
  • the ecology of local amphibians
  • the development of neural circuits in the brain

Majors may choose to pursue either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. Our students often take courses in SU’s robust environmental studies program or elect one of our new interdisciplinary minors, such as animal studies, health studies, and data science. In addition, SU offers preprofessional pathways in the areas of pre-medicine, pre-dental, and pre-veterinary medicine that will provide you with personalized advising and other helpful resources that will prepare your for advanced study. No matter which path you choose, you will have numerous career choices to choose from. Our alumni have gone on to successfully complete graduate and professional programs in the dental, medical, medical technology, nursing, optometry, pharmacy, and veterinary fields. They’ve also enjoyed satisfying careers in industry, government, nonprofit organizations, public health, and education.



AFTER SOUTHWESTERN

Featured Alumni Stories

Dr. Robert W. Karr ’71

Dr. Robert W. Karr ’71

Medal of Honor

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Kira McEntire '13

The Science and Art of Salamanders

Kira McEntire ’13 explores creative expression while teaching and researching wildlife biology.

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Megan Schubert Leese ’01

Looking out for the Community

Inspired by a service trip to Honduras during one eye-opening spring break, Megan Schubert Leese ’01 now champions public health.

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EXPLORE SOUTHWESTERN

Biology News

Climate Strike

Supporting Environmental Activism and Personal Growth on Campus

Members reflect on how Students for Environmental Activism and Knowledge (SEAK) inspires and educates them beyond the classroom.

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Nyaberi (fourth from left) was selected to engage in a premedical fellowship at Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra.

Becoming a Better Thinker through Science

Esther Nyaberi ’21 finds joy in researching apple snails, environmental DNA, and microplastics.

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When viewed through an electron microscope, the spikes that adorn the outer surface of a coronavirus suggest the appearance of a corona, or crown. A novel coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Scholarly Perspectives on COVID-19, Part 1: “This Was Only a Matter of Time”

Southwestern microbiologist Martín Gonzalez weighs in on the science of the latest coronavirus.

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