Majors & Minors

Biology

Welcome to the Biology Department!

We encourage our students to learn to think critically through the study of living organisms and their relationships to the environment. 

We also strive to provide a safe and supportive environment for all students, including, but not limited to, students of color, sexual and gender minorities, low-income students, first-generation students, differently-abled students and those with chronic health conditions.

 

Click here to learn more about our Department’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, belonging and equity.   

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 acts as 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

  • diversity & distribution of snails using genetics and field sampling
  • DNA repair & mutation
  • development & progression of breast & uterine cancer
  • gene expression within bacteria
  • complexities of antibiotic resistance
  • relationships between natural selection & gene evolution
  • ecology of local amphibians
  • development of neural circuits in the brain
  • response & impact of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems

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 pre-professional 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 from which to choose. 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

This gallery makes a great first impression - click below to find out more.

Inverting The Gallery Concept: Biological digital diversity

Invertebrate diversity across so many types of habitats make it difficult to capture all of it in a small specimen collection. However, the provision of visual images across the internet provides an opportunity for students to curate their own collection of diversity.

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At Beeweaver Farms with caretaker Roosevelt

Bee-ing an invertebrate field biologist

After being constrained by covid-19 for the last few semesters, vaccine availability and our students cooperation afforded the opportunity for the 2022 Invertebrate Ecology class to get out and about in the field.

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Emma Astad ’21

Third Southwestern Graduate Receives 2022–2023 Fulbright Award

Emma Astad ’21 will teach English in Galicia, Spain.

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