Biological and Chemical Sciences

Develop a broad knowledge in biological sciences and chemical sciences in hands-on courses that move from the classroom to the laboratory to the outside world.

In the Biological and Chemical Sciences bachelor's degree program at Wells College, you'll learn by doing, with opportunities to participate in discovery labs, exciting internships in the New York area and across the country, paid research opportunities, and study abroad programs that enable you to take your study of biology and chemistry around the world. At the same time, you'll benefit from the personal guidance and close mentorship of top faculty at a small, private liberal arts college that encourages and empowers you to create your own projects and discover new interests.

student and professor in laboratory
view of stratton hall
presentation in stratton lecture room

A Look Inside the Biological and Chemical Sciences Bachelor’s Degree Program at Wells

Discover your strengths and use them to plan for your future as a Biological and Chemical Sciences major at Wells. You’ll start with introductory courses that help you sort out which fields, topics, and methods appeal to you. From there, you'll begin to focus your studies in, for example, the outside world, cellular biology, organic and inorganic chemistry, genetics, or another field.

Our science professors design laboratories that are approachable, relatable, and based on real-world practices and problems. Rather than simply learning a principle and testing it, you'll have a chance to participate in discovery labs—an open-ended method that approaches a practical scientific scenario, answers questions, examines meaning, and focuses on solutions. For the Senior Capstone Project, you’ll work on a relevant and interesting science project that you choose, plan, and complete with the guidance of faculty, who are constantly refining this process to best prepare you for your career after graduation.

As you pursue your bachelor’s degree in biological and chemical sciences at Wells, you’ll find countless opportunities to open yourself up to scientific discoveries, to ask different questions, and ultimately see the world in a whole new way.

What You’ll Learn as a Biological and Chemical Sciences Major

  • A broad understanding of biological sciences and chemical sciences to prepare for careers that do not require advanced graduate study
  • How the fields of chemistry and biology intertwine with and influence each other
  • Research and problem-solving skills you can apply to diverse careers in the sciences and beyond

Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning in the Biological and Chemical Sciences Bachelor’s Degree Program

Hands-on learning opportunities such as internships, the Summer Faculty Research program, tutoring, or studying abroad for academic credit mean that you have the chance to do meaningful work at Wells and with other organizations and institutions while earning your bachelor’s degree in biological and chemical sciences. Wells also has a partnership with the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom Project in which students in biology, chemistry, environmental science, and other classes can spend time on the water, doing hands-on marine biology work. Academic conferences provide an additional place to present original research and learn about current areas of research in biological and chemical sciences.

Internship and Study Abroad Opportunities

Internships are a great way to determine what areas of biological sciences and chemical sciences interest you most, as well as providing valuable career networking opportunities. Some recent Wells internships took place at:

  • Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Suitland, Maryland
  • Oakland Zoo, Oakland, California
  • Cornell University Large Animal Clinic, Ithaca, New York
  • New England Aquarium, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Syracuse University Department of Chemistry, Syracuse, New York
  • Upstate Veterinary Hospital, Saratoga Springs, New York
  • Canandaigua Wine Co., Canandaigua, New York
  • Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Aurora, New York

You can also take your undergraduate biological and chemical sciences education overseas. Learn more about study abroad programs at Wells.

Related Science Programs

If you’re interested in studying biological and chemical sciences, you might also want to explore our other science programs such as:

Career Options for Biological and Chemical Sciences Majors

The bachelor’s degree program in Biological and Chemical Sciences is designed for students who may not be planning to immediately follow their undergraduate degree with focused graduate study in chemistry or biology. This program allows for a broader science track that will prepare you for careers as, for example, a veterinary technician or laboratory assistant.

Current Research in the Biological and Chemical Sciences Bachelor’s Degree Program

Jaclyn Schnurr, Associate Professor of Biology, published her manuscript "Linkages among canopy tree neighborhoods, small mammal herbivores, and herbaceous communities in temperate forests" in the Journal of Vegetation Science and presented a poster on the topic at the 100th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.

Christina Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Biology, presented her research, "Measurements of oxidative stress vary with tissue type and reproductive status in Damaraland mole-rats (Fukomys damarensis)" at Evolution 2016, a joint meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists, and the Society of Systematic Biologists.

Apply Now to Pursue Your Bachelor’s Degree in Biological and Chemical Sciences

Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in Biological and Chemical Sciences at Wells College. Apply now.

Request More Information

Ready to learn more about Wells College and our Biological and Chemical Sciences Bachelor of Arts program? Request more information. 

"There isn't a singular experience or moment that captures or defines my Wells experience because every one has been helpful in allowing me to grow as a person."

Hakeem Rihan '19
Biological and Chemical Sciences Major, Bell Ringer
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Program Faculty
Christopher Bailey
Professor of Chemistry
Jaclyn Schnurr
Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
Lindsay Burwell
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Science, Wells, and You

Many Wells science majors have been awarded a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) to conduct primary research at another institution over the summer. Funded by the National Science Foundation, it’s a competitive program but can be an excellent addition to your resume as you apply for further education or research-related jobs after completing your degree. Completing an REU is also a valuable and rewarding experience that will enrich your personal and professional life for years to come. 

Each year, Wells also sends students to the National Council on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), a national interdisciplinary academic conference that recognizes some of the top research and creative work by bachelor’s degree students. Wells science majors are consistently among those chosen by our own faculty and the NCUR committee for participation. Our professors also take students to the Sigma Xi conference, a student-focused conference for scientific and medical research, and the Senior Capstone class attends the regional Rochester Academy of Sciences meeting, offering students skills and experience in presenting at scientific research conferences. Recent student research projects presented recently at NCUR examined topics such as:

  • the effects of caffeine on embryonic cardiovascular development
  • the ability of different strains of yeast to slow the growth of spoilage organisms in beer
  • the effects of ethanol on the circadian rhythms of fruit flies

Our mission is for every student to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives. On our beautiful lakeside campus, students gain the knowledge, skills and experience to create their own unique path.

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