Biology

Gain a strong foundation in the science of biology in a hands-on bachelor’s degree program that ventures outside the classroom and into the world to explore how nature works.

Study the science of life at Wells' scenic lakeside campus amid the wild natural areas of Aurora, New York. Hike through the surrounding woods for botany or dissect specimens for zoology. Voyage on Cayuga Lake on the interactive Floating Classroom. And work closely with top professors who are not only exceptional researchers in diverse fields of biology, but dedicated mentors who provide the encouragement to create your own projects and discover new interests. The Biology major at Wells College leads to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree and is offered as a minor as well.

professor explaining information on chalkboard
floating classroom on cayuga lake
students with laboratory equipment
stratton hall in the winter

A Look Inside the Biology Bachelor’s Degree Program at Wells

Biology majors specialize in courses in genetics, ecology, or anatomy and physiology, as well as molecular and cellular biology and ecological and behavioral biology. This strong foundation in biology is complemented by related courses in mathematics and chemistry. 

At Wells, you’ll find the educational opportunities of a large university with the personal guidance and one-to-one attention that only a small college can offer. Our interdisciplinary liberal arts program gives you the freedom to find something you like and pursue it, so that the questions you're interested in will help guide your undergraduate experience. Wells biology majors frequently bring in ideas that they find fascinating—whether the topic is invasive species on campus, patterns of evolution and reproduction in large organisms, or the ways that your body's proteins code for different attributes through the DNA.

Our biology professors design laboratories that are based on real-world practices and problems. You’ll also get to design your own Senior Capstone Project, with the guidance of faculty who help you plan a project to best prepare you for your career after completing your bachelor’s degree.

A weekly Science Colloquium Series brings professional guest speakers to campus to present their cutting-edge work in biology and other sciences. The Center for Sustainability and the Environment also helps you to ground your scientific study in important research through internships and conversations with a variety of visiting scholars as you pursue your bachelor’s degree.

What You’ll Learn as a Biology Major

  • A strong understanding of biology and how to apply the scientific method to address biological questions
  • How to think critically and ethically about issues involving biology
  • Research and problem-solving skills that will prepare you for graduate study and a wide range of careers

Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning in the Biology Bachelor’s Degree Program

At Wells you’ll find numerous real-world learning opportunities, including internships, a Summer Faculty Research program, and study abroad programs that allow you to take your study of biology around the world. Our partnership with the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom Project allows biology majors to 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 biology and related sciences.

Internship and Study Abroad Opportunities 

These are just a few of the places where Wells biology majors and other science program students recently held internships:

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

Interested in taking your undergraduate biology studies overseas? Learn more about study abroad programs at Wells.

Related Science Programs

If you’re interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology, you might also consider one of our other related science programs:

Career Options for Biology Majors

Recent graduates of our Biology bachelor’s degree program are now working as dietitians, veterinarians, marine biologists, research or physicians assistants, and a variety of other professional roles. Other Wells biology majors have gone on to further their educations in graduate school programs such as Harvard Medical School, Cornell University, Georgetown University, the University of Tennessee, Stony Brook University, SUNY Binghamton and Buffalo, and many other top colleges and universities.

Current Research in the Biology Bachelor’s Degree Program

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.

Jackie Schnurr, Professor of Biology and Environmental Science, published an article, "Linkages among canopy tree neighbourhoods, small mammal herbivores and herbaceous communities in temperate forests,"  in the Journal of Vegetation Science. 

Apply Now to Pursue Your Bachelor’s Degree in Biology

Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in Biology at Wells College. Apply now. 

Request More Information

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

"I just like to have my hands in a lot of things, so I know what's going on community wide and I'm never left out. Prodigy [Step Team] for me is my safe haven. When I'm really stressed, I come to practice, and I know I'm going to leave with a smile."

Christine Johnson-Alexander '18
Biology Major, Umoja Co-President, Prodigy Co-Captain, Evenline Song Leader
dr. xiao pointing out fossil evidence in a rock
10-24-2016
The Wells College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa will welcome Dr. Shuhai Xiao to campus for a residency and a public lecure titled "On the Eve of the Cambrian Revolution." This event will take place at 4:45...
News: Science
03-22-2017

Three Wells College students have been accepted for participation at the 31st National Conference on Undergraduate Research, to...

06-02-2016

During Wells' 2016 Commencement ceremonies, the College granted special awards and honors to exceptional members of the Wells...

05-06-2016

Wells College recently awarded the Academic and Student Life awards at the 2016 Wells College Annual Awards Dinner. Prizes are...

Program Faculty
Jaclyn Schnurr
Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
Kristy Blake-Hodek
Assistant Professor of Biology
Christina Schmidt
Assistant Professor of Biology
Science, Wells, and You

Many science majors at Wells have been awarded a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) which is funded by the National Science Foundation. An REU enables you to conduct primary research at another college or university over the summer—a strong addition to your resume and an opportunity to make rewarding new connections.

Wells science majors are also consistently among those chosen to attend the National Council on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), an interdisciplinary academic conference that recognizes some of the top research and creative work by undergraduates throughout the United States. Our professors also bring 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 opportunities to present individual student research projects. Research projects presented by Wells students over the last several years have explored topics such as the ability of different strains of yeast to slow the growth of spoilage organisms in beer, the effects of caffeine on embryonic cardiovascular development, and the effects of ethanol on the circadian rhythms of fruit flies.

Academics

Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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