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Biology Department

The goal of the biology department is to promote the discovery and transmission of biological knowledge. The department is committed to teaching and to empowering its community of learners. It provides a challenging environment distinguished by sensitivity to the intellectual, personal and professional needs of students, staff and faculty, all within a liberal arts context.

The biology program provides its majors with academic and professional preparation for post-baccalaureate endeavors in a wide array of disciplines, including cell biology,  ecology, environmental biology, environmental toxicology, microbiology, molecular biology and zoology. Graduates
in biology may also be prepared to pursue careers in health-related fields, such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, cytotechnology, nuclear medicine technology, pharmacy, physical therapy and optometry. In addition,
the biology department meets the needs of non-science majors with a selection of general education courses that expose them to the assumptions and methodologies of the scientific process and provide them with an awareness of contemporary biological problems.

In keeping with the understanding that biology as a science is an activity as much as a body of knowledge, the biology program strives to provide students with hands-on proficiency in laboratory and field procedures as appropriate to the specific major. This culminates for most biology majors in an independent research project
and the writing of a senior thesis. The thesis demonstrates the student’s ability to explain a problem, the methods used to address it, the results of the investigation, and the conclusions that are reached.

General Department Goals

  • To provide biology majors with adequate academic and professional preparation for post-baccalaureate endeavors.
  • To provide biology majors with proficiency in the use of laboratory and/or field equipment and techniques.
  • To provide biology majors with the ability to conduct original biological research and the skills necessary to write a scientific thesis containing an explanation of the problem, the methods employed, an analysis of data and the conclusions.
  • To offer a selection of specifically designed general
  • education courses that meet the needs of non-science majors.

Biology students may participate in a variety of activities outside of the classroom, including the biology department seminar series, the Journal Club, the Biology Club, and the Saint Mary’s chapter of the national biological honor society, Beta Beta Beta. The biology department also sponsors an annual undergraduate research symposium.




For more information contact:

Randy Krainock, DVM, Ph.D.
Biology - Associate Professor & Chair
Hoffman Hall, 122
(507) 457-1544