Biology – the study of life – is an extremely broad discipline, examining every aspect of life from single-celled organisms to complex ecological interactions. Far from being a single discipline, biology includes wide-ranging areas such as evolution, genetics, ecology, and physiology. It also includes more focused fields such as botany, embryology, entomology, and ichthyology, to name a few. The field of biology is a constantly evolving world, and current advances in genetics, cellular and molecular biology, and ecology have greatly influenced areas of medicine, agriculture, and environmental science.
Regardless of the path you set your sights on, you can be assured that a biology degree from Defiance College will prepare you for any challenges you may face in your professional career. For example, if you have aspirations for graduate work in the fields of molecular or microbiology, you may want to focus your undergraduate studies in courses such as histology, microbiology, immunology, or biochemistry. If, however, you enjoy the outdoors and wildlife, you may choose courses such as field botany or zoology, ecology, or restoration ecology.
All science majors are required to complete 200 hours of internship experience. Biology majors often intern in hospitals, veterinary clinics, zoos, or private laboratories. Through internships, Defiance College’s science students receive hands-on work and laboratory experiences that graduate schools and employers are looking for. Scientific information is expanding rapidly, but up-to-date information is sometimes slow to appear in classroom and laboratory materials. Therefore, students are encouraged to develop the skills needed to seek out and assimilate new developments in areas of their greatest interest. Faculty encourage and help students to develop the initiative and ability to understand and use new knowledge and theory in their field and related fields.
Benefits of the Program
Defiance College offers science students the hands-on field and lab experiences that feed their natural curiosity. Small-sized labs run by faculty allow students to engage actively with faculty and establish strong, positive relationships. Through the McMaster School, students have the opportunity to travel to another part of the world and complete a project of their own design, thereby growing their skills in identifying issues and problem-solving while nurturing a broad perspective. Biology majors have completed projects in Cambodia and Belize on issues such as water quality, construction of maps of unrecorded roads, and how declining habitats are affecting wildlife.
As biology is a very general degree, any minor may be considered complementary depending on a student’s interests. The most common minors taken with a biology major include other sciences such as chemistry or psychology.
The science division at DC offers pre-professional programs in the areas of medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, and optometry. Upon completion of the program, students would be prepared to take entrance exams and apply to any graduate professional schools in these areas. The pre-professional program offers all the classes required for acceptance into professional and graduate schools.
After College — What’s Next?
The biology program is one of the most flexible of the natural science majors. The program prepares students for teaching careers, graduate school, and a variety of other professional programs. Students in the past few years have gone on to graduate school in the fields of herpetology, molecular biology, conservation, and ecology. This program shares Defiance College’s stellar success rate in placing its graduates in topnotch professional and graduate schools.
In Their Own Words
"I enjoyed studying biology at Defiance College because I got to know my professors very well in the small classrooms. Through that, they became familiar with the areas of biology that I'm most interested in and helped me pick projects guided towards those interests. I had the pleasure of going on some amazing field trips during lectures to further understand what we were learning."
--Kristina Nelson, 2016 Graduate
"While at Defiance College, I was able to make the most out of each semester. Wildlife
management, field ornithology, and global sustainability are just a few courses that
help me still today. By pairing opportunities, such as becoming a McMaster Scholar
to Belize, with the biology major requirements for an internship, I was able to make
connections to the zoo world. The summer between my freshman and sophomore year I
was an intern in the bird department at the Toledo Zoo. This connection with the zoo
opened up other opportunities for me. During the summers of my undergraduate years
I was a bird keeper and a veterinary assistant. I was also able to conduct my senior
capstone research within the zoo’s bird department. These opportunities played a major
role in starting my career in the direction I wanted. Today, I'm working as a veterinary
technician at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. I'm certain that the experiences I had
at Defiance College made it possible."
--Kaitlin (Studer) Green, 2009 Graduate
"Biology is the program for students who want to personalize their educational experience. What all biology majors have in common is a love of living things and a desire to learn more about the functioning of living things – whether it’s individual cells, humans, or blue whales. The biology major allows students to take classes that best suit their interests while still providing them with a solid science degree and setting them up for success in whatever they choose to pursue next."
--Dr. Alyson J. Laframboise
Nathan Griggs, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Alyson Laframboise, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Somnath Dutta, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry