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The Biology Department offers a major that provides the essential background for students who wish to pursue graduate or professional studies in health care and those who wish to pursue careers in biological research. From its founding, the College and the Biology Department have prepared students to enter medical school and graduate programs in the life sciences.

Many Biology students find employment and enjoy successful careers with a bachelor’s degree. They enter a variety of fields such as genetics, immunology, marine science, cancer research, and environmental analysis. In addition, many students successfully enroll in postgraduate programs at the master’s or doctoral level immediately following graduation from McDaniel. Our undergraduate course offerings cover the basic requirements for most graduate programs. Students should be aware that many doctoral programs require calculus (MAT 1117), two semesters of organic chemistry (CHE 2217, 2218), and two semesters of physics (PHY 1101, 1102) in addition to the courses required by the major. Specific requirements should be discussed with the student’s faculty advisor, and advisors of specific professional tracks (such as premed).

Students may decide to pursue a career in such health science fields as medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, pharmacy, or veterinary medicine. Our curriculum, coupled with pre-professional advising, enables students to meet the course requirements for these programs. Students interested in health careers should consult Dr. Susan Parrish for specific advice early in their undergraduate studies.

Headshot of Zach Drechsler.

Alumni Spotlight Class of 2022: Zach Drechsler

Zach Drechsler will have memories of McDaniel that last a lifetime, especially since he honed his photography skills in Professor Walter Calahan’s digital photography class. Snapshots of his study abroad in the Bahamas with Professor Randy Morrison and his time as a student ambassador and peer mentor remain unforgettable highlights. A Biology major, Zach zoomed in close for a look at genetics for his capstone project, “Influence of Telomeres on Organismal Aging.”

A Decade of Collaboration, Transformation, and Growth In the Biology Lab

When Cheng Huang joined the McDaniel faculty in 2012, the associate professor of Biology launched his research lab with a goal of creating transformational opportunities for undergraduate students. Since then, ambitious Biology students have honed their skills with summertime experiments on zebrafish embryos in the Huang lab. 

Maureen Williams, Ph.D. Faculty Spotlight

A certified scuba instructor who loves to be outdoors, Maureen Williams brings her own hands-on experience into the classroom and Biology lab. She has published internationally collaborative research on subjects like parasite communities in coral reef fish in remote Pacific islands and on the resilience of Japanese river ecosystems during heatwaves.

Randy Day '77 Meet an Alum

When Randy Day ’77 was 12, he worked on a farm tending peaches, apples and strawberry plants. Now the chief operating officer of Perdue Farms, Day has come full circle in the field of agriculture. As a Biology major at McDaniel, Day learned how to diversify his skills and study a wide range of subjects that have come in handy as a COO.

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Randy Morrison

Professor of Biology and Department Chair