Skip to main
Bio Lab


Cure cancer? Develop state-of-the-art organ transplant procedures? Invent biomaterials that help burn victims regrow their skin? Whatever lofty goal you’ve set for yourself, and however you’ve decided to put your bio-inclined brain to work, the McDaniel Biology major is your home base. Your launch pad to a future of rewarding scholarly and career opportunities.

Degree Types
Major , Minor
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
5 Lab Courses
Academic Spaces
6 Research Labs

Your Home Away From Home

students walk in front of Eaton Hall

Thanks to our carefully structured courses and gifted professors who gladly dive into research projects with their students, our graduates find great, meaningful jobs in many venues and industries. They enter a variety of fields such as genetics, marine science, cancer research, environmental analysis, or work as laboratory research associates.

On campus, Biology majors will study in Eaton Hall, which houses state-of-the-art biology and chemistry laboratories, faculty offices, and research labs dedicated for student use to take their knowledge to a new level.

Distinctive Courses

CHE 1104 - General Chemistry II: Chemical Reactivity

The second half of the two-semester, general chemistry sequence is designed primarily for those students who are interested in majoring in the sciences and have sufficiently solid backgrounds in science and mathematics to allow for a more in-depth investigation of the field. The course starts with an overview of the physical properties of solids, liquids and gases and how they can be interpreted using kinetic molecular theory. Major topics also include an introduction to chemical kinetics, the principles of chemical equilibrium, and chemical thermodynamics. Finally, a detailed study of two important classes of reactions, acid-base and reduction-oxidation, will be covered. In the laboratory, students explore gases, solutions, kinetics, and equilibrium, using conventional and instrumental techniques, applying their skills in a problem-solving environment.

BIO 2234 - Marine Biology

A study of organisms inhabiting marine and estuarine environments including structural and functional adaptations to these ecological regions. Emphasis will be placed on ecological principles involving marine organisms.

BIO 3316 - Animal Physiology

A study and analysis of functional processes in animals and the involvement of these processes in homeostatic regulation. Topics include osmotic and ionic regulation, excretion, respiration, circulation, muscles, nervous communication, and hormones.

BIO 3312 - Genomics

A study of genes and their functions on a global scale, through analysis of the entire genetic blueprint of an organism. Areas of emphasis include: comparative genomics, evolution of genomes, bioinformatics, and proteomics.

Special Opportunities

There are several major, minor, and specialization tracks for you to pursue in McDaniel’s biology department.

Students sitting at classroom desks during Estimathon.

Biology – Mathematics Dual Major

A collaboration between the Biology and Mathematics departments for students who want to combine their interests and graduate with two complementary majors.

Huang Biology Lab

Biology Major with Education Minor

Students interested in teaching Biology at the secondary level (grades 7-12) in Maryland public schools major in Biology and complete a core set of secondary education requirements. 

McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Future Career Paths

A biology degree is a ticket to near-limitless career and graduate school opportunities. Our graduates have found success in places like:

  • Medical school
  • Veterinary school
  • Research labs
  • The pharmaceutical industry
  • Biotechnology companies
  • The federal government

Preparation for Graduate School

Many McDaniel Biology grads also decide to pursue careers in such health science fields as medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, pharmacy, or veterinary medicine.

Learn more about our pre-med & pre-health advising and preparation.

My Career: Where Will The Hill Lead You?

With the one-on-one guidance of your faculty mentors and advisors, you’ll focus on the practical knowledge and career skills that will prepare you to succeed in a professional environment. And as you build your step-by-step plan for life after the Hill, you’ll have everything you need to become who you’ve always wanted to be.

Explore the Center for Experience and Opportunity

Experiential Learning Senior Capstone Hands-on Research

Nicolette Olson, a Biology major from Woodbine, Md., spent six weeks in Madagascar researching color variability in the leaf-tailed gecko, Uroplatus ebenaui.

"I actually got the chance to go to Madagascar with Dr. Morrison and Operation Wallacea and it was amazing. I got to go out with other dissertation students; there were fourteen of us and we were all doing a bunch of different projects."

Research & Internships

Molecular Biology major conducts summer research at Yale Amgen Scholars Program

Jade Enright, a senior Molecular Biology major with a strong Chemistry minor, conducted research at Yale University after being named an Amgen Scholar. Enright worked in a graduate molecular biology lab overseen by a Yale professor and staffed with four post-doctoral fellows, four Ph.D. students and a lab manager.

Biology major’s passion for plants feeds his research to improve soybeans National Science Foundation Internship

Like many science majors, Cooper Hostetler wants to make the world a better place through technology. But the McDaniel senior Molecular Biology major’s focus isn’t medicine or engineering or even video game design. Instead he imagines fields of green — literally —  producing super food for animals and people.

Four Biology seniors present research at annual biology conference Annual Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Conference

Four seniors at McDaniel College presented student-faculty research findings with Biology professor Katie Staab at the annual Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology conference.

McDaniel College alumna Ashley Brown '06 DDS

Alumni Spotlight Dr. Ashley Brown ’06

Brown shadowed her family dentist during the summers and became intrigued by dentistry’s unique blend of art, science and engineering. As high school came to a close, she earned an academic scholarship to McDaniel and left her home in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in the fall of 2002 to become a member of the first entering class of what was now McDaniel College. “McDaniel taught me to think critically, and this helped me tremendously at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry,” says Brown, whose love of science was fostered by now retired Biology professors Bill Long and Esther Iglich. “This critical thinking helped me to excel, graduating in the top 5 percent of my class.

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.”

News for Biology

  • Biology students contribute to international database

    Four senior Biology majors researched plant-pollinator interactions with Assistant Professor Holly Martinson for the eight-week Student-Faculty Collaborative Summer Research Program. They shared data from their rain-or-shine field work with the international Nutrient Network project while learning the skills that all ecologists need to know.
  • Five professors recognized as Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., Engaged Faculty Fellows

    Five professors have been named Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., Engaged Faculty Fellows in recognition of their exceptional commitment to their students. The Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., Engaged Faculty Fellows Award was established with a gift from Charles A. Boehlke, Jr., a 1978 alumnus of the college and current member of the McDaniel Board of Trustees.
  • McDaniel recognizes faculty for teaching, scholarship, research, and service

    McDaniel faculty were recognized throughout the last week of classes for the 2020-2021 academic year by Provost Julia Jasken during a Faculty Appreciation Week, coinciding with National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3-7).