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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

Why McDaniel for your Biology Degree?

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.

Pathways to Success: Near-Limitless Career and Graduate School Opportunities

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.

Distinctive Courses in Biology

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 for Biology students

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

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. 

Student-faculty researchers senior Phuc Truong, senior Jake Holechek, Chemistry professor Dana Ferraris and senior Bobby Lease.

Biology – Molecular Biology Specialization

Are you someone who loves diving into the smallest details? Are you fascinated by the intricate structures that make up all living things? If so, a Molecular Biology degree from McDaniel College might be perfect for you. In our Molecular Biology program, you'll study the fundamental building blocks of life. Get ready to delve into the fascinating world of molecules!

Tropical Marine Biology

Biology Major - Ecology & Evolution Specialization

In the Ecology & Evolution program at McDaniel College, you'll get hands-on with Biology research in and out of the classroom. Eels, geckos, zebrafish embryos, wildflowers, and native bees are just a few of the natural subjects that McDaniel student researchers study.

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.

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

Impressive Outcomes 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.

Sarah Aleman - class of 2023

Meet A Biology Major Class of 2023: Sarah Aleman

Molecular Biology major Sarah Aleman’s first research experience was with Professor Susan Parrish, and it sparked her love for scientific exploration. After embracing her inner “biology nerd,” Sarah participated in the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program, which resulted in her capstone on genetics. After Commencement, she’ll be in a post-baccalaureate position at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

News for Biology

  • Ridington and Argonaut awards presented at Class of 2024 Commencement

    History and Biology double major Zachary E. Brown was honored with The Edith Farr Ridington Writing Award for writing the best senior paper. Five undergraduates were tied for the highest cumulative GPA and were recipients of the Argonaut Award: Haley E. Arnold, Kendall Rose Catlin, Signé T. Kula, Brenna R. Mayberry, and Ariana Kaylin Stormont.
  • McDaniel's annual Academic Symposium showcases the liberal arts in action

    McDaniel's Academic Symposium on Monday, April 29, includes a robust program of innovative and inspiring presentations. Throughout the day, McDaniel students, faculty, and staff showcase their original research, scholarship, and creative achievements. Plus, a keynote lunch features Assistant Professor of Biology Allison Kerwin who received a three-year National Science Foundation grant (advance registration is required).
  • McDaniel College students inducted into Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) national biological honor society

    Students were inducted April 5 into McDaniel College's Alpha Mu Chapter of the Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) national biological honor society. There were two inductees for associate membership and 10 for active membership. Ben Smith, director of the McDaniel College STEM Center, was also inducted as an honorary member.