biology major photo

Biology Major

Biology is an exciting field centered on the study of the living world. Unique opportunities at Bethany include our cadaver dissection course and a wealth of options for field research.

Bethany’s biology major is designed to prepare you for human, field, or cellular biology. Students receive valuable one-on-one time with supportive faculty members as they learn techniques used in biology and develop skills for their future careers.

Potential Careers

Biology majors often enter these careers:

  • Medicine/dentistry
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Research/testing
  • Physical therapy
  • Environmental education
  • Microbiology/pathology
  • Wildlife management
  • Plant science
  • Lab technician

Pre-professional programs

These guidelines can help you choose coursework:

Or see general Major Requirements below.

Biology Student Stories

Rebecca Jahns

Rebecca (Riediger) Jahns – Class of 2014 – Biology Husbandry assistant-LTE at the Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo, in Green Bay Wisconsin.

Read More »
Katherine Caflisch

Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences PhD Program; Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics track Est. graduation date 2022 What

Read More »

What Sets Us Apart

Cadaver Dissection

Our biology program offers the course BIOL490 Introduction to Human Gross Anatomy and Lab. At Bethany, this course includes human cadaver dissection which is not offered at the undergraduate level at most schools. In this course, students gain invaluable learning experience and a strong advantage when applying to medical school or further studies in physical therapy.

Field Biology

Get involved with Hawk Watch or The Cobb River Project, a collaboration between Bethany and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Two birdwatchers use binoculars to view and count hawks as part of Bethany's Hawkwatch
Bethany Hawkwatch

Bethany’s location overlooking the Minnesota River Valley affords excellent viewing opportunities for migrating birds. A total of 182 bird species have been recorded on campus

A students releasing a Sharp-shinned Hawk outside
Bird Banding Trip

Bethany students visit Minnesota’s North Shore to band and release hawks. Bethany students visit the North Shore to band and release birds Chad Heins with

student looking through telescope for birds
Bird Watching Trip

On occasion, Professor Chad Heins will take students from his course up to northern Minnesota in search of uncommon birds from the boreal forest and



In the words of one of our graduates, “One aspect of the biology program at Bethany that truly sets it apart from other schools is the relationship that develops between the students and the professors. The professors reach beyond the classroom to ensure students succeed. They are available for questions almost everyday. They also give advice on getting a job or tips on graduate school. The professors genuinely care about the students. As a student, to have the support and encouragement from a professor is motivating and can be the push that one needs to succeed.” – Ivy Pike (’05), Lab Technologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.


Our biology students and professors are passionate about their field and highly involved. In addition to trips to the Minnesota Zoo or the Cobb River Waterfowl Production Area, science-related trips, events, and speakers are also planned by The Bethany Organization of Student Scientists (B.O.S.S.), the science club on the Bethany campus. Members typically major in mathematics, chemistry, or biology though other interested students have joined. Past speakers have talked to students about graduate studies, medical school, and undergraduate research opportunities.

Contact for more information

Biology Faculty

Additional information is available on the Biology Department page.

Biology Facilities

All students, including freshmen, have access to our research and classroom facilities and equipment. The Marvin G. Meyer Hall of Science and Mathematics is a 53,000 square foot facility that houses four biology labs, four chemistry labs, three computer labs, and three physics labs as well as numerous classrooms and faculty offices. Special features of the facility include ample lab preparation and storage areas, as well as a 120-seat seminar room with tiered seating. Our students also have access to 3,000 acres of field study sites, the campus prairie and teaching garden, and greenhouse.

Meyer Hall

Meyer Hall

The Marvin G. Meyer Hall of Science and Mathematics is a 53,000 square foot facility designed to support baccalaureate majors in biology, chemistry, computer science,

Biology Major Academic Requirements

Please see the Program Requirements Disclaimer when planning your coursework. This program is also offered as a minor.

Mission Statement

The biology major is intended to prepare students for service of their Lord by providing them with a working knowledge of living organisms, including humans. This degree-program allows students to determine their own area of interest within the field of biology, while providing a foundation of core principles. A student graduating with this major can enter the workforce directly but will also be prepared for graduate school in a wide variety of fields (e.g. medicine, physical therapy, ecology, dentistry, veterinary sciences, and others).

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Exhibit knowledge of the basic structures, fundamental processes and relationships of life at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in the language and terminology of biology and effectively communicate biological knowledge, and ideas.
  3. Find and evaluate various types of scientific information such as quantitative data, qualitative data, and that found within research journals, mass media, and the world-wide web.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency of basic lab techniques and use of scientific instrumentation.

Entry into the Major

A student desiring to enter the biology major must complete BIOL151 General Biology I and Lab and BIOL152 General Biology II and Lab with at least a “C–.” Entry will be granted for students who have met the following requirements:

  • Achieved a GPA of 2.0 or better in all college coursework.
  • Achieved a grade of “C–” (1.67) or better in all biology coursework.
  • Completed an interview with a member of the Biology Department.

Core Requirements

Required lower division courses:

Required upper division courses:

Major Electives

15 credits minimum; 1 course must be upper division; limit of 2 SCIE courses.


Students must take one of the following:

Strongly recommended:

Biology Minor

The minor in biology requires:

A grade of “C-” or better must be achieved in all biology coursework.

Next Steps

Explore the wonders of creation as a Bethany student! Apply today or learn more about becoming a student.