Student doing research in a stream

Biology

About Our Program

Cultivate your curiosity as you explore the breadth of the field of biology in one of St. Lawrence’s most popular academic programs.

You’ll gain a deep understanding of life in all of its forms as you analyze cells in the lab, study plants in the greenhouse, observe animals in the vivarium, and collect zooplankton in the bog.

Whatever career aspirations are under your microscope, our faculty are eager to support you every step of the way. Our majors have pursued careers in medicine and health industries, environmental conservation, and science education.

Program Offerings

  • Major
  • Minor

Department

Learning Experiences to Prepare for Your Career

Whether you’re in the research lab, the foothills of the Adirondack Park, or somewhere exploring around the globe, you’ll find innovative and meaningful ways to make the natural world your classroom.

Living Lab

Many biology classes take advantage of our 110-acre Living Lab, whether it’s observing amphibians in our wetlands to shearing sheep for an eco-fiber course.     

Research

Explore your interests further, either during the semester or as part of a paid summer fellowship. You may even get to conduct research on the immune system like Danielle Clifford ’17. She worked with professor Karin Heckman on treatments for mice with a model of multiple sclerosis.

Senior Year Experience (SYE)

Turn your passion into a project with a Senior Year Experience like Chris Neilson ’21 did. He embarked on a kayaking adventure to learn what the Adirondack lakes could have looked like before the evolution of fish. Through independent trips, team efforts, and hours on the water, he gathered thousands of zooplankton to help him find his answer. 

Shadowing Opportunities 

Considering a career in the health field?  With the support of local hospitals, dentists, and veterinarians, you can spend a day learning the ropes from a professional in the field of your interest. You can even take advantage of St. Lawrence’s nationally-ranked alumni network to pursue a shadowing opportunity closer to home.

Volunteer

You can also gain experience while making a difference through service work. Our biology majors have:

  • Tutored students in local high schools
  • Maintained National Park trails in Costa Rica
  • Collaborated with grassroots organizers on sustainable development
  • Raised money for childhood cancer research

Study Abroad

Choose from more than 30 semester-long programs offered in more than 20 international locations, including Australia, Denmark, Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Sweden, Thailand, and Trinidad.

The Adirondack Semester

Live off the grid in a remote yurt village: forage food, cook meals, enjoy the wilderness, and take classes like nature writing and environmental ethics.  

Short-Term Trips & Field Experiences

In addition to semester- and year-long programs, you’ll also have the chance to participate in short-term travel study trips with your professors and classmates.

Among the 150+ clubs and organizations at St. Lawrence, you’ll find many that involve the natural world and medical field aspirations including:

  • Pre-Health Club
  • American Chemical Society
  • Pre-Vet Club
  • Environmental Action Organization 
  • CLAW - Connecting Laurentians Around Wilderness
  • The Finer Things Cheese and Turophile Society
  • Seed to Table
  • St. Lawrence River Alliance
  • The Greenhouse 
  • Model U.N. 
  • Divestment Club
  • Euphrates Institute
  • SLU Legal

Why St. Lawrence for Biology

 

 

96%

of St. Lawrence graduates majoring in a science field are employed or continuing their education within a year

Johnson Hall of Science

Johnson Hall of Science

The Johnson Hall of Science was the first LEED Gold Certified science facility in New York, a recognition of our goal to build an environmentally sustainable building

82%

of students conduct research

Combined Degree Programs

  • SUNY Buffalo School of Pharmacy
  • The Nursing Program at New York University
  • The Physician’s Assistant Program at Clarkson University
  • The Physical Therapy Program at Clarkson University

10

The number of scholarships offered to high achieving, Pell grant eligible, first-year underrepresented students interested in pursuing a STEM major

Students who studied biology at St. Lawrence have pursued graduate school at:

  • Syracuse University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Albany College of Pharmacy
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Icahn School of Medicine

#14

Best science lab facilities (The Princeton Review, 2020)

Graduates of the biology program have pursued careers in:

  • Medicine
  • Environmental resource management
  • Wildlife management and rehabilitation
  • Biochemistry
  • Veterinary Science
  • Science education

Our Pre-Health Program mentors students interested in a variety of health-related careers, including:

  • Medicine      
  • Nursing       
  • Dentistry  
  • Physical Therapy       
  • Pharmacy     
  • Veterinary
  • Physician Assistants

0

The number of laboratory classes taught by teaching assistants-- you’ll conduct research one-on-one with your faculty mentor

Fish

730

The number of images in our very own microscopy digital collection-- a visual showcase of vibrant organisms under an electron microscope

115,000

Square feet of laboratories, learning spaces, offices, and support spaces in the Johnson Hall of Science

Students working at the Living Lab

Living Lab

Our 110-acre living lab includes fields, forests, wetlands and a garden

More Program Information

Program Requirements & Courses

Explore biology major requirements, as well as electives and combined study options.

Complimentary and Related Programs

If you’re interested in biology, you might also like these programs.

Popular Double Majors with This Program
Student talking about their reserach

Festival of Science

Share your findings at this spring event celebrating student research projects across campus. In our biology program, you’ll regularly co-author and publish research papers with your faculty mentors.

Learn More About Research

Faculty member working with student in lab

Pre-Health Program

We believe that future healthcare practitioners need an education that integrates scientific knowledge and human concern in order to help people when they are most vulnerable. You can develop these skills by completing rigorous scientific coursework, engaging in volunteer and service activities, and learning from and being mentored by expert faculty at St. Lawrence.

Johnson Hall of Science

Commitment to Sustainability

Harness your curiosity in our state-of-the-art research labs, New York State’s first environmentally sustainable science facility.

Greenhouse

Find Your Green Thumb

From plant seedlings to symbiotic fish production, dig into our energy efficient living classroom in our on campus greenhouse.

Student doing research

Liberal Arts Science Scholarship

This program offers scholarships to domestic high-achieving, Pell-grant eligible students interested in pursuing STEM majors, outside of a pre-med track, including mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics, engineering, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, and geology.

Students walking in front of the Wachtmeister Field Station

Wachtmeister Field Station

Take the wetlands to the workbench in our research station built with sustainability in mind.

Johnson Hall of Science in the winter

Johnson Grab & Go

Between classes and labs, biology majors are busy! We knew that when we built the Johnson Hall of Science, which is why we included an eatery that’s perfect for a quick lunch or snack.

Get More Information

We’re excited to learn more about you, tell you more about our interdisciplinary academic programs, show you around our beautiful campus, and help you navigate your college search.

Apply to St. Lawrence

We’re looking for curious students who are eager to make a difference. We take a holistic approach to reviewing applications and consider all aspects of your application and what we learn about you.