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Armed with a rich background in the liberal arts and basic sciences, personal research experience, and many hours spent in the laboratory as well as the field, Biology majors at Lenoir-Rhyne have an edge when it comes to postgraduate education and employment. The biology program has high expectations of its students, who are rewarded with the successes that come to those willing to work hard and commit to their education.

Lenoir-Rhyne offers both a Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Biology.

The BS in Biology major acquaints students with information and methods pertinent to a variety of biological areas, as well as selected areas of Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. Some of the courses include study of genetics, cellular biology, ecology, plant anatomy and physiology, and independent research. Its 37-hour major, with 127-28 hours of science technical requirements is a more extensive curriculum than the B.A. option. The B.S. in Biology is the preferred major for students who plan to continue in the field of Biology after graduation. This major prepares qualified students to enter graduate school in the biological sciences as well as medical school, dental school, veterinarian or other professional schools. In addition, biology in conjunction with other academic programs offers a dual-degree program in Pre-Forestry and Pre-Environmental Management.

The BA in Biology is designed to prepare students for a variety of scientific and health-related employment opportunities. This program includes a 33-hour major with 19-20 hours of science technical requirements. Many students select the Bachelor of Arts in Biology major when they plan to double major and wish to combine their educational interests. For example, a student interested in elementary education might select this major if they are hoping to teach Biology, or a student interested in scientific writing might choose to combine the Biology major with one in English or Communication. The options are many; however this is not the major for students planning to pursue graduate programs in the basic sciences or continue to health-related professional schools (such as medical or dental school).


Pre-Professional Opportunities


In addition to extensive laboratory experience through all of the biology courses, there are many opportunities for students to learn and develop skills outside of the classroom. Outdoor classroom activities and field experiences are planned throughout each academic year. Students perform ecological studies at lakes, streams and in the mountains. Students also take an active role in science outreach and in nature preservation on campus.

Biology students are required to complete an independent research project - performing all aspects of scientific discovery from data collection and observation to experimentation and evaluation – and present their findings to faculty and peers.

Students may choose to participate in an internship available through area hospitals, laboratories, physician and dental offices, veterinarian clinics, as well as science centers. Work study opportunities are also available on campus, through which students can gain valuable experience serving as lab and/or faculty assistants.

The School of Natural Science hosts the Steelman Lecture Series through which renowned scientists and scientific writers are invited to speak to the campus and surrounding community. Career and graduates school nights are also held annually. These events feature former students and respected professionals in the field who speak with current students, offering information and guidance about various career options.


There are many potential professional paths for biology graduates—and the options continue to grow as we expand our understanding and application of scientific knowledge. Many biology majors continue onward in graduate or professional schools to prepare for careers in research, the medical and health sciences, ecology and arboriculture, and/or agricultural and animal sciences. Others find their ways into scientific sales or writing, or in education/teaching across various school levels. Moreover, the skills sharpened in biological study—critical thinking, problem-solving, experimentation, computation, systems thinking—all translate into other professional pathways.


The Biology major earns either a BS degree or a BA degree. Students may also complete a minor in Biology.

Biology Major Requirements


Program Contact

Dr. Judy Moore

Associate Professor of Biology
Hickory Campus