Biology Major

Explore a Christ-centered scientific community designed to make you career-ready through hands-on research opportunities.

You will get the opportunity to do science and will be encouraged even in your first-year to be working as a scientist. This means that you will be actively participating in studies and research. You will join a small subset of the larger Houghton community where you will participate in collaborative work with constant access to faculty during and outside of class. There are multiple sections of even the largest classes to keep class sizes small and learning personal.

Conduct Research with Real-World Impact

You will get the opportunity to have ‘real world’ experiences as part of your education. Many motivated biology majors do real research with one or more of the faculty at Houghton University. Students have the opportunity to conduct, present, and publish peer-reviewed research in collaboration with faculty members. Students can work directly in the field through off-campus study, practicums, internships, and student/faculty research collaboration. Some of these research opportunities include, but are not limited to, assisting a faculty member 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 in their research, the Shannon Summer Research Institute, and field courses such as Ornithology and Herpetology.

What will I learn?

Through Houghton’s major in Biology, you will develop valuable professional skills as you:

  • Grow as a scientist through the focus on doing science each day. Whether you are working in labs or assisting with research, you will have constant hands-on experience opportunities. The Shannon Summer Research Institute will allow you to grow in a deeper understanding of the subject that you are researching in a more collaborative environment than a classroom setting.
  • Develop personal relationships with faculty. With a departmental emphasis on personalized teaching and close relationships among faculty and students, you will have many opportunities to get to know your professors on a personal level.
  • Travel with biology faculty to participate through real world experience programs. Past opportunities include, Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, Creation Care Study Program (Belize; NZ), Ecology of Alaska, Ornithology (Mayterm), and the Shannon Summer Research Institute.

124 Credits


Required Courses


Elective Courses and General Education

Degree Requirements

Labs that Excite

You will have consistent lab experience as each biology class has an attached laboratory section. Past labs have included, a first-year General Biology course where students fertilized sea urchin eggs to watch cell development and studying the physiological changes in fish heart beats under varying conditions. These labs will allow you to use standard research equipment to work on biological problems. Some of this equipment includes a genetic analyzer for sequencing DNA, fluorescent microscopes and imaging systems, and various equipment for DNA/RNA extraction.

Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Participate in extensive undergraduate research opportunities. These experiences require critical thinking and input from students regarding design, implementation, and analysis. Opportunities include the Collaborative Research in Biology course, independent study, senior honors projects, and the Shannon Summer Research Institute. Students also have traveled with faculty to work with collaborators (e.g., Cornell University, Sierra Nevada mountains of California).

State-of-the-art Facilities

Get hands-on with professional research equipment, including a genetic analyzer for sequencing DNA, laminar flow hoods for tissue culture, fluorescent microscopes and imaging systems, thermal cyclers for PCR, various equipment for DNA/RNA extraction and electrophoresis, and advanced instrumentation for water quality assessment. Being located near the Genesee River, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute for Natural History and Allegany and Letchworth State Parks allows for ecological and environmental study and internship opportunities.

Explore Biology Facilities

Plan Ahead For Your Postgraduate Studies

Houghton University has a collaborative agreements with D'Youville University and Messiah University for a select group of students to gain entry into their programs upon graduation from Houghton.

  • D'Youville: Doctorate of Physical Therapy (4+3), Master in Occupational Therapy (4+3), and Master in Dietetics and Nutrition (3+3)
  • Messiah University: Doctorate of Physical Therapy (4+3) and Master in Athletic Training (4+2)
Learn more about these special admission agreements

Program Outcomes

Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Houghton University are prepared for many careers in the biology industry, including but not limited to:

Employment Expected to Grow 31%

for Physician Assistant
SourceU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Meet a Faculty Member

Application Requirements


Start Your Application

Complete the application here
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Documents and Supporting Materials

You’ll be asked to provide your official high school transcript and your test scores (can be waived)
Testing Policy

Personal Statement

The personal statement portion of our application for admission is perhaps the best place to truly tell your story, to tell who you are and what is important to you.
Personal Statement

Have Questions?

Discover if earning your degree in Biology from Houghton University is right for you.