Houghton biology major working in biology lab dissecting specimen.

Biology Major

Join a Christ-centered community where research and collaborative work are part of your day to day.

As a Biology major at Houghton, you will get the opportunity to do science. In your first-year, you'll be working as a scientist, actively participating in studies and research. You will have access to faculty during and outside of class and be a part of collaborative community of learners. Labs are small, learning is personal and designed to make you career-ready.

Degree Snapshot

Undergraduate - Bachelor's

Degree Types: BS

Program Credits: 124

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What will I learn?

Two Houghton biology major students working together during biology lab.

Through Houghton’s degree in Biology you will:

  • Grow as a scientist by doing science each day. Whether you are working in labs or assisting with research, you will have constant hands-on opportunities.
  • Take part in ongoing lab experiences in each biology class. You'll gain experience with standard research equipment including a genetic analyzer for sequencing DNA, fluorescent microscopes and imaging systems, and various equipment for DNA/RNA extraction.
  • Participate in research through The Shannon Summer Research Institute. Be a part of a collaborative environment where you can deepen your understanding of a research subject. Use your critical thinking to contribute to the design, implementation and analysis of the research topic.
  • Gain real world experience with biology faculty by participating in opportunities like, Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, Creation Care Study Program (Belize; NZ), Ecology of Alaska, Ornithology (Mayterm), and the Shannon Summer Research Institute.

Why study Biology at Houghton?

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. You’ll have the opportunity to conduct, present, and publish peer-reviewed research in collaboration with faculty members. You 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, field courses such as Ornithology and Herpetology and Science Honors.

Learn about the research institute

State-of-the-art Facilities

Get hands-on with professional research equipment, including the following:

  • 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
  • advanced instrumentation for water quality assessment

Houghton's location also makes it a prime area for ecological and environmental study. The university is near the Genesee River, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute for Natural History and Allegany and Letchworth State Parks.

Explore biology facilities

Plan Ahead for Your Postgraduate Studies

Houghton University has 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 partnerships

Courses & Degree Requirements

Popular Courses

BIOL 232 Epidemiology

Discover how human diseases spread through a population. Explore the relationship between the infectious agent, the genetic makeup of the community and social, behavioral, economic, and cultural factors. Learn about the history of public health and epidemiology. This includes cost/benefit analyses, public health policy, and the implications of case reporting to the CDC and local public health departments.

BIOL 251 Conservation Biology

Conservation biology is a mission-driven, applied and interdisciplinary science. It seeks to conserve biological diversity at genetic, species, ecosystem, landscape, and global levels. This course focuses on ecological, human, and evolutionary dimensions of conservation. Discover the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss.

BIOL 372 Advanced Vertebrate Physiology

This course is a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the physiological function of major organ systems. You'll focus on vertebrates and their adaptations in response to stress. Discuss topics within the context of their clinical applications and the underlying biological fundamentals that drive them. This includes biochemistry, cell physiology, and cell signaling.

Degree Options

BS - 124 credits

59-63 credits
Required Courses

61-65 credits
Elective courses + general education

BS Degree Requirements

Meet a Faculty Member

What can I do with a degree in biology?

Career Opportunities

Students earning a BS degree in Biology from Houghton University are prepared for careers as:

Graduate School

Master's degree options for biology majors:

  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology


Career growth for Physician Assistants.

From 2022 to 2032 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Houghton students throwing their graduation caps in the air on the steps of the Chapel.


of Houghton students are employed or in graduate school within 6 months of graduation.

Class of 2022

View Alumni Success and Career Outcomes

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Houghton biology student working with professor during dissection lab.

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Houghton student wearing biopac sensors in biology lab.


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Ready for what's next?

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