Biology (BL)

Professors: C. H. Wideman, J. L. Lissemore, C. A. Sheil, M. P. Martin (Associate Dean Science Health Math), R. E. Drenovsky (Dean of Graduate Studies), E. E. Johnson; R. A. Saporito; Associate Professors: J. I. Watling (Chair), P. J. Vanderzalm

Major Programs

Biology encompasses the study of all organisms, and our curriculum provides students a solid foundation in: 1) cellular and molecular biology; 2) organismal biology; and 3) evolutionary biology, ecology, and biodiversity.

Through course work and mentored student research, faculty emphasize the importance of evolution in biological phenomena, the role of environment in biological interactions, and ethical behavior in scientific endeavors. These experiences: 1) promote strong critical thinking and analytical skills; 2) provide hands-on experience in biological techniques; and 3) stimulate creative scientific thought.

The academic programs in biology prepare students for graduate and professional school, as well as for careers in the public and private sectors. Mentoring through academic advising, research, and internships prepares our students for future scholarship in addition to social and civic involvement.

The Biology major is intended for students seeking careers that require a strong background in biology and chemistry, including health professions (such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, public health, and veterinary medicine), teaching, research, and other professions. This major also prepares students for graduate programs in biology and related disciplines such as organismal and evolutionary biology, ecology, developmental biology, physiology, and neuroscience.

The Cell and Molecular Biology major is intended for students seeking careers in medicine, biomedical research, biotechnology, pharmacy, healthcare, teaching, and other professions requiring a strong foundation in cellular and molecular processes. This major also prepares students for graduate study in fields such as cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, pharmacology, and biochemistry.

The Environmental Science major is intended for students seeking careers in environmental and ecological fields, including environmental consulting, government, parks and recreation, teaching, research, environmental law, and other areas requiring strength in environmental science. This major also prepares students for graduate programs in ecology and environmental science.

All three majors require specific support courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and other subjects. Students should be aware that some post-baccalaureate degree programs require physics for admission and should discuss course options with their advisors before making course decisions.

Biology Minors and Interdisciplinary Concentration

An optional minor in biology is available to students majoring in any subject outside of biology.

Biology majors may elect an interdisciplinary concentration or minor in areas such as neuroscience, professional healthcare preparation,  or population and public health.  It is strongly recommended that students interested in these programs investigate them as early as possible in their academic careers.

Graduate Studies in Biology

The Department of Biology at John Carroll University offers a program of studies leading to the degree of Master of Science or Master of Arts. Degree requirements and courses are described in the graduate biology program pages of this bulletin and on the department website,

Biology majors planning to continue studies leading to master’s or doctoral studies are urged to consult publications and websites relevant to the proposed area of study, including Peterson’s Guide to Graduate Study, Graduate Programs and Admissions Manual of the Graduate Record Examination Board, and websites of schools to which admission will be sought. Students should also consult their biology advisor for undergraduate program recommendations. In addition, they can seek assistance from the department chair and coordinator of graduate studies.

Pre-Health Professions

Many students with healthcare career goals such as medical school or dental school choose Biology or Cell and Molecular Biology as their undergraduate major. Students should check with their intended post-graduation programs to ensure that they are completing all necessary prerequisite courses, as these majors may not include all needed course work. The Office of Pre-Health Professions can help students identify and plan for additional course work.

John Carroll University has early acceptance programs and linkages with a variety of healthcare professional schools, including medical and dental schools. For additional information, please see the Pre-Health Professions section of this Bulletin or visit the Pre-Health Professions website

Pre-Veterinary Students

A minimum of eighty hours of work with a veterinarian is required by Ohio State University and most schools of veterinary medicine. Pre-vet students should contact the Pre-Health Professions director during their first year for assistance in planning and for information about specific requirements and application procedures.