Offered by the Biology department.

A biology major or minor involves undergraduate students in scientific research through investigative laboratory activities and independent research projects as a part of courses, a faculty member’s research laboratory, or senior honors thesis projects. Biology majors learn and practice hypothesis development, experimental design, and data presentation and analysis. They also learn to use the primary literature to place research and results into context. After Wheaton, many graduates enroll in Masters or Ph.D. programs or go to medical, dental, optometry, or veterinary school. Graduates pursue careers in such fields as biotechnology, conservation biology, environmental education, and medicine.

Related majors

Students interested in the biological sciences may consider declaring a major in Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Environmental Science or Neuroscience, and should meet with the designated program coordinators to discuss the program of interest.

Health professions

Students planning a career in medicine, dentistry, veterinary or other health professions should consult a health professions advisor early in the first year in order to plan a suitable program. Medical schools require a minimum of two semesters of biology, two semesters of physics, two semesters of mathematics, four semesters of chemistry and two semesters of English. The MCATs include material from physiology, microbiology, genetics, cell biology and biochemistry as well as other biological topics. Therefore, some 200-level course preparation is recommended.

Also see information on Wheaton’s pre-med advising. For more information on pre-med advising contact Dean Steve Viveiros in the Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services.



Susan Barrett

Visiting Instructor of Biology

Deborah Cato

Instructor of Biology

Betsey Dexter Dyer

Professor of Biology

Laura Ekstrom

Associate Professor of Biology

Jessie Knowlton

Assistant Professor of Biology

Jennifer Lanni

Assistant Professor in Biology; Visiting Scientist, Boston Children's Hospital

S. Shawn McCafferty

Associate Professor of Biology

Robert L. Morris

Professor of Biology; William & Elsie Prentice Professorship (2015-2020)

Shari Morris

Teaching Associate in Biology

Scott W. Shumway

Bojan Jennings Professor of Biology; Chair, Biology Department


Garrett Maggio

2021, Biology

The Conger Family Internship Fund

Cape Cod National Seashore, Wellfleet, MA

This internship provided me with my first out-of-the-classroom biology experience and included the kind of hands-on work with animals that I hope to do in a career in conservation.

Caroline Genther

2021, Biology

Martha Van Cott Singdahlsen '57 Wheaton Fund Career Exploration Fund

Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CT

Interning with the Animal Rescue Program at Mystic Aquarium helped me to further my career goals in marine animal rehabilitation by giving me knowledge, skills and mentors in the field.

Thomas Erickson

2021, Biology, Political Science

Merit Scholarship

Faculty-led Trip: "From the Andes to the Amazon: Intersections of Culture, Food Systems and Biological Diversity", Quito, Ecuador

My summer experience encouraged me to become a more versatile learner. The trip allowed me to see firsthand connections between disciplines and will continue to help me understand the similarities and differences between subjects.

Camille Beckwith

2021, Biology

Dorothy Yeomans Flanagan P'71 Fund for Co-Curricular Learning

Faculty Led Trip: From the Andes to the Amazon: Intersections of Culture, Food Systems and Biological Diversity, Quito, Ecuador

Through the experiences of this faculty-led trip, I learned that I am way stronger than I thought I was, mentally and physically, and I have a much greater respect for the people of Ecuador that we met and learned about.


97% of Biology majors from the past five years have found employment or achieved a service opportunity within six months of graduation *

of Biology majors

Recent Graduates

Sample First Jobs

  • Biological Technician, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Clinical Research Technologist, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Health Informatics Program Assistant, University of New England
  • Research Technician, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Veterinary Assistant, North Country Veterinary Clinic

Sample Graduate Schools

  • Cornell University
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Texas

*outcomes data is based on a knowledge rate of 64% for the classes of 2014-2018