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The biology program at Westminster College offers small class sizes, updated facilities and advanced equipment for experiential learning in both the laboratory and field. Our diverse faculty are dedicated to student achievement and a transformative educational experience that prepares our undergraduates for numerous career paths.

Students begin with a sequence of Foundations courses in the areas of Cell Biology and Genetics, Organismal Biology and Ecology and Biostatistics. Upon successful completion of these introductory courses, students enroll in advanced courses where they explore new topics in more detail and expand on their laboratory and field skills. All courses are taught by full-time faculty in their areas of expertise that include Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Comparative and Human Anatomy and Physiology, Epidemiology, Bioinformatics, Microbiology, Field Ecology and Ornithology.

The culmination of the biology program is an individualized Capstone experience, which allows each student to collaborate with a faculty member as they apply knowledge and skills from their course work to a novel research project. The department also offers field and travel opportunities so students can observe and apply biological principles beyond the classroom in environments that can be as familiar as our own campus in Western Pennsylvania to exotic locations such as tropical Costa Rica or the Amazon rainforest and Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.

Students interested in the health-related professions can receive additional advisement by the Medical Professions Advisory Committee (MedPAC) and those interested in graduate school or research can receive additional advisement from our Research Professions Advisory Committee (ResPAC). The rigorous study of biology combined with a traditional liberal arts education provides our graduates with exceptional placement with employment and into pre-professional and advanced degree programs.

Biology Department Mission Statment

The mission of the biology department takes its direction from the broader mission of Westminster College. The department’s quest for academic excellence and extensive experiential learning is suffused with a recognition that stewardship of life mandates the maximum possible development of each person’s intellectual capabilities and social responsibilities. In order to help women and men develop the competencies, commitments, and characteristics which distinguish human beings at their best, the biology department realizes its mission in students who:

  • acquire knowledge and an appreciation of the natural world;
  • cultivate an intellectual curiosity that encourages observation and exploration using multiple perspectives;
  • demonstrate competencies to reason logically, evaluate critically, communicate effectively, and imagine creatively;
  • develop and demonstrate moral and ethical commitments to society and the natural world;
  • commit themselves to lifelong learning and the acquisition of skills for careers and responsible service as world citizens.


What can you do with a Biology degree?

Imagine yourself a physician, surgeon, genetic counselor, conservation biologist, academic biologist, marine biologist, forensic scientist, physical therapist, veterinarian, ecologist, scientist or biotechnologist.