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Department of Biology

Majors, Minors & Programs



Our nationally recognized experiential curriculum prepares you to become well-rounded, competitive individuals possessing the competencies and skills desired by graduate programs and employers. As a Biology major at Westminster, you will have the advantage of learning from qualified faculty in small classroom settings and in laboratories equipped with modern, advanced scientific equipment. Also, 100% of our majors participate in faculty-mentored research projects.

The Biology major also synchronizes with all Pre-Med and Health Programs, preparing you for important qualifying exams, such as the MCAT or GRE, and for success once you enter your professional program of choice. Over 90 percent of biology majors who apply to medical school are accepted.

 Major Requirements & Courses, B.A.

 Major Requirements & Courses, B.S.

 Minor Requirements & Courses

 7-12 Grade Teacher Certification

 Typical 4-Year Plan

 Guide to Chemistry Course Placement


Molecular Biology

Westminster was one of the first small liberal arts colleges to offer a molecular biology major, beginning in 1985. As a major, you will enjoy the opportunity to focus on the cellular and genetic aspects of biology in a research-based curriculum. Your undergraduate experience will culminate in a senior research project that is supported through direct interaction with a faculty mentor who specializes in the fields of molecular biology and genetics.

These on-campus experiences have enabled Molecular Biology majors to get prestigious summer internships at institutions such as Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic Learner Research Institute. Upon graduation, greater than 95 percent of our majors are accepted to graduate school, professional health schools (med school, PA programs, pharmacy school, etc.) or are hired for a job in the sciences.

 Major Requirements & Courses

 Minor Requirements & Courses


Pre-Med & Pre-Health Programs

Westminster College provides guidance and education for students interested in a wide variety of healthcare careers. Professional schools seek students who are broadly educated in the liberal arts with strong critical-thinking and communication skills. These skills are nurtured and developed at Westminster, which has resulted in an above 90 percent acceptance rate for students applying into professional schools.

If you plan to attend medical or another professional school in the health sciences, you can pursue any standard disciplinary or interdisciplinary major Westminster offers. Popular majors for our pre-med and pre-health students include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, molecular biology, and neuroscience.

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Interdisciplinary Programs


Environmental Science

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary major that will give you the broad scientific background needed to tackle problems of the environment. You will focus on hands-on, collaborative learning and partner with local and regional environmental organizations and businesses on real-world environmental problems. ES majors do their work in both state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and on our expansive 300-acre campus. A required internship and team-based Capstone research gives our students the skills for success in careers and graduate school.

ES majors interested in graduate school can also save time and money through one of two Bachelor’s Degree Plus Programs. We offer fast-tracks to a master’s degree in Environmental Science in partnership with Duquesne University and to a law degree in partnership with the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center at Widener University Commonwealth Law School.

 Major Requirements & Courses


Environmental Studies

With this flexible interdisciplinary major, students combine environmental studies coursework with a second discipline of their choice to work on problems of the environment. For example, students could combine environmental studies with business administration to focus on corporate sustainability or environmental studies with sociology to explore environmental justice. Students interested in environmental law can combine environmental studies with political science, and could even apply to start law school at the end of their junior year through one of our Bachelor’s Degree Plus Programs.

We focus on hands-on, collaborative learning and partner with local and regional environmental organizations and businesses on real-world environmental problems. A required internship and team-based capstone gives our students the skills for success in careers and graduate school. As a bonus, we get to study the environment on our expansive and diverse 300-acre campus.

 Major Requirements & Courses

 Minor Requirements & Courses


Management for Scientists (Minor)

Science majors who are successful in their careers most often find themselves in supervisory or management positions where the fundamental business skills presented in this minor will be extremely beneficial. The minor is available to students majoring in Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, or Physics.

 Minor Requirements & Courses



The Neuroscience curriculum is composed of biology and psychology courses, with additional courses in chemistry, physics, mathematics, philosophy or computer science, depending upon your particular interests and career ambitions. The major is designed to provide the necessary scientific background for investigating the biological basis of behavior and the relationship of neural and psychological processes.

All Neuroscience majors complete an internship relevent to their degree and a mentored research experience. As a student, you will be integrated into research lab as early as your first year and will continue to develop key skills through out your four years, culminating in a senior Capstone project.

 Major Requirements & Courses


Individual Interdisciplinary Major

The individual interdisciplinary major allows students to design their own majors. Students identify a core of course work in one program of study (major or minor), and then add coursework from other disciplines to craft an educational experience as unique as their ambitions.

Recent real-life examples of Individual Interdisciplinary majors include:

  • Environmental Science Project Management(Environmental Science and Business)
  • Scientific Illustration (Fine Art and Biology)
  • Film & Media Relations (Film Studies and Communication)

For more information, contact an Admissions Counselor today.


Bachelor's Degree Plus Programs


Bachelor's Degree + Dental Degree (3+4 and 4+4 Programs)

At Westminster, Pre-Dental Program students may apply to one of two Bachelor's Degree Plus Programs. Both programs allow qualified students to apply to Westminster and Dental School as high school seniors.

Our 3+4 Program with Case Western Reserve University allows you to spend three years at Westminster in a traditional liberal arts program, then four years at the Case Western University School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland, OH. Students accepted to this program can earn both a bachelor's degree and Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D) degrees in seven years instead of the typical eight.

Our 4+4 Program with the School of Dental Medicine at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) offers qualified students who complete the four-year Westminster degree to be directly admitted to the D.M.D. degree program in Bradenton, Florida.

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Bachelor's Degree + Master's Degree in Environmental Science (3+2 Program)

Environmental Science majors who are interested in a graduate degree can take advantage of our 3+2 partnership with Duquesne University’s Center for Environmental Research & Education. In this program, eligible students spend three years at Westminster and then two years in Duquesne's graduate program. Upon successful completion of all requirements, a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science is awarded from Westminster, and a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Management is awarded from Duquesne.

Additional information on this program is available from the Director of the Center for the Environment, Dr. Helen Boylan, at


Bachelor's Degree + Environmental Law Degree (3+3 Program)

In addition to having access to our robust 4-year Pre-Law Program, students interested in environmental law could start law school at the end of their junior year through our 3+3 partnership with the Environmental Law and Sustainability Center at Widener University Commonwealth Law School. Through this partnership, eligible students earn both a bachelor's degree and a juris doctor (J.D.) degree in just six years, saving time and money.

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Bachelor's Degree + Medical Degree (4+4 Programs)

In addition to our Pre-Med Program, Westminster has two programs that allow students to apply to medical school as early as their senior year of high school.

We have 4+4 articulation programs with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). Both programs permit qualified students who complete a four-year Westminster degree to be directly admitted to medical school to pursue a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.).

Students can apply to either affiliation program as high school seniors, gaining acceptance to Westminster and medical school at the same time. Alternatively, current Westminster students may apply to the 4+4 PCOM program at any time during their first two years at Westminster or to the 4+4 LECOM program during their sophomore year.

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Bachelor's Degree + Occupational Therapy Degree (3+3 and 4+3 Programs)

In addition to having access to our robust Pre-Occupational Therapy Program, you could be guaranteed admission to an entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy program (OTD) when you graduate through our special agreement with Chatham University. You might also be eligible to start working on your Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Chatham at the end of your junior year, saving you time and money.

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Bachelor’s Degree + Pharmacy Degree (3+4 Program)

In addition to our Pre-Pharmacy Program, qualified students who want to go on to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) can save time and money through our articulation agreement with Duquesne University's School of Pharmacy. Students in the 3+4 Pharmacy Program spend three years at Westminster and then four years at Duquesne University, earning both a Bachelor’s Degree and a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree at the end of seven years. A 2+4 Early-Entry Doctor of Pharmacy Program is also available.

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Bachelor’s Degree + Physical Therapy Degree (4+2.3 Program)

In addition to our Pre-Physical Therapy Program, which will prepare you to enter any accredited Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, Westminster also has an articulation agreement with Chatham’s University’s DPT program. Students in the program are guaranteed acceptance to Chatham's doctoral program upon their graduation from Westminster, upon completion of program requirements.

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Learn More about the Department of Biology