Biology

Program Requirements and Courses

  • Biology (B.A. | B.S. | Minor | Teacher Licensure)

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Additional Program Information

Why study biology?

Biology, the study of life, is a discipline that permeates everything around us. From the trees that provide us with homes, furniture and paper to the plants that produce an endless variety of foods and medicines. From the microbes that make fine wines and cheeses, or cause debilitating illness and epidemics, to the seemingly infinite assortment of animals that provide us with food, companionship or service — we are surrounded by biology.

And as living organisms ourselves, our own biology is influenced by nearly every decision we make. Each time we alter our diet or that of our children. Each time we exercise, choose a medicine or nutritional supplement for ourselves or our children. Each reproductive decision we make. All are biological decisions.

Whether we’re learning about the nutritional benefits of foods, or the negative impacts of nicotine and alcohol, or asking questions at the doctor’s office, we are all students of biology.

Why study biology at Sweet Briar?

Studying biology at Sweet Briar is superior because we are small. Our intimate class sizes ensure that you will have unrestrained access to your professors and their expertise. You’ll also enjoy unlimited use of all instrumentation, from day one. During and between your classes and labs you’ll get all the attention you need to master the complex material and techniques required of biology.

Our small classes are guaranteed to improve your performance and understanding: Absences are immediately noted and corrected, and participation is unavoidable. We give you immediate feedback on written, oral and quantitative assignments, and ensure that each student “gets it” before we move on to the next topic.

What can you do with a biology major?

The chief delight of earning a degree in biology is that it enables ambitious students to embark on a variety of attractive careers. A degree in biology lets you enter the rewarding world of medicine at any level, from veterinarian to podiatrist, from pharmacist to athletic trainer, from occupational therapist to neurosurgeon.

It also enables you to spend your life educating citizens about the natural world by working for a zoo, museum or aquarium, or by becoming a biology teacher.

Alternatively, you can choose to work in the ever-more-crucial arena of conservation, with countless opportunities at local, state, federal, international and non-governmental organizations.

Finally, but most exciting to biologists, is the innumerable variety of research opportunities within biology itself. With a degree in biology, you can study any of the 1.5 million known species, from bacteria to broccoli, barracudas or buffalo. Each of these many species represents a black box of the unknown. Each is full of unanswered questions about intracellular phenomena, cellular activities, the anatomy or physiology of whole organisms, or the rules and limits of interactions between organisms within populations, communities or ecosystems.