Student in lab focuses on microscope

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology Overview

If you enjoy learning about life processes, living organisms and the natural environment, the biology major is for you. As a biology degree program, you can study biology at the molecular, cellular, organismal and ecosystem levels, all the while developing your abilities as a technical problem-solver.

In our small, open classrooms, you’ll receive personalized interaction with your professors, have many opportunities to work collaboratively with classmates and gain hands-on experience. You’ll also conduct professional-level research that will prepare you to be a creative problem-solver for the scientific age. Our faculty members hold terminal degrees and have diverse experience in education, research and industry fields.

Not only will your coursework explore the specifics of the biology major, it will include a strong foundation in the liberal arts, providing you with a well-rounded education.

Biology Career Paths

With a biology major from The Woods, you are prepared to pursue careers in areas such as microbiology, public health, genetics, physiology, immunology, ecology, and cell biology, or to take your education to the next level by pursuing a medical or graduate degree. Students can also choose to pursue a teaching license for grades 7 through 12 in middle/high school life sciences education. Below is a list of a few of the companies graduates have gone on to work or continue their education after receiving their biology degree from SMWC:

  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Rush Medical Center
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • Mayo Clinic Hospital
  • Georgetown University

Career Opportunities

Biology jobs include laboratory work in a number of industries including pharmaceutical, as well as food and agriculture. Some other career opportunities include the following:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Optometry
  • Physical therapy
  • Environmental science
  • Other scientific areas

Combining Programs

This sequence of course work may be combined with secondary education courses for certification to teach biology, or you may combine the major with other majors or minors, such as equine studies, information technology or psychology. Combining majors or minors can prepare students for a variety of jobs including:

  • Biology teacher
  • Biotechnologist
  • Botanist
  • College biology professor
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental protection officer
  • Forest geneticist
  • Freshwater biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Mine reclamation scientist
  • Natural resources manager
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Physiologist
  • Research technician
  • Scientific photographer
  • Zoologist

Graduates are working in such careers as:

  • Physician
  • Veterinarian
  • Zoo worker
  • Clinical science research assistant
  • Ophthalmologists research assistant
  • Chiropractor
  • Optometrist
  • Biology secondary education teacher
  • Principal of high school
  • Medical technologist in hospital setting

Check out our blog 5 careers you can have with a biology degree


What is biology?
Biology is the study of all things living. At Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, you’ll study biology at the molecular, cellular, organismal and ecosystem levels, giving you a well-rounded knowledge base. You will come out of this program with a plethora of hands-on experience and top-notch problem-solving skills.

Why get a degree in biology?
A bachelor’s degree in biology sets you up for success whether you want to move on to a professional degree program, do research in a lab or have a foundational understanding of biology for a job in business. Growing markets like biomedical engineering and pharmacy all depend on a thorough understanding of biology.

What degree should you get if you just love science?
If you just LOVE science, a biology degree puts you on track with your science curriculum while you figure out where you want to go with it in your career. Careers with a biology base are always in demand! And a biology degree is so flexible it can lead to a diverse career path.

What can you do with a biology degree?
If you have a bachelor’s degree in biology, there are several different paths you can take when it comes to your post-grad career. Here are some jobs you can get with a biology degree:

  • Laboratory Manager
  • Environmental Health Specialist
  • Pharmacist
  • Optometrist

But this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of biology degree jobs. Check out our blog, where you can explore even more careers you can get with a biology degree. And remember, adding a double major or a minor in things like environmental science or chemistry can open even more opportunities.

What is the average annual salary of someone with a biology degree?
As you look at starting salaries, keep in mind that the cost of living and opportunities to move with a career or industry sector should also factor into your decision. For instance, Indiana is known for job growth due to the low cost of living. Your dollar simply goes further here.

Indiana: $47,000
Regional (Midwest): $48,000
National: $51,000