Expand Your Knowledge and Research the Possibilities with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology

Follow your passion to the cutting edge of science and research by majoring in biology. Your experience will be unlike that provided by any other private institution in the Midwest. Choose from a major in biology or biological research while customizing your specialty. Gain hands-on experience using a DNA sequencer, collecting samples out in the field, and conducting your own research projects. You’ll expand your knowledge and professional network in one of the biology program’s May Term classes in Florida, Texas, or Costa Rica.

Learn about our Biology Program

Student Experience

The biology degree at Loras will provide you with an understanding of fundamental concepts as well as specialized knowledge in the study of life on earth. You’ll be ready to tackle exciting challenges in areas like health science, education, and conservation – or expand your expertise in graduate or medical school.

Earn substantial experience in the field prior to college graduation with an internship in your area of interest. Examples of recent internships include placements with; SeaWorld College Experience, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, Willowbrook Wildlife Foundation, Glen Ellyn, IL.

Student Learning Outcomes


Student Learning Outcomes – Biology
1. Articulate scientific results and interpretation effectively in an oral presentation.
2. Write effectively to communicate scientific information.
3. Design valid and appropriate experiments to answer biological questions.
4. Accurately interpret and analyze biological data and statistics.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of the botany of plants.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of rules of genetic inheritance.
7. Describe important molecules and pathways that allow cells to function in tissues.
8. Apply ecological and evolutionary theory to current ecological problems.
9. Compare normal physiological body functions with diseased body functions.



The Loras College Bachelor of Biology degree program offers a major and minor in biology and a major in biological research. An optional specialization in biology for secondary teaching is also available. The curriculum contains a mixture of applied learning and research opportunities starting in your first semester.

View Highlighted Courses

Human Genetics
This course will help students understand the importance and impact of genetics in their lives. Topics will include genetic testing and prenatal diagnosis, genetic engineering, use of DNA evidence in the courts, and eugenics. Labs will include use of PCR and Gel electrophoresis in DNA fingerprinting, genetic engineering and testing for genetically modified foods.

Animal Behavior
This is a seminar course designed to explore current topics in the area of animal behavior in the context of evolutionary theory. Topics may include mate choice, parental care, group formation, or habitat selection, with emphasis on birds and mammals. Students will learn to read and critically evaluate articles from the primary literature, and will be responsible for leading class discussion on a topic of their choice.

Human Exercise: Measurements & Limits
Students will be working in groups to pose questions about human exercise, predict their outcome, measure the body’s response to exercise with various equipment and then interpret its meaning and application from the experimental output. Thus, students will be immersed in the scientific method, learning to do science and applying it to everyday exercise.

Science of Food & Cooking
This is an in-depth study course that will immerse students in a close examination of the science behind the food they eat and the methods used to prepare it. Scientific topics explored may include botany of seeds and edible plants, the chemistry of cooking at high and low temperatures, protein structure and function in yogurt production, the chemical activity of different leavening agents in cake-baking, the science of bacterial contamination and food safety, among many others. A primary learning technique will be independent student-led kitchen research projects outside of class. Students must have reliable access to a kitchen, basic cooking and baking equipment, and transportation to a grocery store for supplies, which must be purchased separately from the course fee.

View Biology Courses

Major & Minor Requirements

Biology students will complete the following requirements in order to achieve a major or minor in Biology.

Degree Requirements

Division of Molecular, Life & Health Sciences
Kate Cooper, Ph.D., Chair

Major Requirements for Biology (B.S.)
Minor Requirements for Biology

Related Majors
Biochemistry (B.S.)
Biological Research (B.S.)
Chemistry (B.S.)
Chemistry/Secondary Teaching (B.S.)

Course requirements for teacher licensure in Biological Science, Grades 7-12:
State of Iowa endorsement for the teaching major follows the basic course requirements of the biology major with some minor adjustments. For specifics,
Teacher Education/Secondary Education Requirements (B.A.)
Secondary Education Licensure & Endorsement Details

Career Opportunities

“What can you do with a Biology degree?”

As a biology major, you will be prepared for a variety of interesting careers in the field of biology and research. Here are some examples of fields our alumni have entered:

  • Medical school and other health professions [Learn More]
  • Government agencies (wildlife, fisheries, habitat management)
  • Research and development
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Museum education/ management

Supporting Your Investment

Loras takes great pride in supporting your investment – both through providing an exceptional learning experience and in sharing the cost of your degree. 100% of Loras students receive financial aid. We have scholarships, grants and special awards for all students based on their achievements and financial need.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take me to earn my Loras degree?

Most students earn their undergraduate degree in four years or less. If you have questions about transferring any previously earned credits or degrees, please see our Transfer Student Information.

How much is tuition?

At Loras College, financial access to education is one of our defining values. We are committed to helping all of our students make their degree affordable. We partner with every student and family to understand their unique financial needs ensuring 100% of Loras students receive financial aid. Scholarships, grants and special awards are offered to all students based on their achievements and financial need. Loras is consistently ranked as one of the best universities for return on investment.  View our Tuition and Fees page.

How do I apply for schlarships and financial aid?

Submit your federal FAFSA, apply to Loras College and review our financial aid resources for detailed information, scholarship opportunities and much more.

I would like to go to medical school. Will I still be able to participate in athletics and/or be involved in student life?

Yes! Not only will you have opportunities to get involved in campus organizations, intercollegiate athletics or student leadership programs; you can also plan to study away with a May Term course or a full semester studying abroad.

Will I have research opportunities my first year in the program?

Yes. Students may join a faculty research lab as early as their first year. Faculty enjoy mentoring students and helping them find on- and off-campus research opportunities.

Meet Our Professors

Kate Cooper, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Chair, Division of Molecular, Life & Health Sciences
Biomedical Sciences Program Director
563.588.7956 |
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Thomas Davis, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
563.588.7767 |
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David Shealer, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
563.588.7678 |
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Aditi Sinha, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
563.588.7231 |
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Bryce Taylor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
563.588.7247 |
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