Biology at Middlebury provides students opportunities to explore the diversity of life within the tradition of a liberal arts education.

Biology students participate in a coral reef survey.
Biology students participate in a coral reef survey in the Bahamas.

Our Courses

Biology courses span the entire field of biology and also allow for in-depth study of sub-disciplines. Students who choose to major or minor in biology complete a common core program, which includes two introductory courses that have been designed to explore four critical fields in modern biology:

  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Genetics
  • Cellular Biology

Coursework beyond the introductory level provides depth by including taxon-based organismal courses, research methods courses, and a wide variety of upper-level courses that span the field of biology. We offer courses from across the breadth of the field each semester so that students can customize their major to achieve their own educational goals while providing preparation necessary to be successful in their future career. Learn more about Learning Goals.

    Interdisciplinary Approach

    Our approach emphasizes both written and oral communication, and all upper-level courses require independent study. Each course involves active learning rather than rote memorization by providing problems that require critical thinking in order to solve them. Connections are made at every opportunity between biological knowledge and other disciplines. As part of this effort, faculty in the Biology Department are active participants in the interdisciplinary minors in the Environmental Science Program, Neuroscience Program, and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Program. Students interested in teaching at the elementary or secondary level or who just want to know more about education can consider a minor in Education Studies.

    Students collecting river data in the field.

    Related Programs

    Majors in biology might also want to minor in related disciplines and we work closely with other departments to help make that happen. Biology Department faculty are active participants in the teaching of courses that are offered by these programs and supervise research students in each.
     

    Environmental Studies

    The Environmental Studies (ES) Program is of interest to students who wish to study the human relationship to the environment from many different directions. Students enrolled in the conservation biology focus of the ES Program automatically get joint major status with biology and ES.

    Explore Environmental Studies

    Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

    The Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MBBC) Program is for students who wish the opportunity to have an in-depth exploration of the flow and regulation of genetic information contained in DNA to its expression in the development and function of cells.

    Explore MBBC

    Neuroscience

    The Neuroscience Program offers students the opportunity to explore the neural bases of behavior from multiple perspectives, including biology, psychology, and philosophy.

    Explore Neuroscience

    Our Alumni

    Our alums move on to a variety of different careers and paths after graduating. Many biology majors go directly to medical, dental, and veterinary schools. Some go to graduate school in ecology, evolution, molecular biology, and developmental biology. Many work as field assistants or as aides for NGOs or for the government. Below are just a few examples of what our recent grads are doing for careers. Learn more about Our Alumni.

    • The Joint Genome Institute, Head, Genomics Technologies Program
    • Maine Medical Center, Pediatric Pulmonologist
    • Procter & Gamble, Senior Engineer, Process and Engineering
    • Ambit Biosciences, Director, Molecular Biology and Technology Development
    • Environmental Protection Agency, Deputy Director, Engineering and Analysis
    • Center for Disease Control, Epidemiologist
    • Columbia Land Conservancy, Director, Outreach and Resource Development
    • School Specialty Science, Vice President, Product Development
    • Plaistow-Kingston Animal Medical Center, Associate Veterinarian
    • Google, Account Executive, Healthcare
    • 3D Systems Corporation, Creative Director, Food Products
    • Limerick Biopharma, Director, Translational Biology
    • Ocean Conservancy, Chief Scientist
    • Foundation for Blood Research, Genetic Counselor
    • The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Pollinator Conservation Specialist
    • World Health Organization, Consultant, Geneva
    • San Francisco Estuary Institute, Environmental Analyst
    • NRG Energy, Senior Associate, Solar Development
    • The Research Foundation at SUNY-ESF, Director of Science
    • Environmental Defense Fund, Consultant

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