Majoring in Biology or Biochemistry? Apply for The Pursuit! You’ll study human history, culture, and literature through the lens of the sciences while satisfying much of your humanities-based general education. Select students will be invited to join The Pursuit and receive a $2000 scholarship as part of their financial aid package for their first-year at Catawba College ($1000 in the fall semester/$1000 in the spring semester). Learn more or apply now at Catawba.edu/pursuit.
Biology Degree – Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (BA, BS)
LEARN BIOLOGY CONTENT IN THE CONTEXT OF WORK-WORLD APPLICATIONS.
Pursuing a Biology major at Catawba College offers students an unparalleled education in biological concepts and critical thinking. Close-mentoring, dynamic-experiential teaching, research, travel, and applied service learning opportunities expose our students to the breadth and wonder of the natural world. In fact, the skills and preparedness of Catawba College Biology graduates are so impressive that Zippia ranks Catawba College #6 in North Carolina among Top Colleges for Biology Majors.
Catawba College Biology students produce substantive research for presentations at scholarly conferences or in professional publications. They give back to the community in meaningful ways through service projects that range from helping to restore the American Chestnut to serving as assistants at local free dental clinics. These are just a few of the hallmarks realized by Catawba College students pursuing a Biology bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology
Those students who pursue the Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology want to have a foundational biologic skill set. However, one of the requirements for this B.A. degree is that students must pursue a minor. Undergraduates choose a minor to this Bachelor of Arts degree to prepare themselves for a less traditional career pathway in science. Some examples of possible minors at Catawba College and the potential career outcome include:
BA in Biology + minor in Writing = Science Writer
BA in Biology + minor in Business, Accounting, or Marketing = Science Business, Pharmaceutical Sales
BA in Biology + minor in Information Systems = Bioinformatics
BA in Biology + minor in Political Science = Science Policy, Law
BA in Biology + minor in Philosophy = Bioethics
BA in Biology + minor in Studio Art = Science Illustration
BA in Biology + minor in Secondary Education = Science Teacher
Bachelor of Science degree in Biology
Select the Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology for an education in the biological sciences that encompasses the important current content of the discipline, exemplifies the practice of science, and emphasizes the consequences of living in a scientific age.
Catawba College's B.S. Biology degree is an excellent path to prepare for immediate employment in the biological sciences, Health Professional Programs (e.g. Medical School, Physician’s Assistant School, Pharmacy School, Veterinary Medicine School, and Dental School) and for graduate schools (MS and Ph.D.) in all areas related to Biology including Ecology, Molecular and Cell Biology and specialized areas such as Marine Biology.
Minor in Biology
Catawba College offers a minor in Biology for students who successfully complete 20 academic hours of Biology coursework.
Secondary Teacher Licensure
If you want to teach Biology in high school grades 9-12, you should pursue a Secondary Teacher Licensure as a minor at Catawba College in addition to a B.A. or B.S. degree in Biology. A Secondary Education Minor and student teaching will satisfy the minor requirement of the B.A. degree in Biology. Students interested in Comprehensive Science licensure should consult with the Department of Teacher Education for additional required coursework.
Biology Program Highlights
Catawba College’s Biology degree program allows undergraduates to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree with an 18-21 hour minor of their choice to create a unique skill set that will help them secure a less “traditional” career grounded in biological science. Or, Catawba’s Bachelor of Science degree in Biology is the most science-intensive program and provides the coursework needed for admission into graduate school or medical school and for careers in research, medical or industrial laboratories. Regardless of which Biology degree program you choose, you will be well-prepared for your path after graduation.
Biology internships are an integral part of the Catawba College experience. The Biology Department has close collaborations with several laboratories at the nearby North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, N.C., where each year our students participate in paid internships in labs studying bioinformatics, protein expression, and human health and nutrition. Moreover, each summer Biology majors participate in paid National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates and summer biomedical sciences institutes to prepare students for rigorous medical careers.
We offer an international Marine Science travel class to the Caribbean island of Bonaire every other year where Biology majors become SCUBA certified and dive deep into tropical marine ecology. More locally, students in our field-based courses such as Field Botany and Ornithology travel on multi-night trips to biodiversity hotspots along the North Carolina coast (e.g. Outer Banks, NC and Lake Waccamaw, NC) and in the mountains (e.g. Highlands Biological Station, NC and Mount Rogers, VA). Catawba College is a member institution of the Highlands Biological Station (HBS) in Highlands, NC. Our students can take advantage of summer field courses and workshops at HBS with discounts on tuition and housing costs.
We work with many partners such as the LandTrust for Central North Carolina, Catawba Lands Conservancy, and medical practitioners to provide real world, out of the classroom learning experiences that allow our Biology majors to give back to the community in meaningful ways. Some examples of service learning are Catawba students helping to restore the American Chestnut through planting of trial plots, urban estuarine marsh restoration with the Elizabeth River Project, and serving as assistants at local free dental clinics.
Working hand in hand with inspiring Biology faculty who study and publish in diverse fields, all Biology majors have the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research. You can explore drug interactions with malaria parasites, distribution and mating behaviors of rare song birds, climate change and coral decline, environmental toxicology and mercury in aquatic systems, complexity of cytoplasmic streaming, and fire ecology and the discovery of new cryptic plant species using molecular techniques.
In 2018 alone, seven current and former undergraduate Biology students published peer-reviewed scientific journal articles in the journals "Frontiers in Pharmacology", "Food and Chemical Toxicology", and "Southeastern Naturalist".
Each year our Biology students win research funding, win research awards and present at biological conferences such as the Association of Southeastern Biologists Meeting, North Carolina Academy of Sciences Meeting, and the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Research Symposium.