Biology Department

St. Olaf offers a strong and modern biology curriculum rooted in the liberal arts. Students not only develop a broad foundation in biology through core courses, but also achieve depth in specific biological interests through elective courses and independent study. An emphasis on interdisciplinary training encourages students to solve problems using tools from other fields (including physics, chemistry, psychology, and mathematics) to study connections of such scientific and societal significance as sustainable agriculture, compassionate health care, and more.

At St. Olaf, students of biology find:

  • Exceptional opportunities for experiential learning, including high-quality research opportunities, challenging internships, and off-campus study programs throughout the world
  • A state-of-the-art science facility designed to promote the faculty-student research that sustains our nationally recognized undergraduate research programs
  • A singular focus on undergraduate education that ensures students get plenty of hands-on experience with the latest scientific technology
  • Opportunities for service to others through off-campus programs, through the stewardship of our Natural Lands, and through outreach to local and regional schools

A St. Olaf biology degree prepares students for a wide range of careers or further study, and the college is among the top undergraduate institutions in the number of graduates who go on to earn Ph.D.s in the field. Many Oles pursue careers in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, public health, and pharmacy. Others become professors, industry researchers and managers, lawyers, teachers, policy makers, activists, and entrepreneurs.Regardless of their career paths, students come away with strong research and problem-solving skills, a sharp investigational mind, and a lifelong appreciation for the complexity of life.

Requirements for the Biology Major Checklist