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Department of Biology

Throughout the curriculum, our faculty emphasize the importance of evolution in biological phenomena, the role of the environment in biological interactions, and ethical behavior in scientific endeavors.

Undergraduate students choose a major in biology, cell and molecular biology, or environmental science to prepare for graduate or professional school, careers, and civic and social involvement. Additionally, students learn through hands-on research and internships. For students interested in post-graduate education, the department offers Master of Science and Master of Arts degrees in Biology.

You'll have the opportunities to engage the world during your studies. In field courses, you'll study the biology of the Appalachian Mountains, California deserts, such as the annual medical immersion trip to Honduras, place your knowledge in action and prepare you to be men and women for and with others.

Young female doing lab work
Importance of Research

Our faculty consider research involvement to be one of the key areas in which mentoring relationships are developed and important laboratory skills are honed.

Programs of Study

Faculty emphasize the importance of evolution in biological phenomena, the role of the environment in biological interactions, and ethical behavior in scientific endeavors.

Undergraduate students can choose from majors in biology, cell and molecular biology, and environmental science to prepare for graduate and professional school, a wide range of careers, and civic and social involvement. There is an undergraduate minor in biology; and graduate programs in biology (M.A. or M.S.). 

Undergraduate

Major
Biology

The biology major is broad in focus, providing students with a strong knowledge base in all three core areas of biology: cellular and molecular biology, organismal biology, evolutionary biology, ecology, and diversity.

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Cell and Molecular Biology

The cell and molecular biology major emphasizes genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, and mathematics. It focuses on helping develop laboratory skills required for basic and applied research.

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Environmental Science Major

Through the Biology Department’s major in environmental science, students will gain a solid foundation in the science and theory behind how pressing environmental issues affect natural systems.

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Concentration/Option
Pre-Health Professions

Pre-health professions programs are great preparation for careers in medicine, dentistry, podiatry, nursing, pharmacy, and more.

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Graduate

Master's
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Biology

The M.A. biology program is appealing to students who are interested in exploring post-baccalaureate education, or who are non-matriculated students that desire to take only a few courses.

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Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology

The M.S. degree is designed for students seeking research experience.

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Research Highlights

Dr. Martin pointing at Celebration of Scholarship presentation

Celebration of Scholarship

Each year, students conduct original research alongside researchers in various fields. Through this program, students conduct experiments, collect data, and present their work at John Carroll’s Celebration of Scholarship and, in some cases, at regional or national conferences.

2019 Celebration April 8-11th

John Carroll University recognizes the importance of strong academic achievement in its vision (graduating individuals of intellect), mission (individuals who excel in learning), core values (a rigorous approach to scholarship), and strategic initiatives (creating a learning community of outstanding teacher-scholars). Learn More here: Carroll Collected

Poison Frog Skins Research

A New Method for Extracting Alkaloid Defenses from Poison Frog Skins.

Read more.

50%

Amount of 2017 biology majors who completed an internship

Research Statistics for 2017 Biology Majors

  • 50% completed an internship
  • 38.6% participated in research with a JCU faculty member
  • 60% completed a research project in a biology course
  • 21.4% participated in research at the Cleveland Clinic
  • 90% participated in service-related projects
  • 10% participated in JCU EMS
  • 17.1% participated in Celebration of Scholarship
  • 7.1% presented research at a regional, national, or international conference
Summer Research Opportunity

Summer research internships are available on a competitive basis through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Program.

Ecological Internship Opportunities

Ecologically oriented internships and field assistant positions (both paid and volunteer) can be located by searching the ECOLOG Archives.

Biomedical Research Opportunity

The University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine holds a yearly Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program for students interested in biomedical research.

Students Learning in Class

Neuroscience Concentration

Studies in biology play an important role in two interdisciplinary programs, which students can take along with a major at John Carroll: Neuroscience, for biology, chemistry, and psychology majors interested in studying the brain and nervous system.

Picture of a pole banner on campus highlight John Carroll University's #8 ranking for Best Value and #8 Most Innovative Schools in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 Regional Universities Midwest region
Poison Frog Skins Research

Our students discovered and analyzed a new method for extracting alkaloid defenses from poison frog skins.

Scholarly Article

Daniel Paluh '14 with a frog on his hand
Herpetologist Highlight - Daniel Paluh '14

During my freshman orientation in 2010, I was assigned to register for fall classes with Dr. Christopher Sheil. Chris introduced himself as a biology professor on campus who studied the anatomy and evolution of turtles, and I was instantly hooked! I started working in Chris’ lab that fall and also began participating in the new “Herp Group” on campus to discuss papers with Chris, Drs. Carl Anthony, Cari Hickerson, Ralph Saporito, and their students. I quickly realized I loved research and gained experience studying turtle anatomy, salamander behavior, and poison frog ecology while at JCU.

 

Read the full article at The Herpatologist's League.
Dolan Science Center building on JCU campus

Careers in Biology

After graduation, students go on to work as biologists, teachers, dental and nursing assistants, environmental water quality techs and more. Others matriculate in graduate school, medical or veterinary schools.

The World Awaits

You’ll have opportunities to engage the world during your studies. In field courses, you’ll study the biology of the Appalachian Mountains, California deserts, Costa Rican cloud forests, and Kansas grasslands.

Transformative experiences, such as the annual medical immersion trip to Honduras, place your knowledge in action and prepare you to be men and women for and with others.

Career Options

Biology graduates go on to a wide range of careers and professional schools after graduation.

Visit the JCU Career Center page to access resources that help you connect various career options with a biology major.

Class of 2018

Members of our Class of 2018 have gone on to positions such as researchers, field assistants, physical therapy aides, medical scribes, and science recruiters. One member of the class was awarded a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship/Research award and is currently working in Spain!

Other members of the class are pursuing graduate or professional degrees at institutions such as the Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Penn State College of Medicine, the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, the Ohio State University College of Dentistry, and the University of Michigan.