The Department of Biology prepares students in the principles, concepts, and methods of modern biology and develops analytical skills necessary for advanced study in a broad range of scientific and non-science disciplines.

Majors:

Faculty

Our faculty are both scholars and teachers who devote their careers to making important contributions to their disciplines through fieldwork, research, and writing. Their research interests range from disease ecology, systems modeling, and genetics to embryology, and cancer immunology, and more. They are committed to undergraduate education and teach everything from first-year seminars to advanced courses.

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Department Overview

One of the best ways to learn science is by doing it. The biology major at Oberlin has three learning goals.

  1. Students should have knowledge of key biological concepts and underlying fundamentals and should be able to apply these across all levels of organization.
  2. Students should have critical thinking and functional skills needed to carry out the scientific process from inception through communication of results.
  3. Students should have an understanding of the ways in which biology interrelates with other sciences, disciplines, and society. 

Whether you are a declared major or a science enthusiast, our flexible program meets the requirements of the biology major and has courses for those with a keen interest in the subject. Our program prepares students in the principles, concepts, and methods of modern biology and develops analytical skills necessary for advanced study in a broad range of scientific and non-science disciplines.

Many biology majors continue study and work in life sciences, including fundamental research and such applied fields as medicine, conservation biology, science writing, and teaching. A proper selection of biology and other science courses along with academic advising can prepare students for graduate study in a wide range of areas—from animal behavior, biochemistry, and ecology, to environmental sciences, genetic counseling, public health, systematics, and more.

Discover how to become a biology major at Oberlin:

Guidebook for Biology Majors 
Example Pathways for Students Planning a Biology Major

Biology News

Cox building with spring flowering tree

Faculty Members Receive Promotions

May 15, 2019
Eleven faculty members have been promoted to the rank of professor or associate professor. We asked each about their most memorable experience and what they enjoy about being a professor.

Biology Facilities

Described in the caption

Cell Culture Laboratories

Two labs are available for work in neuroscience and immunology. They have clean benches equipped with hoods to minimize the risk for contamination of cell lines.
Confocal Microscope

Confocal Microscope

Housed in a specially designed room of the Science Center, Oberlin’s confocal microscope provides remarkable cellular detail and resolution.
interior of lab wth benches and hoods to protect researchA laboratory used for the culturing of, research into, and analysis of various cellular samples.

Immunology Lab

Two labs are available for work and research in immunology and neuroscience. They have clean benches equipped with hoods to minimize the risk for contamination of cell lines.
Peptide Synthesis Lab

Peptide Synthesis Laboratory

This lab is equipped to chemically synthesize small proteins from amino acids, which are the building blocks of all proteins. The lab includes an automated peptide synthesizer, as well as a high-performance liquid chromatography system.
Scanning Electron Microscope

Scanning Electron Microscope

The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is housed in a newly renovated facility in the Carnegie Building.
exterior view of walkway and entrance to science center

Science Center

Built in 2001, the Science Center houses the departments of biology, chemistry, neuroscience, physics, and the science library.