Faculty actively conducting research with students, updated facilities and equipment, five local nature preserves and excellent teaching with small class sizes will all prepare you for future careers in medicine, research biology and many emerging biological fields.

Biology majors at Ashland University have many options and opportunities. If you wish, you can focus your program in a very specific direction by adding a forensic biology or biotechnology concentration to your biology major.

Whatever your choice, you will be taught by an extraordinary group of professors who are outstanding teachers as well as respected scholars in their fields. All engage in research and mentor students in this process. If you are interested in a medical career, graduate study or a future in research biology, forensic biology or any of a number of emerging biological fields, Ashland University offers the background you need to confidently take the next step towards your bright future.

What You’ll Love About the Biology Program:

  • Access to unique facilities, like four laboratories dedicated to collaborative research between students and faculty, a human cadaver anatomy lab, a greenhouse and facility for housing research animals, five local environmental preserves and modern science instrumentation.
  • We offer a strong pre-professional program with an excellent track record of our graduates being accepted into highly competitive medical, physician assistant, dental, physical therapy, pharmacy and veterinary medicine programs. Since 2004, over 90 percent of Biology majors who applied to health professional schools were admitted within one year of graduation.
  • You will have opportunities to carry out research at the undergraduate level, working closely in a mentoring relationship with faculty. These research projects often lead to presentations at regional and national science conferences and give you an edge when applying to bioscience jobs, graduate school and professional programs like medical school.
  • We have over 20 years of experience teaching forensic biology, the only undergraduate toxicology major in the country offered by a small college and a strong track record of preparing students for diverse and growing careers in biology. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job openings in the biosciences will grow by 21 percent between 2008 and 2018.
  • Our faculty/student research projects have been supported by over $700,000 in federal funding since 1997.


Graduates of the program enter exciting careers such as:

  • Many of our graduates get jobs in research laboratories, health care and in environmental science.
  • Other students become high school biology or science teachers.
  • About 25 percent of our graduates get advanced training to become physicians, physical therapists, veterinarians, dentists, optometrists, pharmacists or physican assistants.
  • More than 25 percent of our graduates go on to graduate school in biology, cellular and molecular biology, ecology and other fields.


  • Professors enjoy mentoring students in the classroom and in research as well as in the advising process.
  • Each of our faculty is a recognized scholar in his or her research discipline.
  • Faculty often publish research with students as co-authors, which is an example of the many one-on-one opportunities between faculty and students.
  • The professors in the biology department all hold Ph.D.s and are excellent classroom and lab instructors.
  • The chair of the biology department was honored with the Ashland University Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award, and four biology professors have won University Academic Mentor Awards.


  • Ashland University is a member of the Bioscience Consortium of Northeast Ohio, which supports biotechnology education, undergraduate research and provides student internships.
  • Ashland University students get summer research internships at prestigious research universities, governmental organizations and here on Ashland's campus. The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and WIL Research Laboratories routinely provides internship opportunities for Ashland biology majors.

Interesting Classes You May Take

  • The Molecular and Cellular Basis of Life — Explore the question: What are the molecular and cellular processes that define life, and how are they sustained from generation to generation?
  • Field Zoology — Study the principles of field study and the collection, preservation and identification of common vertebrate and invertebrate animals.
  • Forensic Science — Explore the application of scientific methods and techniques to problems in the field of forensic science including analysis of hair, fingerprinting, DNA analysis and other topics.

Honor Organization for Biology Majors

Beta Beta Beta — Biology Honor Society

Career Outlook for Biology Majors

There are many career paths open when you hold a bachelor’s degree in biology. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition 1, employment is projected to grow by about 9 percent between 2006-2016 for biological scientists. Those with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in biology will have the greatest opportunity in science-related jobs in sales, marketing and research management. Many opportunities will also exist in the medical health technology field and as high school biology teachers.

For those pursuing medical school after college, prospects for surgeons or physicians are expected to be excellent. Opportunities for employment are expected to grow by 14 percent between 2006 and 2016. Learn more.

What Biology Students Say About Ashland University

“Studying at Ashland is a great opportunity to use advanced equipment in meaningful research. Not many undergraduate students across the country have the chance to get the hands-on exposure to this type of research and research equipment. I’ve learned how to use the MALDI-TOF and how it works, inside and out.” -- Nick Bellanco, Wooster, Ohio

“I have been impressed by Ashland University’s science programs because I have been able to get hands-on lab experience beginning my first semester of my freshman year. And I like that the professors are in the lab with me for one-on-one interaction. I like the willingness of the professors to be hands-on and be available for help when I need it.” -- Karie Charlton, Jelloway, Ohio, involved in the Habitat for Humanity spring break trip, Alpha Phi, Community Care, Geology Club vice president

“It’s wonderful to get to experience and interact with animals that you just look at from afar. I liked that I got to help make enrichment items for them to play with and figure out. It was all around a great experience." -- Neeley Meyers, senior from Hermitage, Pa., involved in Beta Beta Beta and Delta Zeta, was a zookeeper intern at Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri