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Articles on Biology:

Major in Biology

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”  ~James M. Tour; organic chemist

Biology, or the study of life, is one of the broadest scientific categories of thought. It encompasses all levels of life: molecular, cellular, organismal and ecological, and seeks to understand the systems and processes by which living organisms function and thrive. To choose a major in biology is to begin down any number of career paths, from public health to the environment to research to education, just to name a few. How important and helpful to gain an education in this field from a Christian perspective, where our all-powerful God receives the credit due Him for His creating and sustaining work in the universe!

Nature lovers and those with a innate bent towards math and science are often drawn to a Biology major. Often these individuals are inquisitive, with a passion for discovery and understanding why things work. They are not afraid of deep analyzation and asking the tough questions necessary for honest scientific thought. Beyond this, a Biology major needs other important skills and traits as well. For example, it is helpful to have critical thinking skills, a sharp memory and a detail-oriented mind. A Biology degree requires plenty of research, comprehensive note taking, focused thought, and careful lab work behind the microscope and with other scientific tools. Though it is true that science students must sometimes work independently, you will also encounter plenty of collaborative opportunities (such as working with lab partners, group debates and team research projects) where strong communication and people skills are a must.

Chemistry, Physics and upper level math classes are par for the course in this rigorous major. In addition, you can expect lots of hands-on learning in both lab and field work. Depending upon your program it is possible you may complete an internship or specialize in an area that interests you such as cell, marine or plant biology. Electives in this major tend to be vast and include areas such as entomology, botany, neurology, zoology, immunology or biotechnology. Standard classes you might expect to take include:

  • Human Anatomy/Physiology 
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics
  • Ecology

Unlike some majors, a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Biology does not follow a well-defined career path. Rather, this degree offers a strong foundation of knowledge and a plethora of transferrable skills useful in many work settings. 58% of Biology majors go on for graduate level learning in areas such as medicine, pharmacology or veterinary studies, or to pursue careers in research or in fields of specialty such as geology, meteorology or genetics. However, there’s a wide range of career options for those who delay or forgo a master’s degree. Some examples are:

  • Science Technician (in a medical, vet, pharmacy, forensics or chemistry lab)
  • Research assistant 
  • Conservationist/Environmental specialist
  • Postsecondary Biology Teacher (requires additional teaching certificate)
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  • Safety/Quality Control Specialist
  • Forest Ranger

Someday we will all give an account to God for what we did with what He gave us. If He has gifted you with a scientific mind that is excited by the study of His creation, then a major in biology may be the perfect fit for you!

 

 

 

 

 

A Future in Biology

By Amber Gragert

Simply put, biology is the study of living organisms. A major in biology means to study the function and relationships between living things and their environments, whether they are humans, animals or plants. If studying living things within God's creation sparks your interest, then this may just be the major for you. Through your studies, you will explore the structure and function of many different living systems. You could certainly say that by perusing biology, you are also studying God - as He is the Creator and Author of life.

As a biology major, you will gather, organize and analyze data. Studying and digging deep into great issues of today such as cancer, genetic engineering, obesity and stem cell research. Classes will include a variety of lectures and traditional coursework that will cover subjects of physiological and ecological organization. You will also participate in laboratory courses that require ample microscope and other scientific equipment time. It is in these settings that you will not only get comfortable using scientific equipment but gain skills in developing and testing hypotheses and interpreting the data. And, don't forget about those scientific communication skills courses, where you will learn by critiquing research articles, write up laboratory reports, give oral presentations and participate in debates.

You can earn an advanced Bachelor of Science degree in fields such as endocrinology, genetics, physiology or agronology. Or, if plants and trees are more your speed, specializing in botany or arboriculture might be for you. There you will spend more time behind the lens of a microscope while earning a degree in something like: ecology, entomology, oceanography or marine/mammology. Students with a flair for both the sciences and high-tech industries would do well in a program that caters to a bio technology degree.

Traits and skills of biology majors include sharp critical thinking and problem solving skills, manual dexterity (during times of laboratory techniques and procedures), plenty of focus, a desire to be precise, detail oriented and the ability to be careful and systematic in laboratory projects. Any work in the sciences is very collaborative so having the ability to work well in groups and alongside other peers is perhaps the most important trait to have when pursuing a career in biology. Creativity and inquisitiveness about the world and how it works is also beneficial. This is very much a field of study that requires a passion and interest of the subject in order to have a lasting career in it.

A biology major can be used in both scientific and non-scientific jobs upon graduating.

Job examples:

Biology Technician

-  Chemical laboratory technician

-  Financial analyst (think: bio technology, pharmaceutical, & environmental companies)

-  Physician’s Assistant

-  Nurse Practitioner