Biology is presently one of the most fascinating and active areas of scientific advancement. You’ll gain the confidence, skills, and experience with equipment you’ll need to work in a variety of areas, including:

•   Conservation

•   Education

•   Agriculture

•   Research laboratories

•   Biotechnology

You’ll also be prepared to enter graduate school for preparation towards careers in:

Research (ecology, molecular biology, biotechnology)

•   Professional careers:

•   Medicine

•   Pharmacy

•   Dentistry

•   Optometry

•   Veterinary science


Bachelor of Arts - 4-Year Plan

A liberal arts degree that requires a smaller number of credit hours, leaving some additional flexibility in terms of electives. This flexibility creates an opportunity for students to sample courses more broadly, to double major, and/or earn a minor. This degree is not focused on research.

Bachelor of Science

General Track - 4-Year Plan

For students that want to focus the majority of coursework (including electives) within the discipline of science. Biology courses make up the core and a large number of electives, with additional requirements within other disciplines of science (chemistry, physics) and mathematics. There are also research requirements within this degree.

Pre-Professional Track - 4-Year Plan

Students interested in professional continuing education (medical, dental, etc.) are encouraged to pursue the pre-professional track to ensure adequate preparation for entrance exams and to fulfill entry level admission requirements.

Science Education: Biology Emphasis - 4-Year Plan

A minor in Biology is also offered.

Program Highlights

An Emphasis on Research

All students in the program complete a capstone course, Biology Research Methods. This course focuses on critical thinking, allowing students to analyze primary literature and data, as well as further develop both written and oral scientific communication. Students are additionally required to complete one research-based internship to provide the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills in an active research setting.

Lab and Course Requirements

Our labs and courses are more than requirements, they are unique experiences. Most of our lab manuals are written by our own faculty, thus corresponding directly to the course, as well as providing more inquiry-based instruction. Many classrooms also utilize active learning and independent research projects to explore content.

Field Experiences and Local Collaborations

Students participate in field-based labs, taking advantage of local partnerships to visit prairies, glades, and forest ecosystems and collect data that contribute to active research. Additionally, all students visit Reis Biological Station, in Steelville, MO as part of an overnight lab within a required ecology course.

Local Internships

Previous student internships include the St. Louis Zoo, World Aquarium, St. Louis Science Center, St. Clair County Health Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and Washington University’s Genome Sequencing Center.

Sigma Zeta Honor Society

Sigma Zeta is a national honor society that encourages and fosters the attainment of greater knowledge in the fields of science and mathematics while recognizing outstanding scholastic achievement.

Our chapter represents the Beta chapter, the oldest active chapter in the National Society. We have won the Founder's Cup five times, most recently in 2013. This Cup is awarded to the chapter that is the most active at both the National and Local level.


•   3.0 gpa in the major and overall

•   Majoring in natural sciences, mathematics, or computer science]

•   Completed 15 hours in science or mathematics coursework

Each year, faculty and student members attend the National Conference, where students are encouraged to present their independent research. This is an incredible opportunity for students to showcase work, practice skills as scientists, and interact with peers and faculty from other universities across the nation.

Employment Opportunities

Some of the companies that our recent graduates are employed at include:

•   Sigma Aldrich

•   Monsanto

•   Department of Energy, Los Alamos Research Laboratory

•   St. Louis Zoo

Some of the graduate schools that our recent graduates are enrolled in include:

•   Texas Tech University, Zoology

•   Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Environmental Sciences

•   Professional Programs:

Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine

University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine

Rice University of Veterinary Medicine

Southern Illinois University of Medicine

Saint Louis University School of Medicine

University of Cincinnati College of Medicine



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“McKendree’s Biology Program provides a classroom experience where students work closely with their peers and professors to learn, solve problems, and ask questions.  It also provides hands-on laboratory and field experience where students delve deeper into scientific topics. It was this experience in the lab, as well as mentorships by the program’s professors, that most influenced my decision to pursue a career in science and has helped me succeed in this field.”

~ Allie Poehler '12, Post-baccaleaureate in Theoretical Biology/Biophysics and Biosecurity and Public Health, Los Alamos National Laboratory.


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“The instructors and staff in the science department at McKendree do not just 'teach' scientific subjects:  they provide learning opportunities and experiences that promote an ability to excel ... life lessons like these reach far beyond graduation day.”

~ Stacia Novy '12, MS student in the Biological Sciences program at SIUE.


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“McKendree's Biology Program not only supplied me with the basic knowledge I needed for my future career, but it also gave me something that most schools cannot: a personal and lasting relationship with many of my professors.”

~ Kaitlyn Kollmann '12, student in the SIU School of Medicine.

Meet the Faculty


Michele SchutzenhoferMichele R. Schutzenhofer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology
Chair, Div. of Science & Mathematics
Voigt Science Hall 217
(618) 537-6934

Robb VanPutteRobb D. Van Putte, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology
Voigt Science Hall 223A
(618) 537-6930



Angela LaMoraAngela LaMora, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology
Voigt Science Hall 120A
(618) 537-6895