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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 opportunities to engage the world during your studies. In field courses, you'll study the biology of the Appalachian Mountains, California deserts, and other locations.  You will have the chance to put your knowledge into action during the annual public health immersion trip to Honduras.  All of these available experiences prepare you to be men and women for and with others.

day in the life of a biology student
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Programs of Study

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.). 



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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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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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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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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Department Highlights

students talking with microscopes in biology lab

Research Opportunities

The biology department is committed to student-centered learning and scholarship. Our faculty consider research involvement to be one of the key areas in which mentoring relationships are developed and important laboratory skills are honed. Research opportunities include:

  • Working with faculty on their research
  • Student-led, faculty-mentored research projects that go on to be presented at university, regional, and national conferences
  • Field courses where you'll study the biology of the Appalachian Mountains and California deserts
  • Annual medical immersion trip to Honduras
  • Partnerships with local organizations like the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and more!

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 Academic Discovery Day and, in some cases, at regional or national conferences.

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biology students out in the field studying insects


JCU's proximity to Cleveland allows the Biology department to partner with world-class organizations and provide students with research internships and valuable experiences. Students can intern at local companies like:

  • Cleveland Clinic biomedical research partnership
  • Kirtlandia
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • MetroHealth Hospital
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
  • Holden Arboretum
  • Cleveland Botanical Garden

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students at graduation 2023


98% acceptance rate for John Carroll University students entering dental/medical school or other health related professional school.

JCU Biology graduates go on to work as:

  • Biologists
  • Teachers
  • Dental and nursing assistants
  • Environmental water quality techs
  • Researchers
  • Field assistants
  • Physical therapy aides
  • Medical scribes
  • And more!

JCU Biology students have outcomes at companies like:

  • University Hospitals
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Hikma.
  • Cleveland Metroparks
  • Lubrizol
  • EnviroScience
  • Regeneron
  • World Food Programme
  • MetroHealth
  • National Park Servides
  • Zellia Pharmaceuticals

Learn More about JCU Outcomes!