School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics & Computing

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Department of Biology and Geology

(440) 826-2262


Imagine being the lead scientist among a group of peers as you study the intricacies of living systems. Or going into the field to work alongside a biology professor doing real-world research you'll later present at a national conference.

Biology is a career-versatile major focused on the study of life processes and living organisms (human, plant, animal and aquatic).

It is ideal preparation for medical and pre-professional programs, as well as teacher education and graduate school.

Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's biology program. You'll learn by doing. Starting freshman year, you'll have access to labs where you can gain valuable research experience.

Specialty laboratories include: anatomy, botany, ecology and field biology, physiology, invertebrate, molecular ecology, genetics, microbiology, neuroscience and development. Also available are labs dedicated to student-faculty research.

Around-the-clock access to bench space and equipment provide you with intense, impressive research experience at the undergraduate level.

Independent research studies, field experiences and internships bridge both theoretical and practical applications. Opportunities to work on research projects can lead to presentations at scholarly conferences and publication.

Students and faculty frequently apply for grants to support ongoing research projects. Students gain grant writing experience while supporting their research projects.

View hands-on learning experiences for BW's biology students.

Impressive Facility, Dynamic Learning

BW’s modern biology laboratories are equipped with specialized instruments available to students. Research opportunities include pollination ecology, molecular control of animal development, human cadaver dissection, cultured neurons and population genetics. Among its amenities are an insect room, greenhouse, zebrafish aquaria, plant growth chambers, and outdoor native plant and rain gardens. BW also has fluorescent microscopes, thermocyclers, microinjectors and electrophoresis equipment to support a variety of research approaches.

Graduate-Level Research Opportunities

At BW, biology students can gain graduate school experiences at the undergraduate level. In the gross anatomy lab, students can examine a cadaver while their professor looks on. Midway into the lesson, they can view magnified images of an abdominal cavity being displayed on multiple large projection screens positioned within the room. Ceiling-mounted cameras capture every move. An overhead surgical light illuminates the subject, adding to the feeling of being in an operating room of a teaching hospital.

Hands-on opportunities like these give BW students an advantage because at many schools students perform cadaver dissection only at the post-graduate level.


A bachelor's degree in biology can be a stepping stone to post-graduate education or can lead directly to a career, including:

  • Aquatic biologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physician
  • Dentist
  • Teacher
  • Ecologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Forensic scientist
  • Nurse
  • Medical technologist
  • Geneticist
  • Wildlife biologist
  • Naturalist
  • Pharmaceutical sales
Anatomy Lab

Medical School Pipeline

BW offers outstanding preparation for students interested in medical careers. Among program options, BW has a pre-med track for aspiring primary care physicians. The primary healthcare advancement program is a rigorous program that can lead to early acceptance to medical school. The academically selective program blends the coursework of BW's public health major with a comprehensive foundation of medical science and healthcare. Its distinctive approach is linked to the first-year curriculum of primary care-focused medical schools.​


BW's nationally recognized neuroscience program is an interdisciplinary study unifying biology, psychology and chemistry. Its hallmarks include strong academics, hands-on research and one-on-one mentoring. Ninety-five percent of BW neuroscience students who apply to medical school or graduate programs receive acceptance. It was named the International Undergraduate Program of the Year in 2012 by the Society for Neuroscience.

Become a Teacher

Interested in Becoming a Science Teacher?

If you would like to become a science teacher, BW has an outstanding teacher education program.


A comprehensive, rigorous program, biology is offered as a major and minor. Related programs include neuroscience and primary healthcare advancement program.

Through coursework, research, field studies and more, you'll gain a strong, broad- based foundation in the principles of biology.


Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. From the nearby Metroparks and Cleveland Zoo to opportunities outside of the United States, you can participate in extensive field experiences.

Student success is a top priority. As a BW student, you'll be encouraged to present at conferences, submit your research paper for publication and apply for coveted national summer research positions.

On campus, biology students are regularly recognized for their achievements. Recognitions include:

  • The Ruegsegger Prize in Biology (in honor of James M. Ruegsegger '22, whose research on polio, pneumonia, diphtheria, meningitis and tetanus and service to country earned him recognition).
  • John W. Miller Zoology prize (in honor of John W. Miller for service as a dedicated teacher and faculty advisor from 1963-2001).
  • The Edward C. & Diane White Scholarship (an endowed fund that supports two separate awards, one of which is offered to outstanding students who will be attending medical school).
  • Calvin A. Smith Botany Prize (in honor of Calvin A. Smith for his service as a dedicated teacher and faculty advisor from 1963-1998).


At Baldwin Wallace, you'll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed. Recent BW Chemistry majors are finding their success in professional schools, graduate schools and industry.

Professional and Graduate Schools

  • Case Western Reserve University
    • School of Dentistry
    • School of Medicine
    • Department of Molecular Biology
    • Department of Pharmacology
    • Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
  • Cleveland State University
  • George Washington University
    • School of Public Health
  • Lake Erie College of Medicine Medical
  • University of Ohio (Medical College of Ohio) Miami University of Ohio
  • New York Chiropractic College
  • Northwestern University
  • Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine
  • The Ohio State University School of Dentistry
  • The Ohio State University
    • School of Pharmacy
    • School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Ohio University
    • Department of Environmental Studies
    • School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Oklahoma State University
    • College of Podiatric Medicine
  • University of Cincinnati School of Medicine
  • University of Michigan
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Xavier University


Aqua Tech Environmental Laboratories, Inc.
Aultman Hospital
Boston Scientific
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Copernicus Therapeutics
Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Dermik Laboratories, Inc.
Lake Erie Nature & Science Center
Southwest General Health Center - University Hospitals
Trillium Creek Dermatology
University of Cincinnati Department of Toxicology
WIL Research


Full-Time Faculty

Michael E. Kovach
Chair, Department of Biology and Geology
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Lousiana State University Medical Center

Natalie M. Barratt
Ph.D., Cornell University

Michael J. Bumbulis
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Kathryn M. Flinn
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Cornell University

Jacqueline K. Morris
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine

Karen E. Munroe
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., the University of Arizona

R. Christopher Stanton
Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Carrie Davis Todd
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Purdue University

Joseph P. Yavornitzky
Director, Primary Healthcare Advancement Program
Associate Professor
D.D.S., Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine

Adjunct Faculty

Angela L. Heilman
Lecturer in Biology
M.S., Wright State University

Paul A. Hilston
Lecturer in Biology
M.S., Cleveland State University

Colleen K. Nye
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Ann M. Simon
Lecturer in Biology
M.S., New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology


Barbara A. Rethas
Administrative Specialist
B.A., Baldwin Wallace University