Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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The Biology Department at Franklin & Marshall is made up of diverse and broadly-trained faculty members whose research informs their teaching. As befits biology’s place in the contemporary world, courses and research provide links to many other disciplines, including chemistry, psychology, physics, mathematics, environmental science and public policy. The department participates in several interdisciplinary programs: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biological Foundations of Behavior (Neuroscience and Animal Behavior), Environmental Science and Environmental Studies. More >


Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes and, as such, is essential to the study and understanding of physical, geological and biological phenomena. Because of its place among the sciences, chemistry is inherently interdisciplinary and attracts students to its study from a broad range of related interests. The chemistry major at Franklin & Marshall College is led by faculty who are committed to helping the student “learn how to learn.” In addition to acquiring an understanding of the basic concepts of chemistry, majors hone the skills necessary for critical and analytical thinking and develop their ability to communicate observations and discoveries through the printed and spoken word. More >

Earth and Environment

At Franklin & Marshall, three majors are available to students who wish to explore these concerns: Geosciences, Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies. Each major has its own core of introductory courses, with sufficient overlap among them that students can embark on this field without immediately choosing one major or another. Later, students take more specialized courses in geosciences, mid-level courses in several sciences, or courses in environmental policy and its cultural, historical context. Each major program includes advanced courses, opportunities to engage in research with members of the faculty and an integrative, capstone course. Many opportunities and significant financial support are available for students to study in the field, in their courses, on extracurricular field trips, thorough a variety of research programs and while studying abroad. More >


The Department of Mathematics offers both a major and two minors. In addition, we support the general curriculum of the College by offering mathematical courses that are of interest to students in a broad variety of academic majors. We are dedicated to instilling in our students the capacity for thoughtful engagement with quantitative, geometric, and logical reasoning. As they progress through the mathematics curriculum, students are expected to become increasingly adept at developing conjectures, constructing correct proofs and refuting weak ones, creating and using mathematical models to describe physical phenomena, and working with abstract structures. More >

Physics and Astronomy

Three majors are offered within the department of Physics and Astronomy: Physics; Astrophysics; and Astronomy. Physics is the study of how objects interact, move and change. From experiments and observations we develop fundamental theories that allow us to explain phenomena as commonplace as the flight of a baseball to as exotic as an electron traveling at a speed close to the speed of light. The astrophysics major focuses on physical principles as they are applied to the study of the cosmos. The goal is to promote an understanding of a diverse array of extraterrestrial phenomena in terms of the fundamental physics principles on which this understanding is based. The astronomy major represents a balance between conceptual, mathematical and historical understandings of astronomy. Students gain an understanding of the structures in the universe on many length scales and an appreciation for modern astronomical methods and results. More >


Psychologists study mind and behavior in humans and non-human animals. They test hypotheses using systematic observations of behavior in experimental, field, computer modeling and self-report settings. Questions about behavior can be addressed at multiple levels of complexity (e.g., neural, cognitive and contextual) and from multiple perspectives (e.g., learning, perceptual, developmental and social). Our curriculum embodies these multiple conceptual approaches, as reflected in diverse course offerings as well as our participation in the Biological Foundations of Behavior and Scientific and Philosophical Studies of Mind interdisciplinary programs. More >

Other Opportunities and Options

Special programs, joint and special studies majors, concentrations, and minors:


Biological Foundations of Behavior: Neuroscience

Biological Foundations of Behavior: Animal Behavior

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Computer Science

Engineering (3/2 Program)

Public Health

Science, Technology & Society

Scientific and Philosophical Studies of Mind