Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Outstanding preparation for the century of biology

Our Majors


Biology at F&M

With a diverse and broadly-trained faculty whose research informs their teaching, the Franklin & Marshall Biology program provides superb preparation for a wide range of careers in diverse areas, including ecology and evolutionary biology, neuroscience, biochemistry; in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, public health, and other health-related fields; in environmental science and policy; in law; and in secondary education.

From the earliest courses, laboratory and field activities often involve student-designed investigative projects that promote critical evaluation of complex problems. In more advanced courses students may spend the entire semester conducting a research project. This training leads many students to pursue independent research during the summer or academic year, under the mentorship of a faculty member. Other students conduct research at other institutions throughout the country and around the world. Many serve as co-authors on publications and/or presentations resulting from their work.

Our emphasis on hands-on research, critical thinking, and exciting alliances makes the F&M Biology major both unique and innovative. Through collaboration with the pioneering Clinic for Special Children, students have opportunities to take courses and conduct research with scientists and physicians who study the genetic basis of certain diseases in Amish and Mennonite communities. Also, students can conduct fieldwork at sites such as the Harvard Forest, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and local aquatic and terrestrial habitats.

We also offer several exciting interdisciplinary majors and recently received a substantial grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to develop a new program in Bioinformatics-a combination of biology, computer science and mathematics that investigates a variety of data-rich areas in genetics, biochemistry, evolution, ecology, etc.

Our student outcomes are outstanding. Recent graduates have been admitted to highly competitive Ph.D., M.D., and DVM programs at schools including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin, and Yale.