Biology Major

Program Features

Biology is the study of the processes that are essential to life. It's the basis for many science-based careers, from medicine to lab research.

As a biology major at Xavier, you’ll learn about biological principles through observing animals, plants and microorganisms in a program that promises personal attention and success. With the help of faculty, you'll complete high-level research projects in labs that begin freshman year. Research topics include paleobiology, ecology, bird behavior, manatee behavior, entomology and genetics. You'll also have the opportunity to explore global biodiversity and conservation during study abroad trips to places like Costa Rica, Ireland and Wales.

Xavier University, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is nationally recognized as a top university by U.S. News & World ReportThe Princeton Review and Forbes. 98 percent of our students, including those in the biology major, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2021). Additionally, Xavier students have a 92 percent acceptance rate to medical schools (Class of 2019), compared to 40 percent nationally. 

Curriculum

The sample course sequence below illustrates class offerings for the Biology major. Consult the official Xavier University course catalog for detailed registration and advising information.

Fall

  • BIOLOGY 160: General Biology I............ 3cr.
  • BIOLOGY 161: General Biology I Lab............ 1cr.
  • CHEMISTRY 160: General Chemistry I............ 3cr.
  • CHEMISTRY 161: General Chemistry I Lab............ 1cr.
  • CORE 100: 1st Year Seminar OR THEO 111............ 3cr.
  • ENGLISH 101 OR 115 ENGL Compo or Rhetoric............ 3cr.
  • CORE 101: GOA............ 0cr.

Spring

  • BIOLOGY 162: General Biology II............ 3cr.
  • BIOLOGY 163: General Biology II Lab............ 1cr.
  • CHEMISTRY 162: General Chemistry II............ 3cr.
  • CHEMISTRY 163: General Chemistry II Lab............ 3cr.
  • CORE 100: 1st Year Seminar OR THEO 111............ 3cr.
  • PHILOSOPHY 100: Ethics as Intro............ 3cr.
  • CORE 102: GOA............ 0cr.

Fall

  • CHEMISTRY 240: Organic Chemistry I............ 3cr.
  • CHEMISTRY 241: Organic Chemistry I Lab............ 1cr.
  • MATHEMATICS 140/170............ 3cr.
  • PHILOSOPHY 200: Philosophical Perspectives Elective............ 3cr.
  • Second Language I............ 3cr.
  • Social Science Elective............ 3cr.

Spring

  • BIOLOGY Elective............ 3cr.
  • BIOLOGY 299: Professional Communication in the Sciences............ 1cr.
  • CHEMISTRY 242: Organic Chemistry II............ 3cr.
  • CHEMISTRY 243: Organic Chemistry II Lab............ 1cr.
  • Historical Perspectives Elective............ 3cr.
  • Second Language II............ 3cr.
  • Theological Perspectives Elective............ 3cr.

Fall

  • BIOLOGY Elective............ 4cr.
  • BIOLOGY 410: Human Physiology............ 3cr.
  • BIOLOGY 411: Human Physiology Lab............ 2cr.
  • MATHEMATICS 146/156: Statistics............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 160 College Physics I............ 3cr.
  • PHYS 161 College Physics I Lab............ 1cr.

Spring

  • BIOLOGY 230: Genetics............ 3cr.
  • BIOLOGY 231: Genetics Lab............ 1cr.
  • BIOLOGY Elective............ 4cr.
  • Creative Perspectives Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • PHYSICS 162: College Physics II............ 3cr.
  • PHYSICS 163: College Physics II Lab............ 1cr.

Fall

  • BIOLOGY 496/497 or 498 Methods of BR I............ 2cr.
  • BIOLOGY Electives............ 5cr.
  • ENGLISH 205: Literature and Moral Imagination............ 3cr.
  • Diversity Curriculum Requirement............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.

Spring

  • BIOLOGY 496/497 or 499 Methods of BR II............ 2cr.
  • Biology Electives............ 5cr.
  • E/RS Focus Elective............ 3cr.
  • Humanities Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.

Sample Courses

Xavier is known for providing an education that's both challenging and personal. Here are some courses that are part of the Biology major at Xavier:

Genetics Laboratory (BIOL 231) - Laboratory exercises to provide students with experience in modern molecular genetics and methods of manipulating and studying model organisms.

Biochemistry (BIOL 440) - A lecture course treating the structure, properties and metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids.

Animal Behavior (BIOL 244) - Study of the innate, learned, aggressive, social and sexual behavior of animals in an evolutionary context.

Clubs

 

Bird Watching Club

Students in this club observe birds surrounding the greater Cincinnati area. Members learn to identify birds by sight and sound, all while experiencing various terrestrial biomes around Xavier.

Biology Club

The Biology Club is not exclusive to just biology majors or other related majors, but welcomes anyone and everyone who are interested biology. Past events have included hiking trips, Break Out Games, scavenger hunts and trips to the zoo and aquarium.

All Xavier Clubs

Outcomes

98% percent of Xavier students, including those in the biology major, are working, volunteering or in graduate school within six months of graduation (Class of 2021). Additionally, Xavier students have a 92 percent acceptance rate to medical schools (Class of 2019), compared to 40 percent nationally.

Careers: Biochemist, Biological Scientist, Biologist, Botanist, Clinical Lab Scientist, Ecologist, Genetic Counselor,  Pharmaceutical/Medical Representative, Zoologist, Research Scientist, Research Assistant

Explore Xavier Alumni Outcomes

All For One

Xavier is ranked #1 for its excellent academic reputation among top competitors in the region. Students get the most out of their education, from rigorous classroom studies to experiential learning in the real world.

Study Abroad: Tropical Biodiversity in Costa Rica

Biology majors observing wildlife on the beach in Costa Rica

Biology majors at Xavier have the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica, where they learn about tropical biodiversity, ecology and conservation. Courses are conducted near the Corcovado National Park, one of the largest virgin Pacific rainforests in Central America.


Costa Rica Biodiversity Trip Details

Biology Program Faculty Connections

Professor teaching in a Xavier classroom

Every student in Xavier's biology program meets at least twice a year with their faculty advisor. Faculty specialties include infectious disease, cell physiology, genetics, aquatic biology, paleontology, neurology and endocrinology. Advisors help connect students to job opportunities, job shadowing experiences and internships.


Biology Program Faculty

Research Opportunities for Biology Majors

Biology majors examining a model of the nervous system with a faculty member

With the help of faculty, students in Xavier's biology major complete high-level research projects in labs that begin freshman year. Topics include paleobiology, ecology, bird behavior, manatee behavior, entomology and genetics.


Research Opportunities for Biology Majors

Xavier professor collaborates with students to conduct cancer research

New Xavier Biology Assistant Professor Dr. Wilber Escorcia conducts cancer research with students on the DGAT2 gene.

Biology Major at Xavier University

The Biology curriculum includes courses that present current concepts of the molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels of biological organization. Basic biological principles are presented through the study of animals, plants, and microorganisms. Laboratory sessions provide experience in careful observation, controlled experimentation, and thoughtful analysis of scientific data. The biology program provides preparation for further study at the graduate level or in the health professions (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, podiatry, or optometry), as well as preparation for a teaching career or other specialized employment.

Xavier University’s College of Arts and Sciences challenges students to develop an integrated understanding of humanity, the world, and God by pursuing the questions raised in Xavier's core and departmental curricula. The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest college at Xavier University. The college provides an excellent liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition that prepares students for careers, professional or graduate school, and life in a global society.

Xavier University is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Founded in 1831, the University is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. It has been ranked among the top 10 master's-level universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America."