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Biology (BA) Major

Biology is a rapidly growing scientific field. At Grand View we promote a learning environment of discovery, curiosity, and exploration. We offer a competitive program for students pursuing careers in the health sciences, graduate school, or industry. We offer a diverse array of courses and have the distinction of offering students the unique experience of learning anatomy using human cadavers.

Why Grand View?

  • Diverse curriculum that satisfies the admission requirements for both health-science and graduate programs
  • Specialty classes such as immunology, histology, and embryology 
  • Gross anatomy with human cadaver dissections 
  • Research opportunities, with access to state of the art research equipment
  • Pre-professional advising by biology faculty
Career Options

Our biology major will prepare you for a career right after graduation or graduate study in any of the health-related professions, such as:

  • Professional schools (Medical, Dental, Physical Therapy, Ph.D. programs, Physician's Assistant Programs, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy School, Chiropractic Schools)
  • Research and manufacturing companies
  • Parks and recreational facilities
  • Government or public work facilities
  • Pharmaceutical sales

What Can I Do With This Major?

Course Requirements

Transfer credit for Biology courses must be taken within the last 10 years. 

Prerequisites for Major (7 credits)

CHEM 111 General Chemistry I 4 credits
MATH 121 College Algebra 3 credits

Requirements for Major (39-42 credits)

BIOL 101 General Biology I 3 credits
BIOL 102 General Biology II 3 credits
BIOL 150 Careers in Biology 1 credit
BIOL 250 Journal Club 1 credit
BIOL 360 Genetics 4 credits
BIOL 450 Senior Seminar 2 credits
CHEM 112 General Chemistry II 4 credits

2 Courses From the Following

One must be a lab course.

BIOL 209 Environmental Science 3 credits
BIOL 225 Plant Biology 4 credits
BIOL 256 Microbiology 4 credits
BIOL 285 Biotechnology 3 credits

A Minimum of 11 credits from the following

8 hours must be lab courses.

BIOL 310 Field Ecology 4 credits
BIOL 325 Plant Physiology 4 credits
BIOL 330 Reproductive and Developmental Biology 4 credits
BIOL 335 Physiology 4 credits
BIOL 380 Cell Biology 4 credits
BIOL 392 Independent Study 1 - 4 credits
BIOL 399 Internship 3 credits
BIOL 410 Histology 4 credits
BIOL 415 Molecular Biology 4 credits
BIOL 420 Gross Anatomy 4 credits
BIOL 430 Special Topics 1 - 4 credits
BIOL 444 Immunology 3 credits
BIOL 499 Research in Biology 1 - 3 credits

Select 1 course from the following

CHEM 321 Organic Chemistry I 5 credits
CHEM 322 Organic Chemistry II 5 credits
MATH 122 Trigonometry 3 credits
STAT 241 Principles of Statistics 4 credits
STAT 261 Applied Statistics 3 credits
PHIL 325 Bioethics 3 credits
PHYS 131 Introduction to Physics I 4 credits
PHYS 132 Introduction to Physics II 4 credits

ALL these major courses will be counted in computing the 2.2 GPA required for this major.

Download Degree Checklist

Pre-professional Preparation

GV Degree Combinations

You may also be interested in one or more of the following:

Awards and Accomplishments


Published papers in peer reviewed journals and attend national conferences.

Engage in the community by presenting at STEM fairs, working in schools to present science topics as well as help plant gardens in schools in the area.

The department received $100,000 in laboratory equipment in 2017 from the Carver Foundation. Additionally, grants have been received from Better Futures for Iowans and the Iowa Science Foundation.

Department members have won the Grand View Excellence in Innovation in Teaching Award and the Outstanding Scholarship/Research Award.

Students & Alumni

Anai Perez '17 • A recent graduate of the biochemistry and biology departments, has been accepted as a Research Associate at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Fred Hutchinson is one of the top three cancer research institutions in the United States.

Students have won Outstanding Student Poster and Outstanding Student Presentation at the Grand View Annual Scholarship Symposium.

Students have presented posters at national conferences, such as the National Association of Biology Teachers.

Recent grad Brittany Bowman and biology majors Mark McDaniel, Michael Foggia, Kelsey Brend and Katherine Hobbs, in collaboration with Dr. Michael LaGier, have published a research article, “Improved Functional Prediction of Hypothetical Proteins from Listeria monocytogenes 08-5578.” The article will appear in an upcoming issue of The Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science.

Jobs Are on the Rise

Many biological science specializations are on the rise, due to concerns ranging from health care to climate change. As communication and transportation advances bring the world's people closer together, the scientific community has expanded its efforts to deal with life-threatening diseases. Therefore, many new biology majors study genetics, immunology and endocrinology.

As humans live longer and remain physically active through more of their lives, biology majors can help meet the increased demand for qualified researchers and physicians.

Relevant Research at GV

Grand View biology students receive academic training with a strong emphasis on hands-on laboratory experiences, including opportunities to participate in undergraduate research projects.

The actual use of laboratory equipment and the completion of research projects provide students with meaningful and real-life experiences that enhance their future success.

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Elings Hall

Elings Hall is home to the instrumentation facility and analytics lab as well as the cadaver lab, which makes Grand View one of the few private colleges of our size to have one. Located at the corner of East Ninth Street and Grandview Avenue, Elings Hall is a two-story building containing general-purpose classrooms, science laboratories, faculty offices, a greenhouse, and two of the three largest lecture halls on campus.

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