Biology at Clarkson is something you do while you learn. You gain an understanding, using a hands-on approach, of the core concepts of biology, including health science (human and animal), biotechnology & biomolecular science and environmental science.

You take lab courses, do independent research under faculty mentors, gain experience through internships and work together within clubs and professional societies to expand your horizons in the biology field.

Our program emphasizes hands-on, team-based learning. You can work in the human anatomy lab using cadavers or study limnology on research-vessel cruises on the Saint Lawrence River — opportunities not offered at other universities. In our advanced molecular biology lab, as well as at the Trudeau Institute, a biomedical research organization, we use graduate-level lab techniques and sophisticated instruments. Our work combines the research opportunities of a large university with the close, caring community of a small college and prepares you for graduate work or a successful career in industry.

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Rachel Yerden Quote
I have learned so much about lab work and research… I’ve been told that the research experience I’ve gained in nearly three years as an undergraduate at Clarkson is more extensive than what some graduate students achieve in their entire PhD training.

Rachel Yerden '19, BS Biology and Chemical Engineering

Career Opportunities

Many Clarkson biology graduates pursue careers in the human health sciences (medicine, physical or occupational therapy, public health) or veterinary medicine, and many are accepted into professional graduate programs upon graduation. A growing number of students start successful careers in biotechnology or biomedical businesses or in research labs. Some students continue on to graduate school to become university researchers, professors or K–12 science teachers. Other students pursue careers in environmental science and conservation, working for a governmental agency or private environmental consulting business.

Biology Career Options



As a biology major, you will take 40 credits specifically within biology. These credits, in conjunction with the Clarkson Common Experience, will provide a well-rounded education focusing on the areas of study you find most interesting. Take courses such as :

  • Biology and Society
  • Adirondack Ecology and Environmental Science
  • Current Readings in Animal Behavior
  • Conservation Biology
  • Human Cognitive Evolution
  • Pharmacology

Biology Major Curriculum



The minor in biology is composed of 20 of the 120 required credits for a bachelor's degree.

Biology Minor Curriculum

Medicine & Healthcare Minor Curriculum

All Clarkson Minors

Experiential Learning

Research Opportunities

Each biology faculty member has an active research lab that incorporates undergraduate research students, typically three students at a time. There are programs, such as the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites program and the McNair Scholars Program, that provide paid summer research experiences. Faculty advisors also help students find paid summer research opportunities at other institutions. Each spring and summer, Clarkson hosts the Symposium on Undergraduate Research Experiences (SURE) Conference.

Internship and Co-Op Opportunities

Pre-health advising helps students find appropriate clinical internships at hospitals, clinics and other locations. Many health-focused biology students volunteer for the Potsdam rescue squad. The Biology Department works closely with Clarkson's Career Center to find and publicize internship and co-op opportunities, for example with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Faculty advisors also mentor and guide students toward internships and paid research experiences that fit each student's interests and aptitudes. Students interested in biomedical sciences can participate in a semester-long Clarkson program at the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake, N.Y. Those interested in environmental sciences can participate in Clarkson's semester-long Adirondack Semester program, also in Saranac Lake.

Andrew David
It looked really gross to most people, but, to me, they were really cool,” says David, who shares his passion for marine biology and parasitology as an assistant professor in the biology department at Clarkson. “Marine biology allows me to do a bit of everything: genetic work, ecological work, biochemistry – it’s a very broad field.

Andrew David, Assistant Professor, Biology Department

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