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 and biomedical science (human and animal), biotechnology & biomolecular science, and environmental science.

In our Biology undergraduate bachelor's degree program, 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. Faculty mentors help you find professional internships. Pre-health professional students pursue the Medicine and Healthcare Minor and work with the Pre-Health Sciences Advising Program.

You can study human anatomy lab using cadavers, analyze water quality on research-vessel cruises along the Saint Lawrence River, or learn how to be a health practitioner by being a health coach to real patients — opportunities not offered at other universities. Our undergraduate Biology 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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Biology Careers

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. Some students continue on to graduate school to become university researchers, professors or K–12 science teachers.

In recent years, our biology majors have gone on to graduate study at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Bangor University, Case Western Reserve University, Cornell University, Pace University, SUNY Upstate Medical University, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, University of Texas at Austin, University of Vermont and University of Wisconsin - Madison. 

A growing number of students start successful careers in biotechnology or biomedical businesses or in research labs. Other students pursue careers in environmental science and conservation, working for a governmental agency or private environmental consulting business. Clarkson biology majors have been recruited to work for companies such as: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Amgen, Delta TM Technologies, Sterling Vineyards, CityMD, Cerebral Palsy Association, Q2 Solutions and Trudeau Institute. 

Biology Career Options
Clarkson University Class of 2020 100 percent placement rating

Biology Curriculum & Academic Options

Major in Biology

As an undergraduate 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. Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in biology can take courses such as:

  • Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
  • Biological Oceanography
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Molecular and Genome Evolution
  • Pharmacology

Biology Major Curriculum


Relevant Minors

Biology majors have the opportunity to explore minors that will complement the biology bachelor's degree program and their future career goals. Students pursuing other majors at Clarkson also have the option to minor in biology. View our recommendations below or learn more about all of Clarkson's minors, concentrations and professional advising tracks.

Biology Minor

Medicine & Healthcare Minor

All Clarkson Minors, Concentrations and Tracks

Experiential Learning

Biology Research Opportunities

Each biology faculty member has an active research lab that incorporates undergraduate research students, typically three students at a time. For example, you might study development of the digestive tract using a zebrafish model, or how to control invasive Eurasian watermilfoil, or the evolution of bacterial resistance, or regeneration of the spinal disc.

Our faculty do cutting edge research on a diversity of topics, and undergraduates are always involved. There are programs, such as the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites program, the McNair Scholars Program, that provide paid summer research experiences and the Community of Underrepresented Professional Opportunities (CUPO). Faculty advisors also help students find paid summer research opportunities at other institutions. Each spring and summer, Clarkson hosts The Research and Project Showcase (RAPS).

Biology Internships and Co-Ops
  • 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.
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

What's your purpose? Achieve it here.