There is so much to explore in Biology!

Did you know, even if you and a friend have completely different interests, you might both want to earn a biology degree?

In college and beyond, biology students study all sorts of interesting topics, like:

  • The microscopic world and the mysteries of genetics
  • Medical science and healthcare communications
  • Plants and animals
  • Earth’s ecosystems – forests, deserts, oceans, and everything in between
  • Even the possibility of extraterrestrial life (more on that below)!

What can’t you study when you pursue a biology degree?

Biology Majors and Minors

When you choose biology as an area of study (called “declaring” a biology major or related minor), you get to become a life scientist. It’s an adventure that could take you to just about any corner of our amazing world.


Typically, this is the study of microscopic living things. These include organisms like bacteria, viruses, archaea, protozoa, and prions.

But it also involves studying the microscopic building blocks of organisms. You could study any of these for a lifetime and continue learning new things.

  • Microbiologists might choose to study prions, mysterious proteins that cause mad cow disease and rare diseases in humans, yet microbiologists are starting to learn that “good” prions can actually help us form long-term memories.
  • Geneticists study genes, which are part of DNA. They’re making new discoveries all the time about the effect of genes on the development of living things, and genetic counselors help people understand how their genes affect them.


Many biologists choose to study living things we can see with the naked eye, like humans, animals, and plants. We’ll never run out of things to learn about these complex organisms (like ourselves, especially)!

Here are a couple of examples.

  • Immunology is the study of just one of many systems within the human body, the immune system, which protects us from infection. Many biologists interested in this field are also involved in drug development.
  • Zoology involves studying basically everything about animals, like the way their bodies work and how they behave in the wild. Veterinary medicine is zoology focused on helping animals who are sick or injured.


If you want to go even bigger than macrobiology, you could study entire geographic areas where living things interact with the environment.

Ecosystem biology includes the study of climate, earth, water, and everything else that affects living things and vice-versa (the effects living things have on their ecosystems).

Forestry is the study of ecosystems that exist in forested areas, the work of preserving them, and protecting people from the dangers they can pose to humans. Oceanology and desert ecology are similar sciences.

Environmental engineering is about protecting ecosystems and humans from the effects of pollution and other activities that pose a risk to ecosystem health. These biologists often work in public health.


If you want to study something a little off the beaten track, there are plenty of opportunities within the realm of biology!

  • Astrobiology is the fascinating study of life outside of Earth’s atmosphere. That includes the effects of space on astronauts, plants, and animals, and even speculation on what extraterrestrial life might be like!
  • Synthetic biology is about applying what we know from living things to man-made things. For example, biologists who study the flight of owls have used their findings to help create quieter aircraft.

And we’ve barely scratched the surface here! There’s so much more you can geek out over when you’re earning your biology degree.

Get Your Biology Degree at Bethany College

Professors of biology at Bethany College are a unique combination of distinguished, caring, supportive, and available to work personally with students like you to learn about whatever you’re into.

That’s because this is a small liberal arts college. No crowded lecture halls. On average, you’ll have just about 14 students in class with you, which means it’s easy to get to know each other and your professor.

“The sciences coursework at Bethany was integral to preparing me to earn a higher degree in the field of biology. The campus community is close-knit and inviting, and the faculty are really interested in ensuring students not only succeed in their studies, but also step outside their comfort zones to experience new areas of study and thought.” – Dr. Cara Halldin ’06, Biology

Professors who know you understand your interests, work with you to study what you want to, and connect you with exciting internship opportunities, like these:

  • Drug Development Intern
  • Wildlife Biology Intern
  • Building and Industrial Hygiene Intern
  • Environmental Engineering Intern
  • Forestry Intern
  • Healthcare Marketing Intern
  • Genetic Counseling Intern
  • Medical Scribe
  • Research and Development Intern

So what are you waiting for? Learn more today about this distinctive opportunity to earn your biology degree from Bethany College!