Biology Department

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Tiger mascot, Ryan Kluk '17, uses his energy to take advantage of all Hampden-Sydney has to offer. Full Story...

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One of the most popular majors at Hampden-Sydney, the biology program provides students with extensive training in biology and is specifically designed to prepare its students for careers and graduate education in the biological sciences. Its uniquely structured curriculum ensures that all biology majors receive in-depth coverage of this broad discipline allowing them to tie together distinct sub-disciplines within the field. Students are better prepared to make informed decisions about the field and career they wish to pursue.

Student Research

Hampden-Sydney is uniquely positioned to encourage student research. Biology majors work closely with faculty performing both course-based and independent research in the lab and in the field. They are addressing exciting questions in biology, including cancer biology/immunology, virus prevalence/pathogenicity in reptiles, whale physiology, invasive plant species, neurobiology, and genomic characterization of bacteriophages, while also honing their critical thinking and oral/written communication skills, ultimately making them more successful upon graduation.


While most undergraduate biology programs require a two-semester introductory biology sequence at the 100-level, all Hampden-Sydney biology majors will complete a single-semester, 100-level Principles of Biology lecture and laboratory course that introduces students to basic concepts. These foundations in biology are further explored in three semesters of lecture/laboratory courses at the 200-level in Genetics & Cell Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Ecology.

The Biology Department offers a wide range of advanced coursework, and biology majors may personalize the remaining course requirements within their major (Biology Course Catalogue) to allow for in-depth study of topics that will best prepare them for graduate programs and careers in their area of interest, including:


Computer-aided experimental analysis and data presentation play a key role in many of the department’s courses. Gilmer Hall Science Center, equipped with sophisticated instrumentation, computers, microscopes, Anatomage Table, aquaria, animal room, cold room, photographic darkroom, and research space, is ideal for for undergraduate training, faculty research, and student-faculty projects.

Degree Offerings

Biology major or minor
NEW in 2017-18: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BCMB) major