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.
Anybody can hand out a textbook and go through a Powerpoint, but that wouldn't make a good teacher. I want my students to learn how to think and not just answer questions, but know how to ask the right questions.Dr. Alex Werth, Professor of Biology
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 to allow for in-depth study of topics that will best prepare them for graduate programs and careers in their area of interest, including:Biology Course Catalogue
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.Biology Research
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.Gilmer Hall
Eastern Virginia Medical School Joint Program (BS/MD)
Through an agreement with Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), outstanding premedical students may gain assurance early in their college careers of admission into medical school. Each year the EVMS Admissions Committee, in consultation with Hampden-Sydney's Health Sciences Committee, selects a small number of rising sophomores for a program that assures participants admission to EVMS upon satisfactory completion of their undergraduate studies at Hampden- Sydney. Although these students are assured of admission, they are not obligated to attend EVMS upon graduation from Hampden-Sydney. For more information, students should contact the Chair of the Health Sciences Committee early in their freshman year.
The George Washington University School Of Medicine Early Selection Program
Through an agreement with The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, outstanding premedical students may be selected at the end of their sophomore year to enter the medical school at The George Washington University once they have completed the requirements for graduation from Hampden-Sydney College. The early selection process allows these highly qualified premedical students greater flexibility in course selection as they complete the baccalaureate degree. Additionally, GWU waives the MCAT exam for students accepted through the early assurance program. Acceptance of any offer into this program is binding, and it is expected that students will matriculate at GWU the fall semester following graduation. For more information, students should contact the Chair of the Health Sciences Committee early in their freshman year.
Lynchburg College Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
Students who meet certain GPA requirements and work with Hampden-Sydney's Health Sciences Advisory Committee are eligible for guaranteed admission in the Lynchburg College's DPT program.
The Virginia Commonwealth University School Of Medicine Early Selection Program
Through an agreement with Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, two outstanding premedical students may be selected at the end of their sophomore year to enter the medical school at VCU once they have completed the requirements for graduation from Hampden-Sydney College. The program also encourages selected students to choose from among the wide variety of courses in the liberal arts and sciences offered at Hampden-Sydney and relieves them of the stress associated with application to medical school. Although these students are assured of admission, they are not obligated to attend VCU upon graduation from Hampden-Sydney. Admission to VCU Medical School is contingent on the student's receiving the national average score on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). For more information, interested students should contact the Chair of the Health Sciences Committee early in their freshman year.
Biology majors may personalize the remaining course requirements within their major to allow for in-depth study of topics that will best prepare them for graduate programs and careers in their field of interest.Unique Offerings
Biology Department Blog
The biology department's blog will keep you posted on classroom events, faculty and student research, and intriguing advances from all sides of biology.H-SC Biology Blog
Journal of the Sciences
Hampden-Sydney's very own science publication, the Journal of the Sciences, showcases undergraduate scientific work taking place on our campus in the Divisions of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.Journal of the Sciences
Programs That Work
January 26, 2018
Two Hampden-Sydney biology professors recently received the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition's "Programs That Work" Award, which recognizes exemplary programs for which there is evidence of a positive impact on student or teacher learning.Programs That Work
Dr. Rachel Goodman, Chair
Elliott Associate Professor of Biology
Gilmer Hall, 108
Hampden-Sydney College | Hampden Sydney, VA 23943