What Can I Do with my Biology Major?
Biology is the study of life. The discipline examines the science behind how the world, and its inhabitants, came into existence, and how the many forms of life continue to interact with one another. The major takes an extensive look at the biological world, including ecology, evolutionary systems, genetics, molecular and cellular biology, immunology, developmental biology and neurobiology, and is research-intensive in both coursework and labs. Biology majors may choose to narrow their studies within one of two concentrations – biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, or ecology, evolution and behavioral biology – through course work and a senior thesis, or they may choose to keep a broader focus.
Majoring in biology can serve as a gateway to professions in a variety of fields, including health care, drug development, law, science policy, scientific writing, and government; the rigorous program also provides a strong background for graduate or medical school.
The study of biology allows for the development of a core set of skills sought after by employers in a wide range of occupational settings. A sampling of representative skills and abilities follows.
- Interpret and critique scientific text, presentations, and primary literature
- Structure and place understanding with appropriate references to literature
- Speculate on meanings of data and on possible future directions
- Ability to relate biology to other disciplines
- Present scientific understanding to both scientific and general audiences
- Speak and write precisely
- Present scientific ideas arguing from evidence
- Stimulate interest of audience
- Design and perform experiments
- Construct mathematical models in order to test scientific hypotheses
- Use a variety of sources to develop questions and hypotheses
- Collection and presentation of data
- Construct, evaluate, and interpret both qualitative and quantitative data
Sample Internship Opportunities
- Government agencies/government relations (e.g., National Institutes of Health, Institute of Biotechnology, Environmental Science, and Computing)
- Nonprofit agencies (e.g., Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History)
- Health care (e.g., Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy)
- Biotechnology (e.g., Millennium Pharmaceuticals)
Where are Georgetown biology majors now?
- Medical laboratory assistant
- Pharmaceutical salesperson
- Biomedical engineer
- Medical doctor
- Lawyer secondary teacher
- Forensic scientist
- Pharmaceutical researcher and developer
- Government agency researcher or administrator
Relevant Websites and Publications
- MentorNet: The E-Mentoring Network for Diversity in Engineering and Science
- National Evolutionary Synthesis Center
- National Academy of Sciences
- National Science Foundation
- National Institutes of Health Office of Science Education
- American Institute of Biological Sciences
- Association for Women in Science
- Society for Conservation Biology
- Society for Experimental Biology
- The Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology
For information about career options, internship and full-time opportunities, contact the Career Education Center at One Leavey Center, (202) 687-3493. For more information about the major and degree requirements, contact the Department of Biology at Reiss Science Building, Room 406, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (202) 687-6247.