Welcome to the study of biology and life! It's truly an exciting time in biology across the globe. Our programs will prepare you for impressive careers in the medical, dental and veterinary fields, and other professions like physical or occupational therapies, pharmacy, even teaching.

From researching diseases or conservation, to exploring animal ecology and analyzing prehistoric dinosaur bones, our programs will take you through a hands-on journey with some of the best professors and mentors in the field of biology.


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Alumnus Doctor Shares Advice

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The Connection Between Music and Science

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SWAU Ecology Class Visits Wildlife Refuge

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Firefighter Student Starts Recycling Program

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Professor Publishes Book on Creation

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Dinosaur Science Museum



Biology (B.A.)

Southwestern Adventist University offers two Biology degrees, the Bachelor’s of Science (BS) and the Bachelor’s of Arts (BA). Typically, students wishing to use their biology degree as a launching point toward professional school (medical, dental, physician’s assistant, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.,) take the BS degree because it includes required chemistry classes that are prerequisites for professional school. Our department prepares students to competently sit admissions tests for these professions and our graduates have gone on to prestigious health professional schools as well as graduate schools. Students in the biology department are presented with rare leadership opportunities through the Biology Club and the potential to work with professors as laboratory and research assistants. Biology majors receive research experience which can include cancer research, molecular biology applications, microbiological investigation, plant studies, animal ecology and conservation, or dinosaur bone analysis, among other things, depending on the student’s individual interests.

See curriculum guide.

Life Science (B.A.) (Secondary Teaching Certification)

If you want to become an educator at the secondary level, this degree combines the skills of biological scholarship and analysis with those of pedagogy and classroom work.  Note: students choosing this degree must also be accepted into the Education Program and consult with an Education Department advisor as well as a Biology department advisor.

Biology (B.S.), Biomedical Emphasis

Molecular and cell biology are increasingly important in biomedical research and professional healthcare careers. Cultivating a deep understanding of the cell at the molecular level is not only exciting, but it develops the analytic thinking skills that are critical for both research and healthcare. Southwestern Adventist University's Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a Biomedical emphasis offers students the training and knowledge base necessary to pursue a career in biomedical research, medicine, dentistry, physician assistant, pharmacy, or physical therapy among others. Students will have the opportunity to take courses in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, histology, immunology, parasitology, and physiology. While at Southwestern Adventist University, many students work as teaching assistants for lower division labs, gaining valuable experience in the lab and in teaching. Students will also have the opportunity to work alongside faculty on real-world research projects.

See curriculum guide


Biology (B.S.), Ecology and Conservation Biology Emphasis

The need for passionate and skilled ecologists and conservation biologists is increasing as human populations continue to grow, expand, and consume Earth’s natural resources. Ecologists study whole organisms and the living and nonliving things around them. Conservation biologists are primarily concerned with preserving biodiversity using applied science. Southwestern Adventist University’s Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology and Conservation Biology offers students the practical and theoretical training necessary for acquiring a job in this highly competitive field. Individuals who want to help protect declining global biodiversity and who enjoy working with animals and in the field will enjoy this hands-on program. Ecology and Conservation Biology students will have the opportunity to take courses in herpetology, ichthyology, ornithology, mammalogy, botany, and wildlife management. In addition, students will receive hands-on training in field sampling techniques such as plant identification, soil analysis, ocean sampling, electrofishing, reptile handling, bird banding, and mammal camera trapping, just to name a few. Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to explore a diverse array of ecosystems on multiday field trips, meet professional field scientists, and work alongside faculty on valuable research projects.

See curriculum guide.

Life Science (B.S.) (Secondary Teaching Certification)

Our Bachelors of Science in Life Science prepares students for careers in biology, chemistry and physics. This program will give you the pedagogical skills necessary to become an educator in secondary school.  Program Acceptance: Students wishing to enter the B.S. Life Science program must also be accepted into the Education Program, and consult with an Education Department or Biology Department Student Advisor.  


Your Future


Biology is the most common degree of medical professionals.  Most biology students go on to graduate or professional school to become physicians, dentists, therapists, pharmacists, researchers, etc.  Others become educators, entrepreneurs, or technicians in biotech, academic, or government positions.  


Sample Job Titles

  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Veterinarian
  • Therapist
  • Pharmacist
  • Technician
  • Researcher
  • Entrepreneur
  • Teacher

of our Biology graduates
are working in a field they

Students & Alumni

Experience Leads to Career

"The responsibility given to me as..."

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Biology Dept. Receives $500,000

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Faculty Profiles

Arthur Schwarz, PhD

Biological Sciences
Associate Professor

Arthur Chadwick, PhD

Biological Sciences
Research Professor

Peter McHenry, PhD

Biological Sciences
Associate Professor/Department Chair

Amy McHenry, PhD

Biological Sciences
Associate Professor/Honors Director

Jared Wood, PhD

Biological Sciences
Assistant Professor

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