Back to Programs


If you want to understand biology not only from a scientific perspective but also a Christ-centered one, look no further than Dordt’s biology major. It’s not hyperbole to say Dordt students excel in the classroom. In fact, over the last 10 years, 90 percent of our students who have applied to medical school have been accepted. But they also leave Dordt equipped to think deeply about what it means to be a Christian in science.

If that description fits you, then you’re the type of student who’s ready to pursue a biology degree at Dordt.

Request Info
Female student dissecting an egg

Program Overview

As a biology major, you’ll learn how to ask good questions and develop a range of lab skills. Our lab courses provide students with opportunities to apply their book learning to real situations. Beyond the lab, Dordt’s partnerships with local healthcare organizations and science-focused companies allow students to pursue challenging internships. These internships aren’t just resume-builders—students do real work with meaningful results.

And sure, our academics can help give you a competitive advantage in your career or post-graduate training. But we also recognize the need for a Christ-centered foundation in biology, which is something not every school can provide.

A Professor in safety glasses in front of a white board giving a lecture

What can I do with a biology major from Dordt University?

Do we want students eager to prepare for a variety of career and postgraduate education fields? Absolutely. And do we want them to graduate ready to live out their faith as a member of the scientific community? Without a doubt. At Dordt, it's not one or the other—it's both.

Whether you want to go straight to the workforce after graduating or pursue a graduate degree, Dordt will equip you with the tools you need to thrive.


Biologists study the way that humans, plants, and animals live in given environments.


A Pharmacologist does the research and testing necessary to develop drugs and examine what affects they may have on the body.


A Biochemist studies things such as the cell development, growth, and disease of living things and biological processes.

Career Preparation

Dordt University's 2024 Career Outcome Rate was 99.4%! “This data point tells us that Dordt graduates are prepared for the careers of their choosing,” said Amy Westra, director of Career Development. “A Dordt education provides students with industry-relevant courses and connections that make a difference.”

Program Options

Biology Major

Dordt offers a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. The Bachelor of Science is suggested for those intending to pursue graduate school or who want to head directly into the work force. The Bachelor of Arts is encouraged for those who intend to pursue a double major or a minor.

Our academics can help give you a competitive advantage in your career or post-graduate training. But we also recognize the need for a Christ-centered foundation in biology, which is something not every school can provide.

To learn more, you can also view the program strengths and learning outcomes for this program.

With a major in biology, you will have the opportunity to pursue a variety of paths. Some go on to graduate school to become physician assistants, occupational therapists, and more. Other graduates become science teachers with a teaching endorsement. With a biology degree, you will be able to work in fields such as medicine, public health, environmental management, research, or genetic counseling. One Dordt alumna is even a zookeeper! A biology degree will teach you how to ask questions and work in a lab, preparing you for a career in any related field.

In 2021, our biology graduates had a 100 percent career outcome rate. Whether you want to go straight to the workforce after graduating or pursue a graduate degree, Dordt will equip you with the tools you need to thrive.

When you choose the general biology degree, you will have flexibility to choose the classes that fit your needs. Along with the introductory biology courses, you will have the opportunity to choose from courses focused on paleontolotgy, conservation, microbiology, flora of North America, cell biology, and more. This degree offers the opportunity to get a broad perspective, learning about a variety of different areas of biology.

This degree is offered as both a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree. Both degrees include at least five credit hours of lab work and some field work, while the Bachelor of Science degree requires a senior research project. The Bachelor of Science is suggested for those intending to pursue graduate school. The Bachelor of Arts is encouraged for those who intend to enter the work force after graduation, or who would like the option of a double major.

Core Classes
  • General Zoology: A study of the anatomy, physiology, ecology, taxonomy, and economic importance of the invertebrate and chordate animals. Three lectures and one laboratory period of three hours per week.
  • Cell and Molecular Biology: An introduction to molecular mechanisms in living organisms. Topics include structure and functions of cellular components, gene structure and expression, and recombinant DNA technology. Concepts of reductionism and evolutionary theory will be addressed. Three lectures and one laboratory period of three hours per week.
  • First Semester Seminar: An introduction to scientific inquiry and the skills necessary to flourish in the sciences. Students will learn to think like scientists, read and evaluate scientific writing, consider how their faith informs their science, and learn about contemporary science/faith issues as they begin to participate in the community of learning and research on Dordt’s campus.
  • Principles of Ecology and Field Biology: An introduction to ecological studies including topics in ecosystem and community structure, nutrient cycling, energy flow, limiting factors, and population interrelationships. The laboratory will emphasize study of local flora and fauna via field work. Three lectures and one laboratory period of three hours per week, plus one or two Saturday field trips.
  • General Botany: An introductory study of the anatomy, physiology, taxonomy, and ecology of the major plant groups. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
  • Two 3- or 4-credit biology courses numbered above 215
  • Four 3- or 4-credit courses from:
    • Biology 215 or higher
    • Horticultural Plants: The study of greenhouse, vegetable, and ornamental plants. The aesthetics, culture, physiology, and propagation of horticultural plants will be examined. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
    • Entomology and Pest Management: An introduction to entomology and insect-pest management including insect biology, taxonomy, ecology, life cycles, and integrated pest management. Three lectures per week.
    • Plant Protection - Weed Science and Plant Pathology: A study of the major weed and plant pathology principles and theories and their application to the field of pest management. The course will include identification, physiology, ecology, life cycles, and stewardly management practices for important pest species. Three lectures per week.
    • Avian Biology and Conservation: The identification, natural history, ecology, and stewardship of birds. Topics include morphological and physiological ecology of birds, habitat selection, communication, migration, reproductive ecology, territoriality, taxonomy, and conservation. The connections between avian ecology and creation stewardship will be explored. Recognition of a diverse set of birds by sight and sound is an important component of the course. Two lecture/discussion sessions and one three-hour lab per week. Field work will concentrate on local birds, but at least one trip to a distant site will be included.
  • Principles of Chemistry: A study of the fundamental principles of chemistry and an introduction to foundational issues in science. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, chemical equilibria, chemical kinetics, chemical thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. An introduction to laboratory safety and chemical hygiene is included in the laboratory. This is the first course in chemistry for majors in the physical and life sciences. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week.
  • Organic Chemistry: Structure and Mechanism: In this foundational organic chemistry course, students will learn the foundational topics and problem-solving skills needed to understand the plethora of chemical reactions that involve compounds containing carbon. A working knowledge and application of topics such as nucleophiles, electrophiles, acids, bases, stereochemistry, mechanism, kinetics, substitution reactions, elimination reactions, carbonyl chemistry, and conformational analysis will be developed. Through a detailed understanding of the chemistry, an honest discussion of ethical implications, and a thoughtful interaction with the material we will develop an understanding of how God reveals himself through his creational structure.
  • One chemistry course with lab numbered 200 or above
Additional Core Classes for a B.S. Degree in Chemistry
  • Introduction to Biological Research: This is a mini-course designed to prepare students for directed senior research. The course will introduce the idea and practice of biological research. It will include the nature and scope of a research project, how to conduct literature searches, and how to design methods and protocols for problem solving. The class will meet weekly in seminar or tutorial format. Students will make weekly presentations of their progress, finalize their proposal for Biology 380, and (if appropriate) begin the work for the directed research project. Graded on a pass/no record basis.
  • Directed Senior Research: A senior-level research course that focuses on problem solving and critical thinking in the biological sciences. The project will be chosen and conducted interactively with a staff mentor(s). Research should begin in the context of earlier courses and library literature and extend to the lab and field on or off campus. Project results will be presented in a peer seminar.
  • Biochemistry: Study of the foundations of biochemistry, starting with the structures and functions of small biomolecules—amino acids, monosaccharides, fatty acids and nucleotides—to macro-biomolecules—peptides, proteins (enzymes), oligosaccharides, nucleic acids and lipids. With this knowledge of biomolecules, the principles of metabolism, enzyme kinetics, catalytic strategies, regulatory strategies, and allosteric enzymes will be studied. Introduction to transduction and energy storage involved with glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, the citric acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, and fatty acid metabolism. After exploring God’s beautiful design of biomolecules, the students will understand how God’s hand is working in living cells and thereby give glory to God.
  • Applied Statistical Models: This course surveys multivariable design and statistical methods used across various disciplines and seen in peer-reviewed research. Topics include multiple and non-linear regression, general linear models, multivariable statistical models, and multifactor experimental design emphasis is on active-learning using group activities and projects, critiquing research, and statistical software. Offered second half of spring semester.
  • Introductory Statistics: An introductory course in statistical techniques and methods and their application to a variety of fields. Topics include data analysis, design of experiments, and statistical inference including confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. Exposure to statistical software and a substantive student project are also part of this course.
  • Accelerated Introductory Statistics: This course covers the same content and learning objectives as Statistics 131 but in half the time. This course, along with Statistics 202 and Statistics 203, also serves as preparation for Actuarial Exam SRM. Additionally this course, along with Statistics 202, Statistics 203, Statistics 220 and Statistics 352, serves as preparation for Actuarial Exam MAS I. Offered first half of spring semester.
  • One additional chemistry course with lab numbered 200 or above

See the course catalog for more information.

Education emphasis

An education emphasis is also available with the biology program. As you study biology you'll also train in education, giving you the tools to teach others.

Secondary Endorsements
Student shares his calculator with other student

Noyce Scholars Program

Biology students can also learn to teach STEM subjects at the secondary or post-secondary level. The Dordt Noyce Scholars Program has been established to encourage STEM students to consider a teaching profession.

Noyce Scholars receive $15,000 scholarships each year to support their progress toward teaching licensure in a STEM field.

noyce scholars program video cover image

“Dordt has given me the platform and tools to grow. As a student my professors have given me countless opportunities to ask questions, learn more, and discover what my passions are. I have had the opportunity to grow in my faith to make it my own, independent relationship with Christ.”

- Ebby Prewitt
A picture of a smiling women wearing a basketball jersey and posing with a basketball in her hand.

Ready to take the next step?

Science and Technology Center

As a biology major, you'll have the opportunity to spend time in Dordt's Science and Technology Center. Informally known as the "Science Building," the Science and Technology Center is home to numerous laboratories of varying sizes that are used for teaching and for student research projects. These labs include a molecular biology laboratory with genomics equipment allows upper-class students to do DNA sequencing, DNA fingerprinting, and other types of genetic analysis and a dedicated cell culture laboratory allows students to do mammalian tissue culture experiments.

Learn more
A front exterior view of the Science and Technology Center

Student Stories

Dordt students and alumni use their gifts to make a difference in the world. Check out their stories to see how Defender Nation lives out our mission to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.

A picture of Sydney Korn

Transformed Worldview

Sydney Korn

Sydney was able to become involved with a variety of different campus activities at Dordt which helped mold and shape her into the person she came to be.

Sydney Korn

Read More
A picture of a women with brown hair wearing a blue shirt

Building Relationships and a Major

Jenna Veenstra

In addition to developing her own path to her future career, Jenna was able to fit right into the built-in community at Dordt that became her second home.

Jenna Veenstra

Read More
A picture of Riley Arkema

Room to Grow

Riley Arkema

Despite Dordt's familiarity, Riley was able to step out of his comfort zone and make the uncomfortable decisions that allowed him to further learn how to serve in God's kingdom in his future.

Riley Arkema

Read More

Connect with us

Submit your information to request more information about Dordt and this program. We'll also use this information to connect you with your admissions counselor!

Related Programs

Still looking for the right fit? Here are some additional program options that we think might interest you or are often paired with this program. You can also view the programs page to keep exploring your options.