BS MAJOR or MINOR

What You’ll Study

We believe that the best biologists have followed a program of study that provides a broad fundamental understanding of all areas of the life sciences as well as chemistry, physics, and mathematics. This approach reinforces in students the knowledge, skills, and habits of thought that characterize the biologically trained mind. Your program will begin with core courses, followed by courses in three areas:

  • Cellular and Subcellular Biology
  • Botany
  • Zoology

Because we require all majors to take at least one course in each area, you’ll emerge with a well-rounded knowledge that translates into the professional or graduate school environment. Concurrent training in environmental studies is possible for interested students.

Dynamic Landscapes as Labs

You’ll test your theories and think creatively in the best lab on earth — the farm, forest, river, greenhouses, and garden right here on Warren Wilson’s 1,100 acre campus. Unfettered access to plants and animals provides rich opportunities for independent research. You’ll join the ranks of hundreds of alumni who’ve conducted research projects with real-world implications, and then join them along your own successful path.

Your Next Step

Many of our biology students go on to pursue graduate education or training. The close relationships you’ll develop with faculty give you a leg up when you’re applying to graduate school or a job. And you’ll be supported by our Career Services team, recently recognized by Princeton Review as the #6 Career Services in the country.

I didn’t have any classes or labs taught by teaching assistants and the class size was small enough that I got regular practice and feedback on my writing and public speaking. My experience with undergraduate research played a huge role in the professional path I took after college. The work program is also highly valuable in that I learned to manage my time and work hard for a full day each day – juggling classes and work crew time.

Justin Conley, '04, Environmental Studies/Biology

Explore Classes in This Program

SCI 493

Communication: Natural Science Seminar

In today’s world, being able to clearly and persuasively communicate scientific principles and results is more important than ever before. Effective biologists must investigate, organize, and present concepts to their peers, not only in written format, but orally. You’ll present a 15-20 minute oral presentation on your research project and submit a formal thesis for the College archives.

BIO 349

Herpetology

In this course, you’ll become familiar with the study and diversity of amphibians and reptiles. The course covers the current understanding of amphibian and reptile taxonomy, taxonomic relationship, and placement within the vertebrate tree of life. As you learn, you will also become familiar with the unique characteristics of each group and apply your learning of herpetology techniques on our campus.

BIO 379

Bahamas: Coral Reef Conservation

This course is one of our faculty-led study away courses, providing an introduction to coral reef ecology and conservation, culminating with a three week field course in the Bahamas. During your time on campus, you’ll learn about basic oceanography and coral reef ecology. During the field course, we will carry out a REEF CHECK fish survey and Rapid Ecological Assessment of Bahamian coral reefs, as well as collect and process samples for marine meiofauna. We will also meet a number of Bahamian nationals, including representatives of the Bahamas National Trust.

Meet Our Faculty

To be a teacher at WWC means, by necessity, to be a generalist. My students are eager and my subject is limitless, so there is always some new wonder to be discovered and shared.

Paul Bartels, Ph.D.
Paul Bartels
Paul Bartels, Ph.D.
Amy Boyd

Warren Wilson is a place where we are engaged lovers of learning and of connecting what we learn to the world. It's also a community where we can be whole people with diverse interests, where I can not only be scientist but artist, musician, gardener, mother.

Amy Boyd, Ph.D.
Amy Boyd
Amy Boyd, Ph.D.
Mark Brenner

As I field biologist, I always say our best laboratories are right out the back door of the science building. Within a 5 minute walk we have 3 ponds, a trout stream and 600 acres of Forest.

Mark Brenner, Ph.D.
Mark Brenner
Mark Brenner, Ph.D.
Alisa Hove

Warren Wilson College provides seemingly endless opportunities to work in collaborative settings with students who take an active role in their own learning.

Alisa Hove, Ph.D.
Alisa Hove
Alisa Hove, Ph.D.
Liesl Peterson Erb

I am more guide than teacher; I love guiding intelligent, passionate students as they help change the world not just after they graduate, but as part of their educational experience.

Liesl Peterson Erb, Ph.D.
Liesl Peterson Erb
Liesl Peterson Erb, Ph.D.
Jeff Holmes mouse

There are a lot of great colleges in this country, both big and small, but I don’t know of another one I would rather teach at than here.

Jeff Holmes, Ph.D.
Jeff Holmes mouse
Jeff Holmes, Ph.D.

The reason I wanted to work at WWC is because of the students. I have never worked with a more passionate, caring group of students in all of my years teaching at universities.

Jill Arnold, MA
Jill Arnold, MA
Paul Bartels
Meet Our Students

Beer. Meet Biology.

Biology major Halley McVeigh ’15 integrated her passion for science into a documentary she developed as part of an upper division Conservation Biology course. “No Ordinary Squirrel” looks closely at the endangered population of Carolina Northern Flying Squirrels, providing an in-depth look at this threatened species. Along with three other student films, Halley’s documentary premiered to the public at Pisgah Brewing Co., a local certified organic brewery just minutes away from the college campus. Pisgah Brewing Co. teamed up with Warren Wilson and Wild South to create Wild Connections, a celebration of the wild places in the Appalachian mountains. On the night of the film screening, Pisgah Brewing Co. released the first in a series of Conservation Brews, beers designed to correspond with the student films. This integration of learning, art, community, conservation and, well, beer (Asheville is the Beer Capital of the USA, after all) is a uniquely Wilson experience. You’ll only find it here.