Top 10 Features
  1. Hands-on Learning – Almost every biology class has a lab where students learn by doing: by close observation and by testing hypotheses through direct experimentation. It is where structure meets function and where learning by direct comparison and touch occurs. These labs help students learn how to use equipment, analyze statistics, write results and explain implications of their findings. It is here that the scientific method comes to life…literally.
  2. Proven Effectiveness - Graduates of the Biology program have gone on to be successful in many fields including doctors, dentists, researchers, physician assistants, physical therapists, high school biology teachers, county conservation leaders, veterinarians and many more. Check out the Alumni News section of our website to see specific jobs held by past Loras Biology graduates.
  3. Small Class Size and Personal Attention – Our class size averages around 20 students, and many labs have 15 students or less. Each lab is set up and run by a faculty member--we have no teaching assistants here. The faculty and the students get to know each other on a personal basis. Students are encouraged to contact a Biology faculty member early in their first year so their academic needs and career aspirations can be planned for and met.
  4. Local Connections – We have two large hospitals and numerous private health clinics in Dubuque where many of our students volunteer and work. Access to many of these institutions is available through our Field Experience program, where students earn one credit hour for job-shadowing a professional, getting an on-the-job perspective of their daily work. Other on-the-job connections in city government, county conservation and high school science departments give students an idea of what these jobs are like before committing to further classes and training.
  5. Laptop Computers – Laptop computers help students personalize the data-acquisition process and allow direct, 24/7 access to the World Wide Web. Animations of biological processes and GIS-generated vegetation maps are used in our labs for student projects. 
  6. Experienced, Student-centered Faculty – All of our faculty have Ph.D. degrees and over 15 years of teaching and research experience with undergraduate students. Our one-on-one research programs have proven to be very effective at helping students understand the depth and broad applications of biological topics.
  7. On-site DNA Lab – A recent upgrade includes a Recombinant DNA laboratory which gives the students hands-on experience with the latest molecular and genetic technology. This includes DNA fingerprinting, protein gel analysis and DNA sequence amplification (PCR).
  8. Regional and National Connections – We regularly send students on summer research experiences and internships at larger universities throughout the country. Many times they receive a generous stipend for their hands-on work in these labs and also receive free room and board! Opportunities with the Nature Conservancy, state departments of natural resources and other environmental agencies allow students to make important personal connections that can lead to permanent employment.
  9. Flexibility – The first three semesters in the Biology program consist of courses that can be utilized as prerequisites for many professional training programs because they serve as a basis for various fields of science. Thus, specific decisions about where to use your knowledge don’t need to be made until your sophomore year. The first two years should be a time to explore the possibilities of your training in Biology at Loras.
  10. A Variety of Outdoor Field Classes – We offer outdoor trips and field classes to get students into the natural environment, illustrating how all living things, indeed, live together. Larger trips visit Florida and Wyoming while local field classes in Ornithology and Vertebrate Biology take advantage of the diverse local habitats along the Mississippi River and inland.

For more information, contact Tom Davis, Program Chair, at 563-588-7767 or

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