Majors and Minors

School ofBiology Department

ContinueContinue to the Biology Department's website

Overview

Southern’s Biology Department strives to keep pace with recent discoveries in the biological sciences while maintaining a distinctly Seventh-day Adventist Christian perspective. Because most biology majors are on pre-professional tracks (medical, dental, veterinary, or pharmacy, for example) coursework schedules are generally designed to prepare interested students for professional tests such as the MCAT, DAT, and GRE.

  • Undergraduate students assist professors in teaching labs, and several dozen participate in research opportunities each year.
  • The E.O. Grundset Lecture Series includes natural history lectures and research seminars given by experienced professions in the field of biology.
  • The Biology Department fully supports a biblical six-day creation and developed the Origins Exhibit, a museum-quality display that showcases topics such as irreducible complexity of the cell, the geologic column, the flood, and dinosaurs. View more information on the Faith and Science website.

Faculty

  • Keith SnyderKeith SnyderDepartment Chair, Professor
  • Joyce AzevedoJoyce AzevedoProfessor
  • Randy BishopRandy BishopAssistant Professor
  • Aaron CorbitAaron CorbitAssistant Professor
  • Ann FosterAnn FosterProfessor
  • Lucinda HillLucinda HillAssociate Professor
  • Valerie LeeValerie LeeAssistant Professor
  • David NelsenDavid NelsenAssociate Professor
  • Rick NorskovRick NorskovProfessor
  • Lee SpencerLee SpencerResearch Professor
  • Ben ThorntonBen ThorntonAssociate Professor
  • Tim TrottTim TrottProfessor

The biology professors
care about my future
and are helping me get
where I want to be.
Victoria Ahles, ’15Biology major

An experiment

Interesting Facts

Students in Action

  • A field ecology trip takes students to the Bahamas and a tropical biology trip takes students to Indonesia every other summer.
  • Volunteer opportunities at rural medical and dental clinics serve people without insurance.
  • The department offers many research opportunities: paleontology, toxicology, dendrochronology, air quality, ancient DNA, sanitizing of fresh herbs, microbiology, genetics, animal behavior, and psychology.
  • The human anatomy class uses cadavers (seniors only).
  • The Biology Trail features 18+ miles of biking and hiking trails to study local flora and fauna.
  • A plants in medicine class teaches students how plants are used for medicinal purposes.
  • Two computerized laboratories allow for virtual tutoring online while dissecting in lab.
  • With the fluorescence microscope, special dyes are placed into living cells to allow students to see how they function.
  • Pre-dental, pre-med, allied health, biology, and Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society clubs connect students professionally.

Statistics to Note

  • An average of 200 students major in biology each year (not including more than 170 allied health students).
  • 85 percent of qualified graduates are moving forward in graduate/professional school or their chosen careers.
  • 75 percent of graduates go into medicine or related fields such as dentistry, optometry, and pharmacy.
 

Facilities

Labs and Classrooms

Biology Department offices are located on the second floor of the Hickman Science Center, along with two general and four specialized laboratories. Lecture halls are located on the first floor.

Careers in Biology


One Southern biology graduate is a senior biologist at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta after three years of work at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smoky Mountains. She was chosen as one of two senior biologists to oversee the Ocean Voyager exhibit, the largest of its kind in the world at 6.4 million gallons.

Openings for science teachers continue to increase nationwide.

In addition to jobs in the medical field, potential jobs for a biology major include:

  • Animal scientist/trainer
  • Biochemist/molecular biologist
  • Bioengineer
  • Botanist/zoologist
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental health specialist
  • EPA inspector
  • Forensic serologist
  • Forest supervisor
  • Health officer
  • Immunologist
  • Marine biologist/mammal trainer
  • Medical researcher/technician
  • Microbiologist
  • Science laboratory technician
  • Science teacher
  • Scientific photographer
  • Soil conservationist
  • Technical writer
  • Toxicologist
  • Veterinarian technician
  • Wildlife biologist

 

Contact

Keith Snyder, chair
423.236.2926 
kasnyder@southern.edu