Biology: Major 

Developing an informed understanding of the living world is an important aspect of a liberal arts education. The department offers a diverse array of courses that cover the major sub-disciplines of biology — the study of life and living organisms. These courses also explore the implications of modern biology for various social and ethical issues.

Biology at Holy Cross has an exceptional tradition. A high percentage of department graduates each year go on to receive advanced degrees in various areas of biology and the biomedical sciences. Classes are small and students receive individual attention from faculty members who are dedicated teachers and active scholars. Teaching approaches span from traditional lecture to discovery-oriented learning, and expose students to the use of state-of-the-art equipment in teaching and research labs. Students have opportunities to supplement coursework with research positions on campus, throughout the U.S. or overseas. They frequently co-author papers with faculty mentors and participate in presentations at regional, national, and international scientific meetings.

Program Highlights

The biology department is supported by faculty members with broad research interests, who are active scholars, and who guide students in the development of their academic plan of study. Fields of study include:

  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Ecological, evolutionary and organismal biology
  • Geology

Numerous opportunities exist that expose students to the ideas, methods and ethics of scientific research.

Off-Campus Study

Explore study abroad and study away options, including opportunities to study at sea and in the tropics.


Connect with other majors and engage the broader campus community on aspects of biology.

Biology News

How Trees Increase Equity Across Worcester Neighborhoods
Environmental Studies’ Nicholas Geron and students collaborate on surveying, researching the city's trees to aid biodiversity and residents.
Holy Cross First-Year Research Program Helps Inspire Students in STEM Fields
FRAP offers first-year students and senior mentors from historically excluded communities paid research opportunities.
Dr. Paul Farmer was an honorary degree recipient and commencement speaker at Holy Cross in 2012.
WATCH: Holy Cross Faculty Discuss the Living Legacy of Global Health Champion Paul Farmer