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

Paul Farmer event poster
WATCH: Holy Cross Faculty Discuss the Living Legacy of Global Health Champion Paul Farmer
Holy Cross Again a Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars
The 2022 rankings by the Chronicle of Higher Education continue the College’s long history as a leading producer of student scholars
2021 Alpha Sigma Nu student honorees. Photo by John Buckingham
30 Holy Cross Students Inducted Into Jesuit Honor Society
Alpha Sigma Nu acceptance is granted to less than four percent of the class