Program Spotlight: Biology

Majoring in biology at Loras College is unlike any experience provided by any other private institution in the Midwest. Through research and in-the-field experiences, students can customize their specialty and find the path that works best for them.

One of the strengths of the program is the number of independent research opportunities. Duhawks have the chance to work with a professor on a topic that interests them. Some recent projects include studying the ecology of invasive species, the antibacterial properties of acids isolated from the hops plant, and age-related hearing loss studies in mice.

Some of these research opportunities have resulted in national recognition. Most recently, Kate Cooper, Ph.D., professor of biology, and her research students Cynthia Stierman, Tyler Osterday, Samantha Zeglin, and Anna Olberding were awarded a McElroy Student/Faculty Research Award for research in 2019-2020 on the role of an actin-interacting protein in age-related hearing loss.

Pursuing a biology degree is more than instruction in a classroom and lab. Students have many opportunities to discover real-world applications and impact in the world. Through connections with local hospitals and clinics, city government, county conservation and high school science departments, they gain valuable hands-on experience as they prepare for their careers. There are also travel courses to Costa Rica and India and outdoor trips and fieldwork in local habitats in and around Dubuque. On campus, the Loras College Community Garden and Loras Environmental Action Forum (LEAF) offers students opportunities to be involved in sustainability issues.

Recent biology graduates are pursuing careers in a wide range of ways, including optometrists, dentists, doctors or in medical school, in Ph.D. research graduate programs, teaching classes at various universities, graduates of Masters of Nursing programs, Physician Assistants, working in the biotech industry for companies pivoting to help develop diagnostics for COVID, working as environmental scientists at engineering firms and working for the Department of Natural Resources.

The biology major gives students a hands-on, well-rounded, broad biology education they can take in many directions!

Learn more about the Biology Major here.

About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2020, Loras was ranked the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the fourth consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 12th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).