From the molecules that make up the building blocks of life to the complex interactions between living beings and their environment, biology is where it all begins. "The 21st century is the century of biology," says Professor of Biology Dave Van Wylen '80. "For the first time in human history we have the computational and analytical power - bioinformatics, biophysics, biochemistry - to use in conjunction with biology, allowing us to understand life on a whole new level. Now more than ever, biology is an exciting field to study because of the sophisticated technology that can be directed to biological questions.
FACT: We are 6th among 217 baccalaureate liberal arts colleges nationwide in the number of graduates who go on to earn Ph.D.s in biology.
"Every student who studies biology at St. Olaf will have an investigative experience. It gives them an understanding of the essence of scientific inquiry," says Van Wylen. "It teases their sense of wonder, encourages them always to be curious and plants in them an understanding of scientific rigor, so they can address the issues they take on. These are lifelong learning skills that transfer to all areas of life."