A degree in biology from Wartburg College is well-recognized around the nation.
The Wartburg Biology Department prepares students for a wide variety of careers, including health professions, research, teaching, biotechnology, and fields involving global and environmental issues. We teach what science is, not just the knowledge it has produced, with inquiry-based learning.
While the curriculum of the biology department is rigorous, students also gain an appreciation of how studying biology can be fun, exciting and rewarding. The success of the biology program is grounded in its inquiry-based emphasis where students facilitate their learning by experiencing science rather than merely reading about it.
The Academic Experience
Incredible opportunities are available for both on-campus and off-campus research experience in biology.
Hands-on projects are an integral part of the courses throughout your four years.
Most biology majors conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty member and participate in May Term field experiences.
A Challenge That’s Rewarding
Small-college environment with more personal attention and greater opportunities to excel without the pressure of impersonal large classes.
Wartburg faculty teach ALL classes, unlike larger colleges and universities
Advantages of the Wartburg Biology Department
11:1 student-to-faculty ratio
Broad liberal arts education with an emphasis on academic excellence (Alpha Chi & TriBeta honoraries)
A small-college environment, more personal attention, and greater opportunities to excel without the pressure and impersonal nature of large classes
A caring and highly qualified faculty
All faculty have earned a doctorate (ten more in math/computer science/physics)
Numerous opportunities for on- and off-campus individual projects, independent study, and field experience
Environmental studies minor
Fall (4 courses), Winter (4 courses), May (1 course). May Term allows students to explore a field experience or do research that can continue through the summer.
Innovative on- and off-campus courses during May Term: Marine Science, Caribbean Biology, Aquatic Biology, Immunology, Microbial Ecology, Gender and Science, Biotechnology, Environmental Chemistry, Science and Religion, Ecology of Prairie Vertebrates, Neotropical Experience.
Field Experience/Independent Research Study
Research with Wartburg faculty: diatom ecology, cancer, microbiology, conservation of urban green spaces, photochemistry of transition metal compounds, evolutionary genetics
Fieldwork and research experience with environmental agencies: Nature Conservancy; natural resource departments in Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota & Nebraska; county conservation boards; Osborne Nature Center in Elkader; Heery Woods; and Hartman Reserve
Accompanying and observing health professionals as they see patients in hospitals and private clinics
Research opportunities at universities and institutions: Iowa, Minnesota (including its Hormel Institute Division), Iowa State, Illinois State, Michigan, Kansas, Mayo Clinic, Baylor, Marshfield Medical Research Foundation, Kentucky-Lexington, Texas-Galveston, Colorado-Denver Medical Center, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia
Research opportunities in industry: Monsanto Agrichemical, Pierce Chemical Company, Pioneer Hybrids
Research opportunities (summer and semester-long) at national energy laboratories: Argonne, Pacific Northwest, Brookhaven, Oak Ridge Laboratories, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Internships in Tanzania and Ghana, Africa; England; and Denver, Colo.
Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the types of positions Wartburg graduates from the Biology Department have had in the past.
Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past Five Years:
Registered Nurse – Oncology, University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colo.
Quality Regulation Lab Technician, General Mills, Cedar Rapids
Graduate Student-Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City
Biological Science Technician, National Park Service, Yellowstone, Wy.
Graduate Research Assistant/Assistant Researcher, Texas A&M, Temple, Tx.
Outreach Associate, National Wildlife Federation, Washington, D.C.
Science Teacher, Davenport Community School District, Davenport
Sample Stand-out Alumni Positions:
Associate and Vice Chair, Professor of Urology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Pheonix, Ariz.
Cardiovascular Research Technician, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
Chief Technical Officer and Founder, Tower Care Technologies, Wexford, Penn.
14½ course credits:
BI 151 Biology I: Ecosystems, Cells, and Evolution
BI 152 Biology II: Phylogeny, Structure, and Function
BI 211 Genetics
BI 455 Methods of Biological Research
BI 456 Student-Originated Research
BI 461 Science Seminar
Two BI course credits numbered 200 or higher excluding BI 371 and BI 372. One course credit must include a lab.
MA 214 Statistical Methods
One course credit studying life at the organismal level
BI 202 Human Anatomy and Physiology
BI 304 Developmental Biology
BI 311 Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology I
BI 312 Mammalian Anatomy and Physiology II
NSC 335 Neurobiology
One course credit studying life at the ecosystem level
BI 204 Conservation of Natural Resources
BI 206 Ecology of Guyana I and
BI 216 Ecology of Guyana II
BI 207 Vertebrate Ecology of the Prairie
BI 208 Island Ecology
BI 209 Ecology
BI 213 New Zealand Ecology and Maori Life II
BI 295 Special Topics (One topic approved by EPC.)
Ecology and Culture of the Amazon II
BI 315 Ornithology
BI 320 Aquatic Biology
BI 325 Behavioral Ecology
One course credit studying life at the cellular level
BI 221 Cell Biology
BI 305 Microbiology
BI 416 Molecular Biology of Cancer
Three CH course credits from
CH 113 Principles of Chemistry I
CH 114 Principles of Chemistry II
CH 190 Environmental Chemistry
CH 205 Introductory Organic Chemistry
CH 211 Organic Chemistry I
CH 217 Analytical Chemistry
One MA course credit from
MA 107 Finite Mathematics
MA 190 Precalculus
MA 250 Applied Calculus
MA 251 Foundational Differential Calculus and
MA 252 Foundational Integral Calculus
The Science Center, completed in 2004, represents an expansion and renovation that doubled the size of Wartburg’s science facilities to over 110,000 square feet. The building is designed for hands-on learning and close interaction among students and faculty. Lecture rooms and laboratories, all with Internet access, provide state-of-the-art facilities for biology, chemistry, engineering science, physics, mathematics, and computer science classes.
The Science Center houses four computer laboratories, a greenhouse, animal facilities, molecular biology and biochemistry suite with a cell culture room, cadaver room, indoor stream facility, student/faculty research areas, and a variety of informal student study areas. Equipment also includes three mobile computer labs, a scanning electron microscope, fluorescent microscopes, atomic absorption spectrophotometer, Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, and research electromagnet. A cardio/CP stress test system is available in the Wartburg-Waverly Sports and Wellness Center.