• Biology student at Chapman University
Schmid College of Science and Technology

B.S. Biological Sciences

» Biological Sciences

Our Biological Sciences program provides a tailored educational experience for those interested in biology: from health to the environment and much more. In this program, you’ll conduct experiments, learn to think like a scientist and develop valuable skills to analyze data.

Graduates will be able to think critically about the world and its makeup, understand key concepts of biology and participate in professional research.

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Program Overview

You will have a variety of options to tailor this program to your interests and goals. Exposure to several specializations will help you discover your interests and prepare you to tackle major scientific and technological challenges. Some examples of topics to pursue include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Molecular Biology

To learn more, you can view degree requirements and electives in our course catalog. You can also learn more by sitting in on a class. Use our contact information on this page to let us know when you are free to visit campus, and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Where This Degree Will Take You

After finishing the program, you’ll have extensive research experience and a strong foundation in Biological Sciences. These assets make graduates well prepared for careers in the following fields and/or master’s and Ph.D. programs:

  • Medicine, health and veterinary sciences, biotechnology, environmental technology, ecology and sustainability, and many more impactful industries
  • Government and nonprofit sectors
  • Education, including K-12 educators or professors

Our career advisor will help you explore these options. For more information on career options and outcomes, visit our Biological Sciences Career page.

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Accelerated (4 + 1) Graduate Programs

Through an Accelerated (4+1) graduate program, you can earn an undergraduate and master’s degree with just one additional year of coursework beyond the traditional four years.

Many of these programs could be an ideal next step for a Biological Sciences student with related academic or professional interests:

Learn more about Schmid College's 4 + 1 degree options.

Research Opportunities

Research is a fundamental part of the Biological Sciences program. Every student spends their first two years conducting research as part of a Grand Challenges Initiative project team. You will also work on a capstone research project, completing it during your final year in the program.

In addition, we offer opportunities to get hands-on research experience with faculty, an internship with an industry partner and/or a global education opportunity.

Funding is available to assist students with costs associated with their research.

Capstone Research Experience

During senior year, students take an innovative capstone course (BIOL 498) where they read and synthesize 4 journal articles on a particular topic. Students then design an experiment that builds on their work, write a four page grant proposal and deliver an oral presentation. 

This experience teaches you to synthesize information, place your studies in a larger context, identify gaps in knowledge and think creatively about how to acquire the necessary information to fill those gaps.

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Capstone Project Examples

  • Monarch Butterfly Migration
  • Gene Regulation, Evolution and Ecology in Sticklebacks
  • Examining Warm-blooded Fish
  • Feeding in Baleen Whales
  • Biomechanics of Shark Feeding
  • Response of California Grasslands to Climate Change

Program Faculty

Our faculty have diverse specializations and research interests, and they’re passionate about working with undergraduate students. This includes advising and mentoring throughout your time at Chapman, as well as partnering with you on gaining substantial research experience.

Our faculty, along with their areas of specialization, are listed below. Feel free to reach out to any of them with questions or to learn more about student research opportunities.

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Faculty List, Expertise and Contact Information

Faculty-led Research Experience

Our faculty are all eager to have undergraduate students join their research projects. Many projects utilize the innovative facilities and equipment in the Keck Center of Science and Engineering. And with Chapman’s recent R2 Carnegie Classification, research opportunities will continue to expand.

Biological Sciences faculty and students have collaborated on projects such as: 

  • The Influence of Apolipoprotein E4 Allele on Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity and Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Parapodial Spreading in Aplysia as an Anti-Predator Response
  • Gain-of-Function p53 Mutations in Field Cancerization of Histologically Normal Prostate Tissues
  • Do Nitrogen Fixation Strategies Align with Plant Growth Strategies?
  • Physiological Traits Predict Plant Survival in Herbaceous Coastal Mediterranean Plant Species
  • Phase Behavior of Osmotically Compressed Colloidal Microgel Assemblies
  • An Investigation into Commercial Shark Products Using DNA Barcoding
  • How Does Temperature Directly Affect Humic Substance Reduction in a Northern Minnesota Peatland?

Faculty Profile: Dr. William Wright

Dr. Wright and his students examine defenses of sea hares, ecology of spiny lobsters, territorial ecology of intertidal limpets and the non-lethal effects of global warming. Watch our video to learn more.

Industry Internship Opportunities

Internships are a great way to earn credit and money while gaining research experience in a professional environment. You will have several industries to choose from, as Chapman has relationships with environmental organizations, hospitals and medical companies.

Our Schmid College career advisor will help you in your internship search. We also have ongoing relationships with many local organizations, and these have been strengthened by their great experiences working with Chapman students. 

Global Education Opportunities

Studying and researching abroad can be a valuable part of your undergraduate experience. Studying abroad will likely not delay graduation, and you may be eligible for a tuition waiver and/or funding awards.

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Global Education Opportunities for STEM Students

Summer International Internships are a popular option for Biological Sciences majors. You will spend eight weeks abroad in an internship where you’ll gain additional research experience and earn academic credit.

There are several other available options listed below. If you are interested in studying abroad, we are happy to work with you to find the best option:

Student Clubs and Organizations

Joining a student club or organization is a great way to build your community and develop your skillset. Chapman has more than 230 options. You can view Schmid College’s clubs here.

Below are options we think are especially relevant for Biological Sciences majors:

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Clubs for Biological Sciences Majors

These clubs are popular among Biological Sciences majors:

  • American Medical Student Association: This group is committed to providing the educational tools and resources needed for pre-med and pre-health students to navigate the path towards the next phase of their medical exploration. 
  • Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society: This national honors society offers research opportunities, research connections and opportunities to help you present research at conferences.
  • Schmid Student Leadership Council (SSLC): The SSLC is a select group of graduate and undergraduate students that serve as leaders and ambassadors for Schmid College of Science and Technology. 
  • Women in Science and Technology (WIST): An academic club geared towards empowering women interested in STEM careers, WIST provides professional development support such as resume and interview workshops, speaker presentations and assistance in identifying research and internship opportunities

Admission & Tour Information

You can learn more about the application process on the University’s Admission website. Specific transfer recommendations are available below. While you consider Chapman, we hope you will also have time to visit for a:

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Transfer Requirements

You can view the Biological Sciences recommended prerequisites for transfer students on our Admission website.

Related Programs

Chapman encourages you to explore your interests wherever they take you. Many students interested in biology are also curious about:

You can explore all of Chapman’s undergraduate majors and minors with our program finder.

Contact Us

Program Questions
Cheryl Stack
Administrative Assistant
Keck Center 290
(714) 628-2862

Admission Questions
(714) 997-6711

Grand Challenges Initiative

GCI students at Chapman University

GCI is a unique two-year research project that is part of the curriculum for all incoming first-year students in Schmid College.

Keck Center for Science & Engineering

Keck Center at Chapman University

The Keck Center is the home of Schmid College and where you will take classes, research and collaborate.