Biology & Biochemistry Student Opportunities

The biology program is reinforced with out-of-class experiences such as research projects, partnerships, the biology symposium, and Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society.

Biology students performing lab work

Real-world research

We offer the opportunity to work alongside faculty to perform cutting-edge research relevant to the world of science in the fields of biology, immunology, environmental science, animal behavior, genetics, and development. We also offer off-campus research internships that allow you to participate in semester-long opportunities with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Zoo, the University of Minnesota, 3M Corporation, and numerous biomedical research companies in the Twin Cities area.

Biology symposium

Our biology program offers an excellent forum for students to present their scientific data from their research they conducted with faculty or from the research they conducted from external internships. The Biology Symposium is a regional biology conference held on campus at the end of the Spring semester. Open to the Twin Cities scientific community, the Symposium draws more than 100 participants and students from at least five different area colleges. All Northwestern biology majors are encouraged to attend the symposium to see what their friends, classmates, and professors have been studying in their research. It is a great chance for students to experience a scientific conference setting and learn about scientific research.

Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society

This prestigious National Biology Honors Society provides educational and service opportunities to biology students. Membership is based on sophomore class standing and GPA. Members plan and participate in society sponsored activities such as guest speakers, career roundtable discussions, field trips, presentation of research, community service, and social gatherings. Contact Dr. Joanna Klein via email at for more information.

Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies

Northwestern is one of more than 50 colleges and universities participating in the Au Sable Institute academic program, which allows students to take transferable courses, engage in scholarship, gain field experience, and develop tools for environmental stewardship. The program provides programs that take seriously both science and theology. Learn more about the opportunities at Au Sable Institute.

Department Employment Opportunities

  • Animal Care Attendant - Take on the fun responsibility of caring for and feeding the many animals—fish, aquatic life, snakes, birds, rabbits, and more—that live in the department.
  • Laboratory Assistant - You will have the opportunity to earn an income while you assist professors in preparing for and teaching general, research, and chemistry labs. You may also be involved in providing care for the mammals, reptiles, and aquatic animals used in research projects and teaching.
  • Teacher’s Assistant - As a teacher’s assistant (TA), you will have the opportunity to earn an income while assisting professors with their daily teaching-associated activities.
  • Tutor - As a tutor, you will gain valuable experience as you use your science skills to help freshmen and sophomores achieve a higher level in their coursework.

Off-campus research internships

Participate in semester-long or summer opportunities with numerous Twin Cities businesses and biomedical research companies such as the 3M Corporation and Minnesota Zoo.

International study

Research marine biology in Japan on a research exchange program at the University of Tokyo or study marine animals in the Caribbean Sea. Other students have studied ecology in the Galapagos Island, tropical agriculture in Costa Rica and worked in hospitals and clinics in Quito, Ecuador.

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