Students working in a lab

What Is Biology?

LMU's Biology major helps students gain a strong background in the discipline's core areas. Students develop skills in critical and analytical thinking, written and oral communication, acquire knowledge of the fundamental areas of biology, gain experience in the laboratory and field, and develop ethical decision-making ability.

The Biology program engages students with coursework, laboratory work, and fieldwork in a wide array of topics – including molecular biology, genetics, ecology, marine biology, microbiology, biochemistry, field biology, botany, physiology, and development. Students have access to an impressive panoply of cutting-edge research equipment to use in laboratory classes and research.  

What Do Biology Majors Do?

Biology majors master the essential concepts and skills of biology, solve scientific problems, learn to articulate ideas and present information in a clear and organized fashion, and directly participate in the scientific discovery process through interdisciplinary collaborations and during intensive laboratory and field experiences with faculty and other students in classrooms and research projects.

Biology majors take advantage of high-tech equipment (both in the laboratory and field), a large specimen collection, and interact with a vibrant faculty in a mentoring environment. LMU's Los Angeles location allows for field studies in a diverse range of ecological habitats – including deserts, mountains, offshore islands, chaparral, rocky coasts, beaches, and salt marshes. 

Is This Major Right for You?

You might be a Biology major if you:

  • Are interested in the structure and function of organisms
  • Are interested in studying interdisciplinary connections between biology and other subjects (math, computer science, engineering, social science)
  • Are interested in biology from the molecular to the global scale
  • Are interested in health-related topics

Enjoy field and laboratory research

About Our Faculty

Our faculty members are experts in fields such as functional genomics, bioinformatics, exotic and invasive biology, animal behavior, ecophysiology, spatio-temporal variability, chemical ecology, conservation biology, cell and molecular biology, microbiology and plant-microbe interactions, and paleobiology.

Our faculty members are active researchers and writers who have published papers in leading journals such as Science, and been awarded grants from prestigious organizations such as the W.M. Keck Foundation, National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 

About Our Students and Graduates

Our students earn internships at world-class research, industrial, and medical facilities in the Los Angeles area and nationally. Students gain research experience by working with Biology faculty during the school year in addition to summer research programs at LMU and other institutions, resulting in local, regional and national conference presentations and co-authorship on scientific articles. 

Students have opportunities to study abroad during summer or semester-long programs as well take travel-embedded courses to conduct field work in remote locations.

LMU students majoring or minoring in Biology are well-prepared for graduate studies and careers in such diverse fields as environmental and marine biology, veterinary medicine, biotechnology and biomedical science, public health, business and law.  Our graduates also go on to careers in medicine, dentistry, optometry, and pharmacy, and as science researchers, teachers, and professors. 

Representative Courses

Our courses have included:

  • Molecular Mechanisms of Disease
  • Hormones and Behavior
  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Marine Biology
  • Human Genetics
  • Sacred and Medicinal Plant Use
  • Urban Predators
  • Comparative Anatomy
  • Tropical Ecology
  • Human Physiology
  • World Vegetation Ecology
  • Animal Behavior
  • Tropical Marine Ecology

More Resources (Links)