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Biology Major

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Why Study Biology?

Biologists study the structure, function, development, and evolution of living organisms. They have a curiosity about the natural world and use their knowledge and modern technologies to improve peoples’ health and lives, and for the maintenance of global ecosystems. Biologists work in the healthcare sector to address health issues ranging from emerging diseases to antibiotic resistance, to ensuring optimal water and food supplies. Others pursue careers focusing on the impact of environmental biodiversity and climate change.

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Why Study Biology at Eastern?

Biology students at Eastern gain extensive practical experience and spend more time in the laboratory and on field projects than in lecture. Students receive the full attention of their professors, all of whom have Ph.D. degrees from top universities — professors teach both lectures and laboratories. Working in small classes with state-of-art scientific equipment ranging from a qPCR machine to a confocal microscope, students acquire hands-on experiences in the laboratory and in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Just one example of the major's flexibility is its pre-med focus. In addition to the Biology major, a Biology minor is offered to other majors.

Students in lab
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Salary Potential

$78K

median annual salary

$42-117K

salary range

* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hands-on Learning

Students swimming in the Bahamas

Tropical Biology

Eastern biology students and faculty have conducted field research in the Caribbean Basin (Belise, Bahamas, Costa Rica) each of the past 50 years.
Student and Professor in lab

Undergraduate Research

Mentored by faculty experts, biology students conduct independent research ranging from discovering new antibiotics to NASA research to genetics.
Alumni outside The Jackson Laboratory

Internships

Eastern students take summer internships at Pfizer, Jackson Labs for Genomic Medicine, the Ecological Society of America and more.

Career Options

Students who pursue undergraduate degrees in Biology can have rewarding and successful careers in a variety of professional fields, including:

  • Physician
  • Dentist
  • Veterinarian
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Optometrist
  • Ecologist
  • Forensic, Marine, Cell, Wildlife, or Computational Biologist
  • Pharmacis
  • Physician Assistant
  • Biotechnologist
  • Nurse

Successful Alumni

Recent Eastern students who earned a bachelor’s degree or a minor in Biology are at the following companies and professional/graduate schools:

  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals
  • Boston College
  • Bristol-Meyers-Squibb
  • Charles River
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Kinetic Biomedical
  • Pfizer
  • State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
  • Tufts University
  • Yale University
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For more information


cowlese@easternct.edu
(860) 465-4369

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In the News

Willi the Warrior poses with the corpse flower.

Anthophiles swarm greenhouse for rare double-blooming corpse flower

June 06, 2024

Similar to how the elusive corpse flower’s powerful stench attracts insects from far away, a rare twin corpse flower at Eastern attracted humans from across the country to the University’s greenhouse this June.

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Eastern inducts hundreds into honor societies in spring 2024

May 16, 2024

More than 20 academic programs and departments at Eastern Connecticut State University recognized student achievements this spring 2024 semester during honor society inductions and award ceremonies.

Student demonstrating in lab

Eastern’s Tiny Earth Day lures high school students to the lab

April 30, 2024

Thirteen students from Norwich Free Academy learned laboratory techniques and the impact of microbiology research in a recent visit to Eastern Connecticut State University ‘s Tiny Earth Day biology symposium.

Alumni Testimonials

Brian Magna ’83
CEO

Brian Magna ’83

“At first, I wanted to be a dentist, but along the way, Coach Clyde Washburn opened my eyes to athletic training, physical therapy and the spirit of teamwork. Today, I own my own sports medicine business. Students need to take advantage of all that Eastern has to offer to make the most of their education in preparation for future careers.”

Kevin Connolly ’17
Biology

Kevin Connolly ’17

Kevin was a Barnard Scholar at Eastern, earned his master’s degree in medical laboratory sciences at Quinnipiac University and is now pursuing a doctorate at Brown University in molecular biology. “At Eastern I was fortunate to formulate my own research question and learn not only the satisfaction of obtaining significant findings, but the hardships that go along with conducting research and how to overcome those struggles.”

Richard Cutting ’09
Cutting Edge Chiropractic

Richard Cutting ’09

Richard has a private practice as a chiropractor at Cutting Edge Chiropractic. During his journey to becoming a chiropractor, he attended six colleges and universities. “The quality of education in Eastern’s biology program was by far superior to the others. The professors are hands down the best I’ve had.”

Anthony Lucia ’13
Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Anthony Lucia ’13

Anthony is the operations manager at New England Marine Monitoring. “During my time at Eastern I was able to supplement my degree with a variety of independent research, travel and important life experiences that have been invaluable in both my professional and personal life.”

Jacob Dayton ’19
Goldwater Scholar

Jacob Dayton ’19

Biology major Jacob Dayton was Connecticut’s only Goldwater Scholar in 2018. “This recognition is a testament to the strength of Eastern’s biology program and the value of the research experiences I’ve had.” Throughout his time at Eastern, Dayton conducted leading research about migratory birds with his mentor Biology Professor Patty Szczys. He is an Ph.D. candidate at Tufts University.

Elizabeth DelBuono ’17
Genetic Counseling

Elizabeth DelBuono ’17

Biology major Elizabeth (DelBuono) Charnysh earned her master’s degree in genetic counseling at Sarah Lawrence College and is now a clinical research project manager at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine — where she conducted breast cancer research as an intern. “I was surrounded by some of the most brilliant individuals in the world, and was immersed in the race to find an answer, a gene, a treatment, a cure.”

Kate Arildsen ’22
American Society of Plant Biologists

Kate Arildsen ’22

Biology major Kate Arildsen ’22 presented research at the Virtual Worldwide Summit of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Her research looks at a mutation of the legume “medicago truncatula,” which causes irregular pigmentation on the plant’s leaves. “By studying this irregularly pigmented mutant, we can help other scientists to create more nutritious fruits and vegetables.”

Megan Piechowicz
Biology

Megan Piechowicz ’23

Megan is in the MS in genetics counseling program at the University of Pittsburgh. At Eastern she interned with Middlesex Health Cancer Center as a digestive health screening analyst. She screened patients for hereditary cancer while collaborating with medical providers. “My main piece of advice to students would be to continue reaching out, as it is the primary way to find opportunities of this nature.”

Nelson Javier Ferrer
Biology

Nelson Javier Ferrer ’22

Nelson is a first-generation college student who received the Barnard Award, the highest academic recognition of the Connecticut state universities. “I knew going to college was the only option if I was going to change the cycle of poverty my family had endured for generations. Being recognized for the Henry Barnard award has taught me that hard work really does pay off.”

James Salvatore
Biology

James Salvatore ’24

“I chose cognitive neuroscience because I am endlessly fascinated by the three-pound physiological mystery that resides between our ears. My professors provide leading-edge knowledge and personalized instruction that help me toward my goal of becoming a Ph.D. student in neurobiology. They share the same passion for their own subjects and bring that energy to every lecture. I hope someday I will be running my own neuroscience lab!”

Rathana Chanthaphone
Biology

Rathana Chanthaphone ’16

Rathana is a quality control analyst at Lonza, a multinational biotechnology company. “I’ve always wanted to learn about what I am surrounded by in a scientific way... how things are developed, studied and the role they play in society.”

Yollaine Kaja
Biology

Yollaine Kaja ’17

Yollaine is a microbiologist in the Chronic Viral Diseases Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working on projects related to chronic fatigue syndrome. “Eastern greatly empowered me to fulfill my career aspirations. At the CDC, I am developing and applying knowledge that not only meets public health needs but contributes to public health’s mission.”

Yuberki Delgadillo
Registered Nurse

Yuberki Delgadillo ’18

Yuberki is a registered nurse at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. “My biology degree helped tremendously in nursing school and currently at the hospital. It’s been tough as a new graduate, learning through the COVID-19 pandemic, but I established a good work ethic, organization and communication skills during my time at Eastern to guide me through.”

Isabel Mund
Biology

Isabel Mund ’24

Isabel is working towards her Doctorate in Optometry at the New England College of Optometry, where she will complete courses and clinical rotations. “I have loved my three years at Eastern and I am so sad to be leaving the communities that I have built around me. Starting a new chapter in a new city is exciting and I can’t wait to see where it will bring me.”

Billi Kozak
Biology

Billi Kozak ’24

Billi will be attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst to pursue their Ph.D. in microbiology. The process will take five years, with a teaching assistantship required during their studies. “Eastern really prepared me for this, I believe. The unwavering confidence and support of my advisor was also immensely helpful and reassuring.”

Clay Pollock holding a turtle
Virgin Islands

Clayton Pollock ’07

Biology major Clayton Pollock is a National Park Service biologist in the U.S. Virgin Islands. “I wouldn’t be here today without the foundation I received from the Biology Department. I will never forget my experiences in Belize and San Salvador Island; those opportunities helped define my career aspirations and provided a great deal of practical experience.”

Dylan Tillman
Biology

Dylan Tillman ’23

Working with faculty mentor Bryan Connolly, Dylan explored the possibility of accelerating the germination of the northern blazing star flower, a species decimated by habitat loss, herbicides and unchecked rabbit populations. He spent his senior year soaking seeds in a plant hormone called ethephon, cutting down germination from 60 to 14 days. “Being able to germinate them much faster means that we can grow them faster, and then introduce them more.”

Justin Gomez-Stafford ’21
Biology

Justin Gomez-Stafford ’21

Justin Gomez-Stafford received his master’s degree in human genetics and genetic counseling at Stanford University. He now works as a hematology and oncology genetic counselor at Boston Children's Hospital. “I feel ready to take on my career journey thanks to Eastern’s rigorous curriculum and incredibly knowledgeable faculty, who molded me into a better scholar year after year.”

Evelyn Lemus ’20
Harvard Med School

Evelyn Lemus ’20

Evelyn Lemus Silva received the Dean’s REACH scholarship to attend Harvard Medical School. She aspires to become a physician or research scientist and work with underserved rural populations. “Eastern had a huge impact in preparing me for my research and in applying to Harvard Medical School. Eastern faculty really invest in their students — I had faculty I could talk to and who have joined me on my journey.”

Jacob Paciotti ’21
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Jacob Paciotti ’21

Biology and Spanish double-major Jacob Paciotti ’21 teaches biology at Coventry High School. “Working in Eastern’s greenhouse introduced me to multiple different disciplines, including horticulture, agriculture and botany, all of which have helped to strengthen and broaden my knowledge of plant science and biology as a whole.”