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You will conduct research alongside professors and receive the support you need to succeed. The emphasis on lab work and research means you will have many opportunities to learn outside the classroom. The skills you develop will be useful wherever your studies take you.

About the Major

The biology program at Hamilton introduces a broad range of students to the life sciences. At the same time it offers a strong scientific grounding for students who plan to pursue graduate study or enter the health professions and related fields. During their senior year, all biology majors pursue active research with faculty members in the Senior Program.

Most importantly, Hamilton is a place in which students are surrounded by brilliant, funny, happy and truly nice people – both students and faculty. People are helpful and students work with one another rather than compete against one another, which is important. Also, there are plenty of opportunities to do research and to dive into fields one is passionate about.

Elisabeth MacColl ’16 — biology major

At all levels, biology at Hamilton aims to offer a stimulating, thought-provoking experience, and classes are small. After the introductory courses, students will find a full range of more specialized courses: genetics, plant sciences, anatomy, invertebrate biology, microbiology, development, neuroscience, cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, endocrinology, ecology, evolution and more.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Zoology Professor, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • VP Investments, Smith Barney
  • Cinematographer/ Microbiologist, Wilderness Film & Video Productions
  • Editor, Horticulture Magazine
  • Dean for Translational Biomedical Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Chief, Post Conviction Unit, Philadelphia District Attorneys Office
  • Director, Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, UCLA
  • Senior Policy and Research Analyst, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

Contact Information


Biology Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4367 315-859-4807 biology@hamilton.edu

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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General Biology: Genetics and Evolution 101F


An introduction to the life sciences. The diversity of living organisms, the molecular basis of life, the mechanisms of inheritance, and the process and patterns of evolution. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Biology: Fundamentals and Frontiers 115F


One semester introduction to the study of biology at the college level for students with a strong background in biology and chemistry. From the regulation of bacterial behavior to the complexity of animal endocrine and nervous systems, all organisms perceive and respond to chemical signals. Whether in microbes, plants or animals, regulation of growth, metabolism and reproduction depends on the appropriate coordinated action of chemical messengers. This course examines the biological role of chemical sensing and signaling. Three hours of class/discussion and three hours of laboratory. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning. Proseminar.

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Biology of Aging 145S


An examination of aging from molecules to cells to systems. The course will examine the contributions of both genetics and environment to the process of aging, explore how we measure aging, and examine the proposed theories of the aging process. An overview of aging in the major organ systems as brought about by change at the molecular and cellular level and examination of the relationship between aging and disease. Three hours of class. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Scientific Digital Imaging 200S


An introduction to digital imaging techniques used to acquire, enhance and derive quantitative information from a variety of image sources. Use of Adobe Photoshop and other software to produce publication-quality images and extract data from digital images. Topics include digital photography, artifact removal, 3D rendering and quantitative analysis. Two hours of class and two hours of lab.

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Research design and biostatistics 202F


A broad overview of experimental design and implementation, and the analysis of biological data. Topics include the scientific hypothesis, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing and the use of common statistical tests. Emphasis on practical application of statistics to biological and medical data, enabling students to choose and apply appropriate statistical tools and to interpret their results. Three hours of class combining lecture and computer lab. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Paleontology 290


A study of the history of life, evolution and the fossil record. Topics include the general principles of paleontology, nomenclature, taxonomy, identification techniques, fossilization processes, plants, microfossils, invertebrates and vertebrates. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory with field trips.

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