As a Biology student at Hanover, you will become immersed in the study of living things. Gain valuable field experience in the remarkable forests, wildlife refuges and state parks located nearby and on our 650-acre campus overlooking the Ohio River – an ever-changing outdoor classroom. Work directly with professors in class and modern labs and participate in the Biology Department's Summer Research Program, which provides you with real research experience working directly with top scientists in the fields of Animal Behavior, Evolution, Botany, Immunology, Development, Genetics or Systematics. Our students receive outstanding preparation for many careers, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary and related fields, and have a remarkable record of acceptance into professional schools and in establishing notable careers in the biological sciences.

Partners in Learning

Because they focus on creating the next generation of scientists, Hanover's award winning Biology professors mentor students closely and engage them as colleagues. That mean's you will think critically, solve problems and use science to better understand the world around you.

  • Learn from passionate professors in lectures to explore how life works.
  • Engage in professor-led labs that focus on inquiry and learning how science is done.
  • Conduct hands-on research in collaboration with processors at a level often reserved for graduate students at research institutions.

Coursework and study options

Environmental Biology
Genetics and Developmental Biology
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
Pre-professional training (Medical, Vet, Dental, PA, Optometry)

Previous graduates' careers and professional placements have included:

Among the thousands of career options available to biology majors, careers of recent graduates include:

Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Research Scientist
Physician's Assistant
Medical assistant
Science Teacher (Secondary Education)
Lab Technician
Environmental Consultant
Field Biologist (Natural Resource Agencies, State and Federal)

Graduate and medical School placements have included:

Auburn University (Vet)
Baylor University
Bellarmine University (Nursing)
East Tennessee State University
Marian University (DO)
Marymount University (Nursing)
Missouri State University
Indiana State University
Indiana University (MD)
Purdue University (Vet)
University of Arizona
University of Iowa
University of Louisville (MD)
University of Pikeville (DO)
University of Kentucky (MD, MD/PhD)
Western Kentucky University

Research Opportunities

Hanover College's biology program will provide you with opportunities for research in a variety of fields.

  • Work directly with faculty during the school year or during the summer as part of the Summer Research Fellow's Program
  • Students routinely present findings at regional and national conferences (recent talks at: Indiana Academy of Science, Evolution Meetings, Animal Behavior Conference)
  • Students take their research to the next level by publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals (recent student papers in: Journal of Freshwater Ecology, Ethology, Ecology and Evolution)
  • Our student researchers are frequently at the top of their programs, earning numerous awards
    • Fulbright scholar
    • Research Experience for Undergraduates (National Science Foundation)
    • Numerous STAR grants for students presenting at conferences
    • Numerous Richter Grants for off-campus independent research
    • Rivers Institute Grants for Independent Research
    • 3 consecutive years of student researchers winning the Taylor Award for Student Publishing

Recent Research Projects include:

  • Faunistic surveys of insects in Indiana forests
  • Evolution of ant-associated behavior in beetles
  • The role of female choice in sexual selection in Eastern newts
  • Clutch-level behavioral differences in the antipredator behavior of wood frogs
  • Predator-prey interactions between opossums and toxic salamander species
  • Tree-ring dating of National Historic Landmarks
  • Mechanical treatment of invasive Autumn Olive
  • Seasonal growth analysis of mesophytic forests
  • The impact of eye development on craniofacial structure in Zebrafish
  • Genetic variation in forensically-important dermestid beetles
  • Effects of MMP9 on aging

Travel and study abroad opportunities

  • Take advantage of our spring travel courses to learn about the ecology of the Appalachian Mountains or the tropical biology of Central America.
  • Study biology abroad at the University of Wollongong, Australia.
  • Conduct research on coevolution between garter snakes and newts in the Western United States (Utah, Oregon, California).
  • Present the results of your research at state and national scientific conferences.

Summer Research Fellows in Biology

Designed to give students the opportunity to participate in scientific research, the Summer Research Fellows program emphasizes experiential learning in one or more different biological sub-disciplines. Students work closely with a professor on an active research project over the summer, learning the skills necessary to be a professional scientist. The program provides a monetary award, consumables used during the research as well as a stipend to cover the cost of room and board.

  • Design and conduct lab and field studies in various disciplines
  • Work directly with scientists to learn how science is done
  • Develop the skills and expertise to excel in graduate school or biology related careers
  • Learn to read and write scientifically
  • Present your work at state and national scientific conferences
  • Author articles in peer-reviewed publications


BIO 161
Ecology and Evolution
An introduction to the scientific study of life with an emphasis on evolution, ecology and classical genetics. The nature and practice of science will be examined throughout the course. For prospective pre-health-profession students and natural science majors. Satisfies the SL CCR and partially satisfies the SM CCR. Satisfies the QL ACE. This class is open only to first-year students. Lab fee.
BIO 165
Concepts of Biology
An historical approach to explore the development of primary topics in modern biology such as mechanisms of inheritance and diversification of life on Earth via the process of evolution. The nature and practice of science will be examined throughout the course. Does not require college-level chemistry. Satisfies the SL CCR and partially satisfies the SM CCR. Not open to students with prior credit in Bio 161 or equivalent. Lab fee.
BIO 185
Cell and Molecular Biology
An introduction to the scientific study of life with emphasis on the chemistry of life, cells, and physiology. For prospective natural science majors and pre-health-profession students. Prerequisite: Bio 161. Satisfies the QL ACE and partially satisfies SM/SL CCR. Lab fee.
BIO 214
Tropical Biology
This course aims to provide students with a hands-on and exploratory study of Belizean biodiversity, exploring a range of biological habitats such as moist forests, coral reefs, barrier islands, and mangrove swamps unique to central America. Course experiences will be documented through photography and writing media. The course will include not only an exploration of animal and plant diversity, but also immerse students in the cultural aspects of Belizean living, particularly as it relates to societal views and preservation of biological diversity Prerequisite BIO 221. Fee charged.
BIO 221
A survey of molecular, organismal, and population genetics. Laboratory work illustrates basic genetic principles and modern laboratory techniques. Prerequisites: BIO 185. Prerequisite/co-requisite: CHE 161 or equivalent. Lab fee.
BIO 223
General Microbiology
Basics of microorganisms and their roles in human health; provides an overview of the structure, function, and physiology of cells, microbial ecology, controlling microbial growth, and identification of microorganisms. This course is designed for nursing and pre-health students. Satisfies the SL CCR. Partially satisfies the SM CCR. Prerequisite: CHEM 161 and one of BIO 185 or KIP 161. Not open to students with prior credit in BIO 333. Fee charged.
BIO 225
The study and identification of insects with an emphasis on field work, life cycles, classification, curation, ecology, and economic impacts of insects. Prerequisite: 161 or 165. Fee charged.
BIO 227
A study of the biology of amphibians and reptiles. Topics covered include classification, evolution, ecology, physiology, behavior and conservation. Emphasis on the amphibians and reptiles of southeastern Indiana and field research methods. Prerequisite: BIO 161. Lab fee.
BIO 231
An introduction to the biological diversity of earth. Topics covered include analysis of the form and function of the major taxonomic groups: protists, fungi, plants, and animals, the origin of life, the evolutionary history of life on earth, and principles of biological classification. Prerequisite: BIO 185. Lab fee.
BIO 234
Plant Taxonomy
Identification of higher plants with emphasis on the native flora; emphasis on the use of keys, principles of classification, field work, and herbarium methods. Prerequisite: BIO 161. Lab fee.
BIO 235
Comparative Anatomy & Physiology
A comparative approach to the structure and function of body systems across the animal kingdom, including invertebrates and vertebrates. Laboratory work involves dissections, modeling activities, experiments, and case studies. Prerequisite: BIO 185. Fee charged.
BIO 313
Plant Anatomy and Physiology
Study of vascular plant structure and function as adaptations to the terrestrial environment. Lectures, discussions, laboratories, and field trips. Prerequisite: BIO 231. Lab fee.
BIO 314
Molecular Biology
A detailed survey of gene structure, function, regulation, and replication as well as the experimental techniques used to understand these phenomena. Prerequisite: BIO 221. Satisfies the W2 ACE. Lab fee.
BIO 315
Study of interactions of organisms and their environments; emphasis on energy flow, nutrient cycling, and equilibrium processes in ecosystems. Lectures, field projects, preparation of scientific reports, and laboratories. Prerequisite: BIO 231. Lab fee.
BIO 316
Animal Behavior
A study of the behavior of animals, with emphasis on the ecology and evolution of behavior. Lab focuses on the scientific method and scientific literacy (reading/writing) through practical application of experiments on animals. Prerequisite: BIO 231. Satisfies the W2 ACE. Lab Fee.
BIO 317
Vertebrate Biology
A study of the biology of the vertebrates, including the evolutionary history, ecology, behavior, and structure and function of the major vertebrate groups. Lab includes dissection of representative vertebrates and field studies with local vertebrate species. Prerequisite: Bio 231. Offered alternate years. Lab fee.
BIO 326
Developmental Biology
Development of organisms with an emphasis on vertebrates. Laboratories will combine modern molecular analyses and classical descriptions of organismal development. Prerequisite: BIO 221. Fee charged.
BIO 328
Introduction of both theories and techniques in the field of immunology. Prerequisite: BIO 221. Fee charged.
BIO 332
An analysis of the process of evolution. Topics cover the history of evolutionary thought, evidence for the evolution of life, mechanisms of evolutionary change, and the history of life on earth. Special emphasis will be placed on current research and developing an experimental evolutionary approach. Lectures, discussions, field and laboratory experiments. Prerequisite: BIO 231. Fee charged.
BIO 333
A study of the structure and function of bacteria and related organisms. Prerequisite: 221. Not open to students with prior credit in BIO 223. Fee charged.
BIO 334
A consideration of structure, life histories, and biological impact of representatives of the major classes of viruses. Laboratory activities focus primarily on cultivation and experimentation with bacterial viruses to illustrate principles in viral growth. Prerequisite: Bio 221. Fee Charged
BIO 335
Principles of Systematics
An introduction to the theory and practice of biological classification, taxonomy, and systematics. Topics covered include the description, naming, and identity of species, construction and analysis of phylogenetic trees, and exploration of the evolution of molecular and morphological characters. Prerequisites: Bio 221 or Bio 231. Lab fee.
BIO 336
Cell Biology
A study of the evolution, structure, and functioning of cells. Topics include membranes, bioenergetics, intracellular sorting, the cytoskeleton, cell communication, and cellular mechanisms of development. Laboratory emphasis on the methodology of cell biology. Prerequisite: BIO 221. Lab fee.
BIO 461
Senior Seminar
Analysis and discussion of advanced principles of biology. Prerequisite: Senior standing. Fee charged.
BIO 462
Research Methods in Biology
Integration and application of techniques nevessary for conducting investigations in the biological sciences. Includes experimental design, data analysis, and oral and written presentation skills. Also includes discussion of skills necessary for post-graduate preparation. Prerequsite: Biology Major. Senior standing. Satisfies QL ACE. Fee charged.