The Biology Department believes that an understanding of scientific methodology through direct observation and experimentation is fundamental to a strong biology education. Therefore, all students are required to take two semesters of Integrative Biology, which is an inquiry-based introductory course sequence. Students interested in research careers in the biological sciences are encouraged to choose a two-semester capstone research project or departmental honors project, either of which offers an opportunity for extended research.
An internship program in biology enables students to obtain practical work experience in various biological fields and to obtain course credit toward the major. Recent student internships have involved research in marine biology at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences; physical therapy, occupational therapy, and orthopedic surgery internships at area hospitals; and research in fisheries biology with the Virginia Commission of Game and Inland Fisheries.
A cooperative arrangement with Duke University enables students interested in forestry or environmental management to attend Randolph-Macon for three years and then transfer to Duke for two years. Students completing this program receive a bachelor's degree from Randolph-Macon and a master's degree in forestry or environmental management from Duke. Students interested in entering medical school should visit the Pre-Med Program for more information.