As a biology major or minor at RMC, you’ll study living organisms in a program uniquely structured to get you up-close to modern research techniques, state-of-the-art equipment, and hands-on opportunities that will ensure you’re ready for your career. Under the tutelage of celebrated faculty mentors, you’ll learn techniques like tissue culture of cancerous cells and creating plant DNA mutations using CRISPR, and partner with classmates in small classes rich with active learning. You’ll graduate ready to successfully pursue medicine, climate science, research, health sciences, and other related fields. 

biology up close In and Beyond the Classroom

Two students conducting biological field research

Hands-on Research

Instead of memorizing a general biology textbook, your first semester is spent in a small, studio-format classroom, developing the values, habits, and practices of a scientist. You’ll learn about a topic and then design and run your experiment to answer a question related to that topic. And that’s just the beginning of hands-on experiences in class.

In our field-based courses, you will go into the woods, on lakes, and in streams to collect biological data. In microbiology, you’ll perform qPCR experiments on simulated COVID specimens and learn how to analyze raw data to come up with a diagnostic result. 

But what makes biology at RMC even better is the chance to contribute to research in the field. Recent biology undergraduate research projects, guided by faculty mentors, have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society and RMC’s Shapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). 


Our science labs are repeatedly ranked by Princeton Review as among the best in the nation.

  • Eight teaching labs, 12 research labs
  • Molecular biology equipment including thermal cyclers, gel photo documentation equipment, quantitative PCR instrument 
  • Cellular biology equipment including, scanning and transmission electron microscopes, flow cytometer, tissue culture facilities
  • Confocal microscope
  • High-end digital camera system to track fish behavior
  • Mouse facility and anesthesia chamber 
  • Environmental chambers, autoclave
  • Dedicated forested field site for ecological research
  • Preserved plant and animal specimens
  • Botanical facilities including a greenhouse and native plant garden
RMC students interact with their biology professor


A RMC student poses in scrubs with lab equipment as part of an internship

RMC faculty and staff often go the extra mile to connect students to real-world opportunities to explore their path. RMC internships include a variety of options that reflect the many career opportunities in the field of biology. RMC students have interned at:

  • Chickahominy Department of Health
  • Bon Secours Memorial Regional Hospital
  • Pivot Physical Therapy
  • Shalom Farms
  • Dr. Louis Korpics Dental Office
  • VA Department of Wildlife Resources
Student with tree frog rested on her arm

global education

Biology happens everywhere. As part of our Tropical Biodiversity course, you’ll embark on an international journey with fellow students and biology faculty to explore jungle ecosystems, dive through coastal reefs, and encounter native flora and fauna. Most recently, the course took place in Costa Rica where students hiked a volcano, toured a rainforest, and observed a jungle-based scientific research station up close. 

advising and mentorship

RMC biology faculty truly care about your success and devote enormous time and attention to advising and mentoring you with independent research projects, exciting internships, and extensive advising to help you create a path to your future career.

Students and faculty member conducting research in a lab

Considering a career in healthcare?

Are you considering medical school or another career in healthcare? Connect with Josh Quinn, Director of Health Careers and Professional Development, to develop a customized pre-med or pre-health pathway and make the most of your time at RMC!

  • 66
    acre forested field station, just a short drive from campus
  • 12
    research labs
  • #15
    “Best Science Facilities” (Princeton Review 2023)
Student examining a substance in a petri dish

biology in full Courses You Won’t Want to Miss

(A very small sample)

BIOL 200


Using CRISPR-Cas9, the groundbreaking new gene editing tool that allows scientists to modify DNA in living systems, you complete a CRISPR-Cas9-based research project where you apply the technology to better understand gene functions. 

BIOL 463

Cellular & Molecular Neurobiology

Study the molecular and cellular underpinnings of the nervous system and learn about intracellular transport, synaptic mechanisms, and growth factor influences on development and regeneration, neuronal stem cells, and sensory signal transduction. 

BIOL 340

Ecological Simulation

Explore the complexity and mystery of ecological systems through hands-on computer simulation, a new and critical tool for modern biologists for studying the interactions between variables in complex systems. 

Opportunities Worth Grabbing

Popular activities and programs among biology majors
A man signing a paper at the Tri beta Honor society Induction

Pre-health Society

A student-run group that brings together students and alums to learn more about medical career options, the application process for professional schools, and opportunities to gain medical experience. 

beta beta beta national biological fraternity

Top students are inducted into this national honor society for biology studies.

Foster/Gowan Scholarship in Biology

Given annually to a student demonstrating excellence in biology research

watts scholarship in biology

Given annually to a student in biology

william neal cunningham memorial scholarship

Awarded annually to a student pursuing non-medical biology

From Here To What you can do with a Biology degree from RMC.

Kethelyne Beauvais headshot

Kethelyne BeauvaiS ’15

Family Physician

“…I am forever grateful for the foundation I developed at RMC. I could have done my undergraduate pre-med studies anywhere, but I am glad I did it at an institution that emphasized graduating genuine, well-rounded critical thinkers who are equipped with the tools to adapt in whatever career path they choose.”

Erica Horseman Tharrington ’11

Clinical Research Coordinator
University of Virginia Cystic Fibrosis Center

Melissa Evans ’14

Physician Assistant specializing in ENT
Richmond Breathe Free Sinus and Allergy Centers

Colin Brooker ’22

Student, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
University of Lynchburg

Nana Dadzie ’21

Cell Therapy Specialist

Elise KnoblocH ’21

Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS)

buzzworthy The Latest From RMC Biology

News Story categories: Biology Student Life

RMC Students Research Freshwater Biodiversity During NSF-Funded Trip to Kenya

This summer, three RMC students took part in an NSF-funded project to index species of fishes and macroinvertebrates in Kenyan rivers.

Student researchers pose with equipment used to collect species of fishes and macroinvertebrates in Kenya
News Story categories: Biology

Pathways to Science Camp Opens Doors to STEM for Latina Students

In her third year as a counselor, the Pathways to Science experience has come full circle for Tanya Sancen ‘24, who was one of the program’s original participants.

Tanya Sancen ‘24 instructs high schooler Rashelle Guzman on a cryostat machine during a Pathways to Science session exploring her SURF research.
News Story categories: Biology Alumni

Unexpected Passion: Tyl Taylor ’02 Finds Path As Leader in IVF

Tyl Taylor ‘02 stood in front of Copley 101, addressing Randolph-Macon biology students in Dr. Chas Gowan’s biology capstone class. “You have…

Tyl Taylor Biology Alumni

Get Ready Discover Biology at RMC.