Career Planning

Biology - Career Planning

Career Overview for the Biology Major

The Biology major provides students with the opportunity to understand and apply the fundamental principles and theories that underlie our understanding of the natural world. Through course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), problem-based learning and evaluation of primary literature students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Department faculty also engage students in independent research projects to provide opportunities to explore careers in science. Consequently, many students are co-authors for publications of peer-review research in scientific journals, and they also prepare grant proposals for a variety of funding agencies.

Biology majors also develop communication skills with professionals in their field by presenting research at regional and national conferences, and by interacting with invited guest speakers in our department. Cultural exploration in the classroom through the examination of case studies and ethnobiology, and participation in field trips, team-based learning and collaborative research with other institutions foster the spirit of teamwork with people from diverse backgrounds. Student involvement as course assistants, tutors, research mentors and in student groups also provides leadership opportunities. Together, these experiences provide a variety of skills that are applicable to the world beyond Hendrix, making Biology major graduate competitive for employment opportunities and in graduate and professional schools.

Internship & Career Exploration

Research and Internships Done by Majors:

  • Independent research projects with department faculty
  • Research at UAMS through the SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) Program
  • Presenting research at regional, national and international conferences
  • Authorship on research in peer-reviewed journals
  • Internships in biological research at the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Charles Darwin Research Institute, The Galapagos Conservancy, Mote Research Laboratory and Aquarium, Children's Eternal Rainforest, Little Rock Zoo, Oklahoma State University
  • Internships in the medical field at Conway Human Development Center, Pediatrics Plus, St. Francis Veterinary Clinic, Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York Institute of Technology College of Medicine, Bellevue Animal Clinic, Regional Family Medicine, Advanced Pathology Solutions, Searcy Dental Associates

What can I do with this major?

  • Research assistant or technician
  • Sales representative in the agricultural, food processing, pharmaceutical, or biomedical industries
  • Teaching (middle/high school)
  • Environmental protection
  • Government and industry
  • Science writer
  • Continue education/training in professional school programs, or graduate school

You may also find the “What can I do with this Major” database helpful. Click the image above to view information about the Biological Sciences major.

Employment & Graduate School

Post-Graduate Outcomes:

The first destination for Biology students following graduation (data from Spring 2020) 

Graduate*/professional school 53%
Part-Time employment 27%
Seeking Employment 7%
Other 13%

*Graduate schools attended by 2020 Biology majors include Georgetown University, Ohio State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Central Arkansas, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Graduate and Professional Schools attended by Biology graduates:

Graduate Schools

  • University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
  • Arkansas State University
  • St. Louis University
  • University of Georgia - Athens
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Ohio
  • Stanford University
  • Washington State University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Texas State University
  • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • University of Florida
  • Florida International University
  • University of Queensland

Professional Schools

  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Virginia Commonwealth University's Doctorate of Physical Therapy program
  • University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Graduate Naturalist Training - Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
  • Master of Public Health Program, Boston University

Alumni Highlights

Dillon Blankenship '12

Studied beekeeping cultures around the globe with a Watson Fellowship, master’s degree in botany (and a GIS certificate) and a watershed modeling internship with NASA, currently an Environmental Scientist with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Water Resources.

Kristen Finch ’13

Earned a PhD in plant systematics from Oregon State University in 2019, currently an where she now is an assistant professor in the Department of Wood Science & Engineering

Jessa Thurman ’16

After traveling the globe for a Watson Fellowship studying human relationships with insects, she landed in Australia and is earning her PhD in entomology (biocontrol of agricultural pests) at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Abby Olena ’07

Science writer and correspondent for The Scientist Magazine

Kelly Zalocusky ’09

Graduated with a PhD in 2016 in Neuroscience from Stanford University, and is currently a Senior Data Scientist, Genentech in San Francisco