What Can I Do With a Biology Major?

Student studying in the biology lab

Augustana Grad Studies Icefish in Antarctica

Earlier this spring, Biology alumnus Braeden McCluskey '09 spent time conducting research in Antarctica, as a part of his Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon.

Students who major in biology prepare themselves for careers in areas such as teaching, research, industry, medicine, dentistry, medical technology, physical therapy, and environmental biology.

Cancer Research by Augustana Grad Featured in National Journal

A study on therapeutic targets for breast cancer co-authored by an Augustana Biology alumna Allison (Eslinger) Watson '07 is featured on the cover of a national scientific research journal. Learn what inspired her at Augustana.

The Accidental Researcher

Dr. David Bader, class of 1974, didn’t plan on a career in cardiovascular research. But a ruptured appendix and gentle guidance from Augustana science faculty members helped steer him down a path that has included service at some of America’s top medical research institutions.

Graduates of the biology department have been very successful in gaining admission into prestigious graduate and professional schools, such as Vanderbilt, Cornell, Michigan State, UC Davis, Oregon Health Sciences University, the University of Chicago, and Penn State. In fact, our students’ acceptance rate to medical school is nearly twice the national average.

Our graduates have gone on to distinguish themselves in a variety of fields related to biology, including the health professions. Recent graduates have found employment at Duke University Medical Center, Sanford Research, the University of Washington Children’s Hospital and the South Dakota Department of Health, to name just a few.

The following sample of alumni provides an indication of the careers pursued and positions achieved by our graduates. It is a mere snapshot in time, as well-educated, capable and successful professionals sometimes change jobs and even careers. In fact, it is often their liberal arts education that gives them that flexibility and versatility.

Dr. Maria Bell ’84
Sioux Falls, SD
Director of Gynecologic Oncology
Sanford Health
Angela Peck Campbell '93
Seattle, WA
Pediatrics—Division of Infectious Diseases
University of Washington
Dr. Lon Kightlinger '77
Pierre, SD
State Epidemiologist
South Dakota Dept of Health
Ellen Holste '03
East Lansing, MI
Graduate Program
Department of Forestry
Michigan State University
Dr. Patrick Casey '78
Chapel Hill, NC
Senior VP of Research
Pharmacology/Cancer Biology Professor
Duke University Medical Center
Dr. Joy Buswell Zedler '64
Madison, WI
Aldo Leopold Chair in Restoration Ecology
University of Wisconsin
Dr. Nancy N Nichols '87
Peoria, IL
Microbiologist, Bioenergy Research Unit
United States Department of Agriculture
Chad Backsen '08
Sioux Falls, SD
Biology Teacher
Roosevelt HS
Elizabeth (Davis) Hultgren '08
Vermillion, SD
MD/PhD Program
University of South Dakota
Dr. Bartholomew (Bart) Johnson '08
Marshall, MN
Johnson Family Dental Care
Anders (AJ) Davidson '08
Omaha, NE
Medical School
Creighton University
Kelsey O’Fallon ‘11
Omaha, NE
Physical Therapy Doctoral Program
Creighton University
Dr. Jesse Munkvold '01
Ithaca, NY
Postdoctoral Researcher
Cornell University
Raelyn Walczak ‘12
Blacksburg, VA
Virginia-Maryland College
of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. David Olson '71
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Director of Perinatal Research
University of Alberta
Carl Hjelmen ‘13
College Station, TX
PhD Program Entomology
Texas A&M