A Biology concentration at Iowa Wesleyan University can lead you to your ideal career. Imagine the possibilities. Follow your passion at Iowa Wesleyan. Let the tiger in you go after your dreams.

A biology degree provides a foundation in the study of living organisms — a field that offers a variety of options for graduates. Careers in biology often require research, communication, teamwork, time management and computer skills. A biology major at Iowa Wesleyan combines scientific and research abilities with critical thinking and communication skills.

In addition to taking a comprehensive program of biology courses, biology majors have the opportunity to explore related fields such as chemistry, physics and mathematics. Graduates will have core scientific skills that can be used in a variety of ways, ranging from careers in education, industry or research to graduate study.

Biology with Pre-Professional Concentrations

Biological Studies Concentration

A major in the biological sciences prepares students for communication of scientific knowledge, research and advanced study in the life sciences. Topics are studies in learning communities as students examine theories and ideas with an experimental inquiry.

Chemistry Concentration

Chemistry involves the study of all things chemical – chemical processes, chemical compositions and chemical manipulation – in order to better understand the way in which materials are structured, how they change and how they react in certain situations. Having gained chemical understanding at molecular level, chemistry graduates may choose to apply this knowledge in almost unlimited ways, as it can be used to analyze all matter and therefore our entire environment.

Environmental Health Concentration

A lecture, laboratory, field study of the important principles of environmental health. The environmental factors that affect human health and well-being are emphasized. This course provides the basic knowledge and skills necessary to identify, evaluate, and communicate environmental conditions that have an impact on human health and to plan and/or implement strategies to control or manage environmental problems. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to describe the principles of environmental health, the impact of environmental conditions, and management strategies for environmental problems.

Medical Sciences Concentration (Pre-Medical)

Students planning a career in medicine will complete the Biology Major with Medical Sciences Concentration. This provides students with the core knowledge in biological science along with coursework in chemistry, math, psychology, and sociology to prepare students for the Medical College Admission Test – MCAT. This concentration prepares students for careers in medicine and allied health professions. Students completing this concentration can pursue graduate degrees such as Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Osteopathy, Physician Assistant, Doctor of Chiropractic, Doctor of Dental Surgery, or Doctor of Optometry.

Des Moines University has an Early Acceptance Program in place. Information on this program can be found at

Medical Technology Concentration

Through field experiences, internships, service-learning, study abroad, and more, you’ll take what you learn in the classroom and apply it in the real world.

Iowa Wesleyan and St. Luke’s Hospital: Students who are interested in medical technology/ medical laboratory science complete courses at Iowa Wesleyan and at an approved medical technology school. At Iowa Wesleyan, students take courses in biology and chemistry, along with support and elective courses approved by the coordinator of the biology program. Iowa Wesleyan has an affiliation agreement with the Medical Laboratory Science Program of St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Students will pay St. Luke’s Hospital for this final year of study. The student will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from Iowa Wesleyan University. After graduation and certification, the student may elect to take the national examination and become a registered medical technologist (ASCP) or medical laboratory scientist (NAACLS).

Natural Resource Conservation & Enforcement Concentration

Natural Resource Conservation and Law Enforcement is a unique interdisciplinary concentration that combines our expertise in biology, chemistry, criminal justice, the fine arts, and education. It also showcases our outstanding programs in field biology, ecology, ecosystem studies, criminal justice, law enforcement, education, and art communication. The integration of learning across many disciplines is evident. It speaks loudly and clearly that IW is a community of learners who are progressive in their educational programming and the advancement of these disciplines.

Occupational Therapy Concentration

This concentration prepares students to pursue graduate work to become an occupational therapist.

Physical Therapy Concentration

To be a licensed physical therapist, one must complete a physical therapy program that is approved by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), passes a licensing examination, and comply with the legal requirements of the state in which one expects to practice.

Students normally complete a biology or life science major while taking courses that satisfy the admissions requirements of the APTA approved a program of their choice. Courses that are required for admission to many APTA approved programs include BIO 211, 241, 242, 350, 355; CHEM 175, 176; PHYS 210, 220; PSYC 131, 251 and/or 254, 361; MATH 162, 171; electives in humanities, sociology, and speech.

It is suggested that prospective physical therapy students contact the Iowa Wesleyan physical therapy program coordinator, or the American Physical Therapy Association, 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, for the latest listing of approved programs. Contacting the professional schools of their choice to become aware of admissions requirements is also recommended.

Veterinary Medicine Concentration

Students preparing for these professions usually complete a major in biology, chemistry or life science while also meeting any special admissions requirements of the professional schools of their choice before graduating from Iowa Wesleyan.

Christian Handrickson ’18 | Biology Major

“My experience at Iowa Wesleyan University has been one of immense growth in the two years that I have attended. As an on-campus student, my friends and I are surrounded by professors and administrators who encourage and remind us to step out of our comfort zones daily. It is through their influence and the influence of others that I have grown in my thought processes, communication, leadership, and confidence, to name a few! It’s at Iowa Wesleyan that you will find the small-town atmosphere of a University in which you’re not a number in a lecture hall, or one briefly mentioned as your walk down the aisle to receive your diploma. You are a student, a scholar, a Tiger, who will find excellent and caring professors, a vibrant campus community, and the ability to make an impression regardless of who are you, or where you’re from.”