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Biology

At Hamilton, which has a new, state-of-the-art science center, you will conduct research alongside professors and receive the support you need to succeed. The emphasis on lab work and research means you will have many opportunities to learn outside the classroom. The skills you develop will help you wherever your studies take you.

Abby Martin ’14 in Kenya.
Abby Martin ’14 in Kenya during an internship with The Africa Health Network at Voice of America.

A student’s explorations: a varied route to med school

Abigail Martin ’14 headed to college expecting to major in biology, work for a year after graduation and push on to medical school. She had fun striding out of her pre-med comfort zone, but her core interests held true. Martin learned she loves art history and secured a College science research grant. And she still wants to go to med school.

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She spent a semester in Kenya in a program that allowed her to travel and do independent study at a teaching hospital. Through an internship, Martin worked for a summer as a reporter at The Africa Health Network at Voice of America.

She picked Hamilton College in part for the opportunities it offers to do in-depth research: The science grant allowed her to spend a summer working with David Gapp, the Silas D. Childs Professor of Biology, on a project that addresses the “hygiene hypothesis.”

Martin’s senior project builds on that research. The senior project, she says, is a challenging way to finish out a major and a great opportunity for scholarship.

“It’s not necessarily what the professor wants you to do or what the department wants you to do. And you get to do it like on your own, so it’s pretty exciting – but with the help with of fellow bio majors as well,” she says.


Felipe Garcia ’14 with Lily

A graduate’s progress: thinking critically, heading to vet school

As he heads for the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, Felipe Garcia ’14 feels ready. When he worked at the Philadelphia Animal Hospital and took part in U. Penn’s summer vet program, Garcia found that parasitology, anatomy with histology and his other Hamilton coursework served him well.

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“Unlike biology concentrations in other places, Hamilton biology professors don't just make you memorize information. They make sure you engage with the material so that lecture material is truly understood and able to be applied in a variety of settings,” Garcia says. “I was surprised at how much information I was able to recall and relate to the parasites I saw during the summer veterinary cases.”

His professors, he says, taught him to ask questions and think critically about everything. “After those questions are answered, I was taught to not settle but to ask even more questions,” says Garcia, who was senior class president, a residential advisor, a biology teaching assistant, an Oral Communications Center tutor, chair of the Food Committee and Senior Week Committee Chair at Hamilton.