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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 be useful wherever your studies take you.

About the Major

The biology program at Hamilton introduces a broad range of students to the life sciences. At the same time it offers a strong scientific grounding for students who plan to pursue graduate study or enter the health professions and related fields. During their senior year, all biology majors pursue active research with faculty members in the Senior Program.

Most importantly, Hamilton is a place in which students are surrounded by brilliant, funny, happy and truly nice people – both students and faculty. People are helpful and students work with one another rather than compete against one another, which is important. Also, there are plenty of opportunities to do research and to dive into fields one is passionate about.

Elisabeth MacColl ’16 — biology major

At all levels, biology at Hamilton aims to offer a stimulating, thought-provoking experience, and classes are small. After the introductory courses, students will find a full range of more specialized courses: genetics, plant sciences, anatomy, invertebrate biology, microbiology, development, neuroscience, cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, endocrinology, ecology, evolution and more.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Zoology Professor, Ohio Wesleyan University
  • VP Investments, Smith Barney
  • Cinematographer/ Microbiologist, Wilderness Film & Video Productions
  • Editor, Horticulture Magazine
  • Dean for Translational Biomedical Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Chief, Post Conviction Unit, Philadelphia District Attorneys Office
  • Director, Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, UCLA
  • Senior Policy and Research Analyst, Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

Contact Information


Biology Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4367 315-859-4807 biology@hamilton.edu

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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Biology of Aging 145S


An examination of aging from molecules to cells to systems. The course will examine the contributions of both genetics and environment to the process of aging, explore how we measure aging, and examine the proposed theories of the aging process. An overview of aging in the major organ systems as brought about by change at the molecular and cellular level and examination of the relationship between aging and disease. Three hours of class. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Scientific Digital Imaging 200S


An introduction to digital imaging techniques used to acquire, enhance and derive quantitative information from a variety of image sources. Use of Adobe Photoshop and other software to produce publication-quality images and extract data from digital images. Topics include digital photography, artifact removal, 3D rendering and quantitative analysis. Two hours of class and two hours of lab.

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Marine Biology 213S


Introduction to life in the sea from a global, ecological and evolutionary perspective. Study of marine habitats, food webs, biodiversity, ecological processes, adaptations of marine organisms and human impacts on marine life. Three hours of class and three hours of lab per week. Oral Presentations.

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Paleontology 290


A study of the history of life, evolution and the fossil record. Topics include the general principles of paleontology, nomenclature, taxonomy, identification techniques, fossilization processes, plants, microfossils, invertebrates and vertebrates. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory with field trips.

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Seminar: Evolutionary Medicine 444S


An in-depth discussion of human diseases from an evolutionary perspective. Topics include proximate versus ultimate causation, reproduction, nutritional and metabolic adaptations, defense, behavior and social organization, evolutionary principles applied to medical practice. Three hours of discussion of papers and topics.

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Molecular Genetics 454F


An in-depth study of how genetic information is accurately transmitted and the consequences of mistakes in this process. Topics include mechanisms of chromosome segregation, chromosome and aneuploidy disorders, genetics of cancer, epigenetics, molecular mechanisms of genetic disease and gene therapy options. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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