Get your hands dirty and engage in relevant, cutting-edge research while earning your bachelor of arts or bachelor of science.


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Why study biology at Mary Baldwin University?

Our biology graduates perform surgery on cancer patients, lead research teams, and tackle health issues overseas, just to highlight a few possible career paths. As the foundation for several specialty programs including biomedical science, biochemistry, and science education, the biology major is also central to Mary Baldwin’s pre-med and pre-allied health tracks. Biology is also available as a minor.

What sets our biology students up for success?

  • Diverse learning environments include renovated labs, the Shenandoah Valley’s larger-than-life classroom, and study abroad
  • Hands-on experience with equipment and research environments (electron microscopes, cell and tissue culture labs, mammalian vivarium), that are usually reserved for graduate students
  • Professors are working scientists, professional researchers, and dedicated classroom teachers
  • Each student’s portfolio of work culminates with an original research project
  • National and international conference presentations develop confidence and strengthen understanding
  • Professional preparation provides a competitive edge for careers and graduate studies in health sciences, research, finance, lab sciences, engineering, and more
  • Membership in the national honor society Beta Beta Beta

Beta Beta Beta is the National Biological Honor Society for students devoted to improving the understanding and appreciation of the biological field of study. Members are also dedicated to improving knowledge through scientific research. Tri Beta was founded in 1922 and since then more than 430 chapters have been established in the United States and Puerto Rico and over 175,000 members have accepted lifetime membership. The first chapter, the Alpha chapter was established by Dr. Frank G. Brooks in 1922 at Oklahoma City University. By 1925 the society was a national organization and in 1930 the society journal, BIOS, began publication of student research.

The Alpha Pi chapter was founded at Mary Baldwin in 1948. To date 447 students have met the national standards and been inducted into the honor society.
National Tri Beta site

Biology students may find the following links helpful in preparing for post-graduate work and beyond.
This site explores the lives of several med students and applicants all over the country.
Loan information for students entering graduate programs including medical or dental school.
Information on the MCAT, constructing application essays, interview feedback, a residency guide, and loan information.
Created by accepted medical school students for new applicants. It covers prerequisites, what admissions committees are looking for, and the in’s and out’s of your applications.
Real interview questions and experiences are shared on this site. It also helps you prepare for that nerve-racking experience.
Provides accounts of interview experiences and helps prepare you for what to expect on your interviews.
The American Association of Medical Colleges site contains information about the MCAT, applications, U.S. medical schools, teaching hospitals, and healthcare news.
The American Association of Osteopathic Medicine site explores medical school options, provides information on ostepathic medical schools and the type of education you would receive, and application information.
The American Medical Students Association site requires membership for most information. Health care news, global health issues, and medical education information is provided.
This site includes a list of Medical Scientist Training Programs.
The American Medical Women’s Association outlines women’s careers in medicine.
Includes Kaplan review information and you can sign up for an MCAT prep course.
Provides information for signing up for a prep course and has free practice MCAT tests.
A guide of do’s and don’ts of writing your medical school application essays.
This site offers information through detailed articles regarding the MCAT. It contains free practice tests, customized according to the format and syllabus of the respective tests.

Built in 1970, the Pearce Science Center houses the biology, biochemistry, chemistry, psychology, and physics disciplines. In October 2010, the National Science Foundation announced that it would help fund the multi-year transformation of Pearce with a $1.2 million grant.

Facilities within the building include:

  • Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopes
  • Chemistry Department Instrumentation NMR
  • Cell and Tissue Culture Lab
  • Molecular Biology Facilities
  • Computer Lab
  • Microbiology Lab
  • Animal Care Facilities
  • Wet lab

Larger-Than-Life Laboratory

The Shenandoah Valley, with mountainous boundaries to the east and west provides students with the opportunity to explore a variety of ecosystems. Local terrain includes more than 2,000 feet of change in elevation. The high buffering from limestone/dolomite bedrock in the valley contrasts with the quartz and greenstone ridges, which provide no buffering for acid rain in the mountains. The Valley is equidistant from the 6,518-acre Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness to the west, and the 9,835-acre St. Mary’s Wilderness to the east. In addition to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, we also make use of the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park for field studies.


Eric Jones

Adjunct Faculty Member; BS, Bucknell University; MS, PhD, Pennsylvania State...
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Barbara Merk

Assistant Professor of Biology; BS, Sweet Briar College; PhD, University of...
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Eileen T. Hinks

Assistant Professor of Health Care Administration and Biology (part-time); BS, Ursinus College;...
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Mary Jane Epps

Assistant Professor of Biology; BA, Duke University; PhD, University of Arizona
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Paul D. Deeble

Associate Professor of Biology; BS, Pennsylvania State University; PhD, University of Virginia...
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Paul A. Callo

Professor of Biology; BS, MS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; PhD, University...
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Gifts That Mean The World

“My goal, as we sailed from New York on the SS Independence, was to take it all in,” said M. Elizabeth “Betty” Swope when recalling her trip to Spain through Mary Baldwin’s Junior Year Abroad program. That year, and that trip, set the...
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Students Give Back Through Social Work Program

When Rob and Sue Warfield Caples ’60 gave to Mary Baldwin College to start an accredited social work program, they left a lasting mark on the college community. In 2007, 148 students petitioned the college to begin accreditation processes for a Bachelor of Social...
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Tracy “Lolita” Burks Healy ’87

It started as an ordinary night out with girlfriends. Lolita Healy and her friends kicked back and ordered cocktails, but when the drinks arrived, Burks thought something was missing; the glasses needed color, style, and personality to match the women sipping from...
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Jessica Gatewood ’00

After earning a BA in biopsychology at Mary Baldwin and a master’s degree at the University of Richmond, Jessica Gatewood was working as a biochemistry research assistant at the University of Virginia when she reached a turning point in her professional life. Instead...
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Monique Burgess ’14

College life was not a passive experience for Burgess. Her influential roles on campus included peer mentor, resident assistant, Anointed Voices of Praise Gospel Choir singer, and member of the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa — applying her...
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