Careers in Biology

Many students move on to pursue advanced degrees and education. View a list of Graduate School Acceptances and Professional School Acceptances.

“I don't think I will ever be able to fully realize and appreciate how my life has changed from my experience at Luther. I was more than prepared for my graduate school experience. More importantly though, I feel that I have been more prepared for life. I learned how to translate passion and purpose into action and awareness; a true culmination of vocation."  —Megan Donovan '07

Fifty to sixty students graduate from Luther with a biology major each year. They include future physicians, ecologists, geneticists and Peace Corps volunteers. Biology graduates have many opportunities. More than half of Luther's biology graduates continue their education in either graduate school or professional programs. Luther graduates hold advanced degrees in fields from pharmacology to ecology, entomology to immunology. 

The major is also strong preparation for employment in biology-related careers in health sciences, education, conservation, government policy and field work, pharmaceutical research and sales, and basic and applied research. Recent graduates have been hired by a variety of companies, including University of Iowa Hospitals, Mayo Clinic, Epic Systems, and Integrated DNA Technologies. Luther College tracks the career paths and outcomes of its graduates, from employment to graduate school to postgraduate service. See recent graduate statistics

Biology is the primary major at Luther for students planning to enter medical school or pursue other health-related careers such as physician's assistant, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, podiatry and veterinary medicine. Students planning to pursue careers in the health sciences will find excellent preparation at Luther College. Academically strong science coursework and an integrated liberal arts curriculum prepare Luther students to become exceptional healthcare professionals. These careers require further education in professional schools and typically have course requirements for admission in addition to those required for the biology major. Students should consult with their advisors to ensure completion of appropriate courses.

“Looking back at my Luther experience, I can confidently say that I was well-prepared for medical school. The advantage that I have seen time and again with my experiences versus other undergrad institutions is that the Luther experience brought with it a personal touch. I can look back at Physiology, or Endocrinology, or Human Anatomy and recall not only the information I learned but the person that I learned it from. I knew my professors. I look forward to seeing them when I visit, and I enjoy their excitement when they get updates from the students that have come and gone. I didn't meet many other medical students that could say this about their undergrad experience.”  —Dan Wallace '05

Students can also prepare for laboratory technology careers in clinical lab science, nuclear medicine technology, or cytotechnology. For these programs students can complete the necessary Luther coursework in three years, after which they move to an affiliated hospital to spend their fourth year in clinical preparatory courses. Upon completion of the clinical year, students receive their degree from Luther and take board exams to become certified.

Course work: Most programs in the health sciences require at least one year of college biology and one year of chemistry. Other courses that are often required include organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, mathematics, statistics, English, and psychology. Luther offers rigorous classes and excellent hands-on laboratory experiences in the sciences to prepare students for professional programs.

Also of interest:

View more information regarding careers in biology (external AIBS website)

Graduate school acceptances (last 10 years)

Professional school acceptances (last 10 years)