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Opportunities in Biology

A person’s college years can be one of the most exciting chapters in a life story, and a major reason for that is the sheer quantity of opportunities available to take advantage of.  The Biology Program encourages students to actively engage with campus activities beyond the classroom to learn new skills, make connections, and have fun!    

Learning Communities

For more than twenty years, the Biology Program has offered a learning community to engage incoming first-year students with our major and assist with college adjustment. Learn more about our Biology Education Success Team (BEST).

Students can be part of more than one learning community, and these communities may also be of interest to Biology majors:

Student Organizations

Iowa State University is home to hundreds of student organizations which provide opportunities for social engagement, professional development, and leadership experiences.  Students in the Biology Program can participate in our Biological Sciences Club to network with other Biology majors.  Other clubs of interest to many of our students include various pre-professional clubs (e.g., Pre-Medical Professions Club, Pre-Pharmacy Club, Pre-Veterinary Club), additional biology-related academic clubs (e.g., Genetics Club, Iowa State Environmental Science Club, Psychology Club), and various recreation clubs (e.g., Fishing Club, Martial Arts Club).

Field Trip Courses and Study Abroad

Field trip courses offered by the Biology Program provide a unique opportunity for students to learn about biology through hands-on experience.  These experiences may be within North America (BIOL 393) or international (BIOL 394), and count directly towards biology degree requirements as advanced coursework. We currently offer a couple trips in marine biology, an exploration of the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, and trips to Valencia, Spain. More information on our field trip courses and study abroad.


Biology students are encouraged to seek out and participate in internships that relate to their aspirations as budding biological scientists.  The Biology Program offers advanced biology credit for students who have such an experience and arrange a BIOL 494 course with a faculty or staff member.  More information about the BIOL 494 can be found here.  

Finding an internship can be a challenge, but there are several resources available to help.  Students can always talk with their advisor about opportunities they are aware of.  The following resources for internship hunting are suggested as well:

Iowa State University Resources
Career Fairs
Career Services - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Career Services - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


As a major research university, there are plenty of opportunities for students to engage in research during their undergraduate studies. Learn more about research opportunities in biology at Iowa State


Being a skilled communicator is among the most employable qualities, and teaching experiences help cultivate such skills.  More information about teaching opportunities.


Many scholarships are available to assist students in paying for college. Scholarships are available for new incoming freshman and transfer students, as well as currently enrolled or continuing students.  Learn more about scholarship opportunities.

University Honors Program

Biology students with outstanding academic records may want to consider applying for the Honors Program if they are not already participants.  Honors students get to register for classes earlier, enroll in honors sections of courses, have a higher credit limit each semester, and have access to additional opportunities within the program.  Check out the Honors Program website for more information.