Biology Program

Download the Program Guide

The Biology faculty engage students in an exciting and challenging environment where they master biological concepts and develop scientific competencies necessary to be critical thinkers, successful professionals, and responsible citizens. Students use modern instrumentation and methodologies in the laboratory and field through coursework and independent research with faculty who lead programs in pre-health professions, neuroscience, biochemistry, environmental science, forensic science, and biological physics. See the Biology Majors' Handbook for additional information.

Follow the news from W&J Biochemistry, Biology, and Neuroscience on the W&J Biology Facebook page.

Beyond the Classroom

Students have a wide array of opportunities for research, internships, conferences, and networking beyond the classroom that give them an advantage to prepare for life after W&J. Students in the Biology program at W&J must also complete a Community Engagement Requirement.

Research and Internships

  • Faculty-led and independent research on topics such as microbial diversity of streams, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, urban ecology, songbird thermal survival, coal mine reclamation, kidney physiology, neuromuscular development, and invasive plants and insects
  • Extensive science research internship program with internal funding and strong alumni support (see the Science Research Internships Wiki for more information)
  • Field research and outdoor class work in the Abernathy Field Station


  • Health professional: doctor, dentist, podiatrist, physician assistant, physical therapist, genetic counselor occupational therapist, registered nurse
  • Veterinarian / Epidemiologist
  • Biomedical / ecological researcher
  • Environmental lawyer / consultant
  • Wildlife / conservation biologist
  • Biology teacher / professor / editor

Biology Faculty

Thomas Contreras portrait

Biology Department Chair

Thomas A. Contreras, Ph.D.

Thomas A. Contreras, Ph.D. is an associate Professor of Biology and is Chair of the Biology Department at Washington & Jefferson College.


Biology Program Downloads

Biology Major Handbook

Version: 2017

Biology Program Sheet

Version: 2019

Lucy Elkin Phytoremediation Poster

Version: 2018

Mechin Flowers

Version: Mechin Flowers Senior SendOff

Pre-Health Handbook

Version: 2020-2021