Whatever your scientific interests, the Department of Biology and Earth Science has something to offer.

Department of Biology & Earth Science

Be ready to hit the ground running in the Biology and Earth Science department!  We offer a rigorous curriculum that provides a strong foundation in the sciences, while preparing students for a variety of exciting postgraduate endeavors, including employment and graduate or professional school.  From the very first year, students are actively engaged in the classroom, laboratory, and field as they take classes in each of the diverse areas offered by the department:

  • Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Zoo & Conservation Science
  • Pre-Professional Health Studies

To keep up with the latest news in the Department of Biology, check out our newsletter, Lifeline at the Otterbein Digital Commons.

Why Study Biology at Otterbein University?

  • B.A. degree for students desiring a traditional liberal arts education or would like to double major in another discipline.
  • B.S. degree for for students interested in pursuing an advanced degree or for students interested in applying to professional school (medical school, veterinary school, etc.).
  • Wide selection of upper level courses to tailor your own degree with the flexibility to double major or add a minor in another discipline and embark on immersive field courses and learning experiences outside the classroom.
  • Hands-on experiential learning in updated labs with modern equipment and the ability to design and conduct an independent research project with faculty members.
  • Dedicated instructors with degrees in diverse scientific disciplines will guide you on your path in small classes with a 12:1 faculty-student ratio.

Why study Zoo & Conservation Science at Otterbein?

  • A first-year course introducing students to Zoos and Zookeeping or Marine Science in all of their facets
  • Practicum experiences at the Ohio Wildlife Center in the sophomore year including hands-on rehabilitation experiences with native Ohio wildlife
  • Practicum experience at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in the junior year including behind the scenes experiences involving enrichment and training or up-keeping your own salt water tank, visiting local aquariums, freshwater conservation and aquaculture facilities.
  • Upper division Biology courses in topics such as animal nutrition, animal reproduction, vertebrate biology, invertebrate biology, coral reef ecology, aquatic biology and conservation biology.
  • A semester long internship at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (for ten students) where students get the chance to work closely in a single area of zookeeping or education; other internship venues might include the Wilds, Reef Systems Coral Farm, other zoos, or at other appropriate agencies devoted to aquariums, wildlife or conservation
  • The chance in the senior year to conduct undergraduate research on zoo animal behavior, visitor studies, tadpoles, coral reef ecology, freshwater mussels, or wildlife rehabilitation records.

Why Study Environmental Science at Otterbein?

  • The curriculum covers a broad range of environmental practices that include ecological assessment, resource management, regulatory programs, and hazardous waste management, just to name a few.
  • Most of the classes incorporate in-the-field exercises to give students the opportunity to experience what an environmental scientist will do as a practicing professional.
  • Central Ohio has a wide range of internship opportunities from which environmental science students can obtain real-life experience.
  • Skills required for environmental scientists evolve rapidly; the Otterbein curriculum provides students with the tools necessary to adapt to changes that will occur during one’s professional career.
  • Many of the Otterbein faculty are practicing environmental scientists, so students can learn from skilled professionals.
Environmental Science

Travel with us to Costa Rica, Belize, South Africa, or China as part of the travel courses we offer or for independent research.