Carroll College, Helena Montana
Carroll Biology Students


Biology at Carroll College

What to Expect

The Biology Program combines access to modern equipment, newly renovated facilities, and faculty mentors in a program that emphasizes preparing students for careers in the biological and biomedical sciences. Whether using molecular techniques to decipher the inner workings of a disease pathogen or developing mathematical models to solve the mysteries of ecological processes, students will be exposed to the latest in biological methods and analysis. The program places a strong emphasis on investigative learning through laboratory experiences, field courses, and faculty/student collaborative research. In recent years students have participated in research projects ranging from molecular biology to ecology, in the laboratory and the field, and in locations as diverse as the Montana backcountry, Alaska, Niger, and Ecuador.

The Biology Program leads Carroll College in the production of student research projects and the number of honors graduates. Students publish regularly in peer-reviewed research journals and present their work at scientific meetings. Most importantly, the program has the reputation of preparing students for success in post graduate studies. In the past 10 years, 89 students have entered medical school, 30 have entered graduate programs, 26 have entered dental school and 42 have gained entry into other professional programs such as veterinary medicine, physical therapy, optometry and pharmacy.

Our Mission and Goals


The Biology Program is designed for students who seek careers providing personal fulfillment and service to others.  Its mission is to prepare graduates who are scientifically literate and who recognize both the practical usefulness and the inherent value of a liberal arts education.


The Biology Program will produce graduates who:

  1. Have the knowledge and skills needed for entry into graduate school, professional programs (medical, dental, and veterinary) or other discipline specific career opportunities.
  2. Have the ability to work effectively with scientists and non-scientists on solutions to local, regional and global problems.
  3. Are committed to open-minded inquiry and lifelong learning within and across multiple branches of knowledge.

Life after Graduation

With advances in biotechnology and molecular biology along with challenges in the medical and environmental sciences, biology is widely regarded as the fastest growing scientific discipline and is positioned to dominate scientific career opportunities for the next century. A short list of career fields includes:

Animal Behavior
Aquatic Science
Developmental Biology
Forensic Science
Medicine (medical doctor, dentist, and other health professions)
Plant Pathology
Veterinary Medicine
Virology, and

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Congratulations to the Biology class of 2016!  As a cohort, they scored in the 97th percentile on the ETS Major Field Test. The test is administered at about 510 colleges and universities across the country. Carroll College biology seniors have scored in the 90th percentile or above since we started administering the exam 20 years ago.


Dr. Stefanie Otto-Hitt has received a two-year life sciences award in the amount of $42,088 to continue her study titled "Molecular Control of Synaptic Function." This is the second two-year grant Dr. Otto-Hitt has received from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The molecular neuroscience research examines how proteins in the brain affect the strength of communication between brain cells.

Check out this Helena Independent Record article about biology graduate Galen Mills, who served in Guatemala after graduation. Mills is now in medical school at the University of Washington School of Medicine.