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About Us

Biology at Calvin College

At Calvin College, we explore things—all things, in fact. We don't mind getting our hands dirty either, as we explore every nook and cranny of the world God has given us.

In the biology department at Calvin, we respond to God's call to investigate the diversity, organization and functioning of the living world so that we can provide a Christian model for its study, care and keeping. Whether it's in the lab doing cell cultures or in a field planting seeds, we do our work with utmost care, knowing what and whom we are working for.

Our programs

Biology students in a labThe biology department at Calvin offers majors in B.A. in biology or B.S. in biology, and environmental science, along with two minors, several education programs and eight pre-professional programs. Each program integrates academic study with hands-on work in the laboratory or in the field. Opportunities to study biology outside of the classroom are many, and include assisting professors with research, doing internships with local companies and organizations, and traveling off-campus to study biology in a different context.

More about our academic programs »

Students participate in tree and plant mitigation projects on campusOur students

Students who take part in the biology department's programs have countless opportunities to develop important skills in the classroom, in the laboratory and in the field.

Students assist professors in their research, make presentations at seminars and conferences and take part in off-campus internships.

Read more about some of the things our students are doing »

See how working for the biology department was a life-changing experience for one student.

Our faculty

Our 17 full-time faculty members are dedicated Christians and scholars. We also:

  • Anding Shenremain dedicated to relating the Christian faith to the whole learning process.
  • make teaching our first priority, an effort consistently recognized for its depth, scope and innovation.
  • maintain leadership roles in professional organizations and participate in diverse areas of research and scholarship through which we mentor our student collaborators.
  • are active researchers in our fields, contributing scholarly work to journals and other publications, and presenting at professional conferences on a regular basis.

More about our faculty »


Our facilities support investigative, hands-on learning and innovative research with state-of-the-art technology. The facilities include:

  • De Vries Hall, home of the biology departmentA 55,000 square foot facility with 10 research labs, 10 teaching labs, a greenhouse, an aquarium and an insect propagation room.
  • A 90-acre preserve of temperate deciduous forest, wetlands and nature trails.
  • State-of-the-art technology for biology research, including a DNA sequencer, a flow cytometer (one of only four in western Michigan) and cell culture facilities.
  • The Flat Iron Lake preserve area 25 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.
  • Herbarium and museum which houses nearly 8000 pressed plant specimens, thousands of insects, hundreds of mammals, birds and reptiles.

Learn more about our facilities »



All 17 of our faculty members hold PhDs in their fields.

15-27 students each year receive summer research fellowships for on-campus work with professors.

$115,000 is our average annual expenditure on new technology, funded mostly by external grants.

The department employs approximately 50 students each year.