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Special Opportunities

As a biology student at Elmhurst, you’ll benefit from a high degree of individual attention from world-class scholars, combined with exciting opportunities not usually found at an intimate liberal arts institution.

Research Projects
Internships and Mentoring
Honor Societies
Morton Arboretum Botany Program
Shedd Aquarium Aquatic Ecology Program

Research Projects
Students at Elmhurst gain valuable experience in the field with hands-on research opportunities that are seldom available to undergraduates at larger institutions. Interested students choose a research project and work under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Some examples:

  • Research with Dr. Arriola on the competitive ability of weeds
  • Research with Dr. Bennett on the evolution of mussels
  • Research with Dr. Berry on anaerobic liberation and development in turtles
  • Research with Dr. McClure on the genetic basis of fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Research with Dr. Mellgren on Pseudomonas transporters in plants.
  • Research with Dr. Marsh on thermophillic methanogens and reduction of heavy metals.
  • Research with Dr. Raimondi on the molecular mechanisms of tumor progression

Elmhurst students also are involved in summer laboratory research programs at nearby institutions such as Loyola University Medical School. Read more about our faculty and student research here.

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Internships and Mentoring
Elmhurst offers plenty of opportunities to gather real-world knowledge of your chosen field through career-oriented internships and mentoring opportunities. For example:

  • As a pre-med student, you might spend two weeks shadowing a highly regarded surgeon in San Francisco, himself an Elmhurst alumnus.
  • Or you might spend a week at the National Center for Ethics in New York, learning about and discussing issues related to the health-care field and ethics.
  • Many other students work with local laboratory researchers, health-care professionals, fish and wildlife professionals, and even zookeepers to learn and experience the satisfaction of their target careers.

You might shadow a research biologist, work part time at a veterinary clinic, or meet periodically with a surgeon over the course of a semester. These and other opportunities help you get the feel of what the future might hold. Read more about internships here.

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Honor Societies
The Department of Biology hosts Beta Beta Beta, the biology honor society. This organization brings together students with similar career interests for programs that further their knowledge and help them develop leadership skills for their chosen fields. The department also hosts Alpha Epsilon Delta, the honor society for pre-medicine students.

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Morton Arboretum Botany Program
Biology students at Elmhurst benefit from the College’s close proximity to the renowned Morton Arboretum. This 1,700-acre botanical treasure boasts more than 3,300 types of plants from around the world and is staffed by research scientists and scholars.

Elmhurst students study with nationally recognized researchers at the Arboretum, earning credit for courses such as Field Botany, Woody Plants of the Western Great Lakes Region, Vascular Plant Taxonomy, Plant Pathology, and Medical Botany. In addition, students have access to the Arboretum’s Sterling Morton Library, a unique scholarly resource with 28,000 volumes of botanic and horticultural literature.

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Shedd Aquarium Aquatic Ecology Program
Our biology students have the opportunity to take courses taught by Shedd scientists: freshwater ecology offered at the Shedd and marine ecology of the Bahamas taught each spring that concludes with a two-week trip to the Bahamas working on a research vessel. Our students have the opportunity to compete for internship opportunities as well.

Through the College's affiliation with ACCA, biology majors have the opportunity to do research projects at the Morton Arboretum, the Shedd Aquarium, the Chicago Botanical Gardens and  Brookfield Zoo. 

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