The best educational experiences happen when students and faculty interact closely and often. In the Biology Department at Coe, those interactions start in the very first semester and continue for four years. Our program provides an early introduction to experimental design and use of instrumentation to investigate properties of cells and organisms. In May Term and during the summer, you will be able to engage in research projects or participate in intensive courses on or off campus.

Faculty in the department know students by name, are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and provide the kind of mentoring and encouragement that students need to fully develop their skills and career interests. All but one course in the biology department includes laboratory work where you learn how the science is done. Laboratory sections in all courses are limited to 18 students and are taught by biology faculty rather than by teaching assistants.

Coe's well-established Health and Science Internship program offers students an opportunity to spend May Term working in a medical setting or in an industrial laboratory. The Cedar Rapids area offers many employment opportunities where students can use their laboratory training to gain valuable work experience.

Coe biology students may work one on one with faculty, in honors and independent study work or in research participation.

Preparing for Success

At Coe you will be offered many opportunities that include the following:

  • Construct cDNA libraries through the manipulation of RNA, DNA using various genetic engineering technologies
  • Participate in the analysis and publications of sequence data using Bioinformatic software
  • Evaluate the impact of agricultural practices on water quality and benthic plants and animals
  • Investigate ecological and behavioral interactions of mantispids and their spider hosts
  • Study endangered animal populations
  • Extract, purify, and characterize proteins using various column chromatography and electrophoresis strategies
  • Participate in Earthwatch expeditions with a Coe professor
  • Learn about specific medical professions firsthand while on an internship at a hospital, clinic or office
  • Study interesting subjects in-depth during May Term such as bioinformatics, environmental ecology, immunology and urban ecology
  • Participate in a summer session at the Coe College Field Station near the Boundary Waters canoe area in Northern Minnesota
  • Spend a spring term studying tropical biology in Costa Rica
  • Participate in summer undergraduate research programs at major universities or research centers (such as Baylor University, Mayo Clinic, University of California at Berkeley, University of Iowa, University of Chicago)
  • Specialize in environmental science or molecular biology with a collateral major