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As a Butler Biology major, you will actively use the tools of scientific investigation in labs and fieldwork in courses examining biological organization at many levels—from molecular and cellular to organisms and populations, and through ecosystems.  You’ll enjoy hands-on learning through Butler’s Center for Urban Ecology, CUE Farm, Greenhouse, Prairie habitat, and Friesner Herbarium.

We’ll encourage you to team with faculty mentors in challenging research, covering topics such as genetics, animal behavior, neurobiology, plant development, ecology, and biomechanics. The Butler Summer Institute offers student stipends for independent research, and our Seitz Award, supports study abroad in the natural sciences. Through Butler’s partnership with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Biology students and faculty engage with leading scientists studying tropical biodiversity in Panama. 

Undergraduate Research

Conducting research gives our undergraduates a feel for “real science,” and a competitive advantage in applying for graduate and professional schools. Students often co-author papers with faculty for publication in professional journals or presentation at national and international conferences. Plus, research is fascinating and fun!

Graduate Success

With their Butler Biology degrees, our alumni have done well in graduate studies, teaching careers, or technical careers in such fields as environmental consulting, genetic counseling, and pharmaceutical sales. Our graduates have great success in entering professional schools in medicine, dentistry, optometry, physical therapy, and veterinary medicine. 

Butler Distinctions

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama is dedicated to understanding tropical biodiversity. Through Butler-STRI partnership, students serve as paid interns on research projects conducted by STRI scientists. Butler Biology faculty teach an intensive field-based course in Panama involving new research initiatives.

Center for Urban Ecology (CUE)

With programs focusing on local water quality, urban wildlife, native plants, food production and more, CUE aims to create “citizen scientists” dedicated to the exploration and enhancement of the Indianapolis ecosystem. Working with area organizations and residents, student interns participate in urban ecological research, including research design, data collection, data analysis, and dissemination.


Many Indianapolis businesses and organizations seek out our students as interns in supervised work/research experiences.  Butler Biology majors have interned with such groups as the Marion County Coroner’s Office, Central Indiana Land Trust, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Biology-Biomedical Engineering Dual Degree

Earn two degrees in one program—Biology from Butler and Biomedical Engineering from Indiana University Purdue University in Indianapolis. The rapidly expanding field of biomedical engineering combines expertise in biomaterials, biomechanics, instrumentation and tissue engineering to dramatically improve life as we know it.