Biology / Environmental Studies

BA in Environmental Studies with optional specialization in Geology
BS in Biology
Environmental Studies

The Biology and Natural Resources Department offers ecologically based study through a variety of classroom, laboratory, and field experiences, including exploration of our 2,600-acre forested campus and travel to sites in the U.S. and abroad. Through membership in Duke University’s Marine Sciences Education Consortium (MSEC), those interested in marine science may take courses at Duke’s Marine Laboratory and participate in its travel programs. 

Options within the Department

The BS in biology provides a thorough understanding of plant and animal biology, the dynamics of biological populations and communities, and major ecosystem functions. Students develop strong field research skills and ecological knowledge. For one semester, they take only biology classes, traveling often to camp and study with professors and classmates.

The BA in environmental studies provides a science-based, interdisciplinary focus on human-environment interaction. The major is grounded in biology with classes in natural resources, economics, sociology, education, earth science, chemistry, and math. A geology specialization is available.

what our majors do during college
  • Intern in the U.S. and overseas
  • Study abroad in Peru or the Caribbean
  • Study the ecosystem of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a five-day "Bio-block" trip
  • Study nesting bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and a variety of plants and animals on campus
  • Conduct research independently or alongside professors and publish that research
  • Earn field skills credentials in chainsaw and technical climbing and learn to use GIS, radio telemetry, and other biotelemetry instruments
  • Work in the department greenhouses, with the live animal collections, and on the land stewardship team
What Our majors do after college
  • Attend graduate programs in the sciences
  • Teach at public and private schools
  • Work in research management, conservation, environmental policy, and more

See the College Catalog for more detailed information about our program and departmental learning outcomes.

You Can Do MORE Here

While attending Principia, biology major Lacey Crabill (C’12) also:


  • Traveled to Vietnam and Nepal on two abroads
  • Joined the solar car team, racing in Australia and placing third at the 2012 American Solar Challenge
  • Conducted research on leatherback turtles in Trinidad
  • Performed in dance production and a student-directed, one-act play
  • Served as president of the Christian Science Organization (CSO)

Imagine what you could do!