A degree in biology from Wartburg College is well-recognized around the nation.

The Wartburg Department of Biology prepares students for a variety of careers, including health professions, research, teaching, biotechnology, and fields involving global and environmental issues. We teach what science is, not just the knowledge it has produced, with inquiry-based learning.

While the curriculum of the biology department is rigorous, students also gain an appreciation of how studying biology can be fun, exciting, and rewarding. The success of the biology program is grounded in its inquiry-based emphasis where students facilitate their learning by experiencing science rather than merely reading about it.

Wartburg’s medical school acceptance rate is near 90 percent, and the college has one of the highest rates of students accepted into the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Graduates applying to dentistry, optometry, podiatry, occupational therapy, nursing, medical technology, and chiropractic medicine programs have had similar acceptance rates.

The Academic Experience

Incredible opportunities are available for both on-campus and off-campus field and lab research experiences in biology.

Hands-on projects are an integral part of the courses throughout your four years.

Most biology majors conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty member.

A Challenge That’s Rewarding

Small-college environment with more personal attention and greater opportunities to excel without the pressure of impersonal large classes.

Wartburg faculty teach ALL classes, unlike larger colleges and universities

Alumni Outcomes

Wartburg graduates find satisfying jobs and are admitted into top graduate and professional schools. Wartburg alumni can be found in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 foreign countries. Below is only a sample of the types of positions Wartburg graduates from the Biology Department have had in the past.

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past Five Years:

  • Registered Nurse – Oncology, University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, Colo.
  • Quality Regulation Lab Technician, General Mills, Cedar Rapids
  • Graduate Student-Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Biological Science Technician, National Park Service, Yellowstone, Wy.
  • Graduate Research Assistant/Assistant Researcher, Texas A&M, Temple, Tx.
  • Outreach Associate, National Wildlife Federation, Washington, D.C.
  • Science Teacher, Davenport Community School District, Davenport

Sample Stand-out Alumni Positions:

  • Associate and Vice Chair, Professor of Urology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Cardiovascular Research Technician, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  • Chief Technical Officer and Founder, Tower Care Technologies, Wexford, Penn.

Sample of Alumni Positions from the Past 10 Years:

  • Registered Nurse, Stanford Cancer Center, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Optometrist, St. Paul Eye Clinic, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Resident Physician, University of Missouri, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Vascular Sonographer, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City
  • Associate Director, Contact Creation, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., Fairfield
  • Assistant Scientist, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Biology Teacher, Council Bluffs Schools, Council Bluffs
  • Chiropractor, Four Points Family Chiropractic, Austin, Texas


The Science Center is designed to encourage student interaction with faculty members and other students.

Research with a faculty mentor. WORTH IT.



The professors in the Wartburg Biology Department have earned the highest academic degree in their field, the doctorate. They have experience and expertise in genetics, human physiology, anatomy, developmental biology, cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, ecology, marine biology, learning theory, gender and science issues, science curricula, earth science, field biology, and environmental microbiology.At Wartburg, student/faculty interaction is encouraged. Every faculty member is dedicated to the success of each student. Most biology majors conduct independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. 

Michael Bechtel

Associate Professor of Science Education

Nicholas Blay

Assistant Professor of Biology

Michaeleen Golay

Assistant Professor of Biology

Samantha Larimer Bousquet

Associate Professor of Biology

J. Keith McClung

Professor of Biology

David McCullough

Professor of Biology

Lorinda Sheeler

Visiting Associate Professor of Public Health

Stephanie Toering Peters

Associate Professor of Biology