Biological Sciences

Major in Biology, Zoology, Life Sciences or Science Education

Every day, science surprises us with new discoveries — and new people who are making those discoveries!

For students who enjoy thinking beyond what other people have thought, asking questions, designing and doing research projects, collecting and interpreting data, a career in the biological sciences field may be the best choice for them. 

Olivet wants all students to succeed. Students are held to the highest standards by faculty and staff as they receive the education, training and mentoring they need. As Olivet graduates, students exceedingly prepared for entrance into graduate school, medical school, dental school or whatever next steps they plan to take in order to reach their career goals.

As undergraduates, Olivet science majors get to explore mysteries of the human body that are typically reserved for study in graduate school and beyond. Because of professors who want to provide quality learning experiences, Olivet science grads are excelling in grad school and their careers. Students benefit from hands-on learning in excellent laboratories, mentored and supervised by faculty members. Modern scientific tools for use by undergraduates include spectrophotometers, centrifuges, video-microscopy, analytical balances, electrophoresis systems, CRISPR-cas9 and an inverted, fluorescent capable microscope. There are opportunities to use the Greer Botanical Greenhouse and learn anatomy by dissecting human donors under the supervision of surgeons — unique among undergraduate programs. A newly purchased real-time PCR will allow biology majors to do campus wide Covid screening and will be an invaluable research tool for years to come.

Areas of Study

Starting freshman year, students receive instruction directly from their professors, instead of just meeting a list of assignments and deadlines on their own. Olivet professors have a long track record of research, practical experience and mentoring students. They are ready to teach students what will help them succeed. And they’re equally eager to pray with students!

Learning Outside the Classroom

Field experiences are a hallmark of Olivet degree programs. Recent student/faculty excursions include: 

  • Rainforest field study trip, Costa Rica
  • Tropical field studies tour, Ecuador
  • Fish research and scuba diving, Haigh Quarry, Kankakee, Illinois
  • Arctic biology study trip, Alaska
  • Habitat study, Indiana Dunes
  • Observe sandhill cranes at Jasper Pulaski Wildlife Refuge, Medaryville, Indiana
  • Field study at Mskoda Sands Black Oak Savanna, Kankakee
  • Vertebrate natural history and anatomy field project, Big Rock, Illinois
Meet the Faculty

Mike Pyle

A professor at Olivet since 2007, Mike Pyle is helping to continue Olivet’s long, strong history of preparing students incredibly well for medical and health care careers. Under his leadership, the curriculum now requires every biology major to do a significant research project. He and his wife, Nancy, a nursing professor at Olivet often lead medical mission teams to Papua New Guinea and Uganda. A practicing physician and surgeon, he also invites students to join him in the clinic or operating room. In 2017, he received Olivet’s Faculty Member of the Year Award.

Biological Sciences Faculty

Careers in Biological Sciences:

Cancer research
Environmental safety
Food research
Forensics crime lab
Laboratory science
Medical technology

Mortuary science
Nuclear medicine
Pharmaceutical sales
Physical therapy
Physician assistant

Radiation oncology
Science education
Secondary education
Speech pathology
Veterinary medicine

Science Policy Statements

Rapid developments in science sometimes create theological questions, particularly as science relates to evolution. Read more about Olivet's Theistic Evolution Statement.

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Dissection and experimentation are essential tools for studying the anatomy and physiology of biological specimens. Read more about Olivet's dissection policy.

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Career of Your Dreams

Success is waiting for Olivet graduates. At Olivet, our faculty is dedicated to providing the foundations of science. They guide students in research. They challenge students to gain experience in oral and written presentations. As students identify they gifts and talents and develop their abilities, faculty members work with each student to help him/her choose the best career fit.

Center for Student Success

Biological Sciences with a Christian Purpose

The best way to see if Olivet is a good fit for you is to visit the campus. We offer unique, customized visit days every weekday, and special Purple & Gold days, too, where you can get up close at all things ONU.

Schedule a Visit