Do you see yourself researching new treatments for diseases like diabetes or cancer? Maybe you want to help schoolchildren fall in love with science, or you dream of spending your days caring for patients as a physician. Majoring in biology, the study of living organisms, is great preparation for careers in scientific research, teaching, medicine, dentistry, or veterinary science.
The backbone of our program is research, meshing the theory of science with its practical application to real-world problems. You'll get the chance to participate in research as early as your first year at Hofstra, playing an integral role in projects that will inspire you, help build your résumé, and have meaningful scientific impact.
Each of our faculty members offers students opportunities to work with them in their specific area of research. The department also sponsors a competitive summer fellowship for undergraduate students, during which students work with researchers on topics related to their career goals. Every year, students are offered the chance to participate in a study abroad program in which they spend 20 days either touring the Galápagos Islands and the Amazon rainforest or studying the marine flora and fauna in Belize.
Degrees & Programs
Students may major in biology or urban ecology, and specializations are available in pre-health, cell/molecular biology, as well as marine and freshwater biology, ecology, secondary education and conservation biology, among others.
Our pre-health advisors assist students with course selection, volunteer work, and the medical, dental or veterinary school application process.
BA in Biology
The Bachelor of Arts is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of biology and a strong liberal arts foundation. It is ideal for students planning to pursue graduate studies in another area, such as business, K-12 education, engineering or law.
BS in Biology
The Bachelor of Science is appropriate for students planning graduate studies in biology and professional pursuits in the fields of biology, medicine or higher education. The BS has an options requirement – areas of specialized learning. Choose from Cell and Molecular Biology; Ecology and Evolution; Marine Biology; Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental and Pre-Veterinary Studies; and Secondary Education.
For Your Consideration
Students may also apply for the 4+4 BS-BA/MD program, a highly selective program offered in conjunction with the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.
We also offer the following dual-degree programs:
Labs and Resources
Gittleson Hall, home of the Department of Biology, recently underwent a $4 million renovation that includes these additions and upgrades:
- An imaging center with light and electron microscopes, high-resolution macro-imager, 3D motion analysis systems, professional portable GPS units fully compatible with GIS, 3D printer
- An advanced molecular techniques center, including a robotic liquid handler, automated plate reader, qPCR, and eukaryotic cell culture capabilities
- A collaborative learning center for small group activity via wireless sharing of data
- A student study center and lounge
- Animal care facilities
- Two automated greenhouses
In addition, we actively promote research across scientific disciplines, thanks to a new, multidisciplinary lab called the Collaboratorium.
The Student Experience
Students may participate in independent research or summer research to enhance their academic experience and build their résumé.
Our students work alongside professors studying ecology at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge; examining the microorganisms that promote the growth of beach grass protecting Long Island beaches; and studying biofuels and sand dunes, cancer cell migration, and pathogenic bacteria.
Internships are an important part of the Hofstra biology majors’ experience, and opportunities are available with local companies, nonprofit organizations, medical facilities, and/or government agencies.
Students have recently held internship positions at:
CHSL Fish Hatchery
Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Museum of Natural History
New York Aquarium
Sands Point Preserve
Town of Hempstead Department of Conservation and Waterways
Volunteers for Wildlife
Resources for finding internships include the Hofstra Center for Career Design and Development. For more information, call 516-463-6060.
The Department of Biology offers several competitive summer fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students wishing to pursue independent research. These fellowships provide a stipend of $4,500 to students for an intensive, 10-week summer research program.
You can meet like-minded new people, share ideas, and organize service-learning opportunities through student organizations.
AMSA – American Medical Students Association
Alpha Epsilon Delta – National Health Preprofessional Honor Society
Beta Beta Beta – National Biology Honor Society
Hofstra Biology Club
More About Us
Student Making Scientific News with Leaf Miner Research
When she’s not playing for the Pride on Hofstra’s Field Hockey team, biology major Karissa Hough ‘24 has dedicated herself to studying some of nature’s tiniest creatures. According to her faculty advisor, Biology Professor Russell Burke, Hough is breaking ground in the scientific community with her research of leaf miners.
Biology Professor's Conservation Mission
Peter Daniel, Professor of Biology, was featured in a Newsday story, "Alewives Gain Access to Spawning Grounds," about conservations efforts on Long Island aimed at giving alewives (or river herring) and other fish access easier access to freshwater spawning grounds.
During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, biology major and entrepreneur Michael Lai ’20 learned his most valuable lesson. “When the world around you is changing and the market with it, you have to be dynamic.”
Professors Discover a New Marine Species
A new marine species, Akrophryxus milvus, co-discovered by Jason D. Williams, the Donald E. Axinn Distinguished Professor in Ecology and Conservation, and Christopher Boyko, Laboratory Director in the Department of Biology, has been named one of “Ten remarkable new marine species” of 2021 by the World Registry of Marine Species (WoRMS).
In the shadow of New York City, Hofstra biology students conduct original research on the Diamondback Terrapin population of Jamaica Bay.
For the last few years, Assistant Professor of Biology Javier Izquierdo has been working with students on a $476,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct research to help rebuild and sustain dunes on Long Island, particularly those destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
Hofstra Sweeps Top Spots in TriBeta Regional Convention
Biology majors Amber Jordan ’21 and Julianna Dolinski ’21 swept the top awards for their poster presentations at the Northeast-1 (NE-1) Regional District Convention of the TriBeta National Biology Honor Society hosted by Elmira College. The virtual poster session consisted of 20 posters from 13 higher education institutions.
In a survey of recent Hofstra graduates who majored in biology, 94% of respondents reported that within one year of graduation they were employed and/or attending or planning to attend graduate school.
Among those Hofstra graduates who majored in biology and who reported they were employed, 100% reported they landed their position before or within six months of graduation. The mean annual self-reported salary was $55,000.
Recent alumni have reported working at:
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories
- Cornell University Veterinary Specialists
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Foot And Ankle Surgeons Of New York
- Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Northwell Health
- NY Presbyterian Hospital
- Plainview Oral Surgery
- The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Alumni have reported pursuing graduate studies at:
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Columbia University
- Drexel University
- New York Medical College
- NYIT College Of Osteopathic Medicine
- SUNY Stony Brook University
- Tufts University
- University of Connecticut
- University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- University of Pennsylvania
Are you a high school student?
The Hofstra University Summer Science Research Program (HUSSRP) provides opportunities in the Department of Biology for high school students to engage in research projects during the summer. Visit the website for details.