The biology major at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, prepares you for traditional fields of study as well as emerging fields such as biophysics, bioinformatics and molecular genetics. The science of biology plays a central role in important issues like global climate change, stem cell research and ecological restoration, as well as global health issues such as avian influenza, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Our biology degree graduates actively engage these issues, both as researchers in the laboratory and as medical personnel on the front lines.

Our biology program provides foundational courses useful for a number of disciplines as well as diverse specialized courses such as Biology of Climate Change, Bacterial Pathogenesis and the Natural History of Kentucky. We stress content as well as critical thinking, problem-solving and data analysis.

Belinda Sly, associate professor of biology

In our small lab sessions, you’ll sharpen your investigative skills by undertaking independent research. You’ll gain first-hand knowledge of subjects through field trips to destinations such as Kentucky’s Red River Gorge and Daniel Boone National Forest. May term travel courses have enabled students to study invertebrates in Florida, tropical ecology in Belize and Hawaii, native plants and animals in the forests of eastern Kentucky and public health issues in the Philippines.

Transylvania students have a variety of opportunities to conduct research, both independently and with professors. Research projects may receive funding from the university or from outside organizations such as the National Institutes of Health. Current faculty research interests include evolution and behavioral ecology of cannibalism, physiological and other correlates of avian personality and ecology of non-native plant invasions.

Where Our Graduates Have Worked

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Mount Sinai Hospital
  • National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, D.C.
  • Boston Medical Center

Where Our Graduates Have Studied

  • Auburn University
  • Baylor University
  • Harvard University
  • Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • University of Kentucky Dental School
  • University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Courses of Special Interest

  • Molecular Genetics
  • Entomology
  • Animal Behavior
  • Neurobiology
  • Public Health
  • Immunology
  • Tropical Ecology
  • Field Biology

Possible Career Options

  • Environmental protection agent
  • Medical doctor
  • Research scientist
  • Teacher

Semester Study Abroad Opportunities

  • Australia I
  • Australia II
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • England II
  • Fiji
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • Scotland
  • South Korea
  • Sweden

These GlobalTransy programs have at least two courses related to the major.

Interested in studying abroad for a summer? Take a look at our summer study abroad opportunities.


Belinda Sly, Associate Professor of Biology; Program Director
Phone: (859) 233-8325

Laura Ray Warren, Administrative Assistant, Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Phone: (859) 233-8228

Sydney Ellen Gooding, Lab Coordinator
Phone: (859) 233-8842

Transylvania University 
300 North Broadway 
Lexington, KY 40508-1797

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