Student Resources


Biology majors work with their academic advisor for guidance through their four years at CSB/SJU.

It is the job of an academic advisor to:

  • guide their advisees through the major,
  • keep them on track in fulfilling requirements for the Core or Integrations Curriculum, the major and any minors they may decide to pick up,
  • keep them aware of opportunities from which they might benefit, such as internships, research or studying abroad.

During spring semester of a student’s first year, the Biology Department will assign advisers to students who are planning to apply to become Biology majors. This is done based on preferences that a student has communicated to the faculty member assigning advisors and on supply and demand. If you are wondering who to ask for as an advisor, consider what professors in the department work in a field of Biology you are interested in, and who you get along with and can talk to.

Career Planning


Internships consist of off-campus study or research developed by students, under the guidance of a faculty member. Up to four biology credits will be given for off-campus projects. Students may also design a semester-long, interdisciplinary internship that earns credit from several different departments. For example, a student recently completed an internship in neuroimmunology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Most of her efforts centered on the basic study of immunology and how it applies to neurological problems. She received biology credit, as well as credit from the communication and management departments. If you plan to attend graduate or professional school, you are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities.

Career Outlook for Biology Majors

Students who major in biology are prepared to enter graduate studies in the biological sciences; science education; and professional education in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. Biology majors and minors often go on to professional careers in law, education, business and government service, as well as to laboratory research positions in industrial and academic settings. 20 to 25% of all CSB/SJU biology graduates go to graduate or professional school immediately after graduation. After working a few years, another 25 to 30% pursue graduate work. CSB and SJU rank 30th in the nation among undergraduate schools for the number of graduates who have gone on to earn a Ph.D.

Work-study Positions in the Biology Department

Many work-study positions are available in the Biology Department for undergraduates including teaching assistants, lab assistants and clerical positions. Most positions employ students for five to six hours/week and all positions are supervised by either biology faculty or staff. Thus they provide an excellent opportunity to get to know members of the Biology Department.


  • Biosafety Plan: Policies, procedures and work practices used to protect CSB/SJU staff and the environment from the heath hazards presented by biologically active material
  • Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP): Policies, procedures, and work practices used to protect CSB/SJU Biology Department members from the health hazards presented by hazardous chemicals
  • CSB/SJU Environmental Health and Safety: Policies, programs, forms and training
  • Research Risk Assessment Form: All students conducting independent research in the biology department must complete this form prior to beginning their project. Research cannot begin until the biology safety committee has reviewed and approved your proposal.
Preparing for Internships, Jobs or Grad School

Resources from XPD – Experience & Professional Development:

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Dr. Jennifer Schaefer
Chair, Biology Department
SJU PEngl 303