Domestic & Abroad Programs

Wheaton College encourages enrollment of off campus courses that introduce students to real world situations where they can learn the principles and practices of their academic disciplines.

Biology Domestic Experiences

Wheaton College Science StationGroup of people sitting on top of a hill

The Wheaton College Science Station offers the College's longest running off-campus program on a park-like 50 acres in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Students can take intensive courses in ecology, plant biology and zoology, where students study ecological systems and the organisms that have domains in them. The diversity of habitats is great, ranging from mixed grass prairies to oak woodlands, pine forests and spruce forests. Taking one course at a time, students are truly immersed in learning about plants, animals, geology, and ecology in the outdoors. A need-based scholarship is available. The summer program offers BIOL 242, BIOL 243 and courses in environmental science and geology.

Woods Hole

During the Semester in Environmental Science at MBL in Woods Hole, MA students explore global change and the biogeochemistry of coastal ecosystems.

Au Sable Institute

Au Sable Institute’s academic program offers field-based, university-level courses during the summer in environmental studies and environmental science at campuses in the Great Lakes region (Mancelona, MI), Pacific Northwest (Whidbey Island, WA), South India (Thiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu), and Latin America (Vara Blanca, Costa Rica).

Other Domestic Experiences

The Biology Department receives information about many off campus internships that provide experiences in many aspects of the professional practices of biologists. Students often spend summers or semesters at off campus sites and experience what is really involved in working in research labs, clinics, environmental agencies or other sites in which a student with a liberal arts degree in biology could serve after graduation. Most return with both confidence that they have been well prepared and a clearer vision of what they can do in the future. Below is a brief list of where our Biology Majors have participated in off campus internships recently.

  • Medical/Molecular
    University of Nebraska Medical Center
    University of Chicago
    Argonne National Laboratory
    Purdue University
    Kansas State University
  • Environmental
    Morton Arboretum
    Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Course Field TripsBiology at Wheaton College

Several of the biology classes involve field trips to locations in and around Chicago. They are designed to enable the students to experience, on a first-hand basis, what they are learning in class.

  • BIOL 243 Processes of Life. Travel to various forests preserves in the area.
  • BIOL 252 Introduction to Biological Research.  Model Research Systems: Students travel to the University of Chicago's John Crearar Library - Students in the Sophomore-level course called go as a class to the Crearar library in down-town Chicago in order to do library research for a literature review paper. They are accompanied by a staff member from the Wheaton College library who has expertise in the biological sciences.
  • BIOL 341 Plant Physiology. A field trip is taken to either the Chicago Botanical Garden or the Garfield Pard Conservatory.
  • BIOL 344 Economic Botany. A field trip is taken to the Field Museum of Natural History and the Garfield Park Conservatory in order to see and learn about plants used for a variety of purposes.
  • BIOL 364 Microbiology and Immunology. Takes a field trip to the Stickney Waste Water Management Facility in Chicago.
  • BIOL 368 Invertebrate Zoology. Travels to the Shedd Aquarium.


Study Abroad Experiences

HNGR  (Human Needs and Global Resources)

Derek and netThe HNGR Program includes a 6 month experience, usually in a foreign culture, in which the student works with an on-site agency. The student also carries out an individual research project that is mentored by a member of the Biology faculty. The faculty member makes a visit to the student at least once during the period of the HNGR internship. Biology students have interned in such locations  as Bolivia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Côte d’Ivoire, Ivory Coast, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Tanzania, and Thailand with the following organizations:

  • Shalom Delhi (Delhi, India): HIV/AIDS Palliative Care Program
  • Vida en Abunduncia (Xalapa, Mexico): Health education, clinic
  • Emmanuel Hospital Association (Landour, Herbertpur): Public health, Maternal Health, Surgery, Ophthalmology, Dentistry, General Medicine, etc
  • ECHO (Arusha, Tanzania): Species conservation, sustainable agriculture
  • AROCHA (Trujillo, Peru; Accra, Ghana): Agroforestry, climate change
  • Fundacion San Lucas (Jinotepe, Nicaragua): Sustainable agriculture, nutrition education, water resource development

Contact the HNGR office for further information. Read more about HNGR on their website.

Global Programs and Studies (GPS)

Global Programs and Studies offers approved* semester study abroad programs where Biology Majors can study in their academic area of interest:

 *Federal, State and Wheaton Financial Aid may apply to approved GPS programs.