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Biology

Special Programs

Molecules, Cells and Organisms: A Unique Introduction to Biology Course

In 2011, Carthage was awarded a Science Education Alliance (SEA) grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to offer a research-based course in genomics for select freshman biology majors. The course was such a success that Carthage expanded the program in Fall 2015 for all biology majors. The new course, titled Molecules, Cells, and Organisms, is a lecture/lab combined course that provides first-year biology majors with hands-on original research experience that allows them to contribute to authentic ongoing research in the field early in their Carthage careers. Content includes topics such as molecular structures and characteristics, cellular components and functions, gene expression, energy capture and transformation, homeostasis, repair, reproduction, and processes of evolution at these scales.

Occupational Therapy 3-2 program

Carthage offers a 3-2 Occupational Therapy program, in which students complete three years of undergraduate study at Carthage and two years in an occupational therapy graduate program at another school.
Learn more about the 3-2 Occupational Therapy Program at Carthage

Pre-Health

Carthage offers many ways for students to prepare for medical school or graduate programs for the health professions. Carthage serves students who are interested in medicine, dentistry, nursing, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, veterinary, and public health. Pre-health students are assigned a faculty advisor who assists them in determining which courses they should take and which career best suits their interests and ultimate goals.
Learn more about pre-health at Carthage

J-Term

J-Term is a month-long period of study in January in which all academic departments at Carthage offer innovative courses on campus, as well as study tours around the world. The Biology Department offers many of the College’s most popular J-Term trips, including trips to China, Arizona, Belize, Hawaii and Costa Rica. During the semi-annual J-Term study tour in Nicaragua, students volunteer in rural medical clinics. They shadow physicians, work with patients, and observe and participate in patient care. For pre-health students, it’s a rare opportunity to learn what it’s like to work in a medical setting before going to medical school.
Learn more about January Term at Carthage

ScienceWorks: Entrepreneurial Studies in the Natural Sciences

ScienceWorks is a unique offering at Carthage. The program focuses on the business of science by integrating important skills such as written and oral communication, graphics and artwork, business accounting, management, and marketing. Students get hands-on experience and coursework that prepares them for the job market and career advancement.
Learn more about ScienceWorks

SURE: Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

In SURE, students work one-on-one with a faculty mentor on a significant summer research project.  The program provides a stipend, room and board, and a research budget to participants. All students and faculty participating in the program meet weekly for lunch and presentations of research progress. A poster session is held during the final week of the program wherein the entire Carthage community is invited to view and discuss the results of the research. In past year, SURE participants have studied:

  • Cloning and expression of cellulase in E. coli
  • Designed and built biofilm detectors
  • Characterization of potential endocrine-disrupting compounds in Southeastern Wisconsin water
  • The long-term effects of fluoxetine exposure on the third-trimester rats
  • Characterization of the bacterial Small RNA Goldilocks
  • Acoustic monitoring of local bat activity

Learn more about SURE at Carthage

Paleontology

Carthage students who are interested in paleontology — the study of the history of life on Earth through fossils — have the opportunity to study under Dr. Thomas Carr, a renowned vertebrate paleontologist, and get hands-on field experience that is unusual in undergraduate programs.
Learn more about paleontology at Carthage

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • Beyond the campus boundaries, dinosaur fossils are prepared at the Carthage Institute of Paleontolgoy in Kenosha. A lengthy pterodactyl flight away, Finca Esperanza serves as a base camp for J-Term medical and water quality missions to Nicaragua. 

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 11 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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