At Marietta College we want our students to succeed at whatever they do. Increasingly, the best jobs - the ones a Marietta College graduate should aspire to - require a degree beyond the bachelors. The good news is that in the basic biological sciences this degree is often paid for by the graduate school in return for work as a graduate teaching or research assistant. To prepare students for graduate school, the biology and health science majors both require a capstone experience that seeks to simulate the type of research done in graduate school, either a hands-on project or a library research project. The process extends over three semesters. In the spring of the junior year, students take Biology 380 - Research Methods - where they learn how to design a scientific experiment and analyze the results. They also work on polishing their presentation skills and develop a research proposal.

Over the summer and the fall semester, students work to do the research envisioned in their proposal. Sometimes this work is done on campus, sometimes at a field station, sometimes at a major university campus as part of an REU (research experience for undergraduates) at a major college, sometimes as part of an internship. Some students receive support from the college in the form of a summer research grant from the Investigative Studies Program.

In the spring semester, students finalize their work and prepare a final presentation. Each student gives a stand-up presentation; students doing hands-on research also present a poster at a special poster session; students doing a library research project must prepare a paper.

The links below go to various spots on our website where we highlight some of the work done by our capstone students.