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Learning Beyond the Classroom


There are many opportunities for Biology Majors at Merrimack College to learn about and apply biological principles outside the classroom through internships, summer research opportunities and experiences in professional laboratories, in the work place and/or field. Please check out our internships/career links page.  The benefits from participating in these experiences are enormous, and include:

  • Gaining practical, on-the-job experience
  • Development of professional and personal confidence, responsibility, and maturity
  • Understanding of the realities of the work world
  • Acquisition of human relations skills
  • Opportunity to examine a career choice closely and make professional contacts
  • Opportunity to test the ideas learned in the classroom out in the work place
  • Opportunity to make contacts with potential employers
  • Enhancement of classroom experiences
  • Learning what careers to pursue or not to pursue
  • Development of skills that are difficult to learn and practice in the classroom
  • Possible earnings to help offset college expenses

Guideline on gaining academic credit (BIO 4095) for internship experiences are described further below.

What Merrimack Students Have Done


Jodi Bonifiglio ’09 - “In the Radiology Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, I had lots of patient interaction, and was involved with X-Rays, CAT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, and a lot more.”

Ashley Ray ’08 - “I had a fantastic summer, working in drug substance development. I was responsible for maintaining three different cell lines, collected samples for osmolality, metabolite, cell density, and blood gas assays, and carried out Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent and Bioreactor assays. The interns had to attend weekly department meetings and give oral presentations.”

Ryan Rafferty ’08 - “I calibrated and maintained breathalizers, and went with the police officers to State police sobriety testing checkpoints, which was a great experience. I also had the opportunity to tour the bomb lab, ballistics, the crime scene search laboratory, and spent a week shadowing an officer in the criminology laboratory.”

Mike Asaro ’08 - “As an intern assisting the Conservation Agent in Gloucester, Massachusetts, I have had the opportunity to directly experience the local wetlands permitting process while contributing to the protection of wetland resource areas. The amount of attention each permitted project throughout the city requires from the Conservation Agent is daunting, so I have had to opportunity to be fully exposed to the wetland protection process and make real contributions. Merrimack has given me both the tools to find an internship and the knowledge to succeed.” 


Biology Internships for Academic Credit

To receive academic credit for their experiences, students should enroll in BIO4095 Biology Internship (4 credits). The biology internship is an intensive work/study experience co-supervised by the Internship Coordinator at Merrimack College and a mentor in the work place. Students are placed according to interest in a variety of public, private or non-profit work settings, including: biomedical, pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology laboratories and facilities; medical, veterinary and/or dental clinics; and environmental and ecological positions. Prerequisites are typically junior or senior standing as a biology major and consent of the Internship Coordinator. FYI, the internship does not fulfill the departmental upper level elective requirement. View detailed guidelines on gaining academic credit for internships.

For more information, contact the Biology Department Internship Coordinator:

Dr. Mark Birnbaum
Professor of Biology
Room 352 Mendel
tel (978) 837-5276

To search for potential internships and work opportunities, check out our Internship Page.