Biology - BS

  • Biology Lab

  • “I love the flexibility of my major. I have gotten to do so many different things within biology.”

    Everett Chronowski of White Oak, PA, 2017 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biology

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    Program Contact: Dr. Mary Mulcahy


    If you want to do more than just live life, become a biologist and study it.  

    Biologists have exciting and rewarding careers in areas such as medicine, biotechnology, and environmental conservation and management. Biologists study living things to understand how they function, survive, and evolve. They may study bacteria and viruses that threaten human health or larger organisms such as red-spotted newts or brown bears. Whatever the scale, biological research increases our understanding of health and wellness and the threats to our environment. 

    You will learn how life works by asking questions, making observations, and evaluating evidence. Besides lectures, your classes will include hands-on activities in the laboratory and outdoors. Because of our location, you will have unique outdoor learning opportunities. We have an ongoing research project with our environmental studies program in the Allegheny National Forest.   

    Some of your college credits may come from internships: You can shadow local doctors or conduct undergraduate research with a faculty mentor.  

    With your biology degree you could become a physician or a veterinarian. A research biologist, a biotechnology patent attorney or a high school science teacher. These are just a few of the possibilities. 

    Future doctors may streamline their acceptance into medical school via our  Freshman Guarantee at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School.  Future doctors, dentists, and optometrists may be able save a year of study and tuition by enrolling in our special 3 + 4 programs with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Pitt's Dental School, or the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.  

    Take a look at our Biology program website.

    What you can do with a degree in Biology.  Suggested 4-year plan of study


    Course requirements in the major

    A grade of C- or better is required in BIOL 0101 and 0102

      BIOL Upper-Level Biology Electives (two of which must include a lab). A maximum of 2 credits may be taken as BIOL 1499 Internship.-

    16 Credits

    Capstone is a two semester course (total of 4 credits)

    Other required courses

    The mathematic requirement may be satisfied by taking any one of the following:

    The physics requirement may be satisfied by taking any of the following:

    Total credits required for the major: 57-60

    Students interested in applying to schools of chiropractic, dentistry/dental medicine, medicine, optometry, podiatry, and veterinary medicine must complete one year of Organic Chemistry with labs (CHEM 0206, 0207, 0208, and 0209); one year of General Physics with labs (PHYS 0101 and 0102 or 0201, 0202, 0203, and 0204); and one semester of Calculus (Math 0140).

    General Education Program Requirements and Electives-Variable

    (See General Education Program and General Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree under Academic Policies and Guidelines for further details.)

    Please be advised

    Please be advised that some programs or courses of study require that students complete rotations, fieldwork, internships/externships and/or teaching assignments at facilities external to the university, while other programs or courses of study may offer voluntary internships or externships at facilities external to the university. Depending on the program or course, such facilities will or may require a criminal background check, an act 33/34 clearance (if applicable), and perhaps a drug screen to determine participant qualification or eligibility. Additionally, in order to become licensed, many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felonious or illegal act associated with alcohol and/or substance abuse.

    Yaich Lauren

    Dr. Lauren Yaich

    Division Chair of Biological and Health Sciences and Associate Professor of Biology Program


    106 Fisher Hall

    James, Orin

    Mr. Orin James

    Instructor of Biology


    211C Swarts Hall

    Merwine David

    Dr. David Merwine

    Associate Professor of Biology


    203D Fisher Hall

    Mulcahy Mary

    Dr. Mary Mulcahy

    Director and Associate Professor of Biology Program


    203J Fisher Hall

    Piechnik, Denise

    Dr. Denise Piechnik

    Associate Professor of Biology


    211B Swarts Hall

    Ruffell, Sarah

    Dr. Sarah Ruffell

    Assistant Professor of Biology


    203C Fisher Hall

    These are just some of the positions our recent graduates have.

    • Office supervisor, Arizona Urology Specialists, Scottsdale, AZ
    • Operations director, Custom Performance Engineering, Bettsville, MD
    • Medical scribe, Rheumatic Disease Associates, Philadelphia
    • Medical scribe, Jefferson Hospital
    • Assistant radiographer, U.S. Inspection Services Inc.


    Graduate School:
    • West Virginia University's School of Pharmacy
    • Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health
    • Chatham University
    • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
    • University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health
    • Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
    • University of North Georgia
    • Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    • University of Buffalo/Roswell Park Cancer Institute
    • Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine