Biology - BS

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    Program Contact: Dr. David Merwine


    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.  

    Watch what some of our biology students do in the program. Take a look at our Biology program website.

    This just in:

    • Anne Jiang '16 is a graduate student in the Doctor of Pharmacy program and the Business Administration masters programs at West Virginia University
    • Jonathan Josephs-Spaulding '16 is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in Environmental Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins University
    • Mariah Cole '15 is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in the Infectious Diseases and Microbiology program at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Public Health
    • Maria Laverde '15 is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in the Human Genetics program at McGill University (Canada)
    • Eoghan McCroskey '15 is a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in the Interdisciplinary Ecological Sciences and Engineering program at Purdue University
    • Nicolette Fruehan '14 is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in the Forest and Natural Resource Management in the Ecosystem and Ecology Program College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF)-SUNY
    • Matt Muroski '14 is a wastewater treatment plant operator trainee, Olean, NY
    • Lindsay Shine '14 is a resource conservationist for the McKean County Conservation District in Smethport, PA
    • Paul Woods '14 is pursuing a degree in medicine from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

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

    Course Requirements for the Major

                  Total Credits for Major: 57-60


    Additional Information:


    If you're interested in applying to schools of chiropractic, dentistry/dental medicine, medicine, optometry, podiatry, and veterinary medicine, you need to 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).

     For more information about the biology program, check out our homepage.


    Yaich Lauren

    Dr. Lauren Yaich

    Associate Professor of Biology


    106 Fisher Hall

    Mulcahy Mary

    Dr. Mary Mulcahy

    Division Chair, Associate Professor of Biology


    203F Fisher Hall

    Merwine David

    Dr. David Merwine

    Director of Biology program, Associate Professor of Biology


    203D Fisher Hall

    Singh Om

    Dr. Om Singh

    Associate Professor of Biology


    203C Fisher Hall

    James, Orin

    Mr. Orin James

    Instructor of Biology


    203J Fisher Hall

    Piechnik, Denise

    Dr. Denise Piechnik

    Assistant Professor of Biology


    211B Swarts Hall

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

    • Office Supervisor at Arizona Urology Specialists, Scottsdale, AZ
    • Operations Director at Custom Performance Engineering, Bettsville, MD


    Graduate School:
    • Doctoral student at West Virginia University's School of Pharmacy
    • Graduate student at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health
    • Graduate student at Chatham University
    • Doctoral student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
    • Graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health
    • Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
    • University of North Georgia