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Biologists are inquisitive professionals who seek to learn about the nature of life. Do you enjoy learning about animals or plants? Do you wonder how organisms in the field interact with their neighbors and their surroundings? Do you want to use hi-tech laboratory equipment to learn about the world of molecules and cells that lie within each us? Do you love all of the sciences? Biologists use tools from physics, chemistry, psychology, and even economics when trying to explain and understand the structure and function of living things.
Dr. Justin Merry
Department Chair, Biology
Science Center 107814-472-3089
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Our cornerstone programs are our two general biology degree programs. We offer a B.A. or B.S. in Biology, each of which allows considerable customization by the student while ensuring broad training across biology.
A flexible program that encourages broad training in biology, while allowing students to customize the program to their interests.
Flexible like the Biology, B.S. degree, but designed for students who wish to earn a double major, a minor, or a pre-law concentration.
This program is specifically built to prepare students for careers in aquariums and zoos upon completion. The students will complete a broad survey of biology the first year and then build upon this by completing courses in animal care, animal nutrition, vertebrate zoology, invertebrate zoology, microbiology, genetics, and marine biology. Students will develop skills while completing their animal care practicum and internships along with laboratory exercises. Presentation skills will be developed in front of and inside a large aquarium, presenting information to school children and visitors to the biology department.
Visit the Aquarium & Zoo Science Page
This program is offered jointly through the Biology and Chemistry departments. Biochemists study the chemical processes that occur in living cells as well as the structure and function of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids.
Visit the Biochemistry Program Page
Designed for those students highly interested in the environmental side of biology. Students have the opportunity to complete specialized courses related to the environment such as Ecology, Field Biology, Freshwater Aquatics, and Conservation Biology, while still maintaining a solid foundation in the traditional Biological Sciences. This concentration prepares students for both jobs and graduate school in a wide variety of environmental-related fields such as wildlife biology, entomology, resource conservation, environmental law, and environmental education. Students in this program also have the opportunity to do ecological research with faculty and to participate in our Immersion Semester program at the Raystown Field Station.
For students wishing to work or continue their studies in a wide
array of marine biological careers. Students will focus their studies on
completing a wide exploration of marine biology their first two years
and then specialize their studies the last two years to prepare for
careers as field biologists, coral reef ecologists, fisheries
biologists, aquaculturists, etc. or to continue their studies in
graduate level programs. Students will build skills in completing marine
biological studies throughout the program.
Visit the Marine Biology Page
Medical Laboratory Scientist, also known as Medical Technologists or Clinical Laboratory Scientists, are health care professionals who work in laboratories and perform diagnostic tests on human tissue samples. They have expertise in biology and chemistry, and are trained in the use of state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. This is a "3+1" program; students spend their first three years at Saint Francis University, and then attend an affiliated Medical Laboratory Science school in their fourth year to complete their B.S. degree and receive specialized training.
Visit the Medical Laboratory Science Page
With focus on molecular and cellular biology, this program is designed with both rigor and flexibility to reflect the many different employment pathways open to molecular biologists. Fields such as cell biology, immunology, developmental biology, genetics and
the exploding field of bioinformatics offer opportunities for graduates with a solid understanding of the inner workings of the cell. This concentration also allows students the option of combining computer skills with their knowledge of biology.
This program is recommended for students who plan to attend medical, dental, optometry, podiatry, veterinary, or similar professional schools. Pre-medicine students receive one-on-one advising support from their Biology faculty advisor, as well as advice and guidance from our Pre-Medicine Committee.
Dr. Marian Langer, who chairs the committee, is a member of the
National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP), and is accessible to students for expert advice that comes from years of experience.
The academic program emphasizes biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, physiology, and anatomy. It is front-loaded, such that most critical science courses can be completed prior to the end of a students' third year. This ensures that our students are well-positioned for success on entrance
exams, such as the MCAT, OAT, DAT, or GRE, which are taken following the third year.
We also have affiliations with a variety of professional schools that offer
early acceptance into medical, dental, optometry, pharmacy and podiatry programs.
Learn more about Pre-Medicine
This program provides students with an in-depth, well-rounded biology education that will allow them to master the content needed to teach science in secondary education. Furthermore, students will take a full slate of education courses, and work in tandem with an advisor in the
education department, to develop the teaching skills needed to communicate these concepts effectively. Students in this program complete their undergraduate coursework in seven semesters, and then spend their final semester doing student teaching for an area school.
We also offer a dual certification program in both Biology, Secondary Education and Special Education. In this 4.5-semester program, students take an additional 18 credits of courses that develop skills in special education.
Non-majors can obtain a minor in biology. Please see the
Course Catalog Major Requirements.
The Biological Diving minor requires that students complete SCUBA certification as well as a selection of upper level biology courses. Many of these courses provide opportunities for travel to sites like St. Lucia and Belize for diving experience.
Visit the Biological Diving program page
Students with an interest in medicine, physiology, or molecular biology often pursue our interdisciplinary neuroscience minor, which pairs well with a biology major. Most biology students need only three additional courses and a seminar to complete the minor.
Visit the Neuroscience program page
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