College of Arts and Sciences
Degree: BS, Biology; BA, Biology
Department Chair: Angela Asirvatham, PhD
Angela Asirvatham, Associate Professor of Biology, DVM Madras Veterinary College; MS University of Wyoming; PhD Kent State University
Grace Fu-Chun Chen, Assistant Professor of Biology, BS National Cheng Kung University; MS University of Missouri - St. Louis; PhD Michigan State University
Larry Corpus, Assistant Professor of Biology, BA, MA California State University, Sacramento; MS Washington State University; PhD Kansas State University
Frank DiPino, Professor of Biology, BA State University of New York; PhD Marquette University
Stanley S. Knapich, Professor Emeritus of Biology, BS Wilkes University; MEd, DEd The Pennsylvania State University
Barbara J. McCraith, Associate Professor of Biology, BS LeMoyne College; MS Winthrop College; PhD University of South Carolina
Anthony Serino, Associate Professor of Biology, BS MS University of Scranton; PhD The Pennsylvania State University
Colby Tanner, Assistant Professor of Biology, BA The University of Montana; MS DePaul University; PhD University of Utah
Cosima B. Wiese, Associate Professor of Biology, BA Bucknell University; MSc, PhD The Pennsylvania State University
The biology curriculum is designed to provide a diverse and solid foundation in various areas of the biological sciences. Given the rate and nature of the current advances, such a background requires a supporting foundation in the physical sciences, mathematics and the other liberal arts in order to adequately prepare an individual to pursue a career in the field of biology. A variety of opportunities exist for post-graduate employment in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, biotechnology, food, and chemical industries as well as in government agencies and universities.
With this foundation and the selection of appropriate elective courses, a biology major is prepared for post-graduate studies in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, podiatry, optometry, or for graduate study in various specialties in the biological sciences such as molecular biology, neurobiology, genetics, physiology, developmental biology, botany, microbiology, and ecology. A biology major is assigned an advisor who helps plan a program of courses consistent with the student’s interest and career objectives. Majors in Biology must maintain at least a “B” cumulative average and a GPA of at least 3.0 to be recommended to graduate or professional schools.
Biology Program Mission and Goals
The mission of the biology program is to provide students with a quality education in the diverse areas of biological sciences so they can be prepared to pursue a career in research and graduate studies. The program goals for the biology major are:
- To provide a quality education in the biological sciences.
- To stimulate a student’s innate curiosity for lifelong learning.
- To develop an understanding of the scientific process and its application.
- To provide the tools and promote knowledge for future opportunities and endeavors, and to develop involved members of the community.
The Biology major program goals are realized in the following student learning outcomes:
Outcome for Goal 1:
- Be able to identify and explain fundamental biological concepts and principles on the molecular, cellular, organismal and population levels.
- Describe the unifying concepts underlying the diversity of life.
Outcome for Goal 2:
- Apply knowledge of biological concepts to formulate questions and hypotheses for research.
- Demonstrate ability to find, read, understand, and critically evaluate scientific papers.
Outcome for Goal 3:
- Use the scientific method to develop hypotheses, design and execute experiments, collect and analyze data and communicate findings both orally and in written form.
- Develop experimental skills and techniques used in laboratory and field research.
Outcome for Goal 4:
- Succeed in competing for internship or summer research opportunities during the academic program.
- Be successful in obtaining jobs or gaining admittance to post-graduate studies in the biological sciences.
Prospective undergraduate applicants must meet both Misericordia University’s and the biology department’s admission criteria. Students must have the following criteria to be considered for acceptance into the biology program:
- Completion of at least one year (each) of high school Biology, Chemistry and pre-Calculus.
- Class rank in the top half of the high school graduate class and/or a cumulative 2.75 grade point average
- Minimum SAT score of 500 in Math and a combined score of 950 in Critical Reading and Math, or equivalent ACT composite score (20)
The mission of the biology program is to provide students with a quality education in the diverse areas of biological sciences so they can be prepared to pursue a career in research and graduate studies. The curriculum emphasizes the central principles of biology while also allowing students to specialize by selecting upper level courses from three distinct tracks to prepare them for diverse career paths in the biological sciences. Experiential learning is built into the biology curriculum through investigative laboratory activities in courses and research opportunities with faculty. By doing hands-on work through courses and research opportunities, students will learn to develop, carry out and analyze experiments using the scientific method while learning specific research techniques, such as those used for tissue culture, molecular biology, biochemistry, histology, physiology and biology field work. This curricular approach, in conjunction with the supporting courses required by the curriculum, provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare for a diverse array of career paths. A variety of opportunities exist for postgraduate employment in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, biotechnology, food, and chemical industries, as well as in government agencies and universities. In addition, biology majors are prepared for post-graduate studies in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, podiatry, optometry, or for graduate study in various specialities in the biological sciences such as cell and molecular biology, genetics, organismal biology, and ecology.
Students who wish to purse a Bachelor’s degree in Biology have the following options:
- B.S. in Biology: Students who are on the B.S. track have two options:
- B.S. Biology with research option: Students who choose the research option are required to take five biology electives. Additionally, they will take at least 2 credits of BIO 480 to conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty memeber and present their findings in BIO 491 Senior Thesis course.
- B.S. Biology with the non-research option: Students who choose the non-research option are required to take six biology electives and present a paper on a topic prescribed by the BIO 491 Senior Thesis course. These students are not required to take BIO 480 Biological Research .
- B.A. in Biology
Students who wish to purse a B.A. in biology will be required to take five biology electives. They are not required to take BIO 300 Junior Biology Seminar , BIO 480 Biological Research , or BIO 491 Senior Thesis .
The Pre-professional curriculum (Pre-Med, Pre-Vet, Pre-Optometry and Pre-Dental) is the same as the Biology BS degree curriculum.
Students are advised to find information about graduate studies from the following sources:
American Dental Association: www.ada.org
American Medical Association: www.ama-assn.org
American Optometric Association: www.aoa.org
American Veterinary Medicine Association: www.avma.org