2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
    Jul 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Biology BS


College of Arts and Sciences
Degree: BS, Biology
Department Chair: Cosima B. Wiese, PhD

Faculty

Angela Asirvatham, Associate Professor of Biology, DVM Madras Veterinary College; MS University of Wyoming; PhD Kent State University

Linda A. Auker, Assistant Professor of Biology, BS, Long Island University; MS University of Rhode Island; PhD University of New Hampshire

Frank DiPino, Professor of Biology, BA State University of New York; PhD Marquette University

Barbara J. McCraith, Associate Professor Emerita 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

Cosima B. Wiese, Professor of Biology, BA Bucknell University; MSc, PhD The Pennsylvania State University

Mateusz Wosik, Assistant Professor of Biology, BSc Elmhurst College; PhD University of Toronto

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.

Mission

The mission of the biology program is to provide students with a foundational comprehension of the diverse areas of biological sciences so they will be prepared to formulate questions, use science to investigate those questions, and communicate the results with others. 

Program Learning Outcomes and Student Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcome 1: Students will develop strong foundational comprehension of the concepts, mechanisms, and processes of biology.

Student Learning Outcomes:

1a. Identify and explain fundamental biological concepts and principles

1b. Describe the unifying biological concepts underlying the diversity of life

1c. Demonstrate the ability to find, read, understand and critically evaluate scientific literature

Program Learning Outcome 2: Students will apply the scientific process and experimental methodologies to test biological concepts, mechanisms and processes. Student Learning Outcomes:
2a. Identify articles in the primary literature relevant to the focus of the experimental work

2b. Apply comprehension of biological concepts to formulate questions and hypotheses

2c. Demonstrate use of experimental methodologies to test hypotheses

2d. Collect data and analyze data

Program Learning Outcome 3: Students will demonstrate their knowledge of biological principles and concepts through effective communication to diverse audiences.

Student Learning Outcomes:

3a. Use data from experimentation and the primary literature to write a well-organized and scientifically credible research paper or report

3b. Use data from experimentation and the primary literature to present a well-organized and scientifically credible presentation 

Program Learning Outcome 4: Students will propose and carry out research projects.

Student Learning Outcomes:

4a.    Integrate knowledge of the scientific literature to develop a testable question for independent research

4b.    Use and/or evaluate scientific methods and equipment to conduct experiments and collect data

4c.    Evaluate and synthesize findings

4d.    Disseminate conclusions through a written report or presentation

Admissions Requirements:

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:

  1. Completion of at least one year (each) of high school Biology, Chemistry and pre-Calculus.
  2. Class rank in the top half of the high school graduate class and/or a cumulative 2.75 grade point average

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:

  1. B.S. in Biology: Students who are on the B.S. track have two options:
    1. B.S. Biology with research option: Students who choose the research option are required to take five biology electives. These students will take a research project in BIO 300 Junior Biology Seminar  and take at least 2 credits of BIO 480 Biological Research  to conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty member. The students will then present the findings of their research in BIO 400 Senior Seminar .
    2. B.S. Biology with the non-research option: Students who choose the non-research option are required to take six biology electives but are not required to take BIO 480 Biological Research . These students will develop a proposal for a library-based research project in BIO 300 Junior Biology Seminar  and present their findings in BIO 400 Senior Seminar .
  2. 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 400 Senior Seminar .

Pre-Professional Curriculum

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

Suggested Curricula


The following are suggested curricula for a variety of biology specialities including a BS in Biology, BA in Biology, BA Biology/Secondary Education, or a BA Biology (Pre-DPT). A minor is also available.

Students must take five (5) biology electives from the courses listed below, with at least one (1) elective in each of the three (3) tracks:

Sequence of Required Courses


Sequence of Required Courses for the research option track. Students pursuing the non-research option would not take BIO 480 , and would take an additional BIO major elective.

First Year


Total Credits 15

Total Credits 15

Second Year


Third Year


First Semester


Total Credits 15

Second Semester


Total Credits 17

Fourth Year


First Semester


Total Credits 15

Second Semester


Total Credits 13

Minimum Credits Required for Graduation: 120