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Requirements for the Biology Major

GEP Signature Courses (See Curricula): six courses

GEP Variable Courses (See Curricula): six to nine courses, including


MAT 155

Fundamentals of Calculus



MAT 161

Calculus I

Natural Science:

BIO 101

Biology I: Cells (first semester freshman year)

GEP Overlays (See Curricula): three courses

GEP Integrative Learning Component: three courses


CHM 120

General Chemistry I (first semester freshman year)

CHM 120L

Analytical-General Chemistry Laboratory I (first semester freshman year)

CHM 210

Organic Chemistry I (first semester sophomore year)

CHM 210L

Organic Chemistry I Lab (first semester sophomore year)


PHY 101

General Physics I (first semester junior year)

PHY 101L

General Physics Laboratory I (first semester junior year)

GEP Electives: at least six courses*

Major Concentration: thirteen courses


BIO 102

Biology II: Genetic and Evolutionary Biology (second semester freshman year)

BIO 201

Biology III: Organismic Biology (first semester sophomore year)

BIO 390

Seminar (Required each semester for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.)

One course from each of the following groups:

Group A: Cell Structure and Function

BIO 402

Advanced Cell Biology

BIO 404


BIO 408


BIO 410

Light and Electron Microscopy

BIO 411

Molecular Genetics

BIO 412


BIO 416


BIO 421

Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

Group B: Systemic Organization

BIO 403

Biometrics and Modeling

BIO 405


BIO 407

Developmental Biology

BIO 413

Plant Physiological Ecology

BIO 415


BIO 417

Systemic Physiology

Group C: Evolution and Diversity of Life

BIO 401

Animal Behavior

BIO 409


BIO 406

Comparative Anatomy

BIO 414

Plant Systematics

BIO 419

Invertebrate Zoology

BIO 420


BIO 423


Four additional 400-level biology courses

BIO 101,102, 201 and CHM 120, 125 are prerequisite for all 400 level BIO courses.


CHM 125

General Chemistry II (second semester freshman year)

CHM 125L

General Chemistry Laboratory II (second semester freshman year)

CHM 215

Organic Chemistry II (second semester sophomore year)

CHM 215L

Organic Chemistry Laboratory II (second semester sophomore year)


MAT 128

Applied Statistics (first semester freshman year)


PHY 102

General Physics II (second semester junior year)

PHY 102L

General Physics Laboratory II (second semester junior year)

*Biology majors may graduate with 38 or 39 courses instead of the usual 40 course requirement. The student retains the option to take 40 courses.

Note: Directed readings, special topics Biology Graduate courses and other Biology courses without a lab component can only be counted as a Biology elective and in most cases no more than one such non-lab course may be applied to this requirement. Students with the appropriate Mathematics background and interests can substitute University Physics for General Physics.

Requirements for Departmental Honors

Requirements for departmental honors are found under Honors Program and in the brochure published annually by the Director of the Honors program. Biology majors pursuing departmental honors can count two semesters of research toward the required four 400-level Biology electives.

Teacher Certification for Secondary Schools

For students who entered SJU before the fall of 2010, or transfer students who entered SJU in the fall of 2010 with 15 or more credits:

Students majoring in Biology may minor in Education to obtain an Instructional I, Secondary Education (7-12) Teaching Certificate. Students seeking this certification are URGED to apply for the Education minor during the spring semester of their freshman year. While students continue meeting with their Biology advisor, they will also be assigned an Education advisor who will guide them through their required Education courses. The Education advisor will also assist students seeking teacher certification in formally applying for the teacher certification program, usually in the spring semester of their sophomore year. Students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher to be accepted into the teacher certification program. Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher to obtain teacher certification upon graduation.

Students seeking the Education minor and teacher certification complete a sequence of five Education courses, three field experience labs, and a semester-long, full-time student teaching placement (for twelve credits). Students seeking the Education minor and teacher certification may complete their Social Science GER by taking: EDU 160 (Schools in Society and the accompanying lab); PSY 100 (Introduction to Psychology); and EDU 151 (Educational Psychology and the accompanying lab).

For students who entered SJU in the fall of 2010 or later, or transfer students who entered SJU in the fall of 2010 with 14 or fewer credits:

Pennsylvania’s Secondary (referred to as "secondary" or "7-12") preparation program guidelines require a Professional Core of courses, early and varied field experiences (190 hours), and student teaching. In addition to the subject-specific content requirements for secondary programs that are met by the student’s major, candidates for the 7-12 teaching certificate in Pennsylvania must complete a prescribed sequence of coursework which includes the specific requirements for Accommodations and Adaptations for Diverse Learners in Inclusive Settings and Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners under §49.13(4)(i).

Below is the recommended program for students who will be eligible for a PA Level I teaching certificate AFTER August 31, 2013 pending approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

EDU 150

Schools in Society (3 credits)

EDU 152

Field Experience Schools in Society (1 credit)

EDU 157

Adolescent Development (3 credits)

EDU 158

Field Experience Adolescent Development (1 credit)

SPE 230

Introduction to Special Education (3 credits)

EDU 231

Assessment & Evaluation in Education (3 credits)

EDU 233

Field Experience Assessment & Evaluation in Education (1 credit)

SPE 350

Teaching in Inclusive Environments (3 credits)

SPE 352

Field Experience Teaching in Inclusive Environments (1credit)

EDU 353

Reading in the Content Area (3 credits)

EDU 354

Literacy, Language and Culture (3 credits)

EDU 618/619

Instructional Tech for Science +F.E. (4 credits)

EDU 497

Student Teaching (12 credits)

Note: Students may or may not be able to complete the requirements for certification within the normal 8 semesters. This will be largely controlled by the number of GEP variable core courses the student has to take, AP credit received and other factors. Given the complexity of the requirements it is essential that students interested in pursuing secondary education certification speak with their academic advisor about this early in their program of study.