Biology Major

Biology is the study of living things, their form, function and evolution, and the interactions of living things with each other and with the environment. The biology program at Saint Joseph’s exposes you to all levels of biological organization, from the sub-cellular to the ecosystem. This is accomplished through core courses, a distribution requirement and free electives.

Areas of teaching and research cover an extensive range of topics including cell and molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, plant biology, evolution, physiology, ecology, bioinformatics, biophysics and animal behavior. All upper level courses are taught by full time faculty who are specialists in the field.

Emphasizing a hands-on, experimental approach in all courses, the biology department has outstanding equipment and facilities, including an animal biodiversity lab, a greenhouse, plant growth chambers, confocal and electron microscopes and equipment for molecular biology research, all available for student use.

While participating in research is not required, opportunities abound year-round for motivated students and are highly recommended. The experience of doing original research has far-reaching benefits in and beyond the field of biology. As a major, you will work closely with faculty members, all of whom have varied backgrounds and unique expertise, and who will encourage you to join them as a co-investigator, giving you the opportunity to present your work at local and national scientific meetings. It is not unusual for a student’s work to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

In addition, the five-year B.S./M.S. biology-education program is designed for students who wish to become certified secondary school (grades 7-12) science teachers. The program incorporates the four-year B.S. degree in biology with additional work during the summer and a fifth year to complete the M.S. in secondary education and to become certified. Given the numerous course requirements for the dual degrees and the certification, it is important that students talk with the biology education advisor about this program early in their careers to ensure they are taking appropriate courses.

The biology program prepares students for a wide range of career options. Many of our graduates enter medical and health profession schools, graduate schools for M.S. or Ph.D. degrees, K-12 education, or industry jobs.