GMercyU Biology major students in the lab

Biology Major: Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology

Biology Major: Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology
Biology Major Success
The GMercyU Difference
Undergraduate Minors 

Biology Major: Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology

Gwynedd Mercy University’s biology major emphasizes molecular and cellular biology, genetics and biochemistry. Our rigorous and interdisciplinary bachelor of science in biology degree includes physical sciences coursework in chemistry, physics, mathematics and biology.  Here, you will learn directly from experienced, full-time faculty members with doctorate degrees ─ GMercyU does not have teaching assistants (TAs) like other biology colleges. That means richer learning opportunities in the classroom, the laboratory and the field.

Biology Major Success

  

For the past 10 years GMercyU biology degree graduates have scored above the national average on the ETS Major Field Test in the areas of cell biology, molecular biology and genetics, making it a top biology school in the area. In 2017 in the areas of biochemistry, cellular biology, and genetics, GMercyU scored at the 82nd, 95th, and 73rd percentiles, respectively.  (That's the top 18%, 5%, and 27%).

The GMercyU Difference

Gwynedd Mercy University offers biology majors a compelling mix of educational advantages you won’t find at other biology colleges.  While earning your bachelor of science in biology at GMercyU, you'll have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in our E-STEM Program. You may even be eligible for an E-STEM scholarship through GMercyU’s National Science Foundation grant.
  • Gain real-world experience through internship placements with companies like Johnson & Johnson and Emerson Diagnostic
  • Complete an independent research project - as an undergraduate
  • Take the Major Field Test in Biology prior to graduation
  • Prepare for a competitive doctorate program admissions process 
  • Learn to teach others ─ through our School of Business and Education, you can earn a Secondary Education Certification in Biology in accordance with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education requirements.

Research & Labs

GMercyU's biology school offers exciting learning experiences. Laboratories include a wide array of modern instrumentation and facilities for biology and chemistry, including thermal cyclers,  electrophoresis equipment, and a research room with tissue culture hoods used for work in cell culture, just to name a few.

Every required course has a laboratory component, resulting in an experience that will help you stand out from other bachelor of science in Biology major graduates when you apply to graduate programs or for jobs after graduation. Here, you have the chance to present research, contribute to publications, and even receive a financial stipend for summer research. 

Examples of current research projects:

  • Studying ecological and pathological effects of parasitic infections in freshwater fish 
  • Studying how the brain’s neuroimmune cells contribute to alcohol-induced brain dysfunction and degeneration
  • Contributing to a continental research project focusing on the search for new antibiotics secreted by soil-dwelling bacteria
  • Identifying bioactive molecules produced by bacteria and fungi

Summer Research

Gwynedd Mercy University Biology degree students worked on various research projects this summer. For example, they took taking fish samples from a local stream and evaluated different factors such as how the immune system reacts to pollution. GMercyU is among the top biology schools in the area who emphasize real-world, hands-on experience for their students.
 

Forge Your Own Path

Students in GMercyU's biology major are encouraged to explore careers that interest them. Jordie Abelson, for example, plans to pursue a career in political health science after graduation when she obtains her bachelor of science in biology. Check out Jordie's student vlog series! 

Undergraduate Minors 

Increase the value of your degree by adding an undergraduate minor. GMercyU offers a wide variety of minors so you can choose the one that best meets your personal and professional goals.

Degree Options

Secondary Education Certification

bachelors in biology

Earn a Biology degree with Teacher Certification

If you want to teach Biology in a secondary school setting, you can earn your Secondary Education Certification or your grades 7-12 special education certification through Gwynedd Mercy University’s School of Education. This option allows you to earn a bachelor of science in Biology combined with secondary teaching certification, a unique opportunity among biology colleges in PA.

In addition, our biology degrees come with a built-in minor in chemistry. You may also choose a second minor.

Associate Degree in Natural Science

 associates degree in biology

Earn an Associate Degree in Natural Science

The Natural Science degree is a two-year program designed for students wishing to gain a foundation in scientific theory and practice. Students who earn their Associate of Science Degree will qualify for entry-level employment or continued education toward the baccalaureate degree. The degree is ideal for part-time students already working in the science industry who are looking to advance in their field. The program is closely aligned with the first two years of the bachelor of science degree in biology, making the transition from the AS to BS degree seamless.

Curriculum

In addition to general education course requirements, our bachelor of science in biology students will complete the following courses:

Major Requirements – 57 Credits

BIO 203/203L   General Biology I/Laboratory
BIO 204/204L General Biology II/Laboratory
BIO 230/230L Ecology/Laboratory
BIO 251/251L  Genetics/Laboratory
BIO 402/402L Molecular Biology of Cell/Laboratory
BIO 415/415L Developmental Biology/Laboratory
BIO 421 Biology Research (may be satisfied by BIO 440 - Internship)
BIO Biology Elective
BIO Biology Elective
BIO Biology Seminar I- Capstone    
BIO Biology Seminar II- Capstone    
BIO Biology Seminar III- Capstone    
CHM 151/151L Principles of Chemistry I/Laboratory
CHM 152/152L  Principles of Chemistry II/Laboratory
CHM 203/203L Organic Chemistry I/Laboratory
CHM 204/204L Organic Chemistry II/Laboratory
CHM 301/301L Biochemistry I/Laboratory
CHM 302 Biochemistry II
PHY 241/241L General Physics I/Laboratory
PHY 242/242L General Physics II/Laboratory

Secondary Education Certification Option – 33 Credits

EDU 100  Education in America 
EDU 300 Pre-Student Teaching 
EDU 319 Selected Topics Sec. Educ.
EDU 325 Secondary Methods
EDU 351 Meeting the Needs of English Language Learners
SPE 215 Exceptional Person for Secondary Education
SPE 231 Mild/Moderate Disabilities in Inclusionary Setting 
SPE 331 Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment for Mild/Moderate
EDU 490  Student Teaching & Professional Seminar – 12 Credits

Credit Requirement
A minimum of 125 credits is required for the BS in Biology degree.

To review course descriptions, please refer to the undergraduate catalog (PDF).

Internship Opportunities

Students are encouraged to find summer internships to satisfy the research requirement for the biology degree. 

Our biology major students have completed internships with: 

  • Anderson Cancer Center
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)
  • Central Pinelands
  • Colorcon
  • Emerson Resources, Inc.
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Merck
  • Philadelphia Zoological Garden
  • QC Laboratories
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • Wissahickon Water Shed

Our Outstanding Faculty

Career Outcomes

A bachelor's degree in biology from this well-established biology school will prepare you for entry-level work in the biological sciences, as well as for admission to graduate school and professional doctoral programs.

Possible careers for biology majors

•    Aquaculture Farmer
•    Aquarium & Museum Worker
•    Aquatic Biologist
•    Barrier Beach Manager
•    Biochemist
•    Bio-technologist
•    Botanist
•    Brewery Laboratory Assistant
•    Coastal Resources Worker
•    Commercial Fishing Engineer
•    Dentist
•    Dietitian & Nutritionist
•    Ecologist
•    Environmental Engineer
•    Environmental Health
•    Environmental Protection
•    Epidemiologist
•    Ergonomist
•    Fisheries Conservationist
•    Food Scientist
•    Forester
•    Genetic Counselor
•    Genetic Engineer
•    Health Officer
•    Hydrographic Survey Technician
•    Marine Fisheries Worker
•    Medical Librarian

•    Medical Technologist
•    Microbiologist
•    Mining & Petroleum Industry
•    Molecular Biologist
•    Mycologist
•    Neurobiologist
•    Optometrist
•    Pharmaceutical Salesperson
•    Pharmacologist
•    Pharmacy Technician
•    Physical Therapist
•    Physiologist
•    Physician
•    Physician Assistant
•    Public Health Worker
•    Quality Control
•    Science Illustrator
•    Science Teacher
•    Science Writer/Technical Writer
•    State Parks & Recreation
•    Toxicologist
•    Veterinarian
•    Water Quality Technician
•    Wildlife Resources

*    Some of these careers may involve acquiring additional education.
*   This is only a partial list and not meant to limit you.