Biology Major: Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology
Gwynedd Mercy University’s biology major emphasizes molecular and cellular biology, genetics and biochemistry with pathways to a variety of career options. Our rigorous Bachelor of Science in Biology degree includes foundational coursework in chemistry, physics, and mathematics, in addition to those in biology.
Here, you will learn directly from experienced, full-time faculty members with doctoral degrees ─ as opposed to teaching assistants (TAs) like other biology colleges. That means richer learning opportunities in the classroom, the laboratory and the field, as well as closer mentoring relationships with the program faculty.
Biology Major Success
For the past 11 years, GMercyU's biology degree graduates have scored at or above the national average on the ETS Major Field Test, making it a top biology school in the area. In 2018, GMercyU students ranked in the top 5% in cellular biology, the top 18% in molecular biology and in the top 18% overall among all other institutions whose seniors took the test.
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:
Gain real-world experience through internship placements with institutions like Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and companies such as Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Complete an independent research project - as an undergraduate
Prepare for a future in any number of graduate programs in the sciences or science-related fields
Get on track for a career as a physician, veterinarian, dentist and more with our pathways that prepare you for a competitive doctoral program application
Learn to teach others ─ through our School of Business and Education, you can earn 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, but not limited to, thermal cyclers, electrophoresis equipment, and a research room with tissue culture hoods used for work in cell culture.
Almost 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 national research project focusing on the search for new antibiotics secreted by soil-dwelling bacteria
Investigating organic compounds with the potential to function as anti-cancer agents
Gwynedd Mercy University Biology degree students worked on various research projects this summer. For example, they sampled fish from a local stream and evaluated a variety of factors regarding responses to the environment and the reaction of the immune system to pollution. They also measured protein expression levels in microglial cells exposed to alcohol. GMercyU is among the top biology schools in the area, as it emphasizes real-world, hands-on experience for its students.
Forge Your Own Path
Students in GMercyU's biology major are encouraged to explore careers that interest them. Jordan Abelson, for example, plans to pursue a career in public health science after graduation when she obtains her Bachelor of Science in Biology. Check out Jordie's student vlog series!
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.
Our biology degrees come with a built-in minor in chemistry. You may also choose to pursue an additional second minor.
Pre-Professional (Pre-Med / Pre-Vet )
Prepare for a career as a physician, veterinarian, and more
At GMercyU, we offer our students a pathway to help them achieve their pre-professional goals, whether it’s medical school, veterinary school, dental school, or other health professional programs! The biology program ensures you’ll take the courses you need to apply to and be accepted by professional programs.
With a dedicated Pre-professional Advising Office, supportive faculty members, and a curriculum rich in molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry, you’ll develop all the skills you need to jumpstart your career in the medical field. Read more about the Pathway to the Professions and learn about GMercyU’s pre med requirements, courses, and career outcomes of our Pre-med biology students.
Secondary Education Certification
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.
*Certification: This program was designed to meet the certification requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you reside in a different state, you should carefully review your home state’s certification requirements prior to enrolling in this program.
Associate Degree in Natural Science
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 field, especially in industry, who are looking to advance in their current position. 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.
In addition to general education course requirements, our bachelor of science in biology students will complete the following courses:
Major Requirements – 57 Credits
General Biology I/Laboratory
General Biology II/Laboratory
Molecular Biology of Cell/Laboratory
Biology Research (may be satisfied by BIO 440 - Internship)
All Biology majors are required to complete a research experience as part of the completion of their degree. Students may satisfy this requirement through a summer internship or the conduction of research under the supervision of a faculty member.
Our biology major students have completed internships with:
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 in the health professions.