Biology

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree: BS, Biology; BA, Biology

Department Chair: Angela Asirvatham, PhD

Faculty

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

Larry Corpus, Assistant Professor of Biology, BA, MA California State University, Sacramento; MS Washington State University; PhD Kansas State University

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

Carl J. Konecke, Associate Professor Emeritus of Biology, BS King’s College; MS University of Nebraska

Stanley S. Knapich, Professor Emeritus of Biology, BS Wilkes University; MEd, DEd The Pennsylvania State University

Barbara J. McCraith, Associate Professor of Biology, BS LeMoyne College; MS Winthrop College; PhD University of South Carolina

Evelyn Neunteufel, Assistant Professor of Biology, BS St. Johns University, MS Rutgers University, PhD The City University of New York

Anthony Serino, Associate Professor of Biology, BS MS University of Scranton; PhD The Pennsylvania State University

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

The biology program is designed to provide a sound background in the various major 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.

Program Goals and Outcomes

The following are program goals for the Biology major:

  1. To provide a quality education in the biological sciences.
  2. To stimulate a student’s innate curiosity for lifelong learning.
  3. To develop an understanding of the scientific process and its application.
  4. To provide the tools and promote knowledge for future opportunities and endeavors, and to develop involved members of the community.

The Biology major program goals are realized in the following student learning outcomes:

Outcome for Goal1:

  1. Be able to identify and explain fundamental biological concepts and principles on the molecular, cellular, organismal and population levels.
  2. Describe the unifying concepts underlying the diversity of life.

Outcome for Goal 2:

  1. Apply knowledge of biological concepts to formulate questions and hypotheses for research.
  2. Demonstrate ability to find, read, understand, and critically evaluate scientific papers.

Outcome for Goal 3:

  1. Use the scientific method to develop hypotheses, design and execute experiments.
  2. Collect and analyze data.
  3. Communicate findings both orally and in written forms.
  4. Develop experimental skills and techniques used in laboratory and field research.

Outcome for Goal 4:

  1. Recognize their (the students’) ability to make positive contributions to the general and/or scientific communities.
  2. Promote awareness of job and/or graduate opportunities.
  3. Promote awareness of internship and summer research opportunities during their tenure at MU.
  4. Evaluate and understand human impact on the environment.

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. Minimum combined SAT score of 900.
  3. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.

The mission of the biology program at Misericordia University is to provide students with a broad-based quality education in the biological sciences that will increase their opportunities for 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 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. Additionally, they will take at least 2 credits of BIO 480 to conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty memeber and present their findings in BIO 491: Senior Thesis course.
  2. B.S. Biology with the non-research option: Students who choose the non-research option are required to take six biology electives and present a paper on a topic prescribed by the BIO 491 Senior Thesis course. These students are not required to take BIO 480: Research.

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

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

Track I: Cell and Molecular Biology

BIO 341: Genetics (4 credits)

BIO 343: Microbiology (4 credits)

BIO 345: Developmental Biology (3 credits)

BIO 352: Histology (4 credits)

BIO 360: Immunology (4 credits)

BIO 354: Biochemistry II (4 credits)

BIO 435: Cell Biology (3 credits)

BIO 441: Molecular Genetics (3 credits)

BIO 450: Endocrinology (3 credits)

Track II: Organismal Biology

BIO 251 or 351: Comparative Anatomy (4 credits)

BIO 301: Gross Anatomy (5 credits)

BIO 311: Plant Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (4 credits)

BIO 312: Invertebrate Zoology (4 credits)

BIO 346: General Physiology (4 credits)

BIO 352: Histology (4 credits)

Track III: Ecology and Evolution

BIO 251 or 351: Comparative Anatomy (4 credits)

BIO 310: Environmental Biology (4 credits)

BIO 313: Marine Biology (4 credits)

BIO 425: Ecology (4 credits)

BIO 431: Field Biology (3 credits)