Biology students working in classroom lab setting at Commonwealth University - Bloomsburg.

Biology

Prepare for a fulfilling career in life sciences with our comprehensive Biology program.

Degrees & Offerings
  • B.A.
  • B.S.
Location
  • Bloomsburg
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
Department
College
Program Contact
Associate Professor of Biology & Chair of the Biological and Health Sciences Department
Illustration of Mountain

Start Your Scientific Journey

Commonwealth University graduates are employed in a wide spectrum of careers or continue their studies in professional, medical, and graduate schools following their undergraduate studies in biology. Each concentration in the Biology department emphasizes hands-on experience in the laboratory and in off-campus field settings beginning in your freshman year.

The Biology program offers concentrations in:

  • Cellular Biology and Molecular Genomics
  • Ecology and Environmental Conservation
  • Fisheries
  • Marine Biology
  • Natural History

No matter the path you choose, your future in the biological sciences awaits!

Course Delivery Format

  Bloomsburg

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Lock Haven

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Mansfield

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

  Clearfield

  Face-to-Face
  Online
  Hybrid

 

Courses and Curriculum

The Biology Program strives to provide high-quality undergraduate instruction through a rigorous curriculum that fosters opportunities for students to learn and apply basic biological concepts, make connections between those concepts and real-world situations, and critically evaluate information for its biological validity. We take pride in helping students recognize opportunities to apply their biological knowledge and skills to serve the community.

This program is available at the Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield campuses.

Commonwealth University's Bachelor of Science in Biology program provides a rigorous background in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. This program meets your needs if you plan to enter graduate or professional school in the natural sciences, and wish to seek employment in the private sector and government agencies. Biology (B.S.) students may choose to specialize, electing an option in environmental biology, molecular biology, or pre-medical sciences (pre-med).

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

This concentration is available at the Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield campuses.

This degree provides a strong background in the biological sciences and chemistry, physics, geology, and math working environmental biologists need. The requirements and electives are tailored to develop skills in ecology, field biology, and environmental sciences. This program prepares students for careers in environmental protection, natural resource management, and conservation with state and federal agencies and conservation organizations.

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

This concentration is available at the Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield campuses.

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

This concentration is available at the Mansfield campus.

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

This concentration is available at the Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield campuses.

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

This program is available at the Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield campuses.

Commonwealth University's Bachelor of Arts in Biology program provides a firm background in biology and cognate sciences while allowing for other interests to be pursued. Biology (B.A.) majors may select an option in Natural History. Students earning a degree in Secondary Education Biology may earn a B.A. in Biology as well. This degree, which provides a strong background in the biological sciences, has considerable flexibility and is a good choice for students who want to double-major or minor in another academic discipline.

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

This concentration is available at the Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield campuses.

Prepare for a career in zoos, aquaria, science museums, and environmental education centers. This program includes a strong background in organismal and field biology with supporting coursework in geology and anthropology. The flexibility in this degree allows you to select courses that will prepare you to interact with the public.

Degree Requirements Degree Works

Note: Degree requirements effective for enrolled students beginning Fall 2023. All enrolled students, including matriculating students prior to Fall 2023, can review their degree program requirements and track progress to degree completion with our degree audit and advisement tool, Degree Works.

The minor in biology is designed to broaden and expand the knowledge of students especially those in biology-related curricula. The requirements for a minor are a total of at least 18 hours of semester credit.

  • Biology
  • Natural History

General Biology (B.S.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension in five core concepts of biology at varying scales (molecules to ecosystems)  
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to biological problems  
  3. Apply the scientific method to design and conduct biological research, including analyzing and interpreting biological data  
  4. Demonstrate skill and proficiency using appropriate scientific methods and instruments  
  5. Clearly communicate biological ideas with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form  
  6. Demonstrate the ability to select and use technology appropriate to the work of the discipline.  

Ecology and Environmental Conservation (B.S.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension in five core concepts of biology at varying scales (molecules to ecosystems)  
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to biological problems  
  3. Apply the scientific method to design and conduct biological research, including analyzing and interpreting biological data  
  4. Demonstrate skill and proficiency using appropriate scientific methods and instruments  
  5. Clearly communicate biological ideas with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form  
  6. Demonstrate the ability to select and use technology appropriate to the work of the discipline.  

Cellular Biology and Molecular Genomics (B.S.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension in five core concepts of biology at varying scales (molecules to ecosystems)  
  2. Advanced knowledge of molecular and cellular biology and genetics  
  3. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to biological problems  
  4. Apply the scientific method and concepts from Molecular Biology and Genetics to design and conduct biological research, including analyzing and interpreting biological data  
  5. Demonstrate skill and proficiency using appropriate scientific methods and instruments  
  6. Clearly communicate biological ideas with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form  
  7. Demonstrate the ability to select and use technology appropriate to the work of the discipline.  

Fisheries (B.S.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of fishery science, with a particular emphasis on the biology, husbandry and management of aquatic organisms.  
  2. Identify and use appropriate tools for data collection in fisheries science.  
  3. Apply theoretical and technical knowledge of quantitative (mathematical and statistical) sciences to fisheries research and management problems.  
  4. Design and conduct quantitative fisheries stock assessments.  
  5. Write and communicate fisheries management recommendations using quantitative assessment results and management strategy evaluations  

Marine Biology (B.S.)

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension in five core concepts of biology at varying scales (molecules to ecosystems)  
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to biological problems  
  3. Apply the scientific method to design and conduct biological research, including analyzing and interpreting biological data  
  4. Demonstrate skill and proficiency using appropriate scientific methods and instruments  
  5. Clearly communicate biological ideas with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form  
  6. Demonstrate the ability to select and use technology appropriate to the work of the discipline.

General Biology (B.A.)

  1. Describe and synthesize the five core concepts of biology at varying scales (molecules to ecosystems)  
  2. Apply critical and analytical thinking to biological problems.  
  3. Use the scientific method to design, conduct, and analyze biological research.  
  4. Demonstrate skill using appropriate scientific methods and instruments  
  5. Clearly communicate biological ideas with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form  

Natural History (B.A.)

  1. Describe and synthesize the five core concepts of biology at varying scales (molecules to ecosystems)  
  2. Apply critical and analytical thinking to biological problems.  
  3. Use the scientific method to design, conduct, and analyze biological research.  
  4. Demonstrate skill using appropriate scientific methods and instruments  
  5. Clearly communicate biological ideas with scientists and the general public in both written and oral form  

Biology Minor

Upon completion of the minor students will be able to:  

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of core concepts in biology (molecules to ecosystems)  
  2. Demonstrate the ability to apply critical, analytical, and integrative thinking to biological problems  
  3. Demonstrate skill using appropriate scientific methods and instruments  
  4. Clearly communicate biological ideas in both written and oral form  
Illustration of Mountain

Shape the future of Biology

Research

We strive to provide hands-on, real-world science experience to our students. This includes many opportunities to work in a real laboratory or field-based setting, experiencing how scientific investigation really works. Students work side-by-side with faculty, other undergraduate students, and graduate researchers to design, execute and analyze real-life experiments and studies.

Undergraduate students can volunteer in research laboratories, do research for academic credit as part of the focused elective selection, and in some cases as a funded professional experience opportunity. BAHS students are encouraged to explore research opportunities with faculty as early as their first semester, as part of their freshman seminar course, and can explore faculty research fields of study and potential projects through our online gallery. Research experiences provide students with analytical and problem-solving skills which are not only valuable for future researchers, but also for any student planning for careers in STEM, including the health sciences.

Clubs and Organizations

Biology Club
The objectives of the Biology Club include advancing the level of biology knowledge, providing an opportunity for interaction for students with an interest in biology, and facilitating discussion on topics and careers in this field. The Commonwealth University Biology Club is made up of science and non-science majors desiring to strengthen their scientific backgrounds. Members of this club have the option to participate in many activities, including field trips to places such as the Baltimore Aquarium and the Smithsonian Institution.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Club
The purpose of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Club is to plan and provide educational programs and activities for fish culture and biology students.

Bass Fishing Team
The Bass Fishing Team serves to bring together students who have a common interest in bass fishing. The team also competes in local and regional tournaments.

Future Healthcare Professionals Club
The mission of the Future Healthcare Professionals Club is to promote education in the medical field to explore career opportunities. The club also promotes community service projects.

Sigma Zeta National Science and Mathematics Honor Society
Membership in Sigma Zeta is open to Science and Math majors with 3.00 overall Q.P.A. and 30 earned credits. Sigma Zeta encourages and fosters high academic standards in science and mathematics, as well as involvement in local research projects and community service. 

Careers

The professional outcome of a degree in Biology can be overwhelming, simply because there are so many paths to choose from! Our Biology graduates have found success in the following areas:

Potential Job Opportunities

  • Research
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary practice
  • Forensics
  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Environmental services
  • Medical and research laboratories

Program Contacts

Kate

Kate Beishline

  • Associate Professor of Biology & Chair of the Biological and Health Sciences Department
  • Bloomsburg

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