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All the world’s a lab for our biology majors

What is at the core of our biology major? You and your interests.

Dive into freshwater research. Discover the connection between spiders and their draglines. Or propose and explore a new project in biology that highlights your curiosity.

While earning a biology degree at Susquehanna, you'll get the skills and experiences that give you the confidence to pursue your own projects and research, while also working within teams to push science to new heights.

Here, biology is not a spectator sport.

Biology is activity.

You can't learn about the world, from the tiniest cells to the largest mammals, from just a book.

All of our biology courses have labs that teach you how to form hypotheses and test them on your own. This isn't a place for run-of-the-mill experiments. 

A major river is in our backyard. We're minutes away from mountains and farms or awarding-winning hospitals. Our campus is perfectly situated for you to study a wide variety of organisms and ecosystems. Here, biology is all around you.

You can explore the functions and interactions of all life here as you earn your biology degree and prepare for a rewarding career.

We emphasize team-based workshops that encourage collaboration. You have the opportunity to do actual research with biology faculty members and present at national conferences from your first year here. In fact, there aren't many colleges in the nation that send as many students to those conferences as we do.

Grant money is available for students who want to do research over the summer—the perfect time to work even more closely with faculty. 

Physician, ecologist, cancer biologist, veterinarian, medical writer. Pick your path and excel here.

Requirements for the Major in Biology. The Bachelor of Science degree in biology requires 60 semester hours in biology, chemistry and physics with grades of C- or better in biology. The Bachelor of Science degree includes an introductory sequence, biology distribution requirements (in cell and molecular biology, organismal biology, and ecology and evolution), and other requirements with an emphasis in research (Group A) or added academic instruction (Group B). In addition, all students must complete an experiential learning requirement.

Semester Hours View Full Course Catalog >>

16        Introductory Sequence

4 BIOL-101 Ecology and Evolution
4 BIOL-102 Cell Biology and Genetics
4 BIOL-205 Organismal Biology
4 BIOL-220 Biostatistics
or MATH-108 Introduction to Statistics
or MATH-180 Statistical Methods

16        Biology Distribution Requirements

3        Cell and Molecular Biology

          Choose from one of the following:

BIOL-300 Developmental Biology
BIOL-306 Cell Biology
BIOL-316 Molecular Biology
BIOL-400 Immunology

3        Organismal Biology

          Choose from one of the following:

BIOL-302 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
BIOL-310 Animal Physiology
BIOL-312 Microbiology
BIOL-320 Exercise and Extreme Physiology
BIOL-328 Natural History of Early Vertebrates
BIOL-404 Plant Physiology
BIOL-440 Behavioral Neuroendocrinology
BIOL-455 Functional Neuroanatomy

3        Ecology

          Choose from one of the following:

BIOL-324 Animal Behavior
BIOL-326 Invertebrate Zoology
BIOL-332 Population Biology
BIOL-408 Aquatic Ecology
BIOL-460 Winter Ecology of Vertebrates
ECOL-201 Community and Ecosystems Ecology

3        Three laboratory courses

4 BIOL-550 Explorations in Biology

or      BIOL-560 Interdisciplinary Explorations in Biology (at least two different courses)

Biology courses at the 300 level or above may be used to satisfy biology elective credit requirements.

Other Requirements: Based upon their qualifications and career goals, students may apply to be accepted in a collaborative research program (Group A), or they may elect to complete Group B.

Group A: 60 semester hours total

4 BIOL-510 Student Research I
4 BIOL-511 Student Research II

Group B: 60 semester hours total

4 BIOL-350 Investigative Problems in Biology

4        Biology elective courses at the 200 level

20      Corollary Courses

4        General Chemistry I - choose from: CHEM-101, CHEM-103 or CHEM-111

4        General Chemistry II - choose from: CHEM-102, CHEM-104 or CHEM-112

4        CHEM-221 Organic Chemistry I

8        Choose 8 additional semester hours from the following courses:

CHEM-222 Organic Chemistry II
PHYS-204 Introductory Physics I
PHYS-205 Introductory Physics II
CHEM-231 Quantitative Analysis
CHEM-422 The Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids
CHEM-423 Biochemistry Nucleic Acids Laboratory
CHEM-424 The Biochemistry of Metabolism
CHEM-426 The Biochemistry of Proteins and Enzymes
CHEM-427 Biochemistry of Proteins and Enzymes Laboratory
CHEM-429 Biochemistry of Metabolism Laboratory
CHEM-311 Analytical Chemistry

Minor in Biology. Students minoring in biology complete 20 semester hours, including BIOL-101 Ecology and Evolution, BIOL-102 Cell Biology and Genetics, and BIOL-205 Organismal Biology. Students choose additional biology courses at the 200, 300 or 400 level. Although BIOL-500, BIOL-502, BIOL-550 and BIOL-560 may apply to the minor, other courses at the 500 level may not be taken for minor credit.  At least one laboratory course is required in addition to BIOL-101, BIOL-102, and BIOL-205. 

Secondary Teaching Certification. Coursework required by the state of Pennsylvania for admission to the teacher certification program includes successful completion of ENGL-100 Writing and Thinking or equivalent course, at least 3 semester hours in British or American literature, at least 6 semester hours of mathematics coursework (or other courses which satisfy the Central Curriculum Analytic Thought requirement), and at least one 40-hour externship.

Education requirements for secondary education are EDUC-101 Introduction to Education and Society, EDUC-102 Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education, EDUC-250 Educational Psychology, EDUC-260 Introduction to Special Education, EDUC-270 Instruction of Exceptional Students, EDUC-330 Technology in Education, EDUC-350 English Language Learners: Theory and Instruction, EDUC-380 Instructional Design, EDUC-424 Methods of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in Teaching Science, EDUC-479 Principles of Learning and Teaching in Secondary Education, EDUC-483 Differentiated Instruction and Classroom Management in Secondary Education, and the EDUC-500 Student Teaching package (EDUC-501, EDUC-502, EDUC-503, and EDUC-600).

In addition, secondary education biology students complete all of the usual requirements for the biology major.  When secondary education students satisfy the "choose 8 additional semester hours from the following courses" portion of the corollary course requirement, they must do so by taking PHYS-204-205 Introductory Physics I-II.

Tammy C. Tobin, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Professor of Biology
Department Chair, Biology

Jack Russell Holt, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Professor of Biology

Margaret T. Peeler, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Professor of Biology

Matthew Persons, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Professor of Biology
Coordinator, Ecology Major
Go Program: Focus Australia

Carlos Alberto Iudica, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology
Go Program: Galapagos-Ecuador

Alissa A. Packer, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology

Thomas C. Peeler, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology

Jan Reichard-Brown, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology
Director of Healthcare Studies

David S. Richard, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Professor of Biology
Go Program: Focus Australia

Erin Rhinehart, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology

David Matlaga, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Assistant Professor of Biology

Pavithra Vivekanand

Department: Biology
Assistant Professor of Biology

Michael Allar

Department: Biology
Adjunct Faculty in Health Care Studies

Mark Prokopovits

Department: Biology
Adjunct Faculty in Biology

Tanya Matlaga, Ph.D.

Department: Science in Motion
Science in Motion Coordinator
Adjunct Faculty Biology

Tracey Wolfe

Department: Biology
Adjunct Faculty in Health Care Studies

Our students go on to graduate school at:

Cornell University
Duke University
Drexel University
University of Virginia
Georgetown University
Dartmouth University
University of North Caroline Chapel Hill
University of California Davis
Thomas Jefferson University

Our students go on to health professional programs at:

Thomas Jefferson University Medical College
Drexel University Medical School
West Virginia University Medical School
 Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Penn State University College of Medicine
University of Buffalo School of Medicine
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Pacific Northwestern School of Osteopathic Medicine
University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia- Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Temple University School of Pharmacy
Temple University School of Dentistry
University of Sciences Physical Therapy Program
Temple University School of Pharmacy
Salus University Optometry Program
Thomas Jefferson Physician Assistants Program

Our students find jobs right out of school at:

Smithsonian Institute
Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Boehringer Ingelheim
Hershey Medical Center
Geisinger Medical Center
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Fresh Water Research Initiative
OraSure Technologies
Compass Professional Health Services
Spinal Concepts

Our students pursue other opportunities in:

Peace Corps
Fulbright Fellowships
Law School
Science Writing
Science Policy
Public Health
Genetic Counseling
Medical Advertising


Contact Us

Department of Biology

514 University Ave.
Selinsgrove, Pa. 17870

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Natural Sciences Center

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Phone & Email

Tammy Tobin, department head

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