Early, Hands-on Research Experience in Nature-rich Environment

We have a state-of-the-art science center perfectly equipped for workshop-style classes, an 87-acre field station right on campus, a dedicated laboratory for freshwater research... and did we mention the Susquehanna River is in our backyard?

The university is perfectly located for the study of biology—in a valley ecosystem rich with fish, birds, plants, and other animals and organisms.

And you won’t be limited to the Selinsgrove area. You’ll get a global perspective on a totally new biome on study abroad trips in Australia and the Galapagos Islands. Students intern at zoos, cancer research centers and win Fulbright awards.

Hands-on research is a hallmark of Susquehanna’s biology program. Most undergraduate biology programs limit you to a semester-long senior research project, but here you can choose to study for a full year alongside a faculty expert.

Our faculty frequently co-author research papers with students, who nearly all have a chance to present their work at regional and national conferences—such as the Ecological Society of America, National Conferences on Undergraduate Research or Pennsylvania Academy of Science.

You'll be ready to go right into the workforce, pursue graduate study in the sciences or attend a medical professional school.

Our graduates work for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, join governmental organizations like the Department of Environmental Protection, work as doctors or veterinarians, and become teachers.

The most sought-after job and professional school candidates excel at writing, teamwork, presentations, critical thinking, interpersonal relationships and leadership. Because our bold curriculum is rooted in the liberal arts, you'll develop all of these essential skills.

Everything in the major is designed to help you define and explore your passion. Our  interdisciplinary minors, like biochemistryecology and  environmental studies, help you gain a better understanding of important topics in today’s world.

Our students go on to graduate school at:

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

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

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
ECOL-110 Biogeodiversity

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        At least two different courses from

BIOL-550 Explorations in Biology

or      BIOL-560 Interdisciplinary Explorations in Biology

or      BIOL-157 The Biology of Women

or      HLCR-370 Human Health and Disease

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 or above

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-232

4        CHEM-221 Organic Chemistry I

8        Choose 8 additional semester hours from the following courses:

          Introductory Physics I - choose from: PHYS-202, PHYS-203 or PHYS-204

          Introductory Physics II - choose from: PHYS-205 or PHYS-206

CHEM-222 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM-242 Methods of Chemical Analysis
CHEM-314 Survey of Biochemistry
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 Analytical 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 Introductory Physics I (PHYS-202, 203 or 204) and Introductory Physics II (PHYS-205 or 206).

Tammy C. Tobin, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Professor of Biology

Email Address tobinjan@susqu.edu
Phone Number 570-372-4067

Jack Russell Holt, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Professor of Biology


Margaret T. Peeler, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Professor of Biology

Email Address mpeeler@susqu.edu
Phone Number 570-372-4207

Matthew Persons, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Professor of Biology


David S. Richard, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Professor of Biology

Email Address richard@susqu.edu
Phone Number 570-372-4206

Carlos Alberto Iudica, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology


David Matlaga, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology

Email Address matlaga@susqu.edu
Phone Number 570-372-4347

Alissa A. Packer, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology


Thomas C. Peeler, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology

Email Address peelert@susqu.edu
Phone Number 570-372-4381

Jan Reichard-Brown, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology


Erin Rhinehart, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Associate Professor of Biology

Email Address rhinehart@susqu.edu
Phone Number 570-372-2008

Tanya Hawley Matlaga, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Assistant Professor of Biology


Pavithra Vivekanand, Ph.D.

Department: Biology
Assistant Professor of Biology

Email Address vivekanand@susqu.edu
Phone Number 570-372-4422

Antonio Rockwell

Department: Biology
Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow


Alexander Sweger

Department: Biology
Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow

Email Address sweger@susqu.edu
Phone Number 570-372-4347

Audrey K Eroh

Department: Provost
Academic Assistant


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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