Feb 24, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, B.A.

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About the Bachelor of Arts in Biology

  • Preparation for graduate school
  • Preparation for careers in medicine, teaching, industry, business, and research
  • Opportunities to conduct research and co-publish results with faculty
  • Internships
  • Opportunity to work closely with a faculty adviser to develop an individualized academic plan
  • Opportunities to study abroad at some of the top universities in the world
  • Senior Capstone projects

Experiential Learning in a Class All Its Own

As a Biology major at Arcadia, you won’t just dabble in research. You’ll play an active role. You won’t just read other people’s studies. You’ll have the opportunity to carry out and co-author studies of your own in fields including neurobiology, bioinformatics, behavior, evolution, ecology, cell and molecular biology, immunology, and more. And you won’t just know your teachers from class. You’ll be able to work with them one-on-one outside of the classroom.

To excel in today’s competitive environment, it’s important to stand out. At Arcadia, it’s hard to stand anywhere else.

Students in Arcadia’s Biology program become part of a close-knit scientific community that prepares undergraduates for careers in health care, research, education, and other science-related disciplines. A diverse and distinguished faculty, including several recipients of the Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching, fosters interactive dialogue and discovery both in and out of the classroom. Arcadia Biology majors enjoy exceptional opportunities to engage in research, co-author and present published studies, and explore internships and other cultures through study abroad. Pre-med students receive thorough and timely MCAT preparation. Assured admission is offered for Arcadia’s nationally recognized graduate programs in Forensic Science, Physician Assistant and Physical Therapy.

Biology majors are encouraged to participate in research and co-publish results with the assistance of faculty members who have well-established reputations in their fields. Students also may do internships with some of the best-known and most-respected pharmaceutical companies and research institutions located in this region.

Majoring in Biology provides an understanding of modern biological principles and the groundwork for careers in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, veterinary medicine, forensic science, genetic counseling, conservation, scientific and medical research, secondary school teaching, graduate study, and applied biology positions in government or industry.

Bachelor of Arts in Biology

The Bachelor of Arts in Biology prepares students in the major areas of the life sciences as well as in the cognate areas of Chemistry, Mathematics and/or Physics.

Faculty advisers work closely with each student to plan a series of required and elective courses based on individual interests and career goals.

A core of basic science courses includes general biology, evolution and population biology, research methods, comparative anatomy and physiology, genetics, and plant biology or ecology. A range of electives covers animal behavior, aquatic biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, cell biology, conservation biology, developmental biology, histology, human genetics and development, immunobiology, microbiology, molecular biology, pathophysiology, and neurobiology.

Laboratory sections generally have smaller enrollments than lecture and thus are especially good for interaction and integrative, collaborative and inquiry-based learning.

It is the policy of the Biology Department that General Biology I and II must be taken in the Biology Department at Arcadia or transferred in from an accredited four- or two-year college. Credits earned through an Advanced Placement Exam or International Baccalaureate do not substitute for General Biology I or II.

Study of Biology can be combined with another field, such as Chemistry, Art, Communications or Business.

The Bachelor of Arts in Biology has the greatest degree of overlap with the Pre-Physical Therapy program requirements and the Pre-Physician Assistant program requirements of any major in the University. (See assured admission requirements for these programs.)

3+D.P.T. Accelerated B.A. in Biology leading to Doctor of Physical Therapy

This is an accelerated program for students interested in earning a B.A. in Biology and a D.P.T. In their fourth year, students in the 3+3 program begin their studies in the D.P.T. program. Two undergraduate-level courses, BI 475  and BI 476  (Biomedical Foundations I and II), are taken in this fourth year and are only available to students in the 3+3 program. These courses are equivalent to PT 675 and 676 taken by the other D.P.T. students.

Qualified applicants will be contacted by Enrollment Management for review. Highly selective admissions criteria will be used to select academically talented students capable of handling the accelerated schedule. Matriculated students will not be accepted into the 3+D.P.T. program. Students who do not meet eligibility requirements of this accelerated program or who want more flexibility in their undergraduate program may follow the 4+D.P.T. program leading to the B.A. in Biology and the D.P.T. Please refer to the Pre-Physical Therapy link on the website.

4+D.P.T. Assured Admission Program

This is a 4+D.P.T. pathway leading to the Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degree from Arcadia University. Students frequently pursue an undergraduate major in a discipline such as Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, Business or Health Administration, but students can choose any major that captures their interest and that enables them to complete the prerequisite courses.

3+2 M.S. in Forensic Science (M.S.F.S.) with a B.A. in Biology (Accelerated)

Arcadia is one of only a select few master’s programs in Forensic Science accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). Forensic science is the application of science to the purposes of law. It is highly interdisciplinary by nature and has become a vital part of the judicial and regulatory system in America. Practicing forensic scientists, law enforcement personnel, and criminal justice professionals all recognize the growing need for highly qualified specialists who can execute established and appropriate techniques in the collection, preservation, analysis, and presentation of forensic evidence.

This program provides an accelerated pathway through the Undergraduate Curriculum into Arcadia’s master’s degree program in Forensic Science. During the first three years of study, a student takes prerequisite Biology and Chemistry coursework and Undergraduate Curriculum requirements. In the third year, students have the option of taking FS515 (Research Methods). They must speak with the program director if they are interested in this option. In the fall of their third year, students must notify the director of the Forensic Science Program that they are planning on enrolling in the Forensic Science Program the following year.

In the fourth year of study, the student completes the Senior Seminar and Capstone requirements for the undergraduate degree and begins graduate coursework, which is completed in the fifth year. In five years, students earn both the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Biology and the Master of Science in Forensic Science (M.S.F.S.).

Interested students must apply for admission to this accelerated program when they apply for admission to Arcadia University. Currently enrolled undergraduates at Arcadia University may not apply for this program. Students who do not meet eligibility requirements of this accelerated program or who want more flexibility in their undergraduate program may take both degrees, the B.A. in Biology and the M.S.F.S., in the normal sequence.

4+2 M.S. in Forensic Science Assured Admission Program

This program entails four years of study leading to a bachelor’s degree plus two years of graduate study leading to the Master of Science in Forensic Science degree from Arcadia University. Students choosing the 4+2 option must pursue an undergraduate major in Biology or Chemistry. This program will ensure that students meet all required prerequisite and recommended coursework for the master’s program in Forensic Science. In the fourth year, students have the option of taking FS515 (Research Methods) with approval of the Director of the Forensic Science program and the Chair of the Biology Department. Assured admission into Arcadia’s master’s program in forensic science is available for select qualified students from the 4+2 program each year.

See the catalog section on Forensic Science for additional information.

4+M.M.S. in Physician Assistant

This is a 4+M.M.S. pathway leading to the M.M.S. in Physician Assistant degree from Arcadia University. Students typically pursue an undergraduate major in a discipline such as Biology or Chemistry, but students can choose any major that captures their interest and that enables them to complete the prerequisite courses. See the catalog section on Pre-Physician Assistant for additional information.

Requirements for the B.A. and B.S. in Biology

Core Curriculum

Two cognate courses in Mathematics, Chemistry, or Physics

For some career goals, students may need to take more than two cognate courses.

Biology electives

Four Biology electives at the 300 level, at least one of which is a lecture course with a laboratory that has a plant component ((currently BI 322 , BI 329  or BI 331  at Arcadia or an approved study abroad course). For some career goals, additional electives may be necessary.


Students who want certain career paths can choose to specialize in one of the following concentrations. For some career goals, additional coursework may be required.

Internship or Independent Research

Practical experience in the form of a BI 370 - level Internship or BI 389 -level Independent Research is encouraged, but cannot be used to meet the requirements for four 300 level elective courses.

Recommendations for concentrations

Biomedical Concentration

Biology electives

Biology electives chosen to fulfill interests and career goals

Additional recommendations:

Students entering biomedical graduate programs should complete both

Conservation Biology Concentration

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Concentration

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