May 30, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology, B.A.

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About the Degree

A Bachelor’s degree 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, reading and writing in biology, comparative anatomy and physiology, genetics. A range of electives covers animal behavior, aquatic biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, cell biology, conservation biology, developmental biology, histology, marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, neurobiology, pathophysiology and more..

Laboratory sections generally have smaller enrollments than lecture and thus are especially good for interaction with faculty and other students and for 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.  Students enrolled in the biology major at Arcadia are expected to take their biology courses at Arcadia or at an approved study abroad site.

Part of promoting excellent biology teaching is instruction that develops and fosters an understanding of biological concepts. The biology major at Arcadia University requires the examination and dissection of animal tissues, organs, and bodies and the use of animals in biological research.  Animal use is a cornerstone of biology instruction. We follow all federal and state statutes in labs to fulfill clearly-defined educational objectives. Ethical treatment of animals used in teaching and research is ensured by oversight by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

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

The Bachelor’s degree 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). 


For a Bachelor of Arts: Two cognate courses in Mathematics (MA 141  , MA 201  , MA 202  , or MA 203  ), or Chemistry (CH 201   or higher), or Physics (PH 201  , PH 202  , PH 211  , or PH 212  ). For some career goals, students may need to take more than two cognate courses.

Core Curriculum

Two Cognate Course

For a Bachelor of Arts: Two cognate courses in Mathematics (MA 141  , MA 201  , MA 202  , or MA 203  ), or Chemistry (CH 201   or higher), or Physics (PH 201  , PH 202  , PH 211  , or PH 212  ). For some career goals, students may need to take more than two cognate courses.

Four Biology electives

Four Biology electives at the 300 level, at least one of which must be a Molecular, Cell and Organismal biology elective (BI 317  , BI 318  , BI 325  , BI 327  , BI 327  , BI 333  , BI 335  , BI 336  , BI 337  , BI 338  , BI 339  , BI 340 , BI 345   ) and at least one of which must be an Ecology, Evolution, and Population biology elective (BI 322  , BI 326  , BI 328  , BI 329  , BI 330  , BI 331  , BI 332  , BI 334  , BI 341  , BI 355  ).  One course from the Molecular, Cell, and Organismal grouping and one course from the Ecology, Evolution, and Population biology grouping must have a lab.  These courses must be taken at Arcadia University or an approved study abroad course may be substituted

Internship or Independent Research

Practical experience in the form of BI 370  Internship in Biology,  BI 380  Faculty Sponsored Research, or BI 389   Independent Study is encouraged, but cannot be used to meet the requirements for four 300 level elective courses.

Biology Concentrations

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

Biomedical Concentration

Conservation Ecology Concentration

1. Graduate School Track

Required Biology electives

2. Applied Track

Required Biology Course:

At least two of the following Biology elective courses:

Additional Recommendations

Courses related to job interests. 

Cognate Courses

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Concentration

1. Graduate School Track

At least one of the following Biology elective courses depending on career interests

2. Applied Track

In Development for Fall, 2022

Pre-Professional Programs

3+2 M.S. in Forensic Science with a B.A. or B.S. in Biology


Students completing the 3+2 B.A. or B.S. in Biology and the M.S. in Forensic Science  will complete all degree requirements in five years. Eligible students will be invited to 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. 

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 sections on Forensic Science for additional information.


4 + 4 and 3 + 4 Doctor of Pharmacy programs

The 3+4 and 4+4 Pathways to University of the Sciences Doctor of Pharmacy Program allow students to enter Arcadia’s Biology and Chemistry majors having a clear pathway to achieving a doctorate in Pharmacy degree from University of the Sciences.  Students may choose either 3+4 or 4+4 pathway, and may choose to switch pathways before the start of their Junior year.  The accelerated 3+4 track includes taking elective Pharmacy courses at University of the Sciences during the Senior year which will be transferred to Arcadia as major undergraduate electives.  University of the Sciences guarantees five seats to Arcadia undergraduates, with additional seats possible. This program is open to Arcadia University undergraduate students who have completed appropriate coursework, including transfer students that have completed the required biology and chemistry courses. Students will receive a BA or BS in Biology or Chemistry at the end of Year 4.  Students interested in the program will discuss with their advisors whether taking graduate courses as Senior electives is appropriate for the student during their Junior year. 


Occupational Therapy program

This program offers four competitive seats in the 2-year full-time Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program at Salus University to students who meet the criteria, according to agreement between the two universities. Additional Arcadia applicants will be considered along with all other non-Arcadia applicants for admissions to the MSOT program.

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