Jun 14, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Biology, B.S.

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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 advisors 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. The Biology Department will now accept AP credit with an exam score of 4 or 5 to count as General Biology I/General Biology I Lab (BI101/BI101 Lab) and BI186. These students who transfer would still recieve 8 credits as in the form of BI185 and BI186. We will also accept a score of 3 to transfer as count for credit (the court will transfer as BI185) but these students must take BI101 + BI101 Lab. All students must still take General Biology II/General Biology II Lab (BI102/BI102L). 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 (IACUC).

Study of Biology can be a major, minor, or concentration in 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). 


Core Curriculum

Nine courses in Biology

Two course in Chemistry

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 BA 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

Note: Students completing both BI205/Human Anatomy and BI206/Human Physiology, will have the option to count these two courses as one of the four required 300-level electives in Biology. Students would still be required to take one lab based course from each elective area cloud (Molecular, Cell, and Organismal w/ lab cloud AND Ecology, Evolution, and Population Biology w/ lab cloud).


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 Concentration

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

Required Biology Courses:

At least of the following Biology elective courses

Cognate Courses

Conservation Ecology Concentration

Cognate Courses

Additional Recommendations

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Concentration

Required Biology Courses:

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

Cognate Courses

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 Arca dia University. Currently, enrolled undergraduates at Arcadia University are not eligible 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 pro gram 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 + 2 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. 

Occupational Therapy is based on the principle that people can improve their health and well-being by engaging in a self-directed, personally-initiated, goal-directed and organized dynamic process. 

Advisor: Dr. John Daley 


Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science from Arcadia University. 

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Salus University. For information about the MSOT program, see Salus University website.


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