Jul 14, 2024  
2018-19 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-19 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). 


Core Curriculum

Four 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 326  , BI 328  , BI 329  or BI 331  at Arcadia or an approved study abroad course). For some career goals, additional electives may be necessary.

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.

Two cognate courses

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.

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

Biology electives

Biology electives chosen to fulfill interests and career goals

Additional recommendations:

Students entering biomedical graduate programs should complete both

Conservation Ecology Concentration

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Concentration

Biology and Pre-Forensic Science 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.

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