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Biology Overview

The Biology B.S. provides students with a comprehensive foundation in the life sciences and is ideal for those interested in careers in biological research, health care or teaching. 

The critical thinking skills, quantitative reasoning and research experiences provide the groundwork for application to graduate school in the biological sciences and postgraduate professional and graduate schools.

What you can do with a Biology degree

Career Opportunities

The Biology program prepares students for careers in the life sciences, medicine and biomedical sciences, as well as for teaching, graduate school or medical school.

This program sets students up to apply to graduate school in the biological sciences and schools of: 

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacy
  • Physician assistant 
  • and more 

STEM

Participate in STEM related
activities such as the summer
enrichment program 

Research

Be part of research lab 
internships to complete degree

120 Credits 

Total Credits to Earn Your Degree 
Classes in chemistry, microbiology 
and neuroscience

What We Offer
The Mercy Advantage

•   Full-time or part-time enrollment

•   Meaningful academic advising from faculty

•   Cell culture facility

•   DNA sequencer

•   Participate in cooperative education

•   Preparation for Medical College Admission Test 

Become a Teacher 5 Year Education Track

Interested in becoming a teacher? Take a look at our B.S./M.S. Dual Degree Program which allows students interested in the teaching profession to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree at an accelerated pace.

If you are interested in becoming a Biology teacher, you are already part way there, students who major as undergraduates in English may receive certification in Secondary Education, Childhood Education or Early Childhood Education

To learn more please visit:

teacher engaged with students

Program Outcomes

  • Synthesize and explain core concepts to demonstrate a broad and in depth knowledge of the biological sciences

  • Utilize the scientific method to formulate hypothesis, design and conduct experiments, perform quantitative analysis, and critically evaluate experimental results

  • Access and understand the scientific literature, prepare, and deliver clear and cogent presentations of experimental results, and obtain proficiency in scientific writing

  • Work independently and collaboratively to think critically about scientific questions, create problem solving strategies, and present scientific findings

  • Exhibit proficiency in laboratory techniques in the biological sciences, troubleshoot experiments, and demonstrate safe laboratory practices

  • Demonstrate proficiency in data entry and statistical analysis relevant to the biological sciences

  • Exhibit ethical behavior in science and to evaluate the implications of unethical scientific conduct

  • Apply their core scientific knowledge to examine basic, applied and societal topics in biology and to explain how life science professionals use strategies and techniques to address these issues

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I finish the General Education requirements before starting my major?

No. Because of the rigor of the program a combination of General Education courses and major-level courses is recommended. Students should contact the Program Coordinator as early as possible to plan their course of study.

How long does earning a degree take?

Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.

Can I attend the program part-time?

Yes. You can take as little as one course per semester. The program is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate working adults and many students attend part-time. Day, night and weekend classes are available.

Are department faculty available for academic advising?

Yes, faculty are always ready to help students with questions about what courses to take, the sequencing of courses, and career opportunities, including internships and cooperative education.

What is the Biology Major?

A program that prepares students for careers in the life sciences, medicine and biomedical sciences, as well as teaching, graduate school, or medical school, where there is a strong need for integration of the biological and physical sciences will be prepared.

When can I apply to the Biology Program?

As early as your freshman year. If you’re considering it, contact the Chair or Program Directors as early as possible to plan courses.

If I plan to go to Graduate School, is this the program for me?

Yes. The program will prepare you for both Master's and Doctorate level work. Additional courses in mathematics or physics may be required.

What type of student is well suited for the program?

Because the curriculum is rigorous, the program is designed for people who can work across disciplines, among them Biology, Chemistry and the Biomedical Sciences.

Program Details & Curriculum

Features of the Program

Innovative curriculum that engages students in authentic classroom based research experiences and project-based learning.

Students engage in research with faculty in the areas of:

  • Neuroscience - Mechanisms of neuroprotection from oxidative stress
  • Genetics – Mechanisms of telomere regulation
  • Cell and Molecular Biology - Regulation of the assembly of synaptic contacts
  • Developmental Biology - Regulation of neural crest cell migration during development
  • Computational Biochemistry - Development of fluorescent nucleic acid bases

Newly renovated teaching and research labs, including a dedicated cell culture facility and green house.

State-of-the-art equipment, including: DNA sequencer, HPLC machine, real-time PCR machine, in vivo microinjection and electroporation instruments, and fluorescence microscopes.

Biology Fast Facts

  • Complete an internship with a research lab
  • Enrichment programs through STEM
  • Wide-range of courses and topics
  • Prepares graduates to work or continue studying in many different fields

Biology B.S. Curriculum

General Education Requirements*: 60 Credits 
Major Concentration Core Courses: 36 Credits 
Major Elective: 6 Credits 
Open Electives: 18 Credits

Total: 120 Credits

Students who choose the major concentration in biology must complete all the biology core courses along with the courses in their track:*

* Students must complete MATH 116 (rather than MATH 115) as part of their General Education  requirements.

** These courses fulfill 15 credits of the General Education requirements.

To complete major concentration, corequisite lab courses must be taken.

Students who have not taken Regents High School Biology and obtained a score of 75 or higher are advised to take BIOL 122 prior to BIOL 160.

There is a 15-credit residency requirement in the major concentration of biology that must be completed with courses numbered BIOL 230 and above. CHEM 354 may also be used to meet this requirement.

Students enrolling in natural science courses must earn at least a letter grade of C in all prerequisite courses. It is recommended that students be at the level of English 111 when enrolling in all natural science courses. Students in the biology major may not repeat a course more than once.

Biology Objectives

  • Master the requisite core concepts and competencies necessary for biological literacy and practice.
  • Be proficient and ethical in standard laboratory or field research including: use of standard instrumentation, performing routine calculations, maintaining laboratory notebooks, and interpreting experimental results.
  • Access and understand the scientific literature, prepare and deliver clear and cogent presentations of experimental results, and obtain proficiency in scientific writing.
  • Understand the impact of science on society and its application to community, global service, and sustainability.

Summer Research Academy

Step Up to STEM

Each summer, faculty and students come together at Mercy College to work on authentic research projects in the Summer Research academy. This program is for STEM Scholars at WCC but is also open to Mercy students who are interested in gaining research experience. Summer research has many benefits for students: gaining hands on experience in STEM fields will aid in success in graduate school and other career pathways.  Go to our STEM Scholars page to learn more.