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Biology Overview

The Animal Sciences concentration provides students with a comprehensive foundation in the life and animal sciences and is ideal for those interested in pursuing graduate studies toward becoming a veterinarian.

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

Animal-science students

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 veterinary school.

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

  • Veterinary medicine
  • Medicine
  • Research
  • Pharmacy
  • and more 


Participate in STEM related
activities such as the summer
enrichment program 

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
  • Opportunity to take Veterinary Technology courses along with biology courses
  • Meaningful academic advising from faculty
  • Cell culture facility
  • DNA sequencer
  • Participate in cooperative education
  • Preparation for pursuing veterinary school

Full-Time Faculty

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Farhana Ahmed Adjunct Instructor, Biology
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John Babu Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology
Juan Bruses Professor, Biology
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Anthony Canger Associate Professor, Biology
Devdutta Deb
Devdutta Deb Assistant Professor, Biology
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Robert Habig Assistant Professor, Biology
Renee Haskew-Layton Profile Picture
Renee Haskew-Layton Assistant Professor

Program Director, Biology

Part-Time Faculty

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Gamage Aruggoda Adjunct Instructor, Biology
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Susmita Bagchi Adjunct Instructor, Biology
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Andres Botero Adjunct Instructor, Biology
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Neville Crick Adjunct Instructor, Biology

Program Outcomes

  • Evince the tenets of professional behavior and communication, ethical value and culture sensitivity

  • Explain disease processes underlying common exotic and small animal diseases and evaluate their clinical implications relative to optimizing treatment

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of mammalian anatomy and the relationship between anatomical structure and function

  • Exhibit a foundational knowledge of the physiologic mechanisms, functions and metabolism organ systems of domestic species

  • Perform common clinical tests commiserate with the current standard of care of veterinary practice and explain the clinical significance of the tests and their results

  • Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of veterinary pharmacology and the ability to accurately perform dosage calculations

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Animal Sciences concentration?

The Animal Sciences concentration is within the biology major and includes the prerequisite  work required for most four-year veterinary schools.

How is this different from the Veterinary Technology Program?

The Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology prepares students to become licensed veterinary technologists. Students interested in applying to veterinary medical school will need to take additional natural sciences courses.

The Bachelor of Science in Biology, Animal Sciences Concentration includes more upper level biology courses than the Veterinary Technology program as well as some veterinary technology courses.

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 a PACT Mentor 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.

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

Curriculum Overview

General Education Requirements*: 60 Credits 
Major Concentration Core Courses: 60 Credits 
Total: 120 Credits

Students who choose the major concentration in Biology Animal Sciences Track must complete all the required general education and required major courses as listed below. General Education courses are indicated with *, **, or *** and explained below.


If students qualify for MATH 201 as their Math requirement under general education, they must complete 3 credits of major electives, to be chosen with program director.

If students are required to take MATH 116 to meet the general education math requirement, MATH 201 will count towards major requirements.
To complete the major concentration, corequisite lab courses must be taken.
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.

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog. 

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 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.

Academic Program Sequence Map

Download a copy of the sequence map for: