Biology Major and Minor
Biology, the study of life, is a discipline of astonishing variety. It encompasses not only the diversity of living things on the Earth today, but also the diversity of levels (from molecules to ecosystems) at which life can be studied.
Biology At a Glance
Acres of College-owned woodlands and wetlands are used for research.
Of majors attend graduate or professional school.
Conservation biology (Erie National Wildlife Refuge), fisheries biology (Game Commission Fish Hatchery), and allied health care (Meadville Medical Center)
Bousson Environmental Research Reserve, Allegheny National Forest, Geneva Wetlands, Presque Isle and Pymatuning State Parks, and more
The Biology Major
The major includes three introductory courses, three advanced courses, a Junior Seminar, a two-semester Senior Project, and two additional science courses outside of biology.
The first year begins with a solid foundation in chemistry and math, as well as the first introductory course in biology, organismal physiology, and ecology.
The second year typically includes the remaining introductory biology courses, Genetics, Development, and Evolution as well as Investigative Approaches in Biology. This year also includes additional courses in chemistry, usually organic chemistry.
In their third year, students will take their Junior Seminar and begin taking their advanced courses in specialty areas of biology. Majors also may be taking their courses in cognate sciences in their junior year.
In their fourth year, biology majors will carry out their Senior Comp and finish taking their advanced biology courses. They may also be finishing up their cognate courses in their senior year.
Learning Outcomes for Biology Majors and Minors
Demonstrate an understanding of the central features of the extraordinarily diverse landscape of modern biology; demonstrate an understanding of important principles and laboratory techniques in at least three different biological sub-disciplines.
An Understanding of Modern Biology
You'll be able to demonstrate an understanding of the extraordinarily diverse and expanding landscape of modern biology.
Present Your Results
You will be able to present results of independent research clearly and effectively in both written and oral forms.
Independent Laboratory or Field Research
You'll design and conduct independent laboratory or field research that meets the highest standards of biology.
Karina Sarver, Alumna
Class of 2016, Biology Major/History and English Minors; Employed by Cook MyoSite, a biotech firm focusing on developing and marketing regenerative medicine products using human myocytes
“ All of my student colleagues have such an incredible respect for learning, just as faculty have incredible respect for us as learners. … That aspect of Allegheny has had the greatest impact on me throughout my college experience. ”
Study Away Opportunities
Students interested in studying away from campus their junior year often spend a semester at either Duke Marine Laboratory in North Carolina or James Cook University in Australia.
James Cook University
Courses offered include:
Australian Vertebrate Fauna, Oceanography, and Rainforest Ecosystems
Duke Marine Laboratory
Courses offered include:
Marine Ecology, Physiology of Marine Mammals, and Drones in Marine Biology
Clinical Research Internship at the Meadville Medical Center
This collaborative clinical epidemiology research experience pairs an Allegheny College student with a family medicine resident at the Meadville Medical Center. Together, they work to plan and conduct preliminary research, draft an Institutional Review Board proposal, collect and analyze data, and draft manuscripts for publication.