Are you committed to understanding the complexities of the living world? Do you wonder how you impact the world around you - and how it impacts you? Then biology could be the perfect major for you!


Biology is the study of the living world around us. It explores the structure and function of living organisms including animals, plants, bacteria and viruses. Through one-on-one interactions with our faculty, our students gain in-depth experience in the process of science, learn laboratory techniques, as well as share in the excitement of scientific discovery. 

Why Biology is in Demand:

  • Our biology curriculum provides you with the transferable skills employers value most – analytics; strong written and oral communication; prioritization; computer literacy (
  • Biology majors can apply their intellectual curiosity and scientific expertise to a wide range of professions – including the health sciences, environmental science and policy, education and technology.
  • Our biology curriculum provides excellent preparation for medical, dental and veterinary school graduate programs. Most of the course requirements for these professional schools can be met within our 120 credit curriculum.
  • Undergraduate research opportunities provide students with real-world experience, lab proficiency and technical skills to apply in a variety of job settings.

Is it for me?

  • Are you curious about living organisms?
  • Do you like conducting experiments?
  • Do you enjoy analyzing results?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Biology

Active learning.   Students are participants in the learning process. Faculty believe that “the best way to learn is to do.”
Small class size.   Biology is one of the largest majors on campus, but classes are limited to 35 students for individualized instruction and personal attention. Laboratory sections - even at the freshmen level - have no more than 18 students.
Students co-author papers and present at international conferences with faculty mentors.  
Integrated and interdisciplinary curriculum.    We believe in fostering collaboration with students and faculty in other science majors for a broader perspective.
Jesuit education.   We treat students as individuals with a holistic concern for their well-being both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    You'll learn how to:

    • Formulate and test hypotheses
    • Generate, analyze and present data
    • Think critically to analyze and solve complex problems
    • Deliver compelling oral presentations
    • Write in the style of a professional biologist

    Students work hand-in-hand with faculty research mentors. Students are also encouraged to attend and participate in local and national scientific meetings and conferences, allowing them to hone their scientific communication skills, as well as network with other students and scientists from around the globe.

    “Every biology student is assigned a faculty advisor in their sophomore year who not only helps with course selections but becomes an extension of a student’s support system. They ask questions like, “How are things going?” or “What do you want to do after you’re here?” Faculty advisors are there to help you understand your goals – and yourself – better.

    – Terrence Sweeney,
    Professor of Biology

  • What You'll Learnplus or minus


    All biology majors begin with a full year of General Biology lecture and laboratory, which provides an introduction to fundamental concepts in molecular and cellular biology, genetics, and organismal form and functions.

    In the sophomore through senior years, students take 27 additional biology credits from a diverse menu of choices including at least four credits in each of three core areas: molecular and cellular biology, systems biology and multi-organismal biology.

    Two years of chemistry, a year of physics and mathematics through calculus are also required.

    Click here to see the curriculum. 

    Research Projects

    • There are numerous opportunities to help faculty with their research as part of the Faculty/Student Research Program. Here are just a few examples:
    • Effects of estrogen on bone quantity and density
    • Feeding/behavioral ecology of phyllostomid bats
    • Modeling stenotic aortic valves in a cardiovascular model
    • Ecology and ecophysiology of landbird migrants
    • Effects of changing climate conditions on marine organisms
    • Changing climate conditions on marine organisms
    • Morphine addiction in ants: a new model for self-administration 
    • Physiology of microbes associated with micro plastics

    Learn more about research opportunities in the Biology Department.

    Loyola Science Center

    Imagine learning in one of the most innovative science buildings in the country. Our Loyola Science Center has 22 classrooms and 34 glass-walled laboratories as part of a 200,000 square-foot facility. You’ll find dedicated spaces for informal gatherings, student group work, student research, mediated classrooms and labs with state-of-the-art equipment.

  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    Wondering what you can do to tackle some of the biggest health challenges of our times? Too many of us know a loved one or friend battling chronic disease or cancer. Meanwhile, the rates of autism and attention-disorders are increasing. Maybe you just have a desire to cure the common cold after missing out on a favorite extracurricular activity last winter.

    Perhaps a favorite pet has inspired you to become a veterinarian or childhood memories of collecting shells on the beach has made you want to research marine life. Wherever your career compass points, biology can put you on the path to making your vocation your avocation - and making the world a better place in the process.  

    At Scranton, we offer significant service learning opportunities in our local community to put your biology knowledge to good use and improve the lives of others. As a Jesuit institution, we encourage students to develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and their community.


Where will biology take me?

Our biology curriculum will provide you with the solid foundation you need to advance further, whether you decide to continue your education or go straight into industry working in biology and related fields.

Here are some examples of jobs depending on your interests: 

  • Biological Scientist
  • College Professor
  • Dentist
  • Doctor
  • Health Technologist
  • High School Teacher
  • Physician Assistant
  • Pharmacist
  • Veterinarian
  • Zoologist 

Top Graduate Schools

A large number of our graduates go on to medical school. Other alumni/alumnae pursue graduate education in other areas of biological and health sciences. Here are some of the leading graduate schools and universities which have admitted recent graduates:

  • Cornell University
  • Jefferson Medical College
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of New Hampshire
  • Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Leading Employers:

Here are some of the organizations in the public and private sectors employing our graduates:

  • Abbott Labs
  • Becton Dickinson
  • Biomed Labs
  • Fisher Scientific
  • Lederle Laboratories
  • Marine Institute at the University of Georgia
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Microtest Labs
  • Sanofi
  • Yale University

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

One of the many things students tell us they love about Scranton is that our faculty are very active in helping them achieve their career goals. As you walk across campus, you’ll often see students chatting with faculty.

Whether it’s advising or providing letters of references for a competitive graduate school or that dream job, faculty make it their priority to get to know each student on an individual basis. That deep level of understanding means that our faculty members are not only dedicated teachers and strong researchers but advocates for you professionally. 

Biology is a rigorous and challenging major. We want all of our students to succeed – every single one.

– Janice Voltzow,
Professor of Biology and Department Chair

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Biology Department
Janice Voltzow, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Biology
(570) 941-4378