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  • B.S. in Biology

    An exciting curriculum that combines classroom study with experience-based learning
    Study, research and prepare for medical school, graduate studies or a career in the health sciences.
    School of Health and Natural Sciences
    Dobbs Ferry

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Biology B.S. Curriculum

General Liberal Arts and Sciences
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:*

Required Courses

  • BIOL 105 Pathways, Perspectives, and Ethics in Science **
  • BIOL 160 General Biology I Lecture *
  • BIOL 160A General Biology I Laboratory
  • BIOL 161 General Biology II Lecture **
  • BIOL 161A General Biology II Laboratory**
  • CHEM 160 General Chemistry I Lecture **
  • CHEM 160A General Chemistry II Laboratory **
  • CHEM 161 General Chemistry II Lecture **
  • CHEM 161A General Chemistry II Laboratory **
  • MATH 201 Precalculus***

Required Courses Continued

  • CHEM 260 Organic Chem I Lecture
  • CHEM 260A Organic Chem I Lab
  • CHEM 261 Organic Chem II Lecture
  • CHEM 261A Organic Chem II Lab
  • CHEM 354 Biochemistry
  • BIOL 161A General Biology II Lab
  • BIOL 244 Ecology
  • BIOL 275 Cell Biology
  • BIOL 355 Molecular Biol of the Cell
  • BIOL 360 Genetics
  • BIOL 366 Developmental Biology
  • BIOL 460 Coordinating Seminar Biology

Two of the Following Major Electives:

  • BIOL 224 Microbiome of Urban Spaces
  • BIOL 252 Plant Biology
  • BIOL 265 Microbiology Lecture AND
  • BIOL 265A Microbiology Lab
  • BIOL 280 Histology
  • BIOL 295 Special Topics in Biology
  • BIOL 309 Human Physiology/Bio Med Scinc
  • BIOL 310 Immunology
  • BIOL 317 Principles of Neuroscience
  • BIOL 370 Research in Biology I
  • BIOL 380 Co-op Biology I
  • BIOL 397 Independent Study Biol
  • BIOL 424 Neurobiology
  • BIOL 430 Seminar Current Topics Biol
  • BIOL 440 Advanced Research in Biology: Neurodegeneration
  • CHEM 295 Special Topics in Chemistry
  • CHEM 397 Independent Study in Chemistry

The department recommends that students planning to enter graduate school, medical school, or research take:

MATH 260 Calculus I
MATH 261 Calculus II
PHYS 160 Physics for the Life Sciences I
PHYS 161 Physics for the Life Sciences II
BIOL 370 Research in Biology I or equivalent research experience

* 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.

How long does earning a degree take?
Full-time students can complete the 120-credit degree program in four years.
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.
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.
What is the first step in the admissions process?
Click on "Apply Now" on the Mercy homepage or call 1.877.MERCY.GO to apply for admission to Mercy College and arrange for an appointment with an Admissions Counselor. Bring your completed application form and copies of your high school and/or college transcripts with you at the time of your appointment.
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 is Mercy's program unique?
We offer a flexible schedule that helps meet the demands of students working full time. Our small class size facilitates a close relationship among the students and between students and faculty.
How many credits can be transferred from another institution?
Up to 75 credits from a two-year institution. Up to 90 from a four-year institution. Up to 90 credits combined however the credits may not exceed 75 credits from any combination of two-year institutions as they apply to your chosen degree. In addition you may only transfer in two courses of upper-level business credit (six credits) to apply to the major / specialization.
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.
Is Mercy College a nonsectarian institution?
Yes. Qualified applicants are admitted without regard to race, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age or physical disability.
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.
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.
Juan Bruses Professor, Biology
Peter Minorsky Professor, Biology
Geetha Surendran Associate Professor, Natural Sciences
Nancy Beverly Associate Professor, Natural Sciences
Anthony Canger Associate Professor, Biology
Astrid Mel Assistant Professor, Program Head, Exercise Science
Devdutta Deb Assistant Professor, Natural Sciences
Patricio Mujica Urzua Assistant Professor, Natural Sciences
Renee Haskew-Layton Assistant Professor, Natural Science

Biology Overview

The Bachelor of Science degree in Biology provides students with a comprehensive foundation in the life sciences and is ideal for students interested in pursuing careers in biological research, health care and teaching. The curriculum is designed to deepen critical thinking skills and strengthen quantitative reasoning through active learning modules and authentic research experiences, providing the groundwork for application to graduate school in the biological sciences and schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physician assistant, and other postgraduate professional and graduate schools, including secondary education. The biology program offers a range of core and specialized course work in cell and molecular biology, genetics, ecology, neuroscience, developmental biology, biology research and introductory science teaching to meet the diverse interests of its students.

Opportunities in Cooperative Education, Independent Study, Research Mentorship, and Internships are also available to help students identify and prepare for a career. All students are required to participate in a capstone project in their senior year.

The B.S. in Biology includes tracks of courses that are standard pre-requisite courses, commonly recommended, or essential for success in a medical school application and preparation for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), including:

  • 2 semesters of general biology with laboratory
  • 2 semesters of general chemistry with laboratory
  • 2 semesters of organic chemistry with laboratory
  • 2 semesters of physics with laboratory (non-calculus based or calculus-based)
  • 1 semester of biochemistry
  • 1 –2 semesters of mathematics (for instance calculus and/or statistics at 200-level)

Completing the B.S. in Biology does not guarantee admission to a Mercy College graduate professional program or medical school. Graduates of the B.S. in Biology must apply to chosen programs, meet specific requirements, and compete with all other applicants. The B.S. in Biology may or may not satisfy the course requirements for admission to graduate or medical programs. Courses can vary based on the college/university. Students have the responsibility to check entrance requirements for college/university to which they intend to apply. 

Biology FAQS

How many credits can be transferred from another institution?
Up to 75 credits from a two-year institution. Up to 90 from a four-year institution. Up to 90 credits combined however the credits may not exceed 75 credits from any combination of two-year institutions as they apply to your chosen degree. In addition you may only transfer in two courses of upper-level business credit (six credits) to apply to the major / specialization.
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.
Five year B.S./M.S. Teacher Education Program

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 an English 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 the School of Education website.

Meet Renee Haskew-Layton, Program Head, Biology

Learn more about her story and explore Biology at Mercy College. 

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

Career Opportunities

Biology graduates may work as:

  • Teachers (with proper certification)
  • Laboratory Research Technicians (Academia, Industry, or Government)
  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical sales and marketing

Biology graduates may also advance to:

  • Master's and/or Doctorate in
    • Biological Sciences
    • Biomedical Sciences
  • Homeopathic Medicine
  • Osteopathic Medicine
  • Physician Assistant Studies
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Chiropractic
  • Podiatry
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Accelerated RN-Nurse Practitioner
  • Forensics

Biology Accolades

Step Up to STEM

Biology major students can participate in STEM related activities such as the summer enrichment program, peer mentoring program, tutoring, and supplemental instruction.  All these activities support Hispanic and low-income students attaining degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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 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.

Program Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to: 

  • 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