Bachelor of Science in Biology
Saint Joseph’s biology program gives students a comprehensive understanding of the realm of living beings, as well as a strong foundation for graduate study, professional service, and career advancement.
Scientists’ most important tools are their ability to integrate new knowledge—whether gained through research or study—with pre-existing knowledge, observation, and self-discipline. Combined, these tools help scientists to better understand the truth. The biology curriculum instills in students a deeper respect for all life forms, an understanding of the connection between all forms of life, the similarities between all life at the biochemical level, and the relationships between organisms in the evolution of life on Earth.
At a Glance
- Rigorous curriculum prepares students for advanced study and careers in biotechnology, environmental and chemical testing, forensic science, and medical laboratory work.
- Faculty members teach lectures and lab, not teaching assistants.
- Students have the opportunity to engage in faculty-led research.
- Internship program for junior and seniors allows students to learn about options within the field and gain valuable work experience.
- Students planning careers as doctors, dentists, or veterinarians can choose tracks in their pre-professional field of choice, and work closely with their faculty advisor to follow the necessary curriculum to gain admittance into professional and graduate schools.
The Bachelor of Science in Biology students will learn experimental skills of laboratory research. Curriculum includes principles of biology and chemistry, calculus, genetics, cellular biology, and biochemistry.
A minor in biology is available and requires students to take 20 credits of course work.
- Pre-Medical concentration provides prerequisite coursework for students planning to pursue medical school.
- Pre-Veterinary concentration provides prerequisite coursework for students planning to pursue veterinary medical school.
- Pre-Pharmacy provides prerequisite coursework for students planning to pursue pharmacy school.
- Pre-Dental provides prerequisite coursework for students planning to pursue dental school.
Students in the Medical Biology major may concentrate their coursework in one of the following areas: Pre-Medical Science, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Pharmacy, or Pre-Veterinary Medicine, as well as preparing for a graduate degree in one of the basic fields of biology, such as ecology, microbiology or physiology. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for professional and graduate school, and relies on careful course selection, relationship with faculty advisors, field experiences, internships, and the senior research project.
Saint Joseph’s College has an articulation agreement with the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania to offer a 3+4 cooperative program in Biology/Pre-Optometry. The first three years of Pre-Optometry study take place at Saint Joseph’s College, while the final four years of Optometry take place at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. Students who successfully complete this seven-year program receive the bachelor of science from Saint Joseph’s College with a major in biology and the doctor of optometry from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.
The Pre-Physician Assistant program provides prerequisite coursework for students planning to pursue a graduate physician assistant’s program.
The Bachelor of Science major in Biology combined with a minor in Secondary Education is the basis for a career as a high school biology teacher. Students who aspire to teach high school biology also take a series of education courses in the secondary education minor, and successfully complete a semester of student teaching in their senior year.
This course of study has been approved by the State of Maine Department of Education and allows students to apply for certification as high school teachers. Students from other states should work with their secondary education advisor to secure current certification requirements for those states.
Sustainability Studies Minor
A minor in sustainability studies is available and requires students to take 20 credits of course work.
Brooke Murch ’18 Conducts Scientific Sensor Research at Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
While most time-lapse cameras capture breathtaking sunsets and clouds rolling across expansive skies, Brooke spent the summer using time-lapse video methods to study the opening and closing of mussels. Since mussels are filter feeders, she developed a method for documenting the relationship between mussels opening their shells (this is called gape) and environmental conditions.
Brooke obtained financial support for this research project through the Maine Space Grant Consortium, an affiliate that funds research of interest to NASA through the congressionally established National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.
The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve’s partnership with Saint Joseph’s “provides another scientific field experience for students different from the lakes and mountains,” explained Dr. Jury.
Sea Run Brown Trout Project with Professor Steve Jury
Funded by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, and in collaboration with the Maine Dept. of Inland Fish and Wildlife, Southern Maine Community College, and the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Professor Steve Jury of the Saint Joseph’s College of Maine Sciences Department led a Sea Run Brown Trout Research Project that raised and released approximately 200 trout into the Mousam River. This project is investigating if raising brown trout in brackish water conditions changes their behavior, physiology, and persistence after release.