Dec 06, 2022  
2017-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biology Department

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The Department of Biology offers undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with concentrations in health professions, ecology and environmental biology, biotechnology, clinical sciences and secondary education certification. The undergraduate program in biology is designed to provide students with a comprehensive foundation in life science, including experience with both theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline. Students will develop an understanding of significant core areas, including genetics, cellular biology, physiology, ecology, and organismal biology. In addition to the core curriculum, students may choose from a broad selection of courses that focus intensely on the various biological sub-disciplines. The program features exposure to the biological sciences through experiences in a combination of classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Studies in cognate areas such as chemistry, mathematics, and physics are an integral and significant component of contemporary biological education.

Biology Features

In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in biology, students may choose to gain specialized training in one of the following concentrations: biotechnology (with a pre-forensics option), clinical sciences, ecology and environmental biology, health professions, and secondary education certification (with an environmental education certification option). As the cornerstone of the biology department, our faculty is concerned about instruction and our students. In addition to small classes taught by highly trained professors with expertise in their fields, we also offer the opportunity to participate directly in research with faculty members. Students may receive small research grants from the Shippensburg University Foundation to purchase supplies or to help defray the cost of attending professional meetings. Students are assigned a faculty advisor from the department to help guide them in course selection and career goals. Numerous opportunities exist for students to engage in internship experiences off campus. Students with an interest in marine science may enroll in summer courses through our affiliation with the Chincoteague Bay Field Station at Wallops Island, Virginia. Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, the Biology Club, and the Health Sciences Club provide opportunities for service, learning, and recreation.

Biology Career Opportunities

Undergraduate degree programs in the Department of Biology make possible a multitude of career options. Students with an interest in a career in the health fields may enter professional schools to train for careers in medicine, veterinary science, optometry, dentistry, podiatry, chiropractic, physical therapy, or pharmacy. The clinical sciences concentration allows students to incorporate their clinical education in medical technology, histotechnology, cytotechnology or respiratory therapy as their fourth year of undergraduate studies. Students with an interest in field studies and the environment can consider careers or graduate programs in conservation, wildlife biology, fisheries management, forestry, and ecology. Industries and pharmaceutical companies recruit students with a background in cell biology, microbiology, and biotechnology. Students who earn secondary education certification begin professions as secondary school teachers. Careers in clinical or academic research, college teaching, and other specialized fields usually require master's or doctoral-level degrees.

Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Shippensburg University is a charter member of the Chincoteague Bay Field Station, a joint venture with a number of the other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities and several colleges and universities of neighboring states. The field station operates at Wallops Island, Virginia, for field and laboratory studies in marine sciences. An assortment of small boats provides a wide range of teaching and research capabilities. A laboratory, dormitory, dining facilities, and a full-time permanent staff are a part of the station. Four separate three-week sessions operate during the summer months with a variety of courses taught during each session by faculty from the member institutions. In addition, the station facilities are available for class field trips or weekend trips during the fall and spring. Students interested in these courses should contact the Shippensburg director of the Chincoteague Bay Field Station or visit

The following courses and others are offered regularly during the summer at the station:

  • Field Methods of Oceanography
  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Invertebrates
  • Marine Ecology
  • Marine Ichthyology
  • Marine Mammals
  • Coastal Herpetology
  • Coastal Ornithology
  • Behavior of Marine Organisms
  • Ecology of Marine Plankton
  • Problems in Marine Sciences





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