B.S. in Biology

B.S. in Biology

The B.S. in Biology at Penn State Berks allows students to learn about the natural world. The curriculum has been designed to help students understand living organisms by studying genetics, development, evolution and the environment. Students receive education in a broad array of biological areas, allowing them to explore broadly (General Option) or explore genetics (Genetics and Developmental Biology option) in more depth.

Degree Overview

The objectives of the Biology Major involve learning to think like a scientist. Specific educational objectives of the program are to ensure that graduates:

  • Read, understand, and critically interpret primary scientific literature
  • Communicate results of biological research
  • Apply ethical principles to basic and applied practice and understand the role of science and scientists in society
  • Demonstrate appropriate laboratory skills including scientific technique, maintenance of a laboratory notebook, writing laboratory reports, and adhering to all safety procedures
  • Specific content areas include:
    • Living processes using structure and function: cellular biology
    • Information flow, exchange and storage: genetics
    • Metabolic pathways that help organisms transform energy and matter: thermodynamic principle
    • Change of organisms over longer time spans: evolution
    • The incredible variety of life: biodiversity

Complementary Minors and Certificates

The following academic minors are suggested to complement the Biology degree:

  • Applied Psychology
  • Business
  • Communication

After Graduation

The Biology major prepares students for work in a variety of fields including park rangers, laboratory technicians, and pharmaceutical work. The degree provides the pre-requisite coursework for a variety of professional schools including medical and veterinary. The degree also prepares students for graduate study in a variety of biological disciplines.


Comparison of BMB, Biology, and Science Degrees

Penn State Berks offers three degrees related to the life sciences. All three degrees lead to similar outcomes but the focus of the degrees vary slightly. The BMB degree focuses more on laboratory work and has a more chemical focus; Biology fosters a broad understanding of biology without as intense a focus on chemistry; Science provides a flexible major to allow students to tailor their own 400-level coursework. Medical students usually choose BMB, veterinary students usually choose Biology, and Physician Assistant students choose Science. Students who want to work in Pharmaceuticals and Bioctech often choose BMB; students who want to work as park rangers and environmental specialists usually choose Biology; students who transfer to Penn State or who do not know exactly where they want to work choose Science. You will work closely with your advisor to choose the most appropriate degree for your long-term goals.