Saint Francis University classes will be operating on a 2 hour delay for Friday, November 16, 2018. View the compressed class schedule.
Biology is the study of life in all of its variety and complexity. Biologists approach the study of life at levels ranging from molecular biology and physiology to ecology and evolution. Students of biology must each find the unique niche within this diverse field that best suits her or his passions.
The Biology Program at Saint Francis University is designed with the uniqueness of each student in mind. Our department provides
customizable degree programs and personal academic advising by
We have small class sizes, a tight-knit community of students, and opportunities for
students to engage in novel research with faculty mentors. Many of
our graduates go on to graduate schools and professional schools, while others use their bachelor degree to pursue careers in research, education, wildlife management, medical laboratories, as well as aquaria and zoos.
Explore Programs >Schedule a Visit >Apply Now >Tuition & Fees >Biology Newsletters >Career Opportunities >
Dr. Justin Merry
Department Chair, Biology
Email Dr. MerryMeet our faculty
Students can opt for one of our flexible general biology degrees, or choose from a variety of concentrations within the biology major. Biology faculty members serve as academic advisors for all of our majors and provide one-on-one attention to help you achieve your career goals. SFU Biology majors go on to graduate schools, professional schools, and work in governmental agencies, biomedical industry, environmental monitoring, and more.
Learn More about Biology Degrees & Programs
Our students conduct research in small teams that work closely with faculty members in dedicated student/faculty research labs. Many students begin research as freshmen, and students can work with multiple faculty on different projects over their four years. Students present their research at regional, national, and international conferences, and have the opportunity to be lead author on publications of their work.
Learn More About Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Highly qualified faculty members, holding doctorates in diverse fields within biology including anatomy, animal behavior, cell biology, ecology, endocrinology, entomology, evolution, microbiology, and molecular biology. Our faculty prioritize student learning above all other commitments, and can provide individualized attention thanks to average class sizes of 20 students : 1 instructor.
Learn More About Our Faculty
Students can take classes for a semester while living at Raystown Lake Field Station, or pursue study abroad opportunities. In addition to SFU's semesters in France or Italy, the biology department offers off-semester field biology courses. Past courses have traveled to St. Lucia, the Galapagos, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, and have dived with Manatees in Crystal River, Florida!
Learn More About Opportunities Beyond the Classroom
Biology department classrooms, laboratories, and collaboration areas are housed within our brand-new 70,000 square-foot facility. Biology students have a dedicated student zone where they can relax, study, and interact with their peers. The Biology Club, Environmental Action Society, and SCUBA Clubs are student-run groups that foster interaction between students across cohorts, and organize service activities for the community.
Learn More About Student Organizations
From a young age, Jack Weidner always thought that he wanted to be a doctor, but he also had a passion for writing and the arts.
Read how Jack combined his passions
After Megan Williams finished her freshman year as a Biology major with a Marine Biology Concentration, she started a summer internship with the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.
Ten Saint Francis University students, faculty and staff dedicated their time and talents volunteering to help nearly 2,000 patients in need of dental treatments at a weekend-long domestic mission trip in Reading, PA.
Four students have secured summer internships at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
Biology major, Emily Miller, attended Undergraduate Research Day the Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg.
SFU provides opportunities for students to engage in research alongside with faculty mentors as early as their Freshman year. At most colleges, students won’t do research until they are in a graduate program.
Thirteen students plus faculty and staff members from Saint Francis University and Juniata College took a four-day field trip to the Adirondacks to study Winter Ecology.
Dr. John Trimble travels to Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota for Sabbatical.
Allison Nedrow has a passion for helping others. Her interests in conservation and animal care drove her to SFU's Aquarium & Zoo Sciences program.
Read Allison's story
Students looking to study abroad have another option this year to go global: spring break in the Galapagos Islands.
Nine students under the direction of Master SCUBA Diver Trainers, Nick Weakland and Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald donned wet and dry suits to dive into a portion of Lake Gallitzin practicing their search and rescue skills to remove any trash or unnatural debris polluting the beautiful park.
Seven students majoring in Biology, Chemistry and Health Sciences volunteered at the June MOM-n-PA Dental clinic in Erie, PA.
Two first-year biology students discover larvae of rare Tiger Spiketail dragonfly!
Learn more about their discovery
The Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium donated 2 axolotls to Saint Francis University Biology department.
Read more about axolotls
Stephanie Wilson has excelled in and out of the classroom during her four years at SFU.
Read about Steph's SFU Experience
Alayna Hawkins spent her Fall semester studying Marine Biology at the Kenai Peninsula College, which is part of the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Read About Her Experience
Stories include a feature on new equipment in the department, new
relationships with local wildlife rehabilitation centers, and a feature
on Marine Biology senior Stephanie Wilson.
Find Out What's New in Biology
Erika Dreikorn graduated with Department Honors in May 2016 after only 3 years
at SFU. She is putting her B.S. in Biology (Pre-professional Concentration) to
good work as she begins a Master’s program in Human Genetics this Fall at the
University of Pittsburgh.
Read more about Erika's story
Biology alumnus, Nikki Nastasi, is a stem cell lab specialist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC for the bone marrow transplant team, and recently became a bone marrow donor herself.
Read Nikki's story
After spending a semester together in a course focused on animal behavior, alumna Meghan Studds and her companion (and former classmate) Maizie headed to Veterinary School.
Read about Maizie's journey from the Humane Society to Veterinary School
Teams of SFU students spent their summer investigating biodiversity in local streams and ponds affected by pollution.
Learn About Their Research
Neurosurgeon Dr. James Burke still remembers the first time he saw a human brain in person. Even today, after countless surgeries, he still finds the experience of seeing and operating on a brain “surreal.”
Get inside James' brain
Taking care of animals was something that always appealed to Leah
(Christ) Trout. Growing up on her parents’ farm the menagerie that
surrounded her included goats, cats, cows, pigs, and sheep. She enjoyed
caring for all of them.
Meet Leah Trout
While completing their degrees in the Saint Francis University Biology program, our students achieve the following learning objectives:
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