The Department of Biology offers a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science in biology. The curriculum promotes an understanding of biology from molecules and cells to organisms, populations and ecosystems. Advanced courses allow students to explore a variety of areas of interest. The mission and objectives for the Biology major can be found here. Courses are small (typically no more than 32 students in a lecture section, 16 students in a lab section) and are taught by engaged, enthusiastic faculty members.
The Biology major provides a strong education in cell biology, organismal biology and scientific inquiry, with coursework in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. The department offers courses in foundational disciplines and in a variety of specialty fields. An introductory seminar provides exposure to various careers, opportunities and learning skills in biology and health fields. Students gain experience in finding and reading biological literature (published research studies) in an upper-level seminar, and scientific experimentation and communication are emphasized throughout the curriculum. Students majoring in Biology can, with one additional course, earn a minor in Chemistry.
Students interact through their coursework and through activities such as those sponsored by the Biology Club.
Effective Fall 2017, students pursuing the B.S. in Biology at MCLA will enroll in the general Biology major or a Biology major with a concentration (a sequence of coursework targeted to a specific field) in Pre-Medical Professions, Pre-Veterinary, or Biotechnology. For concentrations in Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Medical Technology and Sport Medicine, see the Health Sciences major offered by the Biology Department. The department also offers a major in Public Health and Community Health Education.
To earn a minor in Biology, a student must complete BIOL 150 Introduction to Biology I: Cells, BIOL 160 Introduction to Biology II: Organisms, BIOL 240 Genetics, and 9 elective credits in biology, with at least three of the elective credits being upper-level (300-level or higher).
The minor in Environmental Health is an interdisciplinary program designed for students majoring in the life, physical science, environmental, and health sciences, who may wish to pursue a career in environmental public health, private sector environmental health, and occupational health and safety. Students will focus on the relationship between humans and the environment, and understand the influences and impact of environmental factors and policy on human health.
This interdisciplinary minor provides students with an understanding of the social construction of health and illness in modern societies. This minor provides students with insights into the ways that societies define health and illness and how social organization and stratification influence population health.
The Sport Coaching Minor provides students the opportunity to get certified as a coach without any other trainings, in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont. This includes, but is not limited to coaching at the college, middle school and high school levels.
The mission of the program is to prepare students to become certified athletic coaches and to be ready for employment in their chosen setting. The curriculum will utilize theory, discussion, kinesthetic and practical application to prepare students in the coaching field.
Strong students that have met the requirements outlined in the articulation agreement can simultaneously complete their senior year of undergraduate study and the first year of podiatric medicine at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. MCLA counts credits from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine toward the B. S. in Biology.
Students are strongly encouraged to observe professionals in their fields of interest and to participate in independent research, internships and/or other experiences that emphasize independent work and demonstration of professional skills. Students can start working with faculty on research projects as early as their first year at MCLA, and many present their findings at local and regional research conferences. A number of local institutions regularly host MCLA interns, and other internships can be established based on a student’s area of interest.
Graduates of MCLA are currently enrolled in a variety of programs of advanced study, including medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, plant biology, biotechnology and education. Others are employed in research labs, medical facilities, high schools, governmental agencies and other settings.
For more information contact Biology Department Chair Dr. Justin Golub.