Biological Studies Major

The B.A. in Biological Studies is a program for students who enter Saint Joseph's University through one of the block-transfer agreements, and who have completed two-years in a biology major, or closely related program. This degree has fewer requirements than the B.S. in Biology, which will allow block-transfer students to normally graduate in two years.  

The B.A. in Biological Studies can be an excellent program for block-transfer students who want to enter allied health professions programs such as Physician Assistant, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Doctor of Pharmacy, and others.  It is also an excellent program for students wanting to enter various industries in the life sciences, or who wish to pursue a research-based graduate degree. 

It is important note that, due to the reduced range of course requirements, the B.A, in Biological Studies does not include the pre-requisite courses for medical, dental, or veterinary school.  Students interested in entering these programs after graduating from Saint Joseph's University should enroll in the B.S. in Biology program instead. 

The program covers a range of the learning goals and outcomes described below.  There is some variation based on the exact courses a student chooses to take within the program.

Learning Goals and Outcomes

1.  Students will appreciate and understand cell structure and function, the organization of biological systems, and the evolution of biological diversity.

1.1 Students will understand and be able to describe the mechanisms of evolutionary change and the diversity of life.

1.2 Students will understand and be able to describe biochemical processes of living organisms and the role of macromolecules in these processes.

1.3 Students will understand and be able to describe how organisms interact with their abiotic and biotic environment.

1.4 Students will understand and be able to describe molecular, classical, and population genetics.

2.  Students will develop skills in experimental design and the presentation of scientific information. 

2.1 Students will be able to design an experiment, operate basic laboratory equipment, reduce and present data that includes the interpretation of statistical tests.

2.2 Students will be able to develop cogent written and oral presentations of scientific content.

3. Students will be exposed to career and professional development opportunities.

The traditional undergraduate programs include 40 courses distributed across three components: A General Education component divided into Signature Courses, Variable Courses, and an Integrative Learning requirement; a Major and Divisional component; and Free Electives. In addition to course requirements as specified in each area, students must complete one certified course in each of the following overlay areas:

  1. Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
  2. Ethics Intensive, and
  3. Writing Intensive. Overlay requirements are part of the forty-course requirement.

General Education Signature Courses

See this page about Signature courses. Six courses

General Education Variable Courses

See this page about Variable courses. Six to Nine courses

MAT 155Fundamentals of Calculus3
or MAT 161 Calculus I
Natural Science
BIO 101Bio I: Cells (first semester freshman year)4

General Education Overlays

See this page about Overlays.

General Education Integrative Learning Component

See this page about Integrative Learning Component. Three courses:

BIO 102
Bio II: Genetics
and Bio II: Genetics Lab (second semester, freshman year)
or BIO 151L Phage Lab
BIO 201Bio III: Organismic Biology (first semester, sophomore year)4
BIO 290Career Development Seminar (required for first-semester sophomores)0
BIO 390Biology Seminar (required each semester for second-semester sophomores, juniors and seniors)0
Select one from each of the following groups: 1
Group A: Cell Structure and Function
Advanced Cell Biology
Molecular Genetics
Molecular&Cellular Biophysics
Neurological Disorders
Group B: Systemic Organization
Plant Physiological Ecology
Systemic Physiology
Bacterial Pathogenesis
Group C: Evolution and Diversity of Life
Animal Behavior
Comparative Anatomy
Plant Systematics
Invertebrate Zoology
Applied&Environ Microbio
Fermentation Science
Environmental Science
Four additional 400-level biology courses 2,3
CHM 125General Chemistry II (second semester, freshman year)3
CHM 125LGeneral Chemistry Lab II (second semester, freshman year)2
CHM 215Organic Chemistry II (second semester, sophomore year)3
CHM 215LOrganic Chemistry Lab II (second semester, sophomore year)1
MAT 128Applied Statistics (first semster, sophomore year)3
PHY 102General Physics II (second semester, junior year)3
PHY 102LGeneral Physics Laboratory II (second semester, junior year)1