Biological Studies Major

The BA 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 BS in Biology, which will allow block-transfer students to normally graduate in two years.  

The BA 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 BA 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 BS in Biology program instead. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outcome 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.

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

Goal 3: Students will demonstrate career preparation through learning opportunities that are closely related to the field.

Outcome 3.1: Students will complete the BIO 290 Career Development Seminar, attend at least three semesters of the BIO 390 Seminar series, and be exposed to various professions in biologically-related areas.

The BA in Biological Studies is a major that is only open for students entering SJU with an Associate's Degree in Biology or a closely-related discipline, through a block-transfer agreement.  This program of study has fewer requirements compared to the BS in Biology or Biomedical Sciences, and can be completed by most block-transfer students in four semesters. 

The BA in Biological Studies provides an excellent route in various career options, including graduate programs in the allied health professions, direct-entry jobs in industry, and some other graduate programs. Please note that it is not ideal for students looking to enter medical, dental, veterinary, or other similar professional school programs, nor is it designed for students looking to enter a PhD program in the life sciences after graduation.  The traditional BS in Biology degree is a better option for those pursuits. 

The block-transfer agreements mean that students will not have to complete most of the General Education Program (GEP) requirements.  The required courses are listed below. Similarly, some of the natural science and mathematics courses will have been completed as part of the Associate's degree, so not all of the courses listed for the major will need to be completed at SJU. This will be determined at the time of admission. 

Required GEP Courses
PHL 154Moral Foundations3
THE 154Catholic Theological Tradition (THE 153, 154 or 155 all fulfill this requirement))3
A Faith and Reason course (THE 153, 154, or 155, and PHL 154 are prerequisites)3
An ethics-intensive certified course (PHL 154 is a prerequisite)3
Free electives, if needed, to reach at least 120 total credits (60 or more credits MUST be taken at SJU)
MAT 120Precalculus3
or MAT 155 Fundamentals of Calculus
Natural Science
BIO 101
Bio I: Cells
and Bio I: Cells Lab
or BIO 150L Bio I: Cells Lab Phage
BIO 102
Bio II: Genetics
and Bio II: Genetics Lab
or BIO 151L Phage Lab
BIO 201
Bio III: Organismic Biology
and Bio III: Organismic Biol Lab
BIO 290Career Development Seminar0
BIO 390Biology Seminar (Three semesters required after taking BIO 290)0
Three upper-level biology courses, from from Group A, one from Group B, and one from Group C, below: 1
Group A: Cell Structure and Function
BIO 402Advanced Cell Biology4
BIO 411Molecular Genetics4
BIO 416Microbiology4
BIO 421Molecular&Cellular Biophysics4
BIO 424Biotechnology4
BIO 428Histopathology4
BIO 430Neurological Disorders4
Group B: Systemic Organization
BIO 405Biomechanics4
BIO 412Neurobiology4
BIO 413Plant Physiological Ecology4
BIO 415Immunology4
BIO 417Systemic Physiology4
BIO 425Bacterial Pathogenesis4
Group C: Evolution and Diversity of Life
BIO 372Aquatic Biology4
BIO 401Animal Behavior4
BIO 406Comparative Anatomy4
BIO 409Ecology4
BIO 419Invertebrate Zoology4
BIO 420Bioinformatics4
BIO 422Applied&Environ Microbio4
BIO 423Evolution4
BIO 426Fermentation Science4
BIO 429Environmental Science4
At least 6 additional credits of upper-level Biology courses. These credits can be from any of the courses in group A - C above, as well as in groups D and E, below.
Group D courses 2
BIO 218Hematology3
BIO 230Basic Concepts & Proc MLS4
BIO 261Anat&Physiol for Al Hlth II4
BIO 348Clinical Microbiology4
BIO 433Parasitology3
Group E courses: Non-lab courses
BIO 205Introduction to Neuroscience3
BIO 219Nutrition3
BIO 220Plant Diversity and Morphology3
BIO 280Comparative Animal Physiology3
BIO 336Plant Therapeutics3
BIO 400Developmental Genetics3
BIO 404Biochemistry 33
BIO 434Biology of Aging3
BIO 436Virology3
BIO 474Emrg Bio Threat & Glbl Sustain3
MAT 128Applied Statistics3
Chemistry/Physics Elective
Students may choose to take either both semesters of Organic Chemistry (CHM 210 & CHM 210L, CHM 215 & CHM 215L) or both semesters of General Physics (PHY 101 & PHY 101L, PHY 102 & PHY 102L). Transfer credit may be applicable and may fulfill this major requirement.

BIO 101BIO 102BIO 201 and CHM 120CHM 125 are prerequisite for all 400 level BIO courses.


One semester of BIO 493 or BIO 494 (Independent Research) and/or BIO 492 (Biology Internship) may count as one Group D biology elective.  For students doing a year-long honors thesis, both BIO 493 and 494 may be counted as Group D biology electives.  For non-honors research, the second semester of research will count as a free elective.


CHM 215/CHM 215L is a prerequisite or co-requisite for BIO 404