Undergraduate Programs In Biology and Biotechnology

We offer two Programs at the undergraduate level: B.S. Biology and B.S. Biotechnology. We also offer the following concentrations within B.S. Biology: General Biology, Ecology, Physiology & Behavior. We offer approximately 40 undergraduate courses that include University Core Curriculum courses for non-science majors, service courses for mostly health-related programs, and core and elective courses for Biology and Biotechnology majors (see our list of courses and rotation). In addition, our department's Pre-Professional Committee tailors curricula for students interested in attending professional school (e.g., medical, dental, physical therapy, veterinary et al.). More information can be found in our Undergraduate Student Success Handbook.

1. B.S. Biology (3 concentrations: General Biology, Ecology, Physiology & Behavior)

The Department of Biology offers programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Biology or a minor in Biology. It also offers a number of preprofessional advisement options in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, physician assistant, and veterinary medicine, which are coordinated by the department's pre-professional advisor, Professor Claire Leonard. Additionally, a variety of service courses, e.g., anatomy and physiology, are provided for students majoring in other disciplines.

The BS in Biology combines a strong core of fundamentals followed by advanced training in upper-level courses. The department emphasizes hands-on experience in laboratory and field settings. Students pursuing the B.S. in Biology may choose to concentrate in one of three areas: general biology, ecology, or physiology and behavior. 

Students majoring in Biology may continue their education in medical, dental, and veterinary schools, or pursue graduate study in such diverse fields as animal physiology, molecular biology, botany, biochemistry, genetics, behavior genetics, ecology, microbiology, and neuroscience. Graduates not electing advanced study may obtain employment as technicians or research assistants in pharmaceutical industries, in hospital, clinical, and government laboratories, or at environmental firms. There are also many career opportunities for teachers with good training in the sciences. Certification is available for students interested in teaching science at the elementary or secondary level.

The Department of Biology is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities for biological studies. These facilities are accessible to undergraduates for use in laboratory courses and research projects. The department strongly encourages students to participate in faculty-directed research, maintains specially-equipped laboratories for this purpose, and provides awards for those students who work on these projects. The Center for Research of the College of Science and Health offers a limited number of summer research grants for qualified upper-level undergraduate students.

2. B.S. Biotechnology

The Biotechnology program emphasizes coursework and training in many aspects of molecular biology, genetics, plant tissue culture, animal cell culture, DNA analysis techniques, protein isolation and recombinant DNA techniques. Students with the required grade point average may enter the biotechnology master's degree program directly. The program is designed not only to train students in the necessary technical skills but also to provide them with the theoretical basis for continued study. Graduates are prepared to pursue further graduate study in biotechnology, molecular biology, biochemistry, and other related areas or to obtain employment in academic, clinical, industrial, or government research laboratories.

3. Pre-Professional Tracks

Our Pre-Professional Tracks are designed to guide and support students as they prepare for a career in health-related sciences (e.g., medical, dental, veterinary, physical therapy et al.). Dr. Claire Leonard is the advisement coordinator. Students interested in one or more of these areas are encouraged to join the Future Health-Care Professional's club, which focuses on preparation for professional school. The most recent additions to our Pre-Professional options are the Pre-Physical Therapy and Pre-Physician's Assistant, a 3 + 3 year collaborative effort between WPUNJ and the Rutgers School of Health Related Professions.

4. Application Procedure

The Department of Biology admits freshmen, transfer and second baccalaureate degree students who meet criteria for admission to William Paterson University. We encourage you to visit the department, especially if you have questions about high school advanced placement courses, and transfer credits.