Kathryn Sloan Ponnock, Chairperson
Richard N. Bortnick
Gregory A. George
Ronald E. Johnson
There are three reasons why Delaware Valley College Biology graduates do well: our faculty, our curriculum, and our facilities. All members of the Biology faculty are specialists in their respective areas. They are interested in the educational welfare of each student and generate a thirst for learning.
The Biology Department offers a curriculum that provides the student with a broad core of background information in biology and related disciplines. This prepares the student for many careers in biology, or for advanced study in the health professions or graduate school. In addition to gaining acceptance to professional and graduate schools, recent Biology graduates from Delaware Valley College have worked within the pharmaceutical industry, within various government agencies or environmental consulting firms, or have worked in conservation program. A series of biology and free elective course options offer the student the opportunity to specialize in an area of his or her own choosing.
The Biology Department is housed in a modern building that is well furnished with laboratory instruments and equipment with which the student is encouraged to develop proficiency. The Biology Department also has laboratories in the Life Sciences Building, which opened in January, 2014. In addition, there are a variety of natural study areas available on or near campus. Members of the department are also involved in faculty-guided student research projects, as well as projects of faculty interest, which offer the opportunity to engage in research. Students interested in research opportunities take part in our undergraduate research program.
There are five areas within the major in which students can specialize: Botany, Ecology/ Environmental Science, Microbiology and Biotechnology, Pre- Professional (which prepares students for additional training in the fields of veterinary medicine,health care or research), and Zoology. These specializations allow students, with departmental counseling, to focus their program to better fit their career goals.
The freshman year program is the same for all entering biology majors. Students must declare one of the specializations after completing 30 credits, or by their sophomore year. Transfer students with 30 or more credits must declare a specialization as part of the admission process.
The College is a partner in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County. This unique relationship exposes interested students to the latest developments in this exciting field. It also provides a limited number of student employment opportunities.
All Biology majors have 15 credits available for free electives. The free elective credits may be used for courses which directly relate to the student’s specialization, they may be devoted to a minor of choice in any other department, or they may be applied to meet any other needs. Academic advising is provided to help with course selection in these areas.
Teacher Certification in Biology and in General Science at the secondary level (grades 7 through 12) may be obtained by completing a prescribed set of courses. For further information, please see the section on Education or contact the Education Department Chairperson.
Students seeking admission to professional schools in the human medical professions or veterinary medicine should complete the Pre-Professional Major. Occasionally truly exceptional pre-professional students are able to obtain admission to a professional school program at the end of their junior year. This is called the 3 + 1 Program and students must register for it before the start of their sophomore year. Such students will be eligible to earn their Bachelor of Science in Biology degree from the College upon the successful completion of their first full-time year of study in the professional school program, provided they have completed all of the required courses in the Biology major (except Biology Seminar), the required Pre-Professional Major courses, the College Core courses, and the Experiential Learning Program requirements.
The total number of credits required for graduation with a degree in Biology is 127, which includes 4 credits for completion of the Experiential Learning Program.
The Experiential Learning Program (ExLP) at Delaware Valley College is a graduation requirement for all full-time undergraduate students. Students can choose from multiple experiential learning activities and will earn 4 credits for the ExLP depending on their major’s program requirements.
• Full-time undergraduate students must complete a minimum of two experiential learning activities with at least one for academic credit.
• Students must have completed 27 credits to enroll in Experiential Learning Activities.
• All students must complete an introductory course prior to enrolling in any Experiential Learning Activities.
Students must consult with their Department Chair for specific major requirements to complete the Experiential Learning Program.
A student majoring in another department’s program may earn a minor in biology by successfully completing 15 credits in non-required biology courses. Minor programs must be approved by the Biology Department Chair.
- Biology, Botany Specialization, B.S.
- Biology, Environmental Biology Specialization, B.S.
- Biology, Microbiology and Biotechnology Specialization, B.S.
- Biology, Pre-Professional Specialization, B.S.
- Biology, Zoology Specialization, B.S.