(See also Biology Adolescence Education, Exercise Science, Medical Technology, Molecular Genetics, and Pre-Medicine)

Office: 221 Science Center

(716) 673-3282

Patricia Smith Astry, Department Chairperson



The Department of Biology offers a strong and flexible program designed to meet the career goals of students with widely varied interests. Graduates of the program are well prepared to enter graduate school in many areas of biological science, or professional programs (such as medical, dental, veterinary, physician’s assistant, etc.), become research technicians, secondary school teachers, or enter direct employment. To meet these varied interests, the department offers a wide variety of courses ranging from the molecular or physiological aspects of biology to ecology, field and environmental biology. Students interested in pre-medicine, pre-veterinary and pre-dental programs are strongly urged to register with the Health Professions Advising Program for individual advising about specific types of professional schools. The department is also involved with two combined degree programs leading to professional degrees in dentistry and optometry. Further details of these programs are listed under Pre-Medicine and Allied Areas.

The Department of Biology offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology, Molecular Genetics, Medical Technology, Interdisciplinary Studies-Exercise Science, and Biology Adolescence Education, as well as Master of Science degree programs to students who have already obtained a B.S. in Biology. The department also participates in the Biochemistry, Cooperative Engineering, and the Environmental Sciences programs. Some biology department faculty have been awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in recognition of their outstanding instructional activities and accomplishments.

The Department of Biology is particularly proud of its undergraduate research opportunities. Junior and senior undergraduate students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on original research projects (for example, see BIOL 440).  Students annually present their research results at the university-wide Student Research and Creativity Exposition and at regional and national meetings. Students have been co-authors of papers published in scientific journals. A wide range of research projects is available in molecular or cellular biology, biochemistry, physiology, behavior, aquatic biology and ecology.

Summer Research Fellowships are sponsored in biology each summer. Each sophomore or junior awarded a prestigious fellowship will work on a specific project designed in collaboration with a faculty sponsor. The fellowships have been previously supported by the Constantine Barker Memorial Endowment, the Biology Endowment, the Holmberg Foundation, Merck/A.A.A.S. and the McNair Scholars program. Each award provides the student with a generous stipend and a supplies budget. For more information, interested students should contact a faculty sponsor in the department.

Each student will perform a capstone experience in their senior year.  The experience can take the form of research, an internship or course, and will provide significant learning experiences in problem solving and written and oral communication.

Many students also enjoy the activities of the student-run Biology Club that invites all biology students to join them. The club organizes many activities including faculty seminars on graduate school applications, careers in the Biological Sciences, and participating in undergraduate research, as well as social activities.

Biology Honors Program

This program provides talented Biology department majors the opportunity to perform research at the graduate level. Honors students will perform a minimum of two semesters of research, produce a formal thesis and offer a lecture to the campus and a private thesis defense to the faculty. Honors students will be recognized with a biology cord at graduation and the statement, Honors Biology Major on the student's transcript. The program is open to Biology students of sophomore standing or higher who have maintained a 3.5 GPA in stipulated courses.

Requirements for Transfer Credit

The degrees offered by the biology department require that students complete between 37 and 60 credit hours of biology core and elective courses (Biology and Adolescence Education, 37 credits; Molecular Genetics, 40 credits; Medical Technology 53 to 60 credits) chosen under the careful process of advisement. Students are expected to complete at least half of the biology courses at Fredonia. Additional credit hours transferred may be used as general electives toward graduation.

Students wishing to minor in Biology must complete at least 9 credit hours of biology courses at Fredonia. As a rule the department will not accept as equivalent for upper level courses credit earned at two-year colleges.