Biology, B.A.

Program Overview

Are you fascinated by the natural world and have always wondered why we are made the way we are? Do you have a desire to study life and all its physical properties, from the largest mammals to the smallest bacteria and viruses? With a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, you can leverage your strengths in analysis, exploration, problem-solving, and the sciences into finding answers within life's complexities and intricacies.

At PLNU, you'll gain an in-depth understanding of this dynamic field, which will prepare you for a wide range of occupations and specializations. Initial courses in biochemistry, organismal biology, and general chemistry introduce you to the processes, concepts, and theories of biology across a broad range of levels. Upper division courses like genetics, conservation ecology, microbiology, immunology, marine biology, and more will hone your critical thinking, knowledge, and quantitative skills that are essential for applying your education to a real-world setting.

Additionally, the Department of Biology offers minor areas of study where you'll be able to take classes in other academic disciplines, like computational science, business, and more. These minors offer the chance to specialize and gain in-depth, expert knowledge that will set you apart as you move on to a career in biology.

David Cummings collecting water samples at the Tijuana Estuary at sunset


David Cummings, Ph.D.

Dr. David Cummings, PLNU professor of biology, has been making quite a bit of news for his research and discovery of antibiotic-resistance bacterial DNA in Southern California wetlands.

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You will also be able to work side-by-side with passionate and knowledgeable professors within classroom labs and field experience outings. Some other unique hands-on learning opportunities available are faculty-assisted research projects, internships, and even co-authoring scholarly papers for national and international scientific journals. You'll also have access to sophisticated instrumentation and computational resources for use in courses and labs, all housed within our new state-of-the-art science center. 

Learn more about how students gain hands-on STEM experience through PLNU’s summer research program.

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Biology, B.A. program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

Start Application

Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support


The E Word

Can Evolution and Christianity co-exist?

Biology Professor Dr. April Maskiewicz Presents at TEDxPLNU and introduces the The E Word.

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The E Word

Career Opportunities

Utilize your curiosity about the science behind life and creation with a biology degree. At PLNU, the hands-on lab experiences and research you will perform will prepare you for a career in many different fields within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics industries. 

At PLNU, our Biology B.A. program focuses on two goals:

  • Introducing you to the processes, concepts, and theories of biology across a broad range of levels
  • Honing your critical thinking, knowledge, and quantitative skills that are essential for applying your education to a real-world setting

Additionally, a biology B.A. will give you the flexibility to add on another major or minor to help you cater your educational experience to your career goals. For example, many students choose to add a minor in chemistry or computer science to help them in their career pursuits. In a similar manner, students wanting to become science teachers may choose to add a teaching credential. 

Job outlook for biology careers

Employment in careers related to a degree in biology is projected to increase. For laboratory technicians (one of the careers pursued by graduates of the PLNU biology program), overall employment is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

What can you do with a biology degree?

PLNU biology graduates are sought after for the ways they are able to confidently integrate and apply their faith, knowledge, and skillset to their work. As one of the most common degrees chosen by those aspiring for pre-health track or medical school, biology majors are offered many resources on their education journey including references for volunteer/shadowing/research/internship opportunities, first- and second-round mock interviews, and advising meetings with the pre-health advisor (just to names few). As a result, 90% of PLNU students who have applied to health professions schools have been admitted!

 Alumni have combined their passion for science and strong academic foundation into careers in education, biotechnology, government, industry, and more. Specifically, many graduates of the PLNU biology program have gone on to work at nationally renowned research facilities such as Biolegend, Inc., and Biospace, Inc.

Some of the positions PLNU graduates currently hold:

Laboratory Technicians

2020 Median annual salary: $54,180

Clinical laboratory technicians perform a wide range of tasks within a lab, including collecting samples and performing tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances. They use laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Organization
  • Communication 
  • Operating medical equipment, automated equipment, and computerized instruments
  • Giving diagnostic tests
  • Robust knowledge of human bodily functions (blood type, DNA, etc.)
  • Data analysis
  • Record keeping of results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures

Registered Nurse (RN)

2020 Median annual salary: $80,010

In addition to the B.S. degree, registered nurses must complete the NCLEX-RN exam. Upon successful completion of both graduation and the NCLEX-RN exam, one is able to enter the field. Registered nurses are responsible for providing medical support to patients and doctors. They work very closely with fellow RNs to divide the duties of completing healthcare assessments, administering medications, and providing catered attention to each patient.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Sympathetic, non-judgemental
  • Organization
  • Communication 
  • Patience
  • Stamina/Strength
  • Operating medical equipment
  • Giving diagnostic tests

High School Teacher

2020 Median annual salary: $62,870

High school teachers instruct students in a variety of academic subjects. Specifically, biology teachers must be well-versed and fluent in a wide range of scientific principles and curriculum in order to effectively support students as they learn. Teachers plan courses and curriculum based on the area of study they’re teaching. Additionally, they assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Engaging conversationalist and speaker
  • Ability to evaluate papers and projects
  • Thorough expertise and knowledge of specified department and subject
  • Time management skills

Family Medicine Physicians

2020 Median annual salary: $214,370

These physicians diagnose, treat, and offer preventive care to individuals and families across their lifespan. They may transfer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment but ultimately try to help their patients in their journey to a healthy lifestyle.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests
  • Advising patients on necessary health changes
  • Monitoring patient progress and records
  • Analytical diagnosis 
  • Physical fitness 
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Leadership skills 
  • Organization 

Make a difference in your community through exploring the unknowns of biological processes, utilizing your knowledge to provide holistic medical care, or teaching the next generation with a degree in biology 

The Biology B.A. from PLNU prepares you with experience and knowledge to be an innovator in the science, education, or medical industries. Whether you pursue teaching, research, or healthcare, you’ll be ready with the insight gained at PLNU. 

Apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and to answer any questions you may have.

Department Faculty