Biology, B.S.

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 Science 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 graduate school and an endless 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.

PLNU also has a robust pre-health program to train and equip you for professions in medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. Since 2004, over 90 percent of PLNU students who have applied to health professions schools have been admitted. Similarly, the acceptance rate for biology and chemistry students applying to graduate school programs (M.A., M.S., and Ph.D.) is over 95 percent. By offering rigorous courses alongside individualized support and guidance in the form of internships, pre-health advisors, laboratory classes, and more, you can be confident and prepared moving onto graduate and medical schools. 

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Spotlight

Kris Koudelka, Ph.D.

Dr. Kris Koudelka, assistant professor of biology, spends his days working in the realm of the invisible. But, it’s this aspect of his work that forces him and his students to grow the most, offering opportunities to think critically, problem solve, and look at the world in different ways.

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

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.

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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

 

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Student Profile

Tanner Matthews

PLNU doesn’t just give you the tools you need to get a job once you graduate; it teaches you how to be human, to ask questions, to never stop learning, to find comfort in your doubts, to seek truth, and to be a follower of Christ.

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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 get prepare you for a career in many different fields within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics industries.

At PLNU, our Biology B.S. 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

What do biology jobs look like post-graduation?

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 are PLNU alumni doing with their degrees in biology?

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 a pre-health track or medical school, a biology major offers students many resources on their educational journey, including references for volunteer/shadowing/research/internship opportunities, first- and second-round mock interviews, and meetings with the pre-health advisor (just to name a 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:

Microbiologist

2020 Median annual salary: $84,400

Microbiologists study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites to try to understand how these organisms live, grow, and impact their environments (and humans, specifically). There are several types of microbiologists, including bacteriologists, mycologists, environmental microbiologists, parasitologists, and virologists.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Organization
  • Planning and conducting complex research projects
  • Communication 
  • Strong writing for technical reports, publishing research papers, and making recommendations based on research findings
  • Operating medical equipment, automated equipment, and computerized instruments
  • Robust knowledge of human bodily functions (blood type, DNA, etc.)
  • Data analysis
  • Record keeping of results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures
  • Robust knowledge of specific emphasis (viruses, parasites, bacteria, etc.)

Biochemists and Biophysicists

2020 Median annual salary: $94,270 

Biochemists and biophysicists study and research the properties and principles of living things and our biological processes. They usually work in laboratories to conduct experiments, collect data, and analyze the results. They may also work in offices, depending on their company or organization. 

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Care and intentionality with high-tech, powerful lasers, and other medical equipment 
  • Leadership and delegation to manage laboratory teams 
  • Knowledge of isolating, analyzing, and synthesizing molecules
  • Inquisitive and curious about research into hormones, nutrients, and biological processes
  • Efficient in analysis and reading to go over the findings and research of conferences and contributors
  • Strong speaker and communicator to present findings to colleagues
  • Strong writing for research grant proposals, technical reports, and applying for funding from government agencies 

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

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 or utilizing your knowledge to provide holistic medical care with a degree in biology

The Biology B.S. from PLNU prepares you with experience and knowledge to be an innovator in the science or medical industries. Whether you pursue research, healthcare, or other careers within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industries, 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.

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