The world needs biologists like never before to solve many of today's challenges. At Wilkes, you'll get solid preparation for doctoral and medical programs as well as a range of health-related professions.

Program Snapshot

Program Type Format Credit Hours
Major, Minor On-campus 122 (22 for minor)

Why Study Biology at Wilkes?

Our engaged faculty work closely with you both in and outside the classroom. These expert researchers have secured more than $1.25 million in grant funding, so you’ll dive right into real projects as early as your first year. Our broad curriculum provides you with maximum flexibility and prepares you for a variety of advanced programs and biology careers. By taking advantage of our extensive research opportunities, you can complete your degree with a master's level of research experience. Many of our students directly enter doctoral programs.

Curriculum   Admission Requirements  Faculty & Staff

What Will You Learn as a Biology Major?

  • You'll learn the range of biology, including cell and molecular biology, structure and function, ecology and evolution, and the plant sciences.
  • You'll delve into the principles of bacteriology and the relationship of micro-organisms to disease and its prevention, control and treatment. You'll then build scientific investigative skills and learn molecular biology techniques.
  • You'll gain the ability to think critically about biological issues and to think about human dimension as it relates to the biological sciences. And you'll become adept at reading technical literature in biology.

Program Highlights

Undergraduate Research

As early as freshman year, you'll be encouraged to pursue original research with faculty members. Current faculty research projects include wetland mapping, DNA fingerprinting of oaks, effects of nicotine on lung cells, small-mammal communities, the effects of juvenile hormones on invertebrates and identification of plant genes resistant to fungal disease.

Summer Research

Many students receive state and national grants for summer research. Students have spent summers in programs in Spain, India and Australia. Others took part in research closer to home at Penn State University, Albert Einstein Medical Center and Cornell University. Wilkes offers paid summer positions on campus as well.

Bioengineering 4+1 Program

The Bioengineering 4+1 Program combines four years of undergraduate study in biology and one year of graduate study in bioengineering. This cross-disciplinary program includes concepts in engineering, biology, medicine, health and computer science, with your choice of biomedical engineering or synthetic biology tracks.

“Your college experience is what you make of it, I truly love everything I’m involved in.”Neha Metgud '22 - Biology Major
I will forever cherish the amazing relationships I have made during my time here at Wilkes, from not only my close friends but also the faculty members.Megan Eller '20 - PhD student in biomedical sciences
No matter what title someone held, they were always full of a bounty of knowledge that would help to guide you in one direction or another.Seth Platukas '20 - Secondary Science and Career Technology Teacher

of students complete research, often starting as early as the freshman year


acres of forest and streams for outdoor classwork and research at Wilkes' Jacobs Property


of Wilkes students applying to medical or other professional schools are admitted

Cohen Science Center

The Cohen Science Center features state-of-the-art equipment and laboratory space for hands-on, experiential learning – a hallmark of the Wilkes experience. It’s LEED-certified, so you know it’s built to environmentally friendly standards.

Explore the Center


Nuangola Bog

This 10-acre scrub-shrub wetland on the southern end of nearby Lake Nuangola provides an outdoor ecological laboratory.

Learn More about the Bog

The Bog

Jacobs Property

The 110-acre Jacobs Property serves as an outdoor classroom and research laboratory. It consists mainly of forest and features two streams and a beaver pond. Students monitor trees and wildlife and inventory organisms using the iNaturalist app.


Rosenthal Herbarium

Housed in the Cohen Science Center, the herbarium holds over 2,200 specimens of pressed plants, 85% of which were collected in Pennsylvania. More than half come from student collections.


Careers & Outcomes

The majority of our students enter professional school after graduation. Many achieve high-paying jobs in medicine and dentistry. Our students regularly score above average in the MCATS and GREs and have an acceptance rate of over 90% to medical school.


  • Commonwealth Health System
  • Geisinger Health System
  • Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
  • Sanofi
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Bode Technology Group Inc.
  • Wiscasset (Maine) School Department
  • San Mateo County (California) Health Department
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • ExxonMobil

Graduate Schools

  • Princeton University
  • Penn State College of Medicine
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • Geisinger Commonwealth Medical School
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Texas A&M University
  • Washington University
  • University of Delaware
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Maryland

Which Degree is for You: BA or BS?

Regardless of the degree you choose, you'll study a diversity of upper-level courses: molecular and cellular biology, structural and functional biology, diversity and population biology, plant biology and quantitative biology.

The BS prepares you for graduate school, medical and other professional schools, or the workforce in various areas of biology.

BA majors typically plan to pursue a career in education or combine biology with a second major in a field such as business, communication studies or English.

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