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  • Bachelor of Science Major
  • Minor
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

With access to 15 affiliations and 23 programs, recent graduates of the biology program are pursuing master’s, doctoral and professional degrees from prestigious universities such as Vanderbilt University, the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Salus University School of Optometry, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and more.

  • Student Looking Through Microscope
  • GU Possibilities
    • Some of our recent graduates are pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in biological research at Vanderbilt University, University of Pittsburgh, Boston University, and Auburn University, while other students are pursing professional degrees (M.D., D.O., O.D., D.D.M. or D.D.S., Pharm.D., etc.) in programs at Ohio State University College of Medicine, University of California Berkeley School of Optometry, Salus University School of Optometry, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (School of Pharmacy and School of Dental Medicine), Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine, Thomas Jefferson College of Medicine, and New York College of Podiatric Medicine.
    • The research capabilities of the Environaut, a 48-foot research vessel on Lake Erie, were significantly enhanced by the addition of radar, sonar, an underwater camera, a generator, and an enclosed laboratory.

    You Will Learn

    The biology department is an academic community of faculty members and students engaged in the responsible pursuit and communication of biological knowledge. We provide students with a diverse curriculum to explore and study life in the classroom, laboratory and field. We offer students a wide range of possibilities to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become competitive and excel in their chosen fields. Students can participate in faculty-mentored research as well as travel courses to study tropical marine biology in the Bahamas or the ecology of Yellowstone National Park. Field courses include Fisheries Biology and Limnology, which utilize the Environaut, Gannon University’s research vessel on Lake Erie, and biomedical courses such as Human Gross Anatomy, Histology, and Parasitology, which help students prepare for medical school or medically related professional programs.

    You Will Experience

    Biology majors can participate in faculty-mentored research to gain experience studying the biological sciences. Many students also choose to complete a summer undergraduate research program or clinical internship. Students work with faculty members to explore these possibilities. External research and internship opportunities are vast, but our students have participated in programs with:

    • Case Western Reserve University  
    • Department of Environmental Protection  
    • Erie Zoo  
    • Presque Isle State Park  
    • Roswell Park Cancer Center  
    • Saint Vincent Hospital  
    • Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle  
    • UPMC Hamot  
    • Washington University in St. Louis  
    • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy  
    • Yellowstone National Park           

    You Will Achieve

    Students with a degree in biology can continue their education to pursue careers in research or medicine. Additionally, students can gain employment in industry, nonprofit organizations or government agencies. Students who complete their degree in biology-secondary education can pursue a career teaching biology in secondary schools.

    With a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, many students choose to continue their education to earn a master’s, doctoral or professional degree to pursue careers as a:

    • biological or medical scientist  
    • dentist  
    • optometrist  
    • pharmacist  
    • physician assistant  
    • physician/surgeon   
    • professor - post-secondary education  
    • veterinarian  

    With a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, students may pursue diverse career opportunities. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

    • biological technician  
    • fisheries biologist  
    • microbiologist  
    • teacher - secondary education  
    • zoologist/wildlife biologist/freshwater biologist       

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Starting salary: $40,200  
    • Mid-career salary: $70,800  

    Here are select examples of more specific starting salaries for entry-level positions for individuals with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Starting salaries differ depending on location.

    • biological technician: $41,300  
    • microbiologist: $67,800  
    • zoologist/wildlife biologist: $58,270  

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics ( and/or PayScale (     

    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    The biology department offers a wide range of courses throughout the academic year. Students can also earn academic credit while participating in faculty-mentored research or after completing an internship related to biology. Some of the unique courses within the curriculum include:

    BIOL 354 and 355: Parasitology and Lab

    This course is concerned with organisms that live on or in other organisms and depend on their host. Life cycles, behavior and treatment/control of parasites are discussed. The laboratory is designed to familiarize students with the identification and morphology of parasites.  

    BIOL 365 and BIOL 366: Human Gross Anatomy and Lab 

    The human gross anatomy course is lecture-based and uses a regional approach to study the human body. It is taken concurrently with Human Gross Anatomy Lab. Dissection of human cadavers by students is a key component of the lab. In addition, learning is facilitated through the use of a vast collection of anatomical models. 

    BIOL 383: Tropical Marine Biology 

    This course is open to all students regardless of their major and fulfills the liberal studies core natural science requirement. The course is offered over spring break in the Bahamas, where students investigate ecological systems such as coral reefs, mangroves, beaches, tidal pools and inland habitats.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.