Why Major in Biology?
Biology is the scientific study of life: the diversity and organization of organisms, from single-celled bacteria to multi-cellular plants and animals, including humans. These different levels of biological organization range from the molecules and cells that compose an organism, to the interacting organisms that make up an ecosystem. Hands-on experiences, from designing and conducting lab experiments to making field observations, using many different procedures and instruments, play an important role in gaining biological knowledge.
Basic research in biology provides many benefits. Faculty in the Department of Biology at Penn State are exploring ways to cure neurological diseases, to conserve coral populations in tropical oceans, to discover more efficient ways to use plants for food and bioenergy, to develop vaccines for infectious diseases, and investigating many other facets of biology, all with the goal of positively impacting humans and the environment.
Alumna uses her four-year biology degree to fight cancer
Only one year after graduating, Jen Petrella is working at the University of Pennsylvania on cancer research.
Graduation and Beyond
Biology offers the foundation for developing one’s expertise throughout life. Graduates find positions in a variety of different fields, including:
Students may also choose to complete a degree at the master’s or doctorate level.