Biology is often called the science of life. It encompasses many divisions that all involve the study of living organisms. Biology is an excellent foundation for medical, dental, and veterinary schools or other professional degrees.

Why Choose Biology?

The Biology Department offers:

  • A B.S. in biology: You should choose this degree if you plan on going to graduate school or into a professional discipline like medicine or physical therapy. Based on what your career goals are, you will take groups of courses geared toward:
    • Pre-medical/dental
    • Pre-professional
    • Research
    • Environmental biology
    • Education
    • General studies in biology
    • Pre-physical therapy
  • A B.A. in biology: You should choose this degree if you want to study biology in a liberal arts context. As a B.A. student, you will be encouraged to minor or concentrate in the humanities, social sciences or business disciplines. This degree is ideal if you want to go into:
    • Medical or pharmaceutical sales
    • Medical writing
    • Public health and safety
    • Insurance, as it relates to health care


Joining the biology program at Manhattan College is a little bit like finding your on-campus family. Class sizes are small — about 25 students in a lecture class, and 18-20 in a lab. In this kind of setting, professors to get to know you, and stay in touch long after graduation. You are not just a number or a name. You are a person.

It’s also beneficial for you as a student. There’s nothing more valuable than learning hands-on in a lab with a faculty expert. While some classes are challenging, you will have more face time with the professor. Questions are encouraged, and the support system is strong if you feel like you’re falling behind.

There is also pre-health advising and a pre-health concentration available for students considering career options in healthcare. An adviser will help you discuss which classes, activities, internships and research projects to pursue. They’ll also simplify the graduate/professional school application process and make sure you hit all your deadlines.

Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research is one of the most important benefits of the biology program. Research in biology is offered as an elective course, in which you:

  • spend 12 hours per week in laboratory research
  • work one-on-one with a faculty member
  • co-author peer-reviewed papers with faculty
  • present at regional and national conferences
  • boost your resume before applying to postgraduate study

There are also opportunities for biology majors to work with our local partners, such as:

  • The Bronx Zoo
  • The Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • The Bronx VA Medical Center
  • New York Botanical Gardens

Thanks to expanded research funding, students can also apply to College-wide programs like Jasper Research Scholars or Summer Fellows. Learn more about student fellowships, grants and research opportunities in the School of Science.

Hands-On Learning

The best way to learn is by doing. That is why many biology courses help students get their hands dirty — literally. Some popular classes include:

  • Marine Biology with Dr. Michael Judge: Students spend a week in the U.S. Virgin Islands and conduct hands-on research on snorkeling excursions, boat trips and night hikes to bat caves.
  • Evolution with Dr. Bruce Shockey: Students study fossils while on a scavenger hunt in the American Museum of Natural History.
  • Microbiology with Dr. Ghislaine Mayer: Students are introduced to the properties of microbes by making a crowd favorite — cheese!

The biology program’s facilities make hands-on learning possible by incorporating state-of-the-art technology such as:

  • Quantitative PCR instruments
  • Microplate readers
  • Image-grabbing microscope camera system

What Will You Learn?

As a biology major, you will take a combination of required and elective courses in biology, along with a liberal arts core. These courses will teach you to:

  • Understand and apply biology in the context of mathematics, chemistry and physics
  • Design and conduct experiments
  • Analyze and interpret data
  • Solve complex problems and experiments
  • Work effectively with other professionals

On a broader scale, you will also gain skills that translate beyond the classroom. You will:

  • Learn about contemporary issues
  • Understand the global and societal impacts of biology and biological research
  • Understand your professional and ethical responsibilities as a scientist
  • Sharpen your written, oral and technical communication skills
  • Think critically, clearly and logically
  • Become a lifelong learner
See the Degree Requirements

What Will You Do?

Studying biology opens the door to career paths that are important to our society as a whole. Many students go on to medical school, veterinary school or physical therapy programs.