B.S. in Biology


Program Description

Biology educates students on the underlying principles governing life. At Siena, students learn this in small lecture and laboratory sections that are taught by department faculty (not teaching assistants). Regardless of your specific career path, the critical thinking and hands-on laboratory skills that you develop as a biology major will give you a significant advantage over the competition.

Our goal of placing students in competitive post-graduate programs and careers requires that we offer an intense and rigorous program. All biology majors benefit from high expectations.

As a Siena College biology major, you will work hard, but along the way, you will form life-long bonds and have a lot of fun, too. The high standards of our program ensure that students who excel in our program are routinely accepted into high quality medical and other professional schools. Equally important, our alums report back that their Siena education prepared them well for life after Siena.

Program Highlights

  • Small lecture and laboratory classes taught by faculty (no TAs!).
  • A laboratory-intensive curriculum, where students work directly with full-time faculty who are experts in their discipline.
  • Broadly trained faculty who also possess expertise in a particular biological discipline. Faculty members are encouraged to establish and maintain active research programs in order to remain current in their disciplines, enthusiastic about their courses and to provide independent study opportunities for students.
  • In addition to a biology core curriculum, all students take courses in the areas of cell/molecular biology, physiology, morphology and organismic/population biology.
  • An emphasis on critical thinking and active engagement in the biological sciences.
  • Independent research opportunities that allow students to creatively build on fundamental concepts and techniques to address interesting biological questions. This includes on-campus independent research courses mentored by department faculty.
  • Off-campus science internships in biology are offered for credit.
  • Development of marketable skills: critical thinking, quantitative analysis, curiosity and creating thinking, written and oral communication, working cooperatively in a team environment, hands-on laboratory skills in a variety of areas.

Requirements (36 credits)

  • BIOL110 - General Biology I 4 credits


  • BIOL170 - Advanced General Biology 4 credits


  • BIOL120 - General Biology II Lecture 4 credits


  • BIOL180 - Advanced Gen Biology Seminar 2 credits


  • BIOL190 - Writing/Research Skills for Biol 3 credits
  • BIOL260 - Molecular Genetics 4 credits

One course from each of the following areas:

  • Cellular & Molecular (CEMO)
  • Morphology (MORP)
  • Organismic & Population (ORPO)
  • Physiology (PHYL)

3 additional Biology Electives 220 level or greater with the exception of Genetics Lab & Biology Seminar. Independent research in Biology (Biol-499) may fulfill up to one of the three additional courses but only if the course is taken for 2 or 3 credits.

A total of 11 biology courses must be completed

Auxiliary Courses (32 credits)

  • CHEM110 - General Chemistry 1 4 credits
  • CHEM120 - General Chemistry II 4 credits
  • CHEM210 - Organic Chem I 4 credits
  • CHEM220 - Organic Chem II Lect and Lab 4 credits
  • MATH110 - Calculus I 4 credits
  • MATH120 - Calculus II 4 credits


  • PHYS110 - Gen Physics IA Lect and Lab 4 credits


  • PHYS130 - General Physics I 4 credits


  • PHYS120 - Gen Physics IIA Lect and Lab 4 credits


  • PHYS140 - General Physics II 4 credits

Success Stats

  • The United States medical school acceptance rate over the past four years is 88%. This is more than double the national average.
  • 1 in 5 biology students study abroad
  • 94% of recent graduates are employed or in graduate school
  • 100% of courses are taught by faculty (no teaching assistants)
  • 75% of regular courses include a lab component
  • The average number of students involved in independent study or research per semester during the past three years is 37
  • The amount in research grants secured over the past six years is $1.5 million
  • 63% pursue a graduate degree after Siena
  • There were 15 presentations at regional, national, or international research conferences co-authored by Siena biology majors in the last two years

Employers of our Graduates

  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Life Technologies
  • Pzifer, Inc.
  • New York State Police Forensics Department
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • GE
  • Albany Medical Center
  • Boston Heart Diagnostics Lab
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conversation
  • Mount Sinai Hospital

Graduate/Professional Schools Attended by our Graduates

  • Albany Medical College
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Cornell University
  • New York University
  • University at Albany, School of Public Health
  • University at Buffalo School of Medicine
  • University of Maryland

Careers or Postgraduate Programs Entered by Recent Graduates

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Physician’s Assistant
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Chiropractor
  • Cytotechnology
  • Graduate School: MS and Ph.D. programs in fields such as ecology, genetics, and neuroscience
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Nursing
  • Speech Therapy
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Secondary Education Teaching
Last updated Jan 2018

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About the School

Siena College is more than a liberal arts college, it is a learning community that prepares students for a successful life filled with compassion and drive, service and responsibility. Here, we believ ... Read More

Siena College is more than a liberal arts college, it is a learning community that prepares students for a successful life filled with compassion and drive, service and responsibility. Here, we believe that making a good living and living a good life go hand in hand. And we prove, over and over again, that an education like the one you receive at Siena comes along once in a lifetime. Welcome! Read less