The biological sciences explore life on several levels from the expression of genes to communication between cells to interactions between organisms and their environment. Today’s biological scientists work to better understand the health and survival of living things and the consequences of disease and pollution. Some work to preserve delicate marine ecosystems and endangered species. Others help produce more nutritious foods through genetic engineering of crops. Still others serve in the medical field as physicians, veterinarians, and genetic counselors, while others conduct novel research as geneticists, neuroscientists, or molecular biologists. Science writers and educators share biological findings as they inform broader audiences of the impact of the biological sciences on the world around them.
Whatever your ultimate career goal in the biological sciences, Cedar Crest College will provide you with the solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and professional ethics necessary for you to reach your fullest potential. Our programs emphasize critical thinking and independent investigation in both the classroom and the laboratory, beginning with a core set of courses that provide you with a breadth of knowledge across the entire discipline. As you move towards upper-division coursework, you have the opportunity to select a specially designed major (Environmental Conservation, Genetic Engineering, or Neuroscience) or continue to explore advanced coursework from across the discipline as you complete the Biology major.
Beginning your first year of study, you may participate in relevant, faculty directed scientific research, and these opportunities will be available until the day you graduate—you can elect to spend all eight semesters of your undergraduate career conducting original research projects. The faculty you will be working with are nationally respected scientists, and your research project may be conducted in either state-of-the-art laboratories or in habitats that may be local or exotic. You will also develop vital skills in leadership and communication, ensuring that you will be equally competent presenting your research from behind a podium or in a professional poster presentation.
For students wishing to prepare for graduate studies or health professional degrees (e.g. medical, dental, physicians assistant, or veterinary school), we offer a Health Professions Advising Program to assist you with the preparation and application process. Also, if you are interested in pursuing a master’s degree in Forensic Science, you may continue your studies right here in our advanced-degree program—one of the top programs in the nation.
Recent graduates of our Biological Sciences programs have embarked on rewarding careers in such organizations as:
Others have gone on to pursue their master’s and doctoral degrees at prestigious institutions, including:
Highly credentialed faculty
All of the Cedar Crest College Biological Sciences faculty hold advanced degrees in their field, and each of them are involved in leading-edge research. These faculty scientists will work one-on-one with you to develop a program best suited to your career goals.
Guaranteed student-research experiences
Our research labs are open to all students, and many of our undergraduates begin conducting research during their first year of study. All students are required to work with a faculty member to develop a research proposal during their junior year, and most will elect to conduct their project over their final three semesters at the college. For those who have accumulated sufficient data, there are opportunities to present their findings at regional and national conferences, where they put their presentation skills into practice disseminating their data to other scientists. There are also many mentorship opportunities where upper-class researchers can assist new students in the lab or as instructional assistants in courses.
Customized program options
Our flexible programming allows you to choose one of our specialty majors (Environmental Conservation, Genetic Engineering, or Neuroscience) or to sample from a wide a variety of Biological Sciences courses as you pursue a Biology major. You can also add a minor or second major in any other discipline, further directing your studies toward your intended career. A concentration in Forensic Science is available to Genetic Engineering majors, and the department houses a minor in Global Diseases that many of our majors choose to complete.
Valuable internship and career opportunities
Our students have earned the reputation of being highly skilled and disciplined, which has earned them coveted internships at Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Earthwatch Institute, an environmental conservation organization. Students in the Biological Sciences program will also participate in the course Junior Colloquium, which includes instruction in the writing of cover letters, resumes, and research proposals.
State-of-the-art research facilities
At Cedar Crest, you will be trained on the leading-edge tools and technology to prepare you to be science professionals in the workplace. Our facilities include two genetic engineering labs, a principles of biology lab, a conservation lab, two microbiology labs, an anatomy and physiology lab, a bioinformatics lab, a microscopy and imaging center, a fish lab, and a greenhouse.
Outreach and Leadership Opportunities
The Department of Biological Sciences faculty, staff, and students are highly engaged in outreach activities, bringing science to the local community. With the Da Vinci Science Center located on our campus, merely steps away from the science center, faculty and students regularly volunteer for special programming such as the Women in STEM annual event and Meet the Scientist monthly appearances. Faculty and students can be regularly spotted at community events and serving as science fair judges. Cedar Crest is a partner in the grant-funded Greater Allentown Math and Science Partnership that has brought professional development workshops to Allentown School District teachers for more than a decade, and we have spent nearly forty years inviting local high school teams to our campus to compete in the Biology Olympics. All of these activities enhance the visibility of the college while providing an opportunity for students to practice leadership skills, build their resume, and actively participate in community service.
Within the broader mission of Cedar Crest College, the mission of the Department of Biological Sciences is to provide women with a background in the fundamental biological concepts and principles in the context of the liberal arts. Students have the opportunity to conduct scientific research and to communicate the results to the scientific and broader community. The department’s curriculum is also designed to help students understand the challenges and opportunities that women face in the natural sciences, and ethical issues that impact our discipline, all within the context and understanding that we are members of the global community. Students have the opportunity to study a biological discipline in depth through one of our specialized majors, and graduates of the department are well prepared to pursue careers and professional or graduate studies. It is our goal that students and faculty use their understanding of science, in general, and biology, in particular, to contribute to the betterment of the College, scientific community, and society.