Quick Facts

  • Maintains an 89 percent placement rate in medically-related fields
  • Local, national and global study abroad trips available; former trips have been made to Presque Isle State Park (local), The Bahamas, The Galapagos Islands, New Mexico and Florida.
  • Biology students may join the department’s national honor society, Tri-Beta.
  • The ecology laboratory features three 180-gallon tanks built into the wall for viewing from both the hallway and the classroom. These tanks replicate the environments of a reef off the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos, the surface to mid-level waters of Lake Erie, and the stream habitat of Elk Creek, a nearby major tributary of Lake Erie.
  • We are a full member of the Regional Science Consortium, a collaborative, non-profit organization that focuses on and coordinates educational and research projects for Lake Erie and the upper Ohio River Basin.
  • The Department owns and manages two major natural areas within the Pennsylvania Lake Erie watershed. These sites are utilized for student research and field trips in several Biology courses.
  • In 2002 the department received a 17-acre tract of land as a donation from Mary Jo and Ed Maier. Mary Jo Maier graduated from Mercyhurst in 1952 with a degree in Biology. This 'living lab' is now known as the Mary Jo and Ed Maier Field Station and features a mature bottom-land forest and channel wetlands within the floodplain of Elk Creek.
  • Our other property is the Jean B. and J. Douglas James Ecological and Wildlife Preserve, a 35-acre tract that features a wide variety of forest and wetland habitats and is part of a larger community greenway adjacent to the Asbury Woods Nature Center.
  • Our students have the opportunity to participate in original research projects and present their findings at regional and national conferences, including Sigma Xi, the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences, and many more.
  • We offer a variety of courses during the summer term at the nearby Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle State Park.
  • Every other year we offer a course in marine biology and take students to a gorgeous Caribbean island to snorkel, dive on a reef, and conduct hands-on ecological research.
  • The department has several cooperative agreements with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM).
    • The first agreement gives students the option of applying to a 3+4 year program. This program allows students to enter medical school at LECOM after attending Mercyhurst University for three years.
    • The second agreement is on a 2+3 or 3+3 timetable and allows students to enroll in LECOM's Doctor of Pharmacy program after attending Mercyhurst University for two or three years.
  • A wide spectrum of programs, including anthropology, applied forensic sciences, sportsmedicine, chemistry, physics, dance, and psychology (to name just a few) have biology requirements necessary to complete their major.
  • An interdisciplinary minor in Sustainability Studies was approved in 2007, and several biology faculty, including Dr. Mike Campbell, are currently contributing to the team-taught introductory course central to this program.
  • The department also participates in the Interdisciplinary Program in Applied Forensic Sciences, the Neuroscience concentration administered jointly with the Department of Psychology, and the Biochemistry major offered through the Department of Chemistry.
  • The university recently acquired a 405-acre farm in Girard, PA, for which we are developing new academic programs. The Biology Department is actively conducting research in sustainable agriculture and soil science at this setting and offers field trips to the site as part of several main campus Biology courses


Cummings Gallery
Art Faculty Show

Dates: Aug 21-Sep 28, 2014

Location: Cummings Gallery

William Close and The Earth Harp Collective
William Close and The Earth Harp Collective

Dates: Sep 5

Location: Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center

Anais Mitchell
Anaïs Mitchell

Dates: Sep 30

Location: Erie Art Museum

MU Course Catalog