The Associate of Science in Biology curriculum is equivalent to the science, math, and general education courses that are required of freshman and sophomore students at many four-year institutions. The intent of this program is to prepare students who are interested in pursuing a biology-related baccalaureate degree or pre-health professional degree. Coursework will include: cell and molecular biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, general chemistry, college algebra and trigonometry, as well as general education coursework. This coursework is applicable to a bachelor’s degree should you choose to continue your education.

The A.S. degree in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Science is for students who are interested in studying the intersection between humans and the natural world. Environmental Science integrates fields within the biological and physical sciences. Individuals who complete their associate degree in Environmental Science can work as technicians in governmental or private organizations. This degree is also designed as a 2+2 degree, which will allow students to also complete their bachelor’s degree.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Biology program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in three major areas of biology: cellular and molecular biology (including genetics), ecology and evolution, and organismal biology
  • Critically analyze scientific information
  • Demonstrate proficiency in lab or field techniques
  • Communicate scientific findings in a professional manner

As a standalone degree, students will be equipped to pursue job opportunities as technicians and research associates in private and government agencies. Graduates of this two-year program will be well positioned to start careers immediately after graduating, and also have the option of continuing on to complete a bachelor's degree.


The mission of this program and its faculty is to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to seek gainful employment in the biological or other science-related fields or be successful upon transfer to a B.A./B.S. completion degree program. As a program we strive to provide a comprehensive scientific and general education curriculum experience that emphasizes critical thinking, effective communication, and professionalism. Our faculty is committed to providing our students a strong foundation of the core principles of biology by using scientific reasoning, experiential laboratory exercises, hands-on field experiences, and an integrative educational experience to prepare students to be life-long learners.

Career Outlook

This program curriculum is designed to allow students to transfer to a baccalaureate program. Students who transfer directly to Mercyhurst’s Main campus will have earned 60 credits toward a bachelor’s degree.  Students with an A.S. in Biology could complete baccalaureate degrees in:

  • Biology
  • Environmental Science or Sustainability Studies
  • Pre-Health Professions (Pre-Medicine, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Veterinary, Medical Technology, etc.)
  • Biology Secondary Education 

As a standalone degree, students will be equipped to pursue job opportunities as technicians and research associates in private and government agencies.

Course Requirements

Major Courses

  • Cell and Molecular Biology Lecture and Laboratory
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Lecture and Laboratory
  • Two additional 200 level Biology/Science Electives

Cognate Courses

  • College Algebra
  • Statistics
  • General Chemistry I and II Lecture and Laboratory

General Education Courses

  • REACH Curriculum

Once completed the student will have ~60 credits toward a Baccalaureate degree.

Admissions Requirements

The Associate of Science in Biology program follows our standard associate degree admissions requirements, which include a high school diploma, a minimum GPA of 1.75, and either an ACT, SAT, or Mercyhurst Placement Test score. Official, final transcripts are required prior to the start of classes.

Transferring in from another college? Transfers are welcome in this program, assuming we get a final, official college transcript from each college you have attended. If you maintain an unpaid balance with another university/college, and cannot acquire a transcript, you will not be permitted to start classes.

Students who wish to transfer to the Main campus to complete a Baccalaureate degree must maintain a 2.5 GPA and receive a C or better in all major and cognate courses.


Contact Us

Kari Dundore Shrout
Program Director, Biology and Health Studies
Phone: 814-725-6258

Meet the Faculty

Dyan Jones, Ph.D.
Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences
Janice Haas, M.S.
Associate Dean, Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences, Program Director, Physical Therapist Assistant, Assistant Professor