Why Study Biology

Biology is the science that investigates living organisms. This broad field extends from the study of the inner-workings of a cell to the interactions between organisms and their environment. In addition to small classes taught by highly trained professors with expertise in their fields, Shippensburg University's undergraduate biology program offers you the opportunity to participate directly in research with faculty members. Our students can receive small research grants from the Shippensburg University Foundation to purchase supplies or to help cover the cost of attending professional meetings. Biology students are assigned a faculty advisor from the department to help guide course selection and career goals.

Why Study Biology at Ship

Shippensburg University is located less than 100 miles from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, which enhances learning with accessibility to the Smithsonian Institution, the National Zoo, and the National Aquarium. Within a twenty-five-mile radius of the university campus are three state forests, five state parks and a section of the Appalachian Trail that winds its way through the oldest mountain system in North America.

A charter member of the Chincoteague Bay Field Station, Shippensburg University—in cooperation with other member colleges and universities—offers a variety of oceanographic study and research opportunities at Wallops Island, Virginia. Four separate three-week sessions are in operation during the summer months. The station is also a popular destination for weekend class field trips during fall and spring semesters.

Our department is proud of its laboratories containing a variety of computers and sophisticated instrumentation such as:

  • Scanning electron microscope
  • DNA sequencer
  • Molecular imaging system
  • Fluorescent microscope
  • Microplate readers
  • Refrigerated centrifuges
  • Micro-video systems
  • Automated autoclave

Environmental chambers, a pond, a thriving greenhouse, herbarium, animal care facility, and a vertebrate museum add to the variety of educational experiences.

Career Opportunities and Salary Estimates

There is a strong need for qualified people in the natural sciences. Biology majors at Shippensburg University have access to many career options. Many of our students prepare for careers in the health professions such as:

  • Medicine
  • Veterinary science
  • Optometry
  • Dentistry
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Pharmacy
  • Clinical sciences

Students with an interest in field studies and environmental science enter careers in conservation, wildlife biology, fisheries management, and environmental protection. Industries and pharmaceutical companies look for graduates with an interest and training in cell biology, microbiology, biochemistry, and physiology. A number of our students prepare for careers as secondary school biology teachers.

The average salary for biologists in PA is $63,000 with a range between $38,000 to $114,000.

Major and Minor Requirements

The Department of Biology at Shippensburg University offers programs leading to a Bachelor of Science in Biology. To complete the undergraduate biology degree, students may choose to concentrate in one of the following areas: clinical sciences, health professions, ecology and environmental biology, biotechnology (with a pre-forensic sciences option), secondary education, or general biology.

Students electing to become certified in Secondary Biology Education may also elect to complete two additional approved certification areas: Environmental Education and General Science Education. For specifics on degree and concentration requirements, see the Undergraduate Catalog.  

Student Groups

The biology program offers opportunities for you to become involved outside of the classroom. Several clubs and organizations provide a great opportunity to grow in your field of study and to meet other students with similar interests. Clubs and societies include Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society, the Biology Club, and the Health Science Club.

Department of Biology
142 Franklin Science Center, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1401
Department Website