The Biology BA and BS Programs

Biology is an area of explosive scientific, intellectual, and technological advances. Attention is focusing on the origin and evolution of living organisms (even their possible existence on other planets), the molecular mechanics of heredity, the processes of disease and immunity, the ecological balance among life forms, the effect of synthetic chemicals on molecular functions of the cell, the biological basis of behavior, and the extraordinary technologies for the creation of useful new characteristics in microorganisms, plants, and animals. The biology program at Purchase College embodies the excitement of the dramatic advances in this rapidly expanding field. Students actively participate in the life sciences, studying and pursuing research with faculty who are active in their fields.

The biology program at Purchase College may be pursued from a variety of perspectives, and our majors are well prepared for graduate school, medical school, teaching, and careers with high-tech industries. Biology majors should be aware that of all the natural sciences, biology is least able to stand alone as a discipline; mathematics, physics, and especially chemistry are important for a meaningful appreciation of life processes. In consultation with a faculty advisor, the student will expand upon this base by choosing advanced subjects related to particular objectives. Advanced courses are offered in seven concentrations.

Freshmen should have a member of the biology faculty as their academic advisor or should consult members of the biology faculty about program planning and careers in the biological sciences.

Most advanced science courses have prerequisites of more elementary courses. Some sequences of courses require two or more years. For this reason, it is important for biology majors and premedical students to begin General Biology in the freshman year and General Chemistry no later than the sophomore year. Because biology majors should get an early start with their major requirements and basic science support courses, it is essential that the core curriculum requirements be distributed over the entire four-year period.

Biology courses are also challenging, rewarding, and immediately relevant studies for students in other disciplines. Students who major in other subjects and have a strong secondary interest in biology may consider a biology minor.

Biology Faculty (Board of Study)
Elysse Craddock, PhD, University of Sydney (Australia)
James G. Daly, PhD, University of Guelph (Canada)
Lee Ehrman, PhD, Columbia University
Jan Robert Factor, PhD, Cornell University
Mark Jonas, PhD, Stony Brook University
George P. Kraemer, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Maryann McEnroe, PhD, University of California, Davis

Contributing Faculty:
Joseph Skrivanek: Chemistry

For additional information:
School of Natural and Social Sciences Faculty

For additional information and updates during 2013–2015, please visit

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