Oct 03, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Website: www.iup.edu/biology
Narayanaswamy Bharathan, Chair

Degree programs offered by the Department of Biology are the Bachelor of Science degree program in biology (and its specialized tracks), the Bachelor of Arts degree program in biology, and the Bachelor of Science in Education with a biology certification. The department also offers minors in animal behavior, biology, biomedical science, environmental microbiology, forensic biosciences, neurobiology, and wildlife and conservation biology.

Additionally, for the BS Biology/Pre-medical track option, the department also offers an interdisciplinary dual baccalaureate option with Medical Technology (College of Health and Human Services), and a sub-baccalaureate certificate in Cell and Molecular Biology.

Accelerated MS Track

The department offers an accelerated curriculum that provides an alternative pathway for progression through the requirements for the master of science degree with a major in biology. Although a graduate program, the Accelerated MS Track begins during and overlaps with the undergraduate program. By taking advantage of this track, a highly motivated undergraduate student can, with appropriate planning beginning in the junior year, tailor his or her curriculum to complete the requirements for both the BS—Biology and MS—Biology in a total of five calendar years. Upon completion of this accelerated program, students will be prepared for skilled technical positions in the industrial or academic workforce or for advanced study in outstanding graduate or professional schools. Undergraduate students should consult the Graduate Catalog or contact the Biology Department graduate coordinator for more information.

Cooperative Programs

The department cooperates in programs with Jefferson Medical College, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology.

Jefferson Medical College, Physician Shortage Area Program (PSAP): IUP is a participating affiliate of the PSAP, established by Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia for the purpose of increasing the distribution of physicians practicing in underserved areas of Pennsylvania. To be eligible for this special program, students must be from, or have spent a significant amount of time living in, a non-urban area. Students interested in this program should enroll as biology/pre-medical majors.

This program will admit approximately four graduates of IUP and 20 graduates of other colleges each year. Students from IUP will be admitted only if properly qualified according to the admission standards and policies of Jefferson Medical College. Applications are reviewed by the Joint IUPJefferson Subcommittee, and recommendations are made to the Jefferson Committee on Admissions. Preference will be given to Pennsylvania residents who are interested in this program, with highest priority given to those who actually live, at the time of application, in the underserved area in which they hope to practice.

Osteopathic Medicine: IUP Biology has “Early Acceptance” agreement with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), and an affiliation agreement with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). The admission requirements for both are listed below. For further information, please contact Pre-Med Program Coordinator, Dr. N. Bharathan at bharathn@iup.edu

LECOM Early Admission Program (EAP) (3+4) or (4+4):

The EAP allows qualifying students to gain admission into the medical college as long as they have a minimum GPA of 3.5 or better in the BS Biology/Pre-Medical curriculum at IUP. No MCAT is required. To submit an EAP application, student should consult with Dr. N. Bharathan, Pre-Med Program Coordinator.


1. High school GPA of 3.5 or Higher on a 4.0 scale.
2. ACT score of at least 26 or SAT Composite of at least 1240. LECOM does not super score.
3. Students admitted to the Biology Pre-Med program at IUP.

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) affiliation:


1. Students should be enrolled in the Biology Pre-Med program at IUP.
2. GPA requirement of a minimum of 3.25 for BOTH cumulative and Science GPA.
3. Students in the DO program must be US citizens or Permanent Resident status applicants.
4. MCAT is required with a composite of 504 with 126 on each section.

Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology: Biology majors can expand their selection of course offerings by participating in a cooperative program with the University of Pittsburgh’s Field Station at the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology located in northwestern Pennsylvania. These elective courses center on ecological and environmental topics and vary annually. Application and registration for both summer sessions must be completed by April 1. Students usually register for credit and pay fees at IUP. Books, lab fee, and room and board are paid to the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. The faculty advisor for this program assists students in program planning, application, and registration.

Degree Programs

In the programs of study that follow, no more than a total of 6 credits from internships, independent study, and special topics can be counted toward biology course requirements. Credits beyond 6 earned from these sources are counted as general electives. Note: Students changing into the majors of biology or biology education are required to have a 2.5 cumulative GPA or permission of the chairperson.

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