Biology Majors

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What will I study?

The Biology Department offers four unique majors (Biology, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Coastal & Marine Science, and Neuroscience) to allow students the option to specialize in different areas of the biological sciences. The foundation of each of these majors is a common set of core biology courses, including genetics, evolution, and ecology. 

  • The Biology major emphasizes a broad training in biology by requiring an additional six upper division Biology elective courses  with at least one in each of three module areas corresponding to different levels of biological organization: environmental, organismal and molecular. This program offers the broadest education of the four majors and prepares students for a wide variety of careers in the life sciences as well as meeting the requirements for admission at most graduate and pre-professional schools.

  • The Molecular & Cellular Biology major emphasizes coursework in biotechnology, microbiology, and cell/molecular biology. Students gain extensive research experience in elective labs and through supervised research with Biology faculty or internships with local biotechnology companies. The major is ideal for students preparing for graduate or professional training in the biomedical sciences or employment in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

  • The Coastal & Marine Science major emphasizes coursework in coastal science, marine science, ecology, conservation biology, environmental restoration, and related areas of the biological sciences. The curriculum offers students the opportunity for "real world" experiences through fieldwork in courses, independent research projects, and internships with outside partner organizations. The major is designed to prepare students for graduate training and/or careers in coastal/marine/ecological research and environmental management.

  • The Neuroscience major emphasizes interdisciplinary coursework in biology and psychology focusing on the integration of these fields. Supervised research with Biology or Psychology faculty and internships in neuroscience-related health care or biotechnology fields are an integral part of the curriculum. This major is excellent preparation for graduate and professional training in the biomedical sciences, careers in the health professions, or careers in neuroscience-related biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

  • The STEM Major at Sacred Heart University provides students with curriculum grounded in the natural sciences that combine courses from multiple traditional disciplines. Students will develop basic skills by taking foundational courses in science, mathematics and computing. They then focus on additional science content in advanced courses across multiple disciplines. A fourth-year capstone course will help students integrate the concepts from multiple disciplines to solve real world problems through case studies and projects. 

The Molecular & Cellular Biology, Coastal & Marine Science, and Neuroscience majors also require hands-on learning in the form of supervised research and/or internship, and these experiences are also strongly encouraged for students pursuing the traditional Biology major.

Will I be able to study abroad?

Yes, the Biology department offers several courses at our SHU in Dingle, Ireland campus: BI 104 Introduction to Coastal Ecology, BI 176 Introduction to Oceanography, BI 276 Oceanography, and BI 278 Coastal Ecology. To find out more about these courses and/or studying abroad, contact the Study Abroad office.

Will I have internship opportunities?

Many biology students are interested in preparing for a technical position in bioindustry, government service, or other organizations immediately after graduation. BI 360 Internships (3-6 credits) provides the opportunity to build the necessary experience. The goal of the Biology internship program is to provide students with an opportunity to gather experience in a real world setting. Students are encouraged to seek an internship experience that most closely matches their future goals for employment. 

Recent SHU Biology majors have secured internships with many companies and organizations, including:

  • Unilever Corporation
  • Bristol Myers Squibb
  • The Beardsley Zoo
  • Fairfield Community Veterinary Clinic
  • The Maritime Aquarium
  • Pfizer
  • The Norwalk Veterinary Referral and Emergency Clinic
  • MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Although faculty advisors are able to suggest specific internship opportunities, students are encouraged to seek additional internship possibilities that best fit their personal goals.

More about internships...

Will I have research opportunities?

The Department of Biology at Sacred Heart University encourages its students to consider taking courses in supervised research and internships. The objective of these courses is to provide practical experience in both the conduct of science and current practices in work-related settings. The faculty of Biology is committed to providing our majors with opportunities to participate in the research process. Students may enroll in BI 390 Supervised Research for 2-3 academic credits.

More about research opportunities...

What graduate schools have graduates enrolled in?

  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Emory University
  • Fordham University
  • New York University
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Massachusetts
  • University of Rhode Island
  • Yale University

Graduate school advisement...

What are my career options with a Biology degree?

Students majoring in Biology at SHU have gone on to work for the following companies:

  • Albert B. Sabine Vaccine Institute
  • Bayer
  • Bristol-Meyer Squibb
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Dermatology Foundation of Rhode Island
  • Dianon Systems
  • Harvard School of Public Health
  • Oneida Healthcare Center
  • Prohealth Physicians
  • Silliker Laboratories
  • Unilever Corporation
  • Windham Hospital

More Information...

What co-curricular activities are available?

Three clubs are offered through Sacred Heart University for students interested in Biology: The Biology Club, Tri Beta and the American Medical Student Association.

Read more about these clubs...