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Biology, BA , BS , Minor


With an intensive laboratory focus and opportunities to tailor your degree, biology at DeSales is an excellent choice for pre-med and allied health careers. Qualified graduates are guaranteed interviews for our selective physical therapy and physician assistant programs.

Preparing for Health Careers

The DeSales biology major is great preparation for careers in healthcare, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical research, forensics, education, environmental science, and more. Your faculty advisors will work closely with you in selecting the courses needed for your chosen career. Advising will help you prepare you for graduate school admissions exams including  the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or GRE. 

The biology curriculum includes coursework required for both professional schools in medicine, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, other healthcare degrees, and for graduate study leading to the masters or PhD. Qualified DeSales biology graduates are guaranteed interviews for our highly selective physical therapy and physician assistant graduate programs.

Faculty Mentors

Biology faculty bring a diverse range of individualized specialties both to the classroom and the laboratory. Unlike many other schools, at DeSales your laboratories will be taught by faculty, not teaching assistants. You will also be assigned a faculty mentor in your major who will guide you through your undergraduate career.  


Admissions Requirements

At DeSales, we not only look at your past academic achievement but also your potential for future growth to determine your admission.

We find that students who have demonstrated significant achievement within a demanding curriculum are best suited for academic life at DeSales. Quality of academic performance plays a critical role in the admissions decision making process. This helps indicate a student's potential for academic growth going forward. We welcome applications from all qualified students regardless of race, religion, sex, national, or ethnic origin.

Application Checklist

  • Application Fee: None
  • Transcripts: Official High School Transcript
  • Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT scores—official from the College Board or on your official high school transcript.
  • Recommendations: Completed Guidance Counselor Form and Teacher Recommendation Form

All materials can be mailed to:
DeSales University Admissions Office
2755 Station Ave.
Center Valley, PA 

Additional recommendations

High School Academics - Remember, there is no single preferred high school academic program, but a college preparatory course of study is highly recommended. Here's an example:

  • Four years of English
  • Three or four years of college preparatory mathematics
  • A minimum of two years of modern, foreign, or classical language
  • At least two laboratory science courses

Visiting DeSales - A personal, on-campus interview is strongly recommended, but is not required. We encourage you to visit so that you'll have a chance to learn more about DeSales, and we'll have the opportunity to learn more about you, too.

Learn more about Undergraduate Admissions & Aid 

When to Apply

We encourage you to apply early in your senior year. We use a rolling admissions system, which means you will be notified promptly about your admissions status—usually within four weeks of our receipt of your completed application.

Priority deadline for scholarship consideration is December 1 of your senior year.


You have four undergraduate degree options in biology:

B.A. in Biology

Choose this degree option if you are interested in pursuing a physician assistant graduate degree. It's also an excellent choice if you want a liberal arts program with a solid background in biology, or want to combine your biology study with another area of study—such as business, environmental studies, law, or science writing. 

B.S. in Biology

Choose this degree option if you plan to attend medical, dental, podiatric, veterinary, or graduate school. You can customize your degree to your own interests and goals with elective courses in:

  • Human Structure and Function
  • Advanced Molecular Biology
  • Field Biology
  • Hormones and Behavior
  • Introduction to Cell Culture
  • Neuroscience

B.S. Biology with a Forensic Concentration

This concentration combines the strengths of DeSales’ biology and criminal justice programs. Centered in biology, our program is interdisciplinary with courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, psychology, and criminal justice. This well-balanced combination offers you a wide range of career and graduate education opportunities.

B.S. Biology with Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP)

If you want to teach biology at the secondary level, you can choose this option. You will receive strong preparation in both teaching methods and content, gaining a solid liberal arts education while being well-prepared to teach in secondary schools in Pennsylvania, or other states of your choice.

Graduation Requirements

A Biology minor is available for qualified students. A minor consists of 6 courses and is indicated on your permanent record.


You will be immersed in labs that rival those of the nation’s top universities from your first day here.

The Priscilla Payne Hurd Science Center offers state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories in chemistry, biology, and physics.

Research and the methodology of science are deeply integrated into our biology program. A key benefit of studying a research-oriented field at DeSales is the opportunity to do research with professors as an undergraduate. As a biology major, you will have hands-on access to some of the best labs in the region, such as our mammalian Cell Culture Suite. 

You'll get more hands-on learning than at most other schools, and because all of our lab equipment is exclusively for undergraduate use, your independent research and course-related lab work will never take a back seat to graduate students.

Video: Explore the Hurd Science Center

Video: Peek inside the Cell Culture Suite



Hurd Science Lab DeSalesStudent laboratory experiences are intentionally designed to ensure that you actually work with the equipment and learn its operation rather than merely watching or reading about it. Our small numbers and close relationship between faculty and students make this an easy and natural process.

Careers & Internships

Our pre-med program has a strong history of helping students gain acceptance to medical, veterinary, and dental programs.

And, our internship program opens the door to explore early, real-world experiences and possible career directions and placements in a wide range of fields.

Graduate and Professional Schools

DeSales offers you the opportunities and the support to gain a competitive advantage for graduate programs, including specialized course work; volunteer and internship experiences; and help from the Pre-Professional Advisory Committee, who will assist you through the application process.

We have affiliation agreements with the following institutions, which guarantee priority interviews, reserve seats and/or allow early admission for DeSales students who meet the necessary prerequisites:

  • The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • The Medical School of Temple/St. Luke’s University Health Network
  • DeSales University’s graduate programs in Physician Assistant Studies and Physical Therapy

Our graduates have been accepted to such schools as:

  • DeSales Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Programs
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Jefferson University School of Medicine
  • Lehigh University
  • The University of Michigan
  • The University of Notre Dame
  • The Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine at Hershey
  • The University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Temple University
  • Temple University Medical School

See our pre-med program for a list of medical school affiliations 

Career Success

Biology graduates have begun careers in fields like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical research, forensics, environmental science, and education. Biology alumni are employed in a variety of settings, including:

  • B. Braun Medical Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Sanofi Pasteur
  • Merck & Company, Inc.
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • National Institutes of Health
  • New Jersey State Police
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Allentown School District
  • Delaware County Schools
  • Reading School District
  • CVS
  • Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

Tuition & Fees

DeSales can help make your college expenses affordable through a combination of grants, loans, student employment, and scholarship resources.

Cost of attendance for undergrads for 2019-2020

Resident Students

Direct Costs Tuition - $37,200

Room and Board - $13,000
Mandatory Fees - $1,500
One-time Orientation Fee for Freshmen and Transfers - $200

Total = $51,900 (including freshman/transfer fees)
Indirect Costs
Books - $1,466
Personal Expenses - $2,808
Total cost for resident students: $56,174

Commuter Students

Direct Costs
Tuition - $37,200
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for Freshmen and Transfers - $200
Total = $38,700
Indirect Costs
Books - $1,466
Personal Expenses - $2,808
Transportation Costs - $2,304
Total cost for commuter students: $45,278


Direct Costs
Tuition - $37,200
Mandatory Fees - $1,300
One-time Orientation Fee for Freshmen and Transfers - $200
Total = $38,700
Indirect Costs
Books - $1,466
Personal Expenses - $2,808
Transportation Costs - $2,304
Living Expenses - $7,048
Total cost for off-campus students: $52,326
*First year students are required to reside on campus or commute from home.

Parking Fee - $75

Dual Degree Undergraduate-to-Graduate Programs

If you are enrolled in an undergraduate-to-graduate degree program — for example a 5-year, 3+2, 3+3, program — the undergraduate tuition and fees apply only to the undergraduate portion of the program. As you progress into the graduate phase of your program, graduate tuition and fees apply. Please see your respective graduate program for more information. 

The financial aid process may appear overwhelming at first glance, but don't worry, we'll help you through it.

Accepted students are automatically be considered for scholarships upon receipt of a completed application and are awarded regardless of financial need. Funds for scholarships are limited, so we do encourage students to apply early.

Our comprehensive financial aid packages carefully explain the types and amounts of assistance —including federal, state, and institutional — that you may be eligible for to help cover education related expenses.

Total cost of attendance includes estimates for tuition, fees, room, board, books, and personal, transportation, and living expenses.

You can estimate your total cost of attendance with our Net Price Calculator

There’s only so much you can do in a laboratory on campus. If you want to learn about an ecosystem, you have to go and get right in the middle of it, and that’s exactly what we did—we were in the middle of the rainforest for two weeks, and it was awesome.
Angeline Lonardi Biology Student

Career Preparation from Day One

We're passionate about helping our students and alumni explore major and career options, find experiential education, and achieve post-graduation success in an evolving global world. 

Explore the Career Development Center

Study Abroad

DeSales has an international experience for every student, every major, for every student athlete — we have something for everyone, no matter what.

We have many international agreements that allow you to study abroad for a semester at the same cost as your DeSales tuition, and you can use your financial aid!

Learn about our study abroad opportunities
Study Abroad Rome

Get Involved

There are many opportunities at DeSales to build your professional network, gain hands-on experience, and put your education to work to make a difference in the community.


Contact Us

Undergraduate Admissions