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The Associate of Science (A.S.) in Biology degree program is for students who wish to pursue baccalaureate studies in the biological sciences or plan to fulfill prerequisite courses for pre-pharmacy school or for programs such as pre-veterinary, pre-medical, and pre-dental. To enable seamless transfer, this curriculum is designed to parallel the first two years of study offered in biology programs at other colleges and universities.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to:

  • Summarize the major physical and chemical concepts and processes essential to living things including the maintenance of homeostasis, the energy transformations occurring within and between organisms, and the interactions among living organisms and their environment.
  • Describe the mechanisms of reproduction and heredity, from both classical (Mendelian) and molecular perspectives, and link genetic influences to evolutionary processes and adaptation.
  • Appropriately use current scientific terminology and evaluate the merit of scientific data using critical thought.
  • Explain the levels of organization in biology, including the chemical, cellular, histological, and organismal levels, and explain the dynamics of populations, ecosystems and the biosphere.
  • Utilize the Scientific Method for the development of hypotheses, the proper design of experiments, the competent use of equipment, the collection and analysis of data, and the integration of scientific literature.
  • Compare and contrast the major groups of microbes, protists, plants, and animals.

Program Entry Requirements:

This is a select program. In order to enter the program, students must be at the ENGL 101 and MATH 162 placement levels. It is highly recommended that students who enter the program should have completed one year of high school biology and chemistry within the last ten years and received a grade of C or better. In the absence of these requirements, to better prepare themselves for the program, students can take BIOL 106 and/or CHEM 110. Additional science and mathematics courses are desirable.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

To qualify for the A.S. degree in Biology, students must successfully complete a minimum of 65 credit hours as prescribed and attain a grade point average of 2.0 (“C” average). Students must pass all biology courses with a grade of “C” or better.

To ensure appropriate course selections, students should consult an academic advisor. Students wishing to transfer this A.S. degree to a particular college or university should, with the help of an advisor, review that institution’s requirements and/or existing articulation agreements with the College so that program courses may be chosen appropriately. The recommended course sequence follows.

Associate of Biology Recommended Course Sequence

Course Number and Name Prerequisites and Corequisites Credits Gen Ed Req.

First Semester

CHEM 121 - College Chemistry I CHEM 110 or Department Head approval and FNMT 118 or MATH 118 4 Mathematics
CIS 103 – Applied Computer Technology   3 Technical Competency
ENGL 101 - English Composition I   3 ENGL 101
MATH 162 - Precalculus II  MATH 161, MATH 162 placement 3 Mathematics
Social Science Elective   3 Social Science

Second Semester

BIOL 123 - Principles of Biology I CHEM 121  or CHEM 110 4  
CHEM 122 - College Chemistry II CHEM 121 with a grade of C or better 4  
ENGL 102 – The Research Paper ENGL 101 with a grade of C or better 3 ENGL 102, Info Lit Humanities
Humanities Elective   3  
Directed Elective (choose one):
ANTH 101, ECON 181, ECON 182, HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 103, HIST 121, HIST 122, POLS 111, PSYC 101, PSYC 201, SOC 101, SOC 231

Third Semester

BIOL 124 - Principles of Biology II BIOL 123 4  
CHEM 221 – Organic Chemistry I CHEM 122 5  
MATH 171 - Calculus I MATH 162 4  

Biology Elective (choose one):
BIOL 211 - Genetics or
BIOL 241 - Principles of Microbiology or
BIOL 255 - Biotechnology I: Basic Laboratory Techniques in Biotechnology
BIOL 281 - Biochemistry I


Fourth Semester

CHEM 222 - Organic Chemistry II CHEM 221 5  
ENGL 115 – Public Speaking ENGL 101 3  
Biology Elective (choose one): 
BIOL 211 - Genetics or
BIOL 241 - Principles of Microbiology or
BIOL 255 - Biotechnology I: Basic Laboratory Techniques in Biotechnology
BIOL 281 - Biochemistry I
Directed Elective (choose one):
ART 105, ART 115, ENGL 190, FREN 101, FREN 102, MUS 103, PHIL 101, PHIL 211, SPAN 101, SPAN 102
Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate: 65

General Education Requirements:

All General Education requirements are met through required courses (as indicated above) except for the Writing Intensive requirement, the Interpretive Studies requirement and the American/Global Diversity requirement. Therefore, in order to graduate, students in this program must choose one course that is designated Writing Intensive, one course that is designated Interpretive Studies and one course that is designated American/Global Diversity. The same course may be used to fulfill more than one of these requirements. View the courses that fulfill all degree requirements and receive a more detailed explanation of the College's general education requirements to help in your selection.

For More Information Contact:

The Division of Math, Science and Health Careers, Room W2-7, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Telephone (215) 751-8430 or the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.