Biology at Fisher
Why Study Biology at St. John Fisher College?
Biology majors at St. John Fisher College gain a contemporary view of living things at several levels of study: molecular, genetic, cellular, organismal, and ecological. Opportunities are provided to explore structure and function, molecular and cellular mechanisms, evolution and development in animals, plants and microorganisms.
Beginning in the first semester of the freshman year, the courses taken by all biology majors include a laboratory component, as do many of the biology elective courses. Graduates of the St. John Fisher College Biology Program become comfortable and competent in a laboratory setting, and gain proficiency in the use of various instruments and techniques. This outcome has served alumni well as they have pursued further study and employment in the biological and medical sciences.
During the junior and senior years, students have the opportunity to become actively involved in laboratory or field studies as they may choose to pursue their own personal, independent research projects under the guidance of faculty, either at Fisher or at other facilities. Past Fisher students have been involved in research studies conducted both on campus and at other institutions.
Tools for Learning
To provide the tools for a lifetime of learning, the Biology Program is committed to involving students directly and personally in identifying, accessing, and evaluating an ever-expanding information base. Multiple classes require students to retrieve and analyze information through the Internet, library databases, or print resources. Biology majors are required to gain individual, "hands on" experiences with modern laboratory and field instruments and techniques, including light microscopy, enzymatic manipulation of DNA, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), protein and nucleic acid gel electrophoresis, anatomical dissection, viral and bacterial culture, and cell and tissue culture, among others.
It is the Department's policy that its majors have access to the labs not only for the regularly scheduled lab sessions, but also during evening and weekend hours, so that they may pursue and monitor their projects as necessary.
Close interaction between students and faculty is encouraged at Fisher. Class sizes are small, and both classes and laboratories are conducted exclusively by the faculty. Access to faculty is central to the Fisher experience.
Students considering a major in biology at Fisher should complete a strong high school background in biology, chemistry and physics, as well as four years of mathematics, before beginning their study of college biology. Students may earn eight college credits by attaining a score of either four or five on the Advanced Placement Test in Biology or a score of five in an International Baccalaureate Program.
The Biology Department recognizes its place among the liberal arts, and encourages students to value the humanities and social sciences as important and necessary for a more complete understanding and appreciation of the meaning of “life.”