Students begin their study of biology at Bucknell by taking four core courses that introduce the primary areas of biological investigation with basic laboratory techniques. A wide variety of advanced classes, research opportunities, and an active seminar program complete the students' course of study.
Once their core courses are completed, students are encouraged to participate in the biology department's research program in which they conduct research under the direct supervision of one of the faculty members for course credit. The research, done at a highly professional level, often results in articles that are co-authored by students and published in professional journals.
Special facilities for research at Bucknell include equipment for liquid scintillation counting, electrophoretic separation of DNA and proteins, cell culture, DNA synthesis, polymerase chain reaction, spectrophotometry, ultracentrifugation, and high performance liquid chromatography. In addition, Bucknell has a large greenhouse, containing research and demonstration areas and housing an herbarium collection of 20,000 plant species. The University also has a 65-acre Natural Area, located 12 miles from campus along the Chillisquaque Creek. Bucknell also is affiliated with the Marine Science Education Consortium (MSEC) at Duke University Marine Laboratory and with the Archbold Biological Station in Lake Placid, Florida.
Bucknell's biology faculty believes that scientists benefit from the exchange of ideas. The seminar program brings students and faculty together to discuss research in progress or to hear talks by visiting scientists. Students engaged in summer research, in the honors program, or conducting research for their master's degree present seminars as well.
The biology professors at Bucknell are teacher-scholars. Not only are they active, enthusiastic teachers; they are researchers with international reputations. They have received research grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institutes on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Of the 70 to 80 biology graduates each year, most go on to professional schools--primarily medical, but also dental, veterinary, and law. A few earn their doctorates in biology at larger institutions. Bucknell's biology program leads to a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts degree, depending on students' needs. Graduate students may earn either a master of science or a master of arts degree in biology.