On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students of the Department of Biology, I'd like to welcome you to our website.

There is a great deal of helpful information on this site about our courses, tracks, and programs; the faculty members who teach them; and opportunities for careers across the spectrum of biology.

The Biology Department has a proud tradition of excellence in undergraduate education. At the heart of this tradition is a group of dedicated faculty members who share a strong interest in and commitment to student learning. At the undergraduate level, we offer a wide range of courses and programs, including degrees in Biology Education; Environmental Health Sciences and Biochemistry; and curriculum tracks in Cell and Molecular, Pre-Medical, Pre-Veterinary, and Honors Biology; and we will soon offer an Environmental Biology track as well. Thanks to our success at obtaining external funding, our laboratory facilities are outstanding for an institution of our size and mission.

The other pages of this website will describe our programs and introduce you to the people of the IUP Biology Department. But to help prospective students, their parents, and other readers to understand us at a more fundamental level, I want to use this page to outline briefly for you our basic philosophy and our most important characteristics.

  • First, the Biology Department is a learning community that is centered on students. This means that student learning is the main reason for the department's existence and the major focus of its activities.
  • Next, we believe that learning science is best achieved by doing science. To provide opportunities for learning by doing in a variety of settings, we offer a number of educational experiences that involve hands-on science, including internships, independent studies, honors thesis research, and others.
  • Third, we have high expectations for our students and ourselves. Our current students often complain that our courses and our programs are difficult, but our graduates report that they have been well prepared for professional school, graduate school, or the workplace.
  • Fourth, we understand that biology is a very diverse science with many interdisciplinary connections. We want our department to reflect and our students to understand the breadth of biology and its relevance to other disciplines.
  • Finally, we recognize that we are a part of a larger community of learning that includes, for example, our K-12 partners and nontraditional learners throughout the Commonwealth.

Although the department has grown significantly over my years here, these characteristics have endured without change. These are the principles that define us and guide what we do. In my opinion, they represent the ingredients for a great undergraduate education.

Thanks again for your interest in IUP's Department of Biology.

Dr. N. Bharathan