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Biological and Chemical Sciences

Jason Taylor, Ph.D., Chair

The Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences fosters learning through instruction, research, and field experiences in a variety of programs.  It includes the specific major field areas of biology, biochemistry and chemistry.  There is a special advisor for students in pre-health professional programs such as medical technology, medicine, dentistry, veterinary, pharmacy, physician assistant and physical (or occupational) therapy.  In addition, the Department has a 3+4 Chemistry-Pharm.D. agreement with the University at Buffalo.  Furthermore, Roberts has cooperative engineering (3+2) programs with Clarkson University, Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute, and Rochester Institute of Technology where students within the Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences can pursue biomedical, chemical, or environmental engineering degrees.  The Department's course offerings support programs in other disciplines, as well as the College's General Education Program.  The faculty values a personal and interactive environment, as evidenced in small classes and opportunities for research with faculty, independent study, or teaching/laboratory assistantships.  Diverse opportunities are available for research experiences, internships, and employment within the Department.  Some majors are interdisciplinary, such as Forensic Science (with Criminal Justice), and teaching certification (with Education).  Graduates are successful in obtaining summer research opportunities, gaining admission to graduate schools, and obtaining employment after graduation.  The Department promotes intellectual growth and the integration of Christian faith with the academic disciplines, in order to prepare students to live and serve responsibly in society.

Students who complete a program within this department have three degree options available: the Associate of Science degree, the Bachelor of Arts degree, or the Bachelor of Science degree. The rationale of the department for these degrees is given in the following three paragraphs.

The Associate of Science degree is conferred on students who complete the two-year program in either Natural Science or Physical Science. Graduates generally transfer to a professional program such as pharmacy, engineering, or forestry.

The Bachelor of Arts degree is given to those students who have taken a broader base of course work than those who are specializing to obtain the Bachelor of Science degree. It is expected that students will major in a given area to evidence a capacity for doing sufficient "in-depth" higher-level coursework to merit the College’s bestowing a degree upon them. The students, therefore, choose an area of interest and pursue a greater number of courses in that area. It is understood that such students might not be prepared to take graduate work in that area without deepening their background but would have sufficient depth to teach that subject on an elementary, junior high, or secondary level if the appropriate education courses were taken. They may also work as technicians in the field.

The Bachelor of Science degree represents extensive work, taken primarily in one general field. It is expected that these individuals have the interest and also the capabilities to continue in a graduate program in that specialized field. Even though they are at a liberal arts institution, they are taking a majority of their electives in a specialized field, realizing that they must sacrifice some general knowledge in other areas.


The Department offers the following majors:

Biology:  Biology (BS), Biology (BA), Adolescent Education Biology (BS), and Biology (BS) with a concentration in Medical Technology.

Chemistry:  Chemistry (BS), Chemistry (BA), and Adolescent Education Chemistry (BS).

Biochemistry (BS).

Forensic Science (BS)

Double Majors within the Department

Students may only earn one major within a discipline, except that students completing an adolescent education major may earn a second major in the discipline by completing an additional 12 credit hours in the discipline beyond those required for certification (see below).

Since the Biochemistry major is a blend of the Biology and Chemistry majors, students are not allowed to double major in Biology and Chemistry.

In the Adolescence Education majors, double majoring with the discipline is allowed with the following stipulations:

First Major Second Major
Adolescence Education-Biology B.S. Biology (+ 12 unique credit hours in BIO)
Adolescence Education-Chemistry B.S. Chemistry (+ 12 unique credit hours in CHM)

To speak with a representative in the Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences, call 585.594.6310.

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