Majors, Minors, & Certificates

Biology

The biology program at Siena prepares you for a variety of career paths—from engineering to zoology to careers in health care and more—as well as competitive graduate and professional programs. Small, faculty-taught classes focus on critical thinking and active engagement through a broad-based, laboratory-intensive curriculum.  

Our goal of placing students in competitive post-graduate programs and careers requires that we offer an intense and rigorous program. All biology majors benefit from high expectations.

As a Siena College biology major, you will work hard, but along the way you will form life-long bonds and have a lot of fun, too. The high standards of our program ensure that students who excel in our program are routinely accepted into high quality medical and other professional schools. Equally important, our alums report back that their Siena education prepared them well for life after Siena.

Program Highlights

  • Small lecture and laboratory classes taught by faculty (no TAs!).
  • A laboratory intensive curriculum, where students work directly with full time faculty who are experts in their discipline.
  • Broadly trained faculty who also possess expertise in a particular biological discipline. Faculty members are encouraged to establish and maintain active research programs in order to remain current in their disciplines, enthusiastic about their courses and to provide independent study opportunities for students.
  • In addition to a biology core curriculum, all students take courses in the areas of cell/molecular biology, physiology, morphology and organismic/population biology.
  • An emphasis on critical thinking and active engagement in the biological sciences.
  • Independent research opportunities that allow students to creatively build on fundamental concepts and techniques to address interesting biological questions. This includes on-campus independent research courses mentored by department faculty.
  • Off-campus science internships in biology are offered for credit.
  • Development of marketable skills: critical thinking, quantitative analysis, curiosity and creating thinking, written and oral communication, working cooperatively in a team environment, hands-on laboratory skills in a variety of areas.

Success Stats

  • The United States medical school acceptance rate over the past four years is 88%. This is more than double the national average.
  • 1 in 5 biology students study abroad
  • 94% of recent graduates are employed or in graduate school
  • 100% of courses are taught by faculty (no teaching assistants)
  • 75% of regular courses include a lab component
  • The average number of students involved in independent study or research per semester during the past three years is 37
  • The amount in research grants secured over the past six years is $1.5 million
  • 63% pursue a graduate degree after Siena
  • There were 15 presentations at regional, national, or international research conferences co-authored by Siena biology majors in the last two years

Employers of our Graduates

  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Life Technologies
  • Pzifer, Inc.
  • New York State Police Forensics Department
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • GE
  • Albany Medical Center
  • Boston Heart Diagnostics Lab
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conversation
  • Mount Sinai Hospital

Graduate/Professional Schools Attended by our Graduates

  • Albany Medical College
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Cornell University
  • New York University
  • University at Albany, School of Public Health
  • University at Buffalo School of Medicine
  • University of Maryland

Careers or Postgraduate Programs Entered by Recent Graduates

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Physician’s Assistant
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Chiropractor
  • Cytotechnology
  • Graduate School: MS and PhD programs in fields such as ecology, genetics and neuroscience
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Nursing
  • Speech Therapy
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Secondary Education Teaching

Biology Department

The Biology Department at Siena College prepares students to be researchers, educators or health professionals. The student experience is intense, personal and rewarding.

Majors:

Minors:

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Career Opportunities

Athletic Trainers evaluate and advise individuals to assist recovery from or avoid athletic-related injuries or illnesses, or maintain peak physical fitness. May provide first aid or emergency care.

Job titles include: Athletic Trainer, Certified Athletic Trainer, Assistant Athletic Trainer, Athletic Instructor, Clinical Education Coordinator, Clinical Instructor, Physician Extender, Resident Athletic Trainer, Sports Medicine Coordinator

Wages:

The median annual wage was $42,090 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 15-21% from 2012 to 2022.

Optometrists diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.

Job titles: Optometrist, Doctor of Optometry (OD), Doctor

Wages:

The median annual wage was $97,820 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 22%+(much faster than average) growth from 2012 to 2022.

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on a team under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $90,930 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 38% (much faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Genetic Counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provide information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advise individuals and families to support informed decisionmaking and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.

Job titles include: Genetic Counselor, Hereditary Cancer Program Coordinator, Prenatal and Pediatric Genetic Counselor, Reproductive Genetic Counseling Coordinator

Wages:

The median annual wage was $56,800 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 22% or higher from 2012 to 2022.

Zoologists study the origins, behavior, diseases, genetics, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management. May collect and analyze biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water habitats.

Job titles include: Wildlife Biologist, Zoologist, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, Fisheries Biologist, Fishery Biologist, Wildlife Manager, Aquatic Biologist, Assistant Research Scientist, Conservation Resources Management Biologist, Environmental Specialist

Wages:

The median annual wage was $57,710 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 3-7% from 2012 to 2022.

Biomedical Engineers apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.

Job titles include: Biomedical Technician, Biomedical Equipment Technician (BMET), Biomedical Engineer, Biomedical Electronics Technician, Biomedical Engineering Technician, Research Engineer, Professor, Biomedical Engineering Director, Biomedical Manager, Clinical Engineer

Wages:

The median annual wage was $86,960 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 22%+ (much faster than average) growth from 2012 to 2022.

Physical Therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.

Job titles include: Chief Physical Therapist; Home Care Physical Therapist; Outpatient Physical Therapist; Pediatric Physical Therapist; Per Diem Physical Therapist; Physical Therapist (PT); Physical Therapist, Director of Rehabilitation; Registered Physical Therapist (RPT); Rehabilitation Services Director; Staff Physical Therapist (Staff PT)

Wages:

The median annual wage was $79,860 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 12% (much faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Job titles include: Charge Nurse, Director of Nursing (DON), Emergency Department RN (Emergency Department Registered Nurse), Oncology RN (Oncology Registered Nurse), Operating Room Registered Nurse (OR RN), Public Health Nurse (PHN), Registered Nurse (RN), School Nurse, Staff Nurse, Staff RN (Staff Registered Nurse)

Wages:

The median annual wage was $65,470 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 18% (faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Technology is one of the most pervasive forces in our society today – we use it both to connect and detach, to save time and to waste it – so we’re especially dependent on those who make their living by creating, powering and supporting our electronics and information systems.

Wages:

Depends on job function.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment in the information technology industry is expected to grow 47% by 2020.

Graduate Teaching Assistants assist faculty or other instructional staff in postsecondary institutions by performing teaching or teaching-related duties, such as teaching lower level courses, developing teaching materials, preparing and giving examinations, and grading examinations or papers. Graduate teaching assistants must be enrolled in a graduate school program. Graduate assistants who primarily perform non-teaching duties, such as research, should be reported in the occupational category related to the work performed.

Job titles include: Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), Teaching Assistant (TA), Graduate Assistant, Instructor, Graduate Fellow, Graduate Research Assistant, Research Assistant (RA), Teaching Fellow, Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)

Wages:

The median annual wage was $31,270 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 8-14% growth from 2012 to 2022.

Nurse Practitioners diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. May focus on health promotion and disease prevention. May order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays. May prescribe medication. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

Job titles include: Gastroenterology Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Practice Certified Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Thoracic Surgery Family Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner

Wages:

The median annual wage was $89,960 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 22% (much faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. Physicians examine patients; take medical histories; prescribe medications; and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones; diseases, such as cancerous tumors; and deformities, such as cleft palates.

Job titles include: Sports Medicine Physician, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician, Naturopathic Physician, Nuclear Medicine Physician, Medical Scientist, Pediatrician, Surgeon, Obstetrician, Gynecologist, Family and General Practitioner, Internist, Oncologist, Cardiologist, Anesthesiologist and Neurologist.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $187,200 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 18% (faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Dietitians and Nutritionists plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

Job titles include: Clinical Dietitian, Dietitian, Clinical Dietician, Registered Dietitian, Correctional Food Service Supervisor, Dietary Manager, Nutritionist, Outpatient Dietitian, Pediatric Clinical Dietician, Registered Dietician

Wages:

The median annual wage was $55,240 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 15-21% (faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Today our focus on preventing disease, illness and injury is just as apparent as our fight to diagnose and treat them. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports we not only need to retain those workers already in the field, but also add a substantial number of new ones, with the most occupational growth expected among health care support jobs.

Wages:

Depends on job function.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment in the finance and insurance industry is expected to grow 26.5% by 2022.

Dentists diagnose and treat problems with a patient’s teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $149,310 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 16% (faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Speech-Language Pathologists assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

Job titles include: Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, Communication Specialist, Educational Speech-Language Clinician, Speech Pathologist, Speech Therapist, Speech and Language Clinician, Speech and Language Specialist, Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Speech/Language Therapist, Teacher of the Speech and Hearing Handicapped

Wages:

The median annual wage was $69,870 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 15-21% (faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

The education sector comprises establishments that provide instruction and training in a wide variety of subjects. This instruction and training is provided by specialized establishments, such as schools, colleges, universities, and training centers.

Wages:

Depends on job function.

GROWTH FORECAST:

​Employment in the education is expected to grow 9.4% by 2022.

Cytotechnologists stain, mount, and study cells to detect evidence of cancer, hormonal abnormalities, and other pathological conditions following established standards and practices.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $57,580 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 8-14% from 2012 to 2022.

Biological Science Professors teach courses in biological sciences. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Job titles include: Biology Professor, Professor, Biology Instructor, Biological Sciences Professor, Assistant Professor of Biology, Professor of Biology, Associate Professor, Instructor, Associate Professor of Biology, Assistant Professor

Wages:

The median annual wage was $74,180 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 15-21% from 2012 to 2022.

Chiropractors treat patients with health problems of the neuromusculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They use spinal adjustments, manipulation, and other techniques to manage patients’ health concerns, such as back and neck pain.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $66,160 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 15% (faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Occupational Therapists assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays.

Job titles include: Occupational Therapist (OT), Registered Occupational Therapist, Staff Therapist, Assistive Technology Trainer and Industrial Rehabilitation Consultant.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $75,400 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 22%+ (much faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Veterinarians diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.

Job titles include: Associate Veterinarian, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Emergency Veterinarian, Equine Vet (Equine Veterinarian), Mixed Animal Veterinarian, Small Animal Veterinarian, Staff Veterinarian, Veterinarian (VET), Veterinary Medicine Doctor (DVM) and Veterinary Surgeon.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $84,460 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 8-14% from 2012 to 2022.

​Pharmacists dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

Job titles include: Clinical Pharmacist, Hospital Pharmacis, Outpatient Pharmacy Manager, Pharmacist, Pharmacist in Charge (PIC), Pharmacy Informaticist, Registered Pharmacist and Staff Pharmacist.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $116,670 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to grow 15-20% (much faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.

Job titles include: Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Lab Tech, Laboratory Assistant, Lab Assistant, Laboratory Technician, Phlebotomist, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Laboratory Supervisor, Non-Registered Technician, Laboratory Associate, Lab Associate, Toxicology and Laboratory Technician.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $37,240 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 22% growth (much faster than average) from 2012 to 2022.

Secondary school teachers teach students in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies at the secondary level in public or private schools. May be designated according to subject matter specialty.

Wages:

The median annual wage was $55,050 in 2012.

GROWTH FORECAST:

Employment is projected to experience 3-7% growth from 2012 to 2022.