Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Biology BS

Program Overview

In the College of Science, biology is something that students do, rather than something they merely learn. The courses present biology as it is done by career biologists, and they emphasize hands-on laboratory and field experience. Scientific knowledge is based on research, and we encourage students to undertake research projects in the laboratories of our faculty.
The biology program housed with the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences prepares students for rewarding positions in a broad assortment of occupations related to the life sciences, ranging from wet bench biology research to fieldwork in remote locations. Graduates with a biology degree can go into clinical and medical research, science laboratory management, science journalism and technical writing, zoology, ecology and environmental science, food science, agriculture, and biology education, just to name a few.

The program includes all of the course work and support services to prepare students for entrance into professional schools for medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and others. Graduates are well-prepared to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in a wide variety of fields in the lifesciences, or apply their biological knowledge to seemingly unrelated graduate programs for a unique perspective in solving real-world problems.

Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Science


  • Approximately 60 students

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • All students in the College of Science and the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences are required to complete Experiential Learning (EL) that is minimally equivalent to one academic year, exclusive of first-year biology, before they graduate.
  • The experiential learning requirement can be fulfilled through a variety of methods including co-op, undergraduate research, summer research experiences, designated EL courses, etc.

Salary Information

Co-op:        $14.00/hr  
BS:              $50,000                    $27,000 - $66,850

Student Skills & Capabilities

Students’ skill sets will vary depending on the elective courses the student has taken. The following is a comprehensive list of skills and techniques taught in the biology curriculum:

-          Preparation of media, reagents, buffers
-          Keeping a laboratory notebook and preparing research reports
-          Culturing, isolation and characterization of microorganisms
-          Bacterial transformations
-          Plasmid isolation
-          PCR and DNA sequencing
-          DNA restriction digests and ligation
-          PAGE and agarose gel electrophoresis
-          Thin-layer chromatography
-          HPLC
-          Western and southern blots
-          Identification of normal and pathologic tissues
-          Animal dissection techniques
-          Comparative animal anatomy and physiology
-          Microscopy
-          Gathering and analysis of ecological and environmental data
-          Gathering and interpretation of phylogenetic data
-          Application of skills beyond the classroom

Equipment & Facilities

9 teaching laboratories
·          13 student/faculty research laboratories
·          NYS-DOH certified animal facility
·          Greenhouse and plant tissue culture facility
·          Confocal Microscopy Laboratory Core Facility
·          Next-Generation Sequencing platform

Nature of Work

Biological scientists study living organisms and their relationship to their environment. They research problems dealing with life processes and living organisms. Most specialize in some area of biology such as zoology, human medicine, or microbiology. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Training / Qualifications

The bachelor’s degree is adequate for some non-research jobs. For example, some graduates with a bachelor’s degree start as biological scientists in testing and inspection, or get jobs related to biological science, such as technical sales or service representatives. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree are often able to work in a laboratory environment, in some cases, on their own projects. Some may work as research assistants/associates, while others become biological laboratory technicians or, with additional courses in education, high school biology teachers. Also many with a bachelor’s degree in biology enter medical, dental, veterinary, or other health profession schools. A master’s degree is required for some occupations in applied research or product development, management, or inspection. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Titles

Equipment System Specialist, Eye Recovery Coordinator, Lab Technician, Patient Care Technician, Product Specialist, Quality Control Coordinatora, Research Assistant, Research Laboratory Technician

Significant Points

  • Our graduates typically get jobs in pharmaceutical companies and/or matriculate in professional/graduate schools. It should be noted that ~70% of our upper division elective courses have a laboratory component to facilitate experiential learning.

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

Abbott Lab, ALS Environmental, American Red Cross, Cornell University, Diagnos-Techs, DuPont, Forsyth Institute, IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group, iuvo BioScience, Lions Eye Bank, LSI Solutions, MOTE Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Q2 Solutions, Rochester Eye and Tissue Bank, Sorrento Lactalis, Strong Memorial Hospital

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career. We will make every effort to help you succeed. Call our office and ask to speak with Kris Stehler, the career services coordinator who works with the Biology program. For your convenience, you can access information and services through our web site at

Kris Stehler, Career Services Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.5468
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603
Wednesday, 08 August 2018 Posted in Science, Mathematics, and Imaging Science, College of Science