Biology Department Profile

Departmental Mission
The goal of the Biology Department is to produce graduates who are well-versed in the principles and techniques of biology, who have the intellectual training to investigate novel concepts, who have the ability to learn independently, interpret and articulate clearly their findings, who possess the highest scholarly standards of the discipline, and who maintain honest academic conduct.

Curricular Objectives
The Biology Department curriculum

  • employs the underlying principles of biology and requires a background in the supporting disciplines
  • requires the application of the scientific method in the laboratory or field
  • integrates information retrieval, the synthesis of ideas into a coherent whole, and the communication of research findings
  • prepares students for graduate, professional, and technical fields.

The department offers bachelor of science degrees in biology, biochemistry and molecular biology, psychobiology, and medical technology. A cooperative bachelor of science degree in environmental management with Duke University is also offered. There are also non-degree, cooperative programs in the allied health sciences with Thomas Jefferson University.

Facilities and Equipment
The department, located in the Neidig-Garber Science Center, has eight teaching laboratories including two first-year labs, nine student research laboratories, a biotechnology suite, a microscopy suite with SEM and TEM, two greenhouses, an animal room with cage washer, an aquatics room, cell and tissue culture rooms, photographic dark rooms and a printing room, and a walk-in environmental chamber. The entire building is wireless and there are several study rooms and lounge areas for student use.

Students benefit from hands-on training with modern instrumentation. Major teaching/research instrumentation includes an ISI scanning electron microscope, Zeiss transmission electron microscope, ultramicrotomes, photomicroscopes, fluorescence microscopes, IWorx data collections stations in the physiology labs, ultracentrifuge, high speed centrifuges, several Ocean Optics spectrometers, a UV/VIS spectrophotometer, biological safety hood, a Panasonic microvideo system. Each teaching lab is also outfitted with a projection system for microvideo cameras.

Computers are an integral component of the curriculum and are used for tutorials, data analysis and presentation, word processing, and for online data acquisition stations. Microcomputers continue to be incorporated into the laboratory at all levels. Four new physiological data acquisition workstations are based on a PC platform.

Collegiate Ranking

  • Lebanon Valley College was placed among the 142 most selective American colleges by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in September 1988 and again in 1989.
  • A 1986 report ranked Lebanon Valley College 50th of 1200 of the nation's liberal arts colleges producing graduates who earn the doctoral degree.
  • A 1987 study by the Office of Technology Assessment found that Lebanon Valley College is one of the nation's 100 most productive institutions whose students who went on to earn the Ph.D. in science and engineering. This ranking was based on the number of doctoral degrees received per 100 graduates in the sciences in the years 1950-1975.
  • Another study, based on data from the National Research Council (1988), compared the college to all U.S. liberal arts colleges in the production of science graduates who later earn the doctoral degree. The college ranked 31st in chemistry, 91st in the life sciences, 128th in psychology, and 101st in total science graduates from 1920 to 1986. This is especially impressive since the majority of the 877 institutions graduate three to four times as many students as Lebanon Valley College.
  • A 1989 study prepared by the Great Lakes Colleges Association for the Ford Foundation examined the undergraduate origins of women and men who received doctorates between 1970 and 1986. The data were gathered from all U.S. baccalaureate-granting institutions and were adjusted for institutional size. This represents approximately 2100 institutions. Lebanon Valley College ranked 54th in math/physical sciences graduates who went on to receive doctoral degrees. The college ranked 55th overall in the production of doctoral recipients in the life sciences and 55th in the production of women doctoral recipients in the life sciences during this period. These results place the College within the top 2% of all U.S. baccalaureate-granting institutions in these specific areas.
  • The ranking in the Great Lakes Colleges Association study (55th) was based on the production of 10 doctoral recipients during the fifteen year period, 1970-1986. Since 1986, at least 34 more doctoral degrees have been earned by graduates of the programs in BIO (17), BCMB (11), and PBI (6).

Comparison of Percentile Rankings on the MFAT in 2006 for LVC Students and a Comparison Group of 18,228 Students at 250 Peer Institutions

Biology chart