Department of Biology
What are the advantages of studying biology at La Sierra University?
La Sierra students study with faculty who are experts in the field—who contribute to knowledge, who don’t just teach it from a book. These are professors who are doing research into subjects such as immunology and DNA sequencing. They are out in the field actually discovering new species never before identified—and they are involving you in the research! Two recent biology students each published at least 15 peer-reviewed journal articles with their professor before they graduated from La Sierra in 2008.
La Sierra students have learning opportunities that prepare them for professional programs in fields such as medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy, such as participating in a gross anatomy lab dissecting a human cadaver—the same thing you will do in first-year professional school.
La Sierra University students study in a state-of-the-art building recently constructed for the study of biology. Each professor has his or her own private research lab, enabling undergraduate students the remarkable opportunity to do meaningful research.
The Department of Biology is committed to providing undergraduate students with the opportunity to do research. The biology faculty are actively engaged in research and welcome qualified and highly motivated students to participate with them in their laboratories. Interested students are encouraged to discuss research opportunities with individual faculty. Limited support in the form of grants and assistantships may be available.
Preparation for teaching
Students preparing to teach at the secondary level should plan to qualify for state of California teaching credentials by completing the bachelor’s degree and passing the PRAXIS (or SSAT) subject area assessment. During the freshman year prospective teachers of both secondary and elementary levels should see the School of Education section of the La Sierra University Bulletin and consult the credential analyst and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education for detailed information concerning requirements.
Field School of Biology
To provide first-hand experience in field biology rather than only accumulating book knowledge, the Department of Biology at La Sierra University offers fieldwork-based opportunities through its Field School. Currently, we coordinate an annual 3-week course in tropical environments, typically in late June and July. Our most recent trips involved study of insular amphibians and reptiles of the Bay Islands in Honduras and of Pulau Tioman in Peninsular Malaysia. New localities will be the islands in Ha Long Bay and the Con Dao Islands in Vietnam. During this course, students collect, preserve, take tissue samples of, and photograph specimens of amphibians and reptiles as well as keep a field journal.
The research conducted during this course has consistently led to publication of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals with student authorship. Any student taking approved field courses (Field School, Rosario Beach) for 8 or more units may apply these units to substitute for BIOL 201 or 202.