The Department of Biology measures its success not only in the outstanding quality of students that it is able to attract (average SAT 1350; 93%ile class rank), but in the achievements of its students both during their undergraduate experience and after graduation from TCNJ.
An undergraduate education from the Department of Biology at TCNJ facilitates great accomplishments by our students. Our students excel beyond students from many other schools because of the outstanding faculty members who teach and mentor the students, the state-of-the-art facilities in the department, and the collaborative learning environment and sense of community shared among students in the Department and among faculty and students.
In what ways is the undergraduate program in Biology at TCNJ different from that at other institutions?
The Department of Biology has 19 full-time faculty members who serve approximately 500 undergraduate Biology majors. (There are no graduate programs in the School of Science.)
Typical class size for lectures is 18-48 students. Only our three core courses (genetics, cell and molecular biology, and ecology) may be larger with 72 students. All lab sections and recitation sections have at most 24 students, although upper-division classes may be smaller. Faculty teach all lectures and labs; there are no teaching assistants. Because of this, our faculty get to know all of the students in their classes on an individual basis.
Most faculty members have 3-5 independent study students (or more) who work with them in their research labs. A large proportion of our students complete independent research projects, working side-by-side with faculty members, helping them conduct their own research. Other opportunites for students to become actively involved in research are also available either during the academic year or over the summer on campus, at other institutions, or at local corporations.
Collaborative learning is emphasized in the classroom and in the hallways. Students freely and regularly interact with each other and with faculty members. The Biology Building has multiple areas designed to facilitate these interactions. Faculty members open their doors to students for help with classroom assignments, academic advisement, or advice about graduate school or professional school. Students in the Department meet regularly at meetings of the various student organizations, departmental seminars and workshops, or through special programs.
Qualified students gain accelerated admission to professional programs through articulations programs for medical school, podiatry school, and optometry school. Interdisciplinary concentrations in Forensic Science, Environmental Science, Cognitive Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Biophysics provide additional breadth not offered through courses offered in the Biology Department or through independent research experiences.
Prospective Biology students are encouraged to visit the campus, and in particular to stop by the Biology Department and see the facility. Tours of the department, and arrangements for a student to “sit in” on a class, can usually be arranged by calling the department in advance.
We look forward to meeting with you, and introducing you to the Department of Biology!
About the College and Vicinity
TCNJ is a 4-year, primarily residential, primarily undergraduate “comprehensive” public college with 5,800 undergraduate students. It has been rated nationally as highly competitive and has been cited repeatedly as among the best colleges in the region and country (U.S. News and World Report, The Fiske Guide to Colleges, Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges, Peterson’s Competitive Colleges, and Money Magazine). The College is located in Ewing, a suburb just outside of the state capitol, just 45 miles from Philadelphia and 60 miles from New York City. This region is rich in academic and pharmaceutical/biotechnological institutions. A diverse range of cultural and recreational opportunities also are available in the area.