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Penn State BEHREND

Seeking answers, solving problems in the world around us. ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF SCIENCE The School of Science at Penn State Behrend gives students access to the resources of a major research university and the advantages of working in small class and lab settings. Students learn through hands-on practical experiences and close interaction with knowledgeable faculty who take an interest in their success. Active faculty research programs provide opportunities for students to conduct substantive research — an experience not always available to undergraduates. The school’s programs offer a broad-based education with an emphasis on the scientific and mathematical skills needed for careers in business and industry or for further studies in graduate and professional programs.


The Chemistry degree is approved by the American Chemical Society. Penn State Behrend annually graduates more ACS-certified chemists than most comparably sized schools. The Secondary Education in Mathematics degree is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education through the University’s College of Education. The School of Nursing programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on College Nursing Education (CCNE).

Undergraduate Research

Penn State Behrend annually awards nearly $350,000 in undergraduate research grants to fund hands-on learning opportunities for its students. Every Behrend student is eligible for a grant (typically $1,200 a semester) after completing an application process that includes selecting a faculty mentor, developing a research project, and writing a formal proposal. Each spring the college hosts a regional undergraduate research conference where university students publicly present their research and creative work. Pennsylvania Sea Grant, administered by Penn State Behrend, offers special research opportunities on Lake Erie for School of Science students.


Options: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; General Biology; Genetics and Developmental Biology; Health Professions; Medical Technology; Molecular and Cellular Biology and Biochemistry

Penn State Behrend’s Biology degree prepares students for graduate school, careers in medicine or health-related fields, or careers requiring a biological background. The degree is divided into six options to help narrow this far-reaching field and meet individual career interests.

Chemistry, B.S.

Options: Biochemistry; Business; Chemistry Education Precertification; General Chemistry

Chemistry majors at Penn State Behrend first study the fundamentals of general, organic, and analytical chemistry. Later course work includes physical and inorganic chemistry, chemical instrumentation, and chemical literature, along with biochemistry, spectroscopy, crystallography, and other focused topics.

Environmental Science, B.S.

Options: Environmental Field Studies; Environmental Lab Science

Penn State’s only undergraduate Environmental Science degree focuses study in the life and physical sciences on human-earth interface and our use of the planet’s resources. The Environmental Field Studies option adds specialization in field biology, geographic information systems, and environmental geoscience. The Environmental Lab Science option emphasizes analytical chemistry and geochemistry.

Mathematics, B.S.

Options: Applied Mathematics; Business; Computer Science; Pure Mathematics

Pure Mathematics is usually chosen in preparation for graduate study; Applied Mathematics covers analysis, modeling, and problem-solving. The Business option offers a background in statistics, computer programming, and systems management; the Computer Science option covers computer programming, operation, networking, and algorithms.

Nursing, B.S.N.

A four-year education helps nurses navigate the increasingly complex field of health care. The bachelor of science degree in Nursing adds a broad foundation in the liberal arts and sciences to an extensive range of nursing courses; graduates are eligible to sit for the national examination for licensure (NCLEX) needed to become a registered nurse. An accelerated RN to B.S.N. option is available to registered nurses who already hold an associate degree.

Physics, B.S.

Options: Computational Physics; General Physics

Physics is the study of the fundamental laws that govern the universe and how they determine everything from the formation of galaxies to the properties of subatomic particles. Both options emphasize rigorous theoretical and hands-on laboratory courses as well as innovative undergraduate research.

Science, B.S.

Options: Earth and Space Science Education Precertification; Environmental Studies; General Science; General Science Education Precertification

The Science major provides students with a broad background in science. The four options permit specialization; all options offer the opportunity to add a minor or take courses in complementary fields. Laboratory training plays a major role in the degree.

Secondary Education in Mathematics, B.S.

This degree prepares students for careers as mathematics teachers for seventh grade through high school. The program covers conditions for learning math, problem solving, curriculum development, and the evaluation of student knowledge. Graduates meet all academic requirements for the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Instructional I certificate.

3+4 Accelerated Programs

Penn State Behrend offers accelerated programs for students who want to fast-track their professional degree. After completing core course requirements in three years and meeting the professional school entrance requirement, 3+4 students are admitted to one of our partner schools. They earn a B.S. in Biology from Penn State Behrend upon completing the first year of professional study. 3+4 Primary Care Program with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine 3+4 Pharmacy Program with SUNY Buffalo 3+4 Dentistry Program with Temple University 3+4 Optometry Program with Ohio State Early Assurance Program, Penn State Hershey College of Medicine


Biology Chemistry Mathematics Physics Statistics Sustainability Leadership

Certificates and Special Programs Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics Certificate Premedical Certificate Pre-Health Professions Advising




At Penn State Behrend, students benefit from the resources and opportunities of a major research university provided in a welcoming environment. Students can choose from more than forty degree programs and enjoy campus life enriched by 120 student clubs and organizations, twenty-four NCAA Division III men’s and women’s sports, and a thriving intramural program. Penn State Behrend is consistently among the top public colleges in Pennsylvania on a number of academic measures and is part of the University ranked Number 1 in a Wall Street Journal survey of corporate recruiters that asked who best prepares students to succeed in the workplace.


The School of Science complex includes technology-enhanced classrooms and modern laboratory spaces, including: state-of-the-art labs for introductory, organic, and advanced chemistry; the region’s only SCALE-UP physics lab; a geosciences lab; a public planetarium; and a nursing lab designed to mirror various hospital settings and outfitted with patient simulators. Equipment for student learning and research includes a 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, a liquid chromatography/mass spectrometer, and a confocal microscope. The college’s Mehalso Observatory, a 14-foot diameter dome, houses a Meade 16-inch telescope equipped with computer controls and camera.

This publication is available in alternative media on request. Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. U.Ed. EBO 18-143


If you’re ready to explore your options in the School of Science at Penn State Behrend, visit To arrange a campus visit, contact: Office of Admissions and Financial Aid Penn State Erie, The Behrend College 4701 College Drive Erie, PA 16563 866-374-3378 (toll-free) 814-898-6100

Penn State Behrend - School of Science Brochure  
Penn State Behrend - School of Science Brochure  

A brochure providing information on Penn State Behrend's School of Science.