Jun 22, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Associate Professor:  David Mercer, Chairperson

Professors:  Juditha C. A. Burchsted, Joseph K. Buttner, Lisa J. Delissio, Ryan Fisher, Mark Fregeau, Ethel Gordon, Paul Kelly, Gwen E. Scottgale, T. Nelson Scottgale, David W. Tapley, Tracy L. Ware, Alan M. Young

Associate Professors:  Jason M. Brown, Lynn Fletcher, Harold Pariser, Sheila Schreiner, Amy B. Sprenkle

Assistant Professors:   Tess Killpack, Laura Laranjo, Thea Popolizio

Laboratory Instructors: Peter Alachi, Jennifer Carr, Reza Hassanzadeh, Edward J. Maney

Laboratory Technicians: Scott Weston, Taryn Janeliunas

Faculty Emeriti

Professors: Susan Case, Virginia F. Keville, Larry Lewis, Anita V. M. Shea


Programs Offered

Bachelor of Arts - Biology  

Bachelor of Science - Biology  


Nuclear Medicine Technology 


Melinda Walker, Program Director
Nicole Horst, M.D., Medical Director
David Mercer, NMT Advisor




Courses To Fulfill An Option

No Option Sequence

No specific courses need to be selected.

Marine Biology & Aquaculture

Choose 3 from: BIO310, BIO322, BIO323, BIO326, BIO341, or BIO345

Biomedical Sciences

Choose 3 from: BIO304, BIO307, BIO311, BIO312, BIO316, BIO340, BIO400, BIO405, BIO409, BIO411, or BIO412


BIO317 required plus choose 2 from: BIO304, BIO311,
BIO312, BIO313, BIO409, or BIO411

Environmental Biology

Choose one course from Group A: GLS210, GLS212, GLS221, GLS330, GLS334, GLS342, GLS362, GPH222, GPH245, GPH264, GPH282P, GPH301, GPH314, GPH317, GPH376P, GPH383P

Choose one course from Group B: ECO319, IDS220, IDS325, PHL224, PHL314, POL304, POL319

Choose 3 from BIO300, BIO301, BIO308, BIO315, or BIO320


Human Biology 




Special Programs


Biology Programs          

students in the laboratory

Students in any Biology program (BA or BS) complete a strong, general series of Biology and support courses that allows pursuit of a wide variety of careers such as professional work (e.g. physician, dentist, veterinarian), governmental work, (e.g. conservation biologist, fisheries biologist), field work (e.g. oceanographer, wildlife specialist), high school teaching, industrial or clinical research, aquaculture etc. Many Biology majors continue into graduate programs in a specialized subfield.

It is the goal of the department to provide solid Biology degrees that expose students to all areas of Biology while allowing each student flexibility when entering the job market. The Biology curriculum has been modernized to align with the Vision and Change report that provides guidelines to 21st century teaching of Biology undergraduates. Our new curriculum provides a broad two-year foundation in Biology before allowing students to study Biology at three scales, in the following elective categories: Cellular & Molecular, Organismal & Physiology and, Populations & Ecosystems. Students will also complete a capstone experience that includes a choice of courses but also research and internship experiences. The degree capstone is bookmarked by a Junior Seminar and a Portfolio Seminar course.

Students are introduced to all areas of biology in a two-semester introductory sequence (BIO131 Introduction to Organisms and BIO132 - Introduction to Cells), followed by four courses in the second year that expand on these areas in greater detail and introduce social and ethical issues to some extent. The second year courses are: BIO212 Cell Biology, BIO217 General Genetics, BIO218 Ecology & the Environment, and BIO219 Evolution. NOTE: the Nuclear Medicine Technology Concentration has a slightly different group of second year courses: BIO200 Anatomy & Physiology I, BIO201 Anatomy and Physiology II, BIO212 Cell Biology and NMT200 Introduction to NMT.

In their junior/senior year all students, except NMT students, are required to take one course from each elective category (Cellular & Molecular, Organismal & Physiology, Populations & Ecosystems) and any two other 300-400 level courses. At least two of these five courses must have a lab. Students will then need to select a capstone experience as well as take the junior year BIO415 Biology Seminar course and the senior year, BIO419 Portfolio Seminar course. NMT students follow a slightly different junior/senior year pathway, taking the following courses prior to their clinical practicum: BIO340 General Pathology, BIO402 Genetics, BIO409 Biological Chemistry and BIO411 Immunology.  NMT students complete the BIO415 Biology Seminar course ( focused on NMT) during their clinical practicum.

A complete listing of 300-400 level courses included in each elective category is provided below.

BIO 300-400 level courses in each elective category.


Cellular & Molecular   

BIO304 Microbiology and its Applications

BIO311 Cell Communications

BIO312 Developmental Biology

BIO313 Molecular Biology

BIO314 Vertebrate Histology

BIO316 Parasitology

BIO317 Methods in Biotechnology

BIO400 Neuroanatomy

BIO406 Advanced Microbiology

BIO407 Directed Study in Biology

BIO408 Research in Biology

BIO409 Biological Chemistry

BIO411 Immunology

BIO412 Endocrinology


Organismal & Physiology

BIO300 Botany

BIO301 Conservation Biology

BIO304 Microbiology and it’s Applications

BIO305 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

BIO307 Human Anatomy

BIO308 Entomology

BIO310 Invertebrate Zoology

BIO312 Developmental Biology

BIO314 Vertebrate Histology

BIO316 Parasitology

BIO320 General Ecology

BIO322 Biological Oceanography

BIO323 Fish Biology

BIO326 Marine Botany

BIO340 General Pathology

BIO341 Biology of Marine Mammals

BIO344 Underwater Research Methods

BIO345 Introduction to Aquaculture

BIO400 Neuroanatomy

BIO401 Vertebrate Evolution

BIO405 General Physiology

BIO406 Advanced Microbiology

BIO407 Directed Study in Biology

BIO408 Research in Biology

BIO411 Immunology

BIO412 Endocrinology

BIO421 Comparative Animal Physiology


Populations & Ecosystems

BIO301 Conservation Biology

BIO305 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

BIO308 Entomology

BIO310 Invertebrate Zoology

BIO315 Natural History of the Vertebrates

BIO320 General Ecology

BIO322 Biological Oceanography

BIO323 Fish Biology

BIO325 Behavioral Ecology

BIO326 Marine Botany

BIO341 Biology of Marine Mammals

BIO401 Vertebrate Evolution

BIO407 Directed Study in Biology

BIO408 Research in Biology


If they wish, students may select one of the specialized options offered under the Biology BS major:

The Biomedical Sciences Option supports students that are interested in pursuing a career in the human health fields. This concentration allows for flexibility in course selection, so students interested in a variety of health fields can be equally accommodated. Course choice includes Human Anatomy, General Physiology, Immunology, Neuroanatomy and Endocrinology.

The Biotechnology Option places this field within a broad context while focusing on both the theoretical and practical skills needed in the study of cell and molecular biology. The Methods in Biotechnology course is required as well as a choice of courses including: Microbiology and it’s Applications, Molecular Biology and Biological Chemistry. A choice of some support courses allows the student to explore different applications such as chemistry and bioinformatics in greater depth.

The Environmental Biology Concentration includes courses in both Biology and other environmentally-related fields such as geology, geography, ethics, and the social sciences. Biology courses include: Conservation Biology, Entomology and General Ecology. In the process of completing a degree in biology in this option, each student has the opportunity to select courses in other related areas which support the specific goals and interests of the student.

The Marine Biology and Aquaculture Option provides a broad science background supported by observations of marine organisms and their environment as well as the opportunity to focus on the controlled cultivation and harvest of aquatic plants and animals. Students in this option will take numerous courses at the Cat Cove Marine Laboratory and have the opportunity to conduct research there and the adjacent ocean and marshes of the North Shore. Courses include: Invertebrate Zoology, Biological Oceanography, Fish Biology, Marine Botany and Introduction to Aquaculture.

Students may also follow the accredited Nuclear Medicine Technology concentration:

Students following the Nuclear Medicine Technology Concentration complete the on-campus component in 3 years and spend their 4th year (and preceding summer) in the Nuclear Medicine laboratories of affiliated hospitals. Registration for the summer component is through the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education. Completion of the program leads to a B.S. in Biology with a Concentration in Nuclear Medicine Technology and prepares the student for examinations leading to national certification as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist.

Students in the Nuclear Medicine Technology Concentration are required to achieve and maintain a 2.75 grade point average in science and mathematics courses. Grades for courses taken at other institutions will not be used in computing this average. At least half of these required courses must be completed at Salem State University. An NMT student may not repeat any more than two of the preclinical science or mathematics courses nor any one of these courses more than once to achieve the 2.75 GPA. During the second semester of the sophomore year, the student’s performance will be evaluated by the Nuclear Medicine Technology Advisory Committee which makes recommendations concerning continuation in the program.

Final admission to the clinical phase of this program is competitive and requires completion of a formal, separate admissions application in January prior to potential entry into clinical courses. The NMT Program officials use this application, the student’s university record, and the number of available spaces to determine admission into the clinical courses.

The Salem State University Nuclear Medicine Program is accredited by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation in cooperation with the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology.

All students participating in clinical aspects of the Nuclear Medicine Concentration will be expected to carry their own personal liability insurance (cost approximately $35) and should be prepared to provide their own transportation to clinical agencies. They will also be required to have Hepatitis B vaccination before entering the clinical phase.

Biology Nuclear Medicine Technology Program Professional Conduct Policy

What is “professional conduct?”

A code of professional conduct is a necessary component to any profession to maintain standards for the individuals within that profession to adhere. It brings about accountability, responsibility and trust to the individuals that the profession serves.

In the medical profession everything that practitioners do, matters. For patients to trust their practitioners, the practitioners have to do everything in their power to build and maintain that trust. Once trust has been broken it takes much more effort to re-establish and may never be re-established. We aim for professional conduct beyond reproach for the protection of patients and fellow colleagues.

For these reasons, we require that student completing their clinical practicums pay attention to the following:

  • Students must always be courteous and respectful to patients at all times and in all situations.
  • Students must maintain a professional attitude in all interactions with students, professional staff, faculty and patients.
  • Students must always be alert, attentive and on time to all clinical practicum classes and affiliate hospital rotation assignments.
  • Students will take responsibility for their actions, acknowledge their limitations, and ask for assistance when needed.
  • Students will assure the welfare of others is not compromised as a result of their inadequacy or impairment.
  • Students will not be deceitful.
  • Students will not allow personal conflicts to interfere with objectivity in relationships with colleagues or patients.
  • Students will refrain from the manifestation of bias, including sexual, marital, racial, ethnic, or cultural harassment.
  • Students may not accept any gratuities or gifts from patients or patients’ families.
  • Students must adhere to the following NMT Program and affiliate hospital policies: NMT Clinical Attendance Policy, NMT Cell Phone/Electronics and Dress Code Policy, NMT Parking Policy and, affiliate hospitals’ Social Media Policy.

Biology Nuclear Medicine Technology Program Dismissal Policy

Actions and/or behaviors that occur during the Clinical Practicum component and that contravene existing policies (Professional Conduct Policy; Clinical Attendance Policy; Cell Phone, Electronic and Dress Code Policy; and Salem Hospital’s Social Media Policy) within the NMT Program at Salem State University, may result in dismissal from the NMT program. This does not mean dismissal from the Biology Department or Salem State University. Although, the Biology Department and Salem State University has the right to review the behavior violations in policy and may take appropriate actions based on department/university student policies.

Policies allow three warnings for behavior in violation of the above policies by students. If the behavior is not corrected, the Program Director of the NMT Program may seek dismissal of the student.

Grounds for immediate dismissal from the NMT program include:

  1. Your overall GPA falling below the required 2.75 in Math and Science. This includes a grade of below 75% for any NMT course.
  2. The use, possession, or conviction for using illegal drugs/substances.
  3. Theft of any articles from clinical patients, colleagues, or the University/clinical affilliate.
  4. Unprofessional or unethical conduct that contravenes the Professional Conduct Policy.
  5. Leaving the clinical assignment without permission during assigned clinical hours.
  6. Not following the Salem State University Academic Integrity Policy.
  7. Not maintaining confidentiality of patients, students, and colleagues.
  8. Any action that jeopardizes the safety of the patient and/or colleague; including, but not limited to, causing unnecessary radiation of the patient.
  9. Carrying any weapons to clinicals or on campus.
  10. Actions that have led to a third offense and suspension in either of the Clinical Attendance Policy; Cell Phone, Electronic and Dress Code Policy; or any clinical affiliate Parking and Social Media Policy.

Student Appeals

A student who feels they have been unfairly treated by this policy may appeal in the following way:

  1. Request a meeting with the Chair of the Biology Department to discuss the dismissal.
  2. Request a meeting with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), if the Chair of Biology supports dismissal.
  3. Request a meeting with the Provost of Salem State University, if the Dean of CAS supports the dismissal.

Note: These and other policies may be found in the Nuclear Medicine Technology handbook.

Special Programs

Pre-Medical, Pre-Dentistry, and Pre-Veterinary and other Health Related Professions

There are many opportunities for careers in the health professions, including medicine, dentistry, podiatry, optometry, and physician assistant as well as veterinary medicine. All of these advanced programs typically require general biology, general and organic chemistry, physics and one year of college mathematics in the applicant’s undergraduate preparation. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) includes a section on the social sciences. Courses in psychology or sociology are helpful for those interested in medical school.

Students interested in the human health care professions might consider the B.S. Biology/Biomedical Sciences degree program. This satisfies the minimum admissions requirements and includes numerous content courses such as Anatomy & Physiology, Genetics, and Biochemistry helpful in preparing for standardized entrance exams. 

Students interested in veterinary medicine might consider the B.S. Biology/(no concentration) degree program. This satisfies the minimum admissions requirements for veterinary medicine programs and includes numerous content courses such as Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, General Physiology and Genetics helpful in preparing for advanced study. 

Students interested in a career in the health professions (e.g. medical, dental, veterinary, or other professional health career) should contact the Pre-Health Advisor no later than the end of their sophomore year regarding the admissions process for graduate programs. The Pre-Health Advisor is available to all students, regardless of major.

Dr. David Mercer in the Biology Department is the chair of the Pre-health Professions Advisory Committee. All students interested in applying to medical, dental, veterinary, or other professional health schools should consult with him.

For more information, please visit the Biology Office - Meier Hall 404.

Honors Program

Biology majors who are admitted to the University Honors Program should contact the Biology Department Chairperson immediately upon admission to the university. Biology Honors students follow the required Honors Curriculum described under the Honors Program including completion of a 3 credit Honors project, Research in Biology (BIO408) in the senior year.

Special Facilities

The Cat Cove Marine Laboratory

The Cat Cove Marine Laboratory managed by Salem State University and home to the Northeastern Massachusetts Aquaculture Center includes a 16 acre site, 8 acre tide pool and 5,500 square foot Wet Laboratory. Students can explore estuarine biology in a protected and managed tidal pool. The environmentally controlled Laboratory facilitates controlled experiments and propagation of both marine and freshwater aquatic organisms. Major emphasis targets shellfish culture and mariculture of fishes with aquaculture potential in New England. Freshwater fishes are maintained and reproduced for use in primary, middle and secondary school classrooms. The Laboratory is fully equipped with tanks, computers, analytical instrumentation, and all the materials needed to run a hatchery effectively. Resources are accessible to students through classes and independent studies. The primary function of NEMAC and the Cat Cove Marine Laboratory is to provide students with a hands-on learning experience and to nurture the development of a sustainable, environmentally/socially acceptable, commercial aquaculture industry on Massachusetts’ North Shore.