Jan 26 2021 10:00:26

Associate in Science Biology Degree

Prepare for Multiple Life Sciences Careers With NECC’s Associate in Science Biology Degree

A female science student in protective clothing and gloves peering through a microscope.
Studying biology can lead to a wide variety of rewarding careers in biotechnology, health care, environmental science, research, education, and more. While most biology-related careers require a bachelor’s degree, starting at NECC will provide the solid foundation you need while saving you thousands of dollars on the cost of your education.

Why Choose NECC?

NECC’s Associate in Science Biology Degree is an intensive science program that combines classroom study with laboratory experiences in biology, chemistry and other natural sciences. The program also includes liberal arts and mathematics courses ensuring streamlined transfer of your credits toward a bachelor’s degree. In this program you will:

Because of NECC

Mass Transfer - links goes to the Mass Department of Ed Mass Transfer website

You will be prepared to transfer to bachelor’s in biology programs at public and private four-year schools, and can:

  • Take advantage of MassTransfer Pathways and other transfer agreements to earn your bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field, while saving thousands of dollars on the cost of your degree
  • Pursue a career in biotechnology, health care, environmental science, research, education, and more


Hear What Ken Thomas, Natural Sciences Faculty, Has to Say

View video on the NECC YouTube Channel.


Courses and Requirements


Program Pathway

A pathway is the most efficient sequence of courses semester-to-semester recommended for students to complete their degree. View the suggested pathway for the Associate in Science Biology Degree.


Program Coordinator

Program Coordinator

Sarah Courchesne, DVM

Phone: 978-556-3308

Additional Information

Student Learning Outcomes, AS Biology Program

Student Learning Outcomes, A.S. Biology Program

  • *Compare and contrast the characteristics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and their life cycles.
  • *Explain the importance of different biological macromolecules, including the mechanism of their synthesis, and their roles in the cells of all organisms.
  • *Summarize how cells acquire, store and release energy through metabolic pathways.
  • *Describe the processes (including genetic manipulation technologies) by which heritable material is passed on to the next generation.
  • *Compare and contrast the characteristics, including homeostatic and reproductive strategies, of different organisms across the kingdoms of life.
  • *Recognize and explain the causes of large evolutionary trends in biodiversity, and how cladistics inform phylogeny.
  • *Explain the processes and outcomes of macro and microevolution, including mutations.
  • *Explain organismal interactions at the levels of populations, communities, ecosystems, and biosphere.
  • *Demonstrate competency with the scientific techniques used in the exploration of introductory biology (examples may include careful observation, sketching, microscopy, volumetric measurements, dissection, micropipetting, spectrophotometry, and/or modeling).
  • *Using the scientific method design controlled experiments with testable hypotheses.
  • *Collect data and create graphs or other visual representations in a clear and logical fashion that may include statistics.
  • *Interpret meaning of experimental results in a broader scientific context.
  • **Communicate results of lab experiments applying broad scientific context (primary literature) utilizing clear and effective written and verbal skills.
  • **Research existing information and data regarding a topic of inquiry.
  • **Evaluate data relevant to a topic of inquiry both quantitatively and qualitatively.
  • **Formally develop an appropriate hypothesis or thesis by applying logical, scientific or quantitative reasoning.
  • **Evaluate the validity and limitations of scientific claims in news reports and magazines.
  • **Demonstrate the ability to distinguish between peer-reviewed literature from reports on science in the popular/specialty media.
  • **Produce clear and well organized writing that responds appropriately to an assignment using standard American English.
  • **Produce clear and well organized oral reports that respond appropriately to an assignment using standard American English.
  • **Demonstrate fluency in the language of the discipline.
  • **Use appropriate software to produce written reports and to develop classroom presentations.
  • **Apply the technology of the Internet, the Web, and online databases to research biological topics and evaluate the material retrieved being mindful of ethical, legal, and security issues.
  • **Demonstrate the ability to use computer-interfaced scientific equipment.
  • **Use appropriate software to perform basic statistical analysis of experimental data.
  • **Design and perform scientific experiments to test hypotheses using current methodology.
  • **Collect, analyze, and interpret data from laboratory experiments both quantitatively and qualitatively.
  • **Present experimental results both quantitatively and qualitatively.
  • **Describe the physical and chemical structure of each component of the cell and explain how each component is integrated to support the cell.
  • **Summarize how the theory of evolution can be used to explain the adaptations and diversity of multicellular organisms.
  • **Describe the roles of organisms in the environment.
  • **Describe the influence of people on the environment including biodiversity.
  • **Use information from the fields of chemistry and physics to facilitate understanding of biological phenomena.
  • **Use methods and scientific tools from the fields of chemistry, physics and mathematics in biological experiments.
  • **Apply mathematical reasoning and techniques to enhance understanding of biological processes.

* Student Learning Outcomes Developed by Massachusetts State College/University Biology Faculty and Adopted by the Massachusetts Division of Higher Education
** Student Learning Outcomes Developed Previously by Biology Faculty at Northern Essex Community College

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