Best Colleges and Universities for Biology Degrees

Best Colleges and Universities for Biology Degrees

The best biology schools are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best biology degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding biology faculty.

A bachelor’s degree in biology is an excellent starting point for a career in zoology, ecology, botany, and a host of other fascinating STEM fields. As a biology major, you’ll study the full spectrum of life sciences. Your biology degree may incorporate subjects such as evolutionary biology, biochemistry, and microbiology, as well as foundational courses in subjects like human anatomy and biodiversity. The best schools for biology are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of biology concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Degree popularity: Biology bachelor’s degrees are the 6th most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics. It’s slightly more popular among women, and ranks the 4th most popular degree among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions About Biology Bachelor’s Degrees

Once you’ve declared you major in biology, the common requirements include:

  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biology and/or Biochemistry
  • Physics
  • Calculus
  • Statistics

Biology majors are also expected to engage in original research, working at on-campus laboratories or research facilities, as well as in the field. They will work closely with faculty, laboratory support staff, and teaching fellows as they explore areas of scientific interest. Most colleges include a senior capstone project based on original research, presented via poster, workshop, keynote, or other presentation.

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Biology is a good major for anyone interested in life, living things, and what makes them tick at the macro and micro levels. Whether you have an interest in human anatomy, cell biology, neuroscience, or animal physiology, a degree in biology can prepare you for work in fields as diverse as marine biology, neuroscience, medicine, and more.

Biology is a popular major because it can provide a pathway into countless fields and career opportunities. If you’re looking for a well-paying and secure job, a biology degree is a great place to start. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in the life, physical, and social sciences will grow at a rate of 5 percent between now and 2029. This is faster than the average rate for all occupations. Likewise, the median annual wage for life, physical, and social science occupations was $68,160 in 2019, as compared to a median wage for all occupations of $39,810. Whether studying humans, animals, plants, insects, microscopic cells of bacteria, or even pondering the existence of life in space, a biology degree can provide you with the knowledge, skills, and credentials to work in a wide range of professional settings.

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Biology is a hard major for many because the language of science seems so unfamiliar. Biology is not as math intensive as other fields such as chemistry, but you will need to learn the basics of calculus and statistics. However, for students passionate about the study of biology and where they hope it leads them in their careers, successfully completing a major in biology is achievable.

Obviously, having a propensity in the hard sciences is helpful. This isn’t to say that you need special background knowledge. Just like any other college degree, a planned path to a major in biology should have you adequately prepared.

As a biology major, you will hone your research and observation skills, develop strategies for collection and evaluation of data, and acquire the language of science so you can effectively present your research.

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Once you’ve declared your major in biology, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in STEM-related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized biology electives, there are a number of common courses that most biology majors will be required to take, including:

  • Biostatistics
  • Biochemistry
  • Human Anatomy
  • Microbiology
  • Marine Biology
  • Genetics
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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Biology Degree jobs include Medical Lab Technician, Forensic Science Technician, Zoologist, Environmental Scientist, and Chemist. Students often study biology as preparation for a professional program (pre-med, pre-veterinary, etc.) That doesn’t mean that you have to get an advanced degree to begin using your biology degree. A bachelor’s degree in biology can prepare you for many jobs in medicine, zoology, and chemistry. Here are some of the professions you could explore:

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Best Colleges and Universities for Biology Degree Programs

The Best Colleges and Universities for Biology Degrees

Best Biology Major Research Universities

  1. Harvard University
  2. Stanford University
  3. Yale Univeristy
  4. MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  5. Columbia University

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Best Biology Major Liberal Arts Colleges

  1. Pomona College
  2. Swarthmore College
  3. Amherst College
  4. Wesleyan University
  5. Williams College

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Best Biology Major Online Colleges

  1. University of Florida
  2. University of Arizona
  3. Kean University
  4. West Texas A&M University
  5. University of Houston–Victoria

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The Best Biology Schools in Your State

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