Education

Best Biological Science Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Biological Science programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Biological science is the study of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, and evolution. Biological science degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in the life sciences, including medicine, veterinary medicine, and environmental science.

Biological science degrees offer a broad overview of the life sciences, covering topics such as anatomy, physiology, and microbiology. Students in biological science degree programs learn about the different aspects of living organisms, and how to apply that knowledge to the study of medicine, agriculture, and the environment.

How to Choose the Right Biological Science Program

When it comes to choosing the right biological science degree program, there are many things to consider. The first step is to decide what type of program you want to pursue. There are two main types of programs: those that focus on research and those that focus on teaching. If you want to pursue a career in research, you will want to look for a program that offers a strong research component. If you want to pursue a career in teaching, you will want to look for a program that offers a strong teaching component.

Once you have decided what type of program you want to pursue, you will need to consider the cost of the program. Tuition rates can vary significantly from one school to another, so it is important to do your research. You will also need to consider the cost of living in the area where the school is located.

Another important factor to consider is the length of the program. Most programs take four years to complete, but some may take longer. If you want to graduate sooner, you may want to look for a program that offers an accelerated track.

Finally, you will need to consider the accreditation of the program. Make sure the program you choose is accredited by a reputable accrediting body. This will ensure that the program meets high standards and that your degree will be recognized by employers.

Best Bachelor’s in Biological Science Programs

The best programs for Biological Science ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
University of California-Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA

The Biological Sciences B.A. from University of California-Santa Barbara is a great choice for students looking for a well-rounded education with plenty of flexibility. The major requires 36 upper division units in biology, allowing students to take a variety of courses both within and outside their major. Students are encouraged to work closely with faculty members who share their interests, and to seek assistance in program planning from the well-informed and helpful undergraduate advisors.

Rank 2
University of California-Davis
Davis, CA

The Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from University of California-Davis is a great choice for students interested in a career in the medical field or a related field. The coursework for this degree provides students with a foundation in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Students can choose from areas of interest such as molecular biology and genetics, animal behavior, plant growth and development, bioinformatics, marine biology, forensics and microbiology.

Rank 3
Clemson University
Clemson, SC

Clemson University’s Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degree is a very flexible program that allows students to tailor the degree to their specific interests. The program provides a strong foundation in biology and is ideal for students planning to pursue a career in the sciences, enter professional school, or continue into graduate programs. The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences curriculum prepares students for graduate study in any of the life science areas. The program also offers a combined Bachelor’s/Master’s degree program in bioengineering.

Rank 4
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Arizona State University is an online degree that helps students develop a broad understanding of many disciplines in biology. The key areas of focus include genetic and environmental causes of diversity and evolution. This online biology degree prepares students for further education and a variety of science-focused career paths. The program offers four concentrations: Environmental Biology and Ecology, Genetics and Cell Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, and Neuroscience and Physiology.

Rank 5
Florida International University
Miami, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences, Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences, Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences degree from Florida International University is a unique combination of studies that provides students with a wide range of exposure to different areas of biology.

The program requires a total of 120 credits for completion, and students must earn a grade of “C” or higher in all courses required for the major.

Rank 6
Rowan University
Glassboro, NJ

The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences program at Rowan University provides students with a broad background in biology, while also allowing students to build their own specialty track and prepare for a career. The faculty at Rowan have a wide range of experience which prepares students for work in research, teaching, laboratories, professional schools, and graduate programs in diverse areas.

Rank 7
Ohio University
Lancaster, OH

The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences degree from Ohio University is designed for students who seek flexibility and breadth in their programs. This track is particularly well-suited for students who plan to enter a biological sciences graduate program or professional school. The program allows students to choose courses to prepare for their specific area of interest while fulfilling the biology breadth requirement. This track also fulfills the need of students interested in the specializations of medical laboratory science or medical technology, exercise physiology, neuroscience, or ecology and evolutionary biology.

Rank 8
University of New England
Biddeford, ME

The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from University of New England is a great choice for students passionate about living things. The program offers a broad range of courses, the opportunity to choose among topics of interest, and the option to concentrate in Cellular and Molecular Biology or Ecology and Evolution.

Rank 9
McNeese State University
Lake Charles, LA

The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from McNeese State University is a interdisciplinary program that combines scientific research, community service, and professional activities to teach students about living organisms. There are five areas of concentration students can choose from: biology education grades 6-12, molecular biology, pre-dentistry, pre-pharmacy, or pre-medicine. The program provides students with opportunities for hands-on learning, faculty-mentored research, and small class sizes. Financial aid and scholarships are available, and there are a number of student organizations related to the program.

Rank 10
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO

The Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from University of Northern Colorado is a student-friendly program that offers advanced opportunities typically only available in graduate school. Students will work directly with senior faculty, have the opportunity to assist full professors in laboratory research and field investigations, and get academic and career support from faculty, advisors, and counselors. Students can choose from four concentrations depending on your desired career path, and all concentrations fulfill prerequisites for medical school and other health-related postgraduate programs.

What to Expect From a Bachelor’s in Biological Science Program

Students in a bachelor’s in biological science program can expect to take classes covering a broad range of topics related to the study of living organisms. These may include classes in chemistry, physics, and math, as well as more specific courses in biology. In addition, many programs require students to complete an internship or research project.

Most bachelor’s in biological science programs confer a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. However, some schools offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Biological Sciences. The main difference between these two degrees is that a BS degree generally requires more math and science courses, while a BA degree may require more liberal arts courses.

Biological science is a broad field, and students may want to focus their studies on a particular area, such as ecology, microbiology, or zoology. Some programs offer specializations or concentration options that allow students to tailor their degree to their interests.

Overall, students in a bachelor’s in biological science program should expect to take a variety of challenging courses. They should also be prepared to do extensive laboratory work and fieldwork, as well as write research papers.

Common Biological Science Courses

The courses you’ll take for a degree in biological sciences will depend on the school you attend and the program you choose. That said, there are some common courses that are often included in these programs. The following is a list of five such courses.

Principles of Biology

This course covers the basic principles of biology including the scientific method, cell structure and function, DNA and RNA, genetics, evolution, and ecology. Emphasis is placed on the application of these concepts to current issues in the biological sciences. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method, the structure and function of cells, the role of DNA and RNA in genetics, and the mechanisms of evolution and ecology.

Methods in Biological Sciences

This course covers research design, scientific writing, and oral presentation skills as applied to the biological sciences. Emphasis is placed on formulating hypotheses, experimental design, data analysis, and scientific communication. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method, design controlled experiments, analyze and interpret data, and communicate scientific findings.

Molecules, Cells, and Organisms

This course covers the structure and function of biological molecules, cells, and organisms. Topics include an overview of biological molecules, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids; an overview of cell structure and function, including prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; an overview of cell membranes, cell organelles, and cell signaling; and an overview of the structure and function of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the structure and function of biological molecules, cells, and organisms, and apply this knowledge to the study of other biological disciplines.

Statistics

This course covers the application of statistics to the biological sciences. Topics include exploratory data analysis, probability, random variables and probability distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, linear regression and correlation, and analysis of variance. Upon completion, students should be able to apply basic statistical methods to data sets, understand the use and misuse of statistical methods, and be able to interpret the results of statistical analyses.

Ecology

This course covers the study of how organisms interact with each other and their physical environment. Topics include the levels of organization in ecology, the major biomes of the world, the principles of population dynamics, the cycling of matter and energy through ecosystems, and the impact of human activity on ecosystems. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of ecology and how they apply to the natural world and human activities.

Career Options for Biological Science Graduates

Graduates of biological science programs work in a variety of fields and industries, including healthcare, research, and education. They may also work in fields such as environmental science and biotechnology.

Biochemist

Biochemists conduct research to figure out how chemical reactions affect living organisms. They use their findings to develop new drugs and treatments, to improve food production and preservation, and to find new sources of energy. Biochemists typically specialize in a particular area of research, such as cellular development, metabolism, or immunology.

Biophysicist

Biophysicists use the methods of physics to study the structure and behavior of living organisms. They apply their knowledge of physics to understand how cells work, how muscles produce force, how DNA replicates, and how nerves transmit signals. Biophysicists often use mathematical modeling and computer simulations to study complex biological systems. They may also use experimental techniques to study the physical properties of biomolecules.

Biologist

Biologists study living organisms and their relationship to the environment. They conduct research on land, in water, and in laboratories, using a variety of methods and tools. Biologists typically specialize in a particular area of interest, such as plants, animals, or microorganisms. They use their findings to develop new products or processes, solve problems, or create new ways of doing things.

Pharmaceutical Researcher

Pharmaceutical researchers develop new drugs and medications. They work in laboratories and use a variety of techniques to develop new medicines, as well as test the safety and efficacy of those drugs. Pharmaceutical researchers typically have a background in chemistry, biology, or another scientific discipline, and many have a PhD. The job can be both research- and people-oriented: In addition to working on experiments in the lab, pharmaceutical researchers often collaborate with other scientists, doctors, and pharmacists to develop new treatments.

Biology Teacher

Biology teachers work in schools—usually at the high school level, although some teach at middle schools or in postsecondary institutions—and develop and deliver lessons on a variety of topics related to the study of living things. In addition to preparing and teaching classes, biology teachers also develop and grade tests, advise and mentor students, and perform other administrative tasks, such as ordering supplies and keeping attendance records. Some biology teachers also conduct research and may publish their findings in scientific journals.

Insights From a Biological Science Graduate

Nathaly Weber is a Research Associate at the University of California, Berkeley. She has a bachelor’s degree in biological science from the University of California, Davis. Nathaly has over 2 years of experience in research and laboratory work.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Biological Science degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Nathaly Weber: I made the most of my Biological Science degree program by taking advantage of the research opportunities that were available to me. I was able to work in a laboratory and gain experience in research and data analysis. I also took coursework that was relevant to my career goals.

I would advise students to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to them, and to also choose coursework that is relevant to their career goals.

ClimbtheLadder: What type of person is successful and thrives in a Biological Science career?

Nathaly Weber: A person who is successful and thrives in a Biological Science career is someone who is passionate about the subject, is curious and always wants to learn more. This person is also good at problem solving and is able to think outside the box.

ClimbtheLadder: What misconception(s) do people have about a Biological Science degree, and what would you tell them?

Nathaly Weber: I think the biggest misconception about a Biological Science degree is that it is easy. I would definitely not consider my degree easy. I had to study a lot and do a lot of research. I think people also think that Biological Science is all about plants and animals, but there is so much more to it.

Biological Science is the study of living things and their interactions with each other and the environment. It is a very broad field and there are many subfields, such as biochemistry, ecology, and evolutionary biology.

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