Education

Best Online Biology Degree Programs of 2022

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

Biology is the study of living things. It includes the study of the structure, function, and evolution of plants, animals, and other living organisms. Biology degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in the life sciences, including medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.

Biology degrees offer a broad overview of the life sciences, covering topics such as cell biology, genetics, and ecology. Students in biology degree programs learn about the different aspects of the biology of living things, and how to apply that knowledge to the study of medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine.

How to Choose the Right Biology Program

When it comes to choosing the right biology degree program, there are many things to consider. The first step is to decide what type of biology you want to study. Do you want to focus on marine biology, ecology, or another specific area? Once you have decided on a focus, you can begin to research programs.

There are many different types of biology programs, from traditional four-year programs to online programs. Each type of program has its own advantages and disadvantages. You will need to decide what type of program best fits your needs.

Another important factor to consider is the cost of the program. Biology programs can be expensive, so you will need to make sure you can afford the program you choose. You should also consider whether you want to study full-time or part-time. Part-time students may be able to get financial aid to help with the cost of their education.

Finally, you need to consider the location of the program. Some programs are only offered in certain parts of the country. You will need to make sure you can relocate to the area where the program is offered.

By considering all of these factors, you can find the right biology degree program for you.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Biology Programs

The best online programs for Biology 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 Florida
Gainesville, FL

The Bachelor of Arts in Biology from University of Florida is a degree that is designed to prepare students for careers in education, the allied health professions, and other related fields. The curriculum for this degree is interdisciplinary in nature, and students will have the opportunity to take a variety of core biology courses. This degree is not designed for those interested in attending professional schools such as medical, dental, or veterinary school.

Rank 2
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 3
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 4
Bemidji State University
Bemidji, MN

The Bachelor of Science in Biology from Bemidji State University is a degree-completion program that is offered in a blended format. The program includes classes and labs at North Hennepin Community College. The program is designed for students who want to pursue professional positions in the biological sciences, complete pre-professional studies, or apply to a graduate school program in biological or medical sciences. There are opportunities for research and internships.

Rank 5
Washington State University
Pullman, WA

The Bachelor of Science in Biology from Washington State University is a degree completion program that is 100% online. The program is designed for students who have already completed some college coursework in biology, or a related field, and are looking to finish their degree. Students in the program will gain expertise in a wide variety of biological fields, including human anatomy, genetics, taxonomy, disease biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology.

Rank 6
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX

The Bachelor of Science in Biology from Texas Tech University is a four-year program that incorporates the core curriculum requirements and additional lower level requirements offered from McLennan Community College. The remaining upper level coursework will be completed as face-to-face classes on the Waco campus. Students interested in completing this degree will pursue a career in biological research or prepare to continue their education toward medical school, pharmacy school, school of veterinarian medicine, or school of physical therapy.

Rank 7
Wilmington University
New Castle, DE

The Bachelor of Science in Biology from Wilmington University is a STEM program that provides students with a foundation in the biological, chemical and data sciences. The program is designed to be adaptable for students who wish to pursue a career in the sciences or continue their education in a graduate or medical program. The core science courses are taught by highly qualified faculty who are practitioners in the field. There is also a cooperative learning experience requirement, which gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the field.

Rank 8
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK

The online Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of Alaska Fairbanks is a research-intensive program that offers students a modern and global perspective of biology. The program is designed for students who are interested in studying the science of life and working in fields such as biotechnology, wildlife and environment, health care, and field biology.

Rank 9
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of Arizona is a degree that allows students to explore their interest in biodiversity and the natural world. The curriculum provides a broad overview of the structure, function and evolution of biological systems from component parts, to organisms, communities and ecosystems. As a biology major, students will choose one of two degree emphases: Biomedical Sciences or Organismal Biology.

Rank 10
Mayville State University
Mayville, ND

The Bachelor of Science in Biology from Mayville State University is a transfer-friendly program that allows students to focus on their area of interest within the field of biology. The program offers opportunities to get involved in research and actively participate in the biology/science community. A minimum of 30 credit hours at the 300/400 level from Mayville State is required for the degree, as well as a required minor. Online minor options include: business administration, sociology, mathematics, chemistry, accounting, and more.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Biology Program

A bachelor’s degree in biology typically requires about four years of full-time study and includes both general education coursework and major classes. The curriculum emphasizes the scientific study of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, and evolution.

While some programs offer specializations, most require students to complete a set of core courses that cover topics like cell biology, ecology, genetics, and microbiology. Many programs also include labs, which may be completed online or in person. Some programs also require students to complete a capstone project or internship.

In order to succeed in an online biology program, students need to be comfortable with science and math. They should also be able to use scientific equipment and software, such as microscopes and statistical analysis programs.

Common Biology Courses

The coursework for a biology degree covers a wide range of topics, from the study of cells to the ecology of entire ecosystems. The classes listed below are some of the most common courses found in a biology degree program.

Cell Biology

This course covers the structure and function of cells and their organelles with an emphasis on eukaryotic cells. Topics include the plasma membrane, cytoplasm, cytoskeleton, cell junctions, cell signaling, cell adhesion, cell communication, cell cycle, cell death, and cancer. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of cell structure to function and the role of cells in the maintenance of organismal homeostasis. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the relationship between cell structure and function and apply knowledge of cell biology to solve problems related to human health and disease.

Molecular Biology

This course covers the structure and function of biomolecules with an emphasis on proteins and nucleic acids. Topics include an introduction to biomolecules, protein structure and function, enzymes, nucleic acids, and molecular genetics. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the structure and function of biomolecules, describe the role of enzymes in chemical reactions, and understand the role of nucleic acids in genetic information storage and transfer.

Organic Chemistry

This course covers the study of the structure, reactivity, and synthesis of organic molecules with an emphasis on carbon-containing compounds. Topics include alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, aromatic compounds, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, amines, and amides. The laboratory component of the course focuses on the synthesis and analysis of organic compounds. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the structure and reactivity of organic molecules and be able to apply this knowledge to the synthesis of new organic compounds.

Principles of Ecology

This course covers the study of the distribution and abundance of organisms and the interactions between them. Topics include the scientific method, energy flow, nutrient cycling, population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem function. Emphasis is placed on the application of ecological principles to environmental problems. Upon completion, students should be able to apply ecological principles to explain the distribution and abundance of organisms, understand how energy and matter flow through ecosystems, and design and conduct an ecological research project.

Evolution

This course covers the mechanisms of evolution and the evidence for it. The course includes a review of the history of evolutionary thought, natural selection, genetic drift, sexual selection, and other mechanisms of evolution. The course also covers the evidence for evolution from the fossil record, comparative anatomy, comparative embryology, biogeography, and molecular biology. Upon completion, students should be able to explain how evolution works and to use evidence to support the theory of evolution.

Career Options for Biology Graduates

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

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers use their engineering and medical knowledge to solve healthcare problems. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, research laboratories, and manufacturing facilities. Their work might involve developing new medical devices, such as artificial hearts or pacemakers; designing new biomedical systems, such as blood-processing units; or working on the development of new drugs. Biomedical engineers often work on teams with other engineers, scientists, and medical personnel.

Research Assistant

Research assistants provide support to research scientists and professors by conducting research, organizing and maintaining data, and preparing reports. They might work in a variety of settings, including colleges and universities, government agencies, and private companies. In some cases, research assistants might be responsible for designing and conducting experiments; in others, they might be responsible for collecting data or organizing information. The job might also involve some administrative tasks, such as ordering supplies and maintaining schedules.

Biologist

Biologists study living organisms and their relationship to the environment. They conduct research on plants, animals, and other living organisms to better understand their behavior, physiology, and genetics. Biologists typically specialize in one area of biology, such as plants, marine life, or microorganisms. They use their findings to develop new products or processes, or to improve existing ones.

Environmental Consultant

Environmental consultants work with businesses and government organizations to identify and solve environmental problems. They conduct research, collect data, and prepare reports to help their clients understand the scope of the problem and the options for addressing it. In some cases, they may also help their clients develop and implement environmental management systems or environmental audits. Many environmental consultants have a background in science, engineering, or law.

Technical Writer

Technical writers create user guides, how-to manuals, assembly instructions, and other documentation to help people understand and use complex products and services. They might work in a variety of industries, including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, and finance. Technical writers typically have a background in a particular field, such as engineering, computer science, or medicine, which allows them to understand the products and services they’re writing about. In addition to writing, their job may also involve editing, illustrating, and formatting content.

Insights From a Biology Graduate

Adrianna Mathis is a Research Associate at the University of Washington. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Washington. Adrianna has over 3 years of experience in research and development.

ClimbtheLadder: What were the biggest takeaway(s) you got from your Biology program that you may not have gotten otherwise?

Adrianna Mathis: The biggest takeaway from my Biology program is that you need to be passionate about the subject in order to be successful. I was not passionate about biology, and I struggled in the program. I was also not interested in the research aspect of biology, which is a big part of the field.

I would advise students to choose a major that they are passionate about, because it will make the program more enjoyable and easier to succeed in.

ClimbtheLadder: What should students interested in Biology be good at?

Adrianna Mathis: Students interested in biology should be good at critical thinking and problem solving. They should also be able to work independently and be self-motivated.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Biology program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Adrianna Mathis: I actually didn’t know much about what to expect going into my Biology program. I just knew that I loved learning about living things and that I wanted to help contribute to our understanding of the natural world.

What I didn’t expect was how much I would enjoy the process of research. I love being able to ask questions and then design experiments to test those questions. It’s really gratifying to see your hard work pay off in new knowledge.

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