30 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology

Updated November 8, 2022

The Department of Biology is located in the College of Arts and Sciences and offers several degrees related to biology including a Bachelor of Science in Biology

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Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology

There are many important topics prospective students can study at a university, but it would be hard to find a subject more relevant than biology. As the study of life, the discipline of biology attempts to understand how living organisms function and interact with their environment. What could be more important or relevant? And the cool aspect about this discipline is how biology has become progressively more complex and interdisciplinary, which means biology majors are finding more ways to put their training to work.

There are literally hundreds of potential jobs that biology graduates can pursue, from environmental scientist to high school teaching. The list of potential careers is remarkably long and filled with all kinds of interesting vocations open to students who can withstand the rigors of a biology degree or even online biology degree. While jobs for biochemists, biophysicists, and environmental scientists are projected to grow 11% in the same time. To start in these professions, students need a bachelor's in biology, and continue on to earning a master’s degree in biology. That’s right, most biology degrees are rigorous, not only requiring work in the natural sciences, but also significant work in mathematics, chemistry, and physics to complete their course of study. But, given the payoff in terms of training, thinking, and eventually employment, it can be worth it!

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook notes that occupations in the Life, Physical, and Social Sciences are all expected to grow at a fast rate than average occupations. They expect these fields to grow by 10 percent, which is around three percent faster than the average of all occupations. Likewise, biomedical engineering degrees is also expected to grow faster than the average. And many of the occupations associated with a biology degree also have a higher median wage. So, if you are interested in understanding how life works, and want a good job to boot, then check out the 30 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology!

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Score: 81.01

A Roman Catholic institution of higher education, University of Saint Joseph is located in West Hartford, CT. The institution regularly enrolls over 2,000 students. The Department of Biology resides in the School of Arts, Sciences, Business, and Education and offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The BSB at USJ consists of 60-62 credits split between two broad areas of requirements. First are 30 credits of biology, with classes such as  Integrative Biological Systems, Introduction to Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, and Ornithology. The second area is comprised of supporting courses from other sciences. This consists of 30-32 credits in the fields of Chemistry, Math, and the Physical Sciences. In this area, students can choose the courses that best fit their career interests. The program also a series of career path options which students can opt to choose. These include Medical Fields such as Pharmacy, Nursing, Nutrition, Physical Therapy, and Environmental Field. Such paths provide additional coursework to help students succeed in their field of choice.

USJ offers a four-year plan of study that can cut down on costs, and speed up degree completion. USJ also combines the accelerated plan with several Master of Science programs so that students can graduate with both a BS and an MS. The degree combinations include a five-year BSB and a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering, in partnership with Fairfield University. Other degree combinations included a six-year BSB to Doctor of Pharmacy, a seven-year BSB to Doctor of Physical Therapy, and a six-year BSB to MS in Prosthetics and Orthotics.

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Score: 81.06

Located in New York, NY, the New York Institute of Technology is a private research university with close to 10,000 students. NYIT is comprised of seven schools and colleges including the College of Arts and Sciences where the Department of Life Sciences is located. The DLS offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The degree consists of 127-129 credits which include 34 biology credits for classes like Comparative Animal Physiology, Cell Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Microbiology, and Biochemistry. Students are then required to take four chemistry courses, two math courses, two physics, and between 14-16 credit hours of science electives. The DLS also offers a concentration in Molecular Biology where students focus their elective credits on classes like Molecular Biology, Virology; Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics; Pharmacology, and Cancer Biology.

There are over 100 faculty working on grant-funded research at NYIT, of which $1,000,000 has come from the National Institutes of Health. Because of these grants, students are often recruited to participate in research projects and can even receive credit for working with a faculty member on research. These opportunities are available both to experienced and inexperienced students depending on the project. And NYIT holds an annual symposium – called Symposium on University Research and Creative Expression or SOURCE – where students have the opportunity to display their various, scholarly, creative, and research work. The event features a keynote speaker, presentations from faculty, and plenty of time to explore the work of fellow classmates.

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Score: 81.16

The University of Michigan-Flint is a satellite campus of the University of Michigan. It is a public university which regularly enrolls over 8,000 students. UMF is divided into five colleges and schools. The Department of Biology is located in the College of Arts and Sciences and offers several degrees related to biology including a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The program requires at least 44 credits in biology and has several potential concentrations as well. Students are required to take five core courses which include Principles of Biology, Cell Biology, and Genetics. Students must also take at least two writing-focused courses like Comparative Animal Physiology; Applied and Environmental Microbiology; and Plant-Animal Interactions. All of these classes must be passed with a C or better to count towards the major.

Michigan students can also choose between several concentrations such as the Pre-Medical Concentration, Pre-Dental Concentration, Pre-Veterinary Concentration, and Pre-Physical Therapy Concentration. Within each of these concentrations are prescribed courses and requirements which prepare students for further study. Overall the program requires 124 credit hours with at least 33 credit hours in upper-level courses. Faculty in the DB routinely conduct research in a variety of areas and these projects often include students. For instance, Dr. Karmen Hollis-Etter is currently researching the impact of deer populations on human health. Dr. Hollis-Etter’s research program includes graduate and undergraduate researchers.

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Score: 81.78

Valparaiso University is a private university with around 4,500 students. The institution has a historic affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. VU is constituted by seven schools and colleges including the College of Arts and Sciences where the Department of Biology is lodged. The DB offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology which is highly flexible, and which can also be converted into a Bachelor of Arts. Students can choose between a 28-40 credit hour course of study, and each is designed for specific purposes.

The 40 credit hour program is designed especially for students who plan to pursue graduate study in biology or to pursue careers in a variety of other life sciences. This program does not require a second major or a minor and is meant to give a solid grounding in all the key areas of the field. Students take a suite of required courses which include classes like Unity of Life, Diversity of Life, and Genetics and Genome Evolution. Students also have to take courses in ancillary fields like chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Students can also take courses in computer science or statistics depending on their career goals.

The 33 credit program is a research-intensive program which is specially designed for students who intend to pursue graduate study. The 32-credit program requires students to choose a second major either in environmental science, a non-science major, a science minor, or a minor in one of several professional degree programs, including teaching certification. The 28-credit program is specifically designed to be combined with other science-specific majors like astronomy, chemistry, geology, and physics, among others. The last option is the BAB offers the opportunity for students to combine their biology major with any other area of study.

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Score: 82.15

Located in sunny Tampa, FL, the University of Tampa is a private university that regularly enrolls more than 10,000 students per year. UT offers over 200 different programs of study including a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology through the Department of Biology in the College of Natural and Human Sciences. The BSB degree is a highly versatile degree and offers four different concentrations for students to choose from, including a General Biology Concentration, a Biology Pre-Professional Concentration, a Molecular Biology Concentration, and a Biology-Business Concentration.

The GBC option provides a broad basis of knowledge to students and is geared to prepare them to enter into a variety of professions or to prepare them for graduate school. The BPPC option is meant to prepare students for a broad range of career options in the health sciences. The MBC is focused especially on the rapidly expanding field of molecular biology and gives significant coursework in genetics, biotechnology, biomedical research, and molecular genetics so that students can pursue graduate study or careers in the field. The BBC option brings the study of biology into contact with the fields of economics and business for students interested in a wide array of career possibilities.

The BAB degree is similar to the BSB but provides more flexibility by requiring fewer courses in chemistry and physics. This degree also has two concentrations. The General Biology Concentration is highly flexible and allows students to specialize in three distinct subfields: ecology/environmental biology, organismal/evolutionary biology, or cell/molecular biology. The second concentration in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology is also available. There are also several opportunities for students to get involved, either through research or student groups on campus.

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Score: 82.15

Located between Manchester and Hooksett, NH, Southern New Hampshire University is a private university with close to 4,000 students at their on-campus site, and an additional 87,000 students enrolled in programs online. SNHU offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The program overall consists of 120 credit hours which includes 54 credit hours in prerequisite or supporting, required core, and elective courses. Among the prerequisites are classes like Applied Statistics, Differential Equations, and Biosociology which investigates the biological influences on culture and vice versa.

Core courses consist of 36 credit hours and include classes like Bioethics, Introduction to Anatomy, The Microbial World, Biological Chemistry, the Principles of Physics, and the various lab courses that attend these and other topics. Students are also required to take nine credit hours in electives such as Ecological Principles and Field Methods, Vertebrate Morphology, Invasive Biology, Zoology, and Introduction to Public Health. The major also features 24 free credits which can be used to pursue a minor in a science related or non-science field.

SNHU’s size means that students will have access to professors more readily than is sometimes the case at larger institutions. There are over 50 student clubs that students can get involved with for co-curricular, intramural, entertainment, or other purposes. SNHU offers a variety of options for housing and food. Up to 90% of their admitted students receive some form of financial aid.

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$10,000 annually


Score: 82.34

Located in Abilene, TX, Hardin-Simmons University is a private Baptist university with over 2,300 students enrolled annually. HSU has over 70 majors and offers degrees in a variety of programs including a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Both degrees are overseen by the Department of Biology which is located in The Dr. and Mrs. David “Scotty” Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics.

The BSB degree requires a minimum of 38 credit hours for the major, with additional supporting courses in chemistry, physics, statistics, and mathematics. Core required courses include Introduction to Research Methods, General Ecology, Genetics, and a seminar course on biology, as well as the attendant lab courses required. Students then take at least 18 credit hours of advanced biology electives which can include classes like Medical and Research Ethics, Mammalogy, and General Entomology. At least three electives must be lab-based courses. Students who are pursuing the BSB must also minor in one of eight prescribed minors including biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, and geology, among others.

The BAB degree has similar requirements to the BSB, with 35 credit hours required for the major, the same number of supporting courses, and 15 credits worth of elective courses. All basic core courses must be passed with a C or better. The program at HSU also offers a variety of tracks within the major which are designed to prepare students either for further graduate study, for employment, or for both. Some of the tracks include a Pre-Medical Track, Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, and Pre-Veterinary; Wildlife, and Organismal Biology Track.  

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Score: 82.35

A Jesuit university, the University of San Francisco annually enrolls close to 11,000 students to their more than 230 different degree programs. The Department of Biology in the College of Arts of Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The program requires 40 credit hours of core courses, with an additional 25 to 28 credits in supporting courses. Supporting courses come from the typical fields of chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The required biology courses include both lower and upper division courses. Students are required to take General Biology I & II, as well as Cell Physiology, Genetics, and Evolution. Then they can choose from among multiple upper-division courses, which enables them to craft their major according to the needs and interests. Some of the upper division courses include Biology of Marine Mammals, Biology of Galapagos, Human Physiology, Ornithology, and Molecular Ecology. Students must also take three field or lab courses. The program also offers two concentrations, one in Ecology and the other in Molecular Biology. Both programs are configured to prepare students either for further graduate study or for research positions in academic, public, or private sector areas.

USF also offers a 4+1 degree for interested and enterprising students. The program combines the BSB with a Professional Science Masters in Biotechnology. Students begin taking courses at the graduate level in their senior year and then transfer into the program and fulfill requirements for the remainder of the program – including an industry internship – during their +1 year. Biology majors can apply for the program in their junior year and must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all biology courses, as well as a 3.0 overall cumulative GPA to be admitted to the program.

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Score: 82.86

Lakeland University is a United Church of Christ-affiliated university located in Plymouth, WI. The school enrolls close to 4,000 students a year and offers 10 undergraduate majors and three graduate programs. LU offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology which consists of 55 to 63 credit hours. The program includes two different emphases that students can choose between – Health Science or Life Science – and also includes options for students who want to be certified to teach in biology in K-12 schools in Wisconsin. All students, regardless of concentration, have to take nine courses comprised of life sciences, chemistry, physics, and analysis and writing courses. Coursework in the major is then shaped according to the emphasis that the student selects. The HS emphasis is the larger of the two emphases at 27 credit hours with more prescribed classes like Medical Terminology, Microbiology, and Organic Purification Techniques.

The LS emphasis is more flexible including only two required courses – Evolution and General Biology – and is also shorter in terms of credit hours required – only 20. LU also offers a unique journey abroad courses during the summer terms such as Tropical Ecology. Students travel to Belize in Central America where they conduct research in the lowland rainforests which is then presented to the larger LU communication when they return home. This kind of experience is also indicative of the individual attention that students can expect at a school of LU’s size where the student to teacher ratio is 15:1.

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Score: 83.74

Located in Irving, TX, the University of Dallas is a private Catholic university with around 2,800 students enrolled annually. DU is comprised of four colleges and schools including the Constantin College of Liberal Arts where the Department of Biology is located. The DB offers a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. The BAB degree requires 30 credit hours to complete which includes courses in the Biology Core, which includes classes like General Biology, Biotechnology, Human Biology, Darwin, and Environmental Science and Lab. The DB has configured their curriculum so that courses are distributed among three broad areas Molecules to Cells, Cells to Organisms, and Organisms to Populations. The BSB degree has similar requirements, however, the program includes an additional 12 credits in biology.

The program at UD also provides flexibility in the form of concentrations. Students can choose between Biopsychology, Environmental Science, and Molecular Biology. Biopsychology brings together several fields and is especially adept for students who are interested in psychology, pre-health, or those who may be interested in pursuing advanced degrees in neuroscience. The ES concentration is also an interdisciplinary degree and draws on classes in economics, political science, history, philosophy, and business to prepare students for engaging in a variety of environmental careers. The MB concentration is focused on the emerging field of molecular biology and aims to give students hands-on experience through several lab courses, as well as an internship. All of the biology programs at UD feature a comprehensive examination which is given during senior year and includes both an examination and a presentation done by the student.

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Score: 84.22

The New Jersey Institute of Technology is located in Newark, NJ, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. The school regularly enrolls over 11,000 students and offers 53 different undergraduate degrees. The Federated Department of Biological Sciences is located in the College of Science and Liberal Arts and offers both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Biology. The BSB degree is geared towards students who are interested in careers in research. The BSB degree requires 35 credit hours in biology courses which are organized into the following clusters: Ecology and Evolution, Functional Organism, Computational Biology, Molecular Biology, and their connecting lab seminars. Students must take at least one course from each of the clusters so that they will have a sufficiently broad understanding of the field. Classes in these clusters include Plant Ecology, Biology of Seed Plants, Analytical and Computational Neuroscience, and Genetics. Students also take supporting courses in the fields of mathematics, chemistry, computer science, and physics.

The BAB degree is similar to the BSB, except that it does not require as many advanced computational courses. The degree is 38 credit hours and also includes concentration options for students to choose from. Concentrations include Neurobiology, Ecology & Evolution, and Cell and Molecular Biology. Each of the concentrations focuses students on their field of interest by requiring that they take additional elective courses. In the NC, for instance, students can take classes like Cell Neurobiology, Systems Computational Neuroscience, Neural Basis of Behavior, or Neuropathophysiology, among many others. The FDBS features several organizations for student engagement including the Biology Society, and Beta Psi Omega, a professional biology fraternity.

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Score: 84.79

A private university, Husson University is located in Bangor, ME. The school enrolls around 3,500 students annually and the College of Science and Humanities offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The program is between 121-129 credit hours. It features a general education program comprised of courses in mathematics, the fine arts, ethics, and communications among other topics. Within the major are a suite of required courses including General Biology, Cell Biology, Genomic Biology, Biostatistics, and Biological Research & Laboratory Safety, as well as classes in chemistry and ecology. Students are also required to take 24-30 elective courses in physical science and upper and lower level biology courses. Electives include courses like Marine Biology, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Dynamics of the Earth, and Physiological Ecology of Animals and Plants. Students can shape their electives by choosing one of two concentrations, either Biochemistry or Environmental Science.

During their senior year, students are required to work on a senior thesis. The research and writing for this project occurs over the course of the summer and both semesters and students are encouraged to find working relationships with researchers in the community, like The Jackson Laboratory in nearby Bar Harbor, or to apply to work with HU faculty on current research projects like their investigation of the ecology of forest songbirds. The Biology Program at HU is small which means that students have exceptional access to professors, especially in majors-only classes and seminars. There are some 40 different student clubs and organizations at HU where students can get involved for recreational, entertainment, fellowship, or special interest purposes.

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Score: 84.83

Located midway between Fort Worth and Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington is part of the UT system and is the largest university in North Texas with over 41,000 students enrolled annually. A public research university, UTA is comprised of 10 colleges and schools including the College of Science where the Department of Biology is housed. The DB offers a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. The BSB degree is designed for students who want to conduct research, teach in secondary schools, or enter careers in specific allied-health fields. There are two different concentrations that students can pursue: either General Biology or Forensic Science. The GB concentration requires 42 credit hours in biology as well as significant coursework in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Students can take classes like Cell Physiology, Evolution, Microbiology, or General Zoology. The FS concentration is designed for students who are interested in the rapidly developing fields of DNA testing, biological forensics, and police department laboratories. This program also requires 42 credit hours in biology as well as coursework in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. But required courses shift in the direction of forensic science and students take classes like Forensic Biology and Methods in Forensic Lab.

The BAB degree requires 36 total credits in biology and has fewer requirements in chemistry and mathematics. This makes it an ideal degree for students who want to pair their biology training with another discipline or field either by picking up a minor or potentially combining a second major. BAB students can pursue teacher certification as well. Students must maintain a 2.25 GPA in biology courses as well as overall to maintain good standing in the major.  

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Score: 84.95

Located on the coast, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is a public university with an average annual enrollment of over 16,000 students. The Department of Biology and Marine Biology offers a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. The major is 70 credit hours in total including the supporting coursework in mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Students take classes like Human Anatomy and Physiology, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Principles of Biology, Plant Physiology, and Ecology in the degree.

The major also has two options to help focus coursework. The Biology Option is designed for students who want to pursue graduate study in biology or a professional degree in the allied health sciences. The Terrestrial and Freshwater Conservation Option is ideal for students who are interested in conservation work whether in research, policy advocacy, or teaching. The TFCO requires additional elective courses and students can choose from a variety of options including Behavioral Ecology, Mammalogy, Global Environmental Problems, Introduction to Coastal Management, and Wildlife Ecology.

The BA in Biology is smaller and more flexible by requiring only 59 credits, which means that students can pursue an additional minor. The BAB can also be combined with a Secondary Science Licensure for students who are interested in teaching biology or life sciences to secondary school students. UNCW has received several awards for their programs and was recently recognized as the No. 5 most innovative public university in the south, and No. 1 for their work with veterans and active military personnel.

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Score: 85.65

Located in Athens, GA, the University of Georgia has made significant contributions to the biological sciences and medicine, including pioneering the field of anesthesiology. UG has an entire division devoted to the study of biology with multiple departments, each featuring their own programs and degrees. Departments include Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Plant Biology, Cellular Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, and Marine Science. There is also a department of Entomology and a School of Ecology.

Together these departments oversee an integrated Bachelor of Science in Biology degree. The major requires 34-36 hours of coursework and students must have a minimum grade of C for classes to count toward the major. Required classes include Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Plant Ecology, and Genetics. Students also get to choose from a list of prescribed courses in Organismal Biology, which includes classes like Insect Natural History, Plant-Microbe Interaction, Principles of Primate Phylogeny, and Vertebrate Natural History.

Students take nine credit hours of biology electives and because of the size of the biological sciences program at UG, there are dozens of options to choose from. The program also offers two areas of emphasis that students can choose, either neuroscience or marine biology, which tailor their electives and have additional requirements. Students also have 21-26 credit hours of non-science electives which means that they could choose to minor in an additional subject. There are multiple student organizations for individuals interested in science-related issues including the Biology and Life Sciences Association, Association of Women in Science, Ecology Cub, and the Undergraduate Neuroscience Organization, among many others.

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Score: 85.87

Tennessee Technological University is located in Cookeville, TN not far from Nashville. TTU annually enrolls over 10,000 students in numerous undergraduate and graduate level programs. TTU offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology through its Department of Biology. The degree program offers four distinct concentrations that students can choose from including Cellular Biology, Environmental Biology, Health Sciences, and Biology. Within the Biology concentration, there are additional options that students choose from which then shapes the required courses and possible electives that they might take. There are several basic required courses that all majors take such as Cellular Biology, General Microbiology, and Biological Communication Skills. There are several elective choices to choose from as well including classes like Pathogenic Bacteriology; Hormones and Chemical Communication; and Population and Conservation Genetics. 

TTU features its own Herbarium which houses hundreds of plant specimens available for student botany research. The collection is specifically focused on flora in the Cumberland Plateau as well as flora in the southeastern United States. The Hollister Herbarium currently houses around 40,000 different specimens. The DB also maintains its own greenhouse for teaching purposes. TTU has numerous student organizations for recreation, special interests, and academics. There are three such organizations for biological and related sciences including Beta Beta Beta, which is the national biological honor society, Student Fisheries Association, and the Wildlife Society. The latter two are very active and TTU offers a BS degree in Wildlife & Fisheries Science as well.

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Score: 87.11

A private university, Maryville University was originally founded by the Roman Catholic Society of the Sacred Heart. MU has over 6,000 students annually enrolled in over 90 different degree offerings. MU offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology which features 12 different concentrations for students to choose from. Options include Applied Microbiology, Biomedical Science, Biotechnology, Sustainability & Environmental Stewardship, as well as eight different pre-professional concentrations. Each concentration includes a core of biology courses that are generally taken by all majors, as well as physics, chemistry, and other supporting courses. Required courses include General Biology, General Genetics, Evolution, and Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology. Upper-level courses are divided into four different categories and students are required to take at least one course from each category. The categories are Sustainability & Environmental Stewardship, Ecology, Molecular & Microbiology, and Anatomy & Physiology. Though each concentration has specific requirements, overall the BSB requires 42 credit hours total.

Many of the pre-professional concentrations have been developed in partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and include options for early entrance into the LECOM graduate program. All students are paired with a life coach who can help them navigate their educational and vocational goals. MU gives all undergraduates an iPad when they matriculate, and with the average class size around 14 students, individuals can be assured that they will have ready access to their professors. Like many schools, MU offers study abroad courses, and one that is of particular interest to biology majors goes to the Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin made many of his initial discoveries.

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Score: 87.27

Located in Angola, IN, Trine University is a private non-profit university with close to 5,000 students enrolled annually. TU offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology which has four distinct tracks that students can choose between. The options are Traditional Track, Physician Assistant Track, Physical Therapy Track, and Pre-Medical Track. All four tracks require the same core biology courses, including classes like Cell Biology, Introduction to Biological Literature and Communication, General Ecology, and Genetics. Then each requires an additional 42 credit hours of coursework is specified courses. For instance, the TT requires students to take classes like Aquatic Biology, Plant Biology, and Microbiology, while PAT students take classes like Toxicology or Embryology. All of the tracks are 72 hours, which includes 16 credit hours of general electives which could be used for a small degree minor.

For interested students, TU also offers a six-year Doctor of Physical Therapy that combines with the BSB undergraduate degree. The program is designed as a 3 + 3 so that students begin taking courses after their third year. The program is open to freshmen level students who have a minimum high school GPA of 3.5, as well as additional requirements. Students must also maintain a 3.5 throughout their undergraduate coursework. TU has numerous student organizations that focus on academic, recreational, or special interests. This includes the Health Science Association and the Beta, Beta, Beta Biological Honors Society. TU is also very good in helping students achieve their goals of making education affordable, with 94 percent of students receiving some form of financial aid, and 99.7 percent of the class of 2018 employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.

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La Verne, CA
Score: 87.56

Located in California, the University of La Verne is a private university with an annual enrollment of over 8,000 students. Located in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Biology Department offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The program as a whole is robust, with between 68 and 74 credit hours and includes significant coursework in supporting disciplines like chemistry, mathematics, and physics. The major is broken into two portions each of which has subdivisions.

The first portion is the Core Requirements which includes introductory, foundational, and mastery courses. This section is between 28-34 credits. Classes in these sections include Animal Biology, Evolution and Biosystematics, and Cell Biology. The second portion of the major is comprised of 12 credit hours in three different themes. The themes include Environmental, Applied/Translational, and Integrative/Interdisciplinary. Classes include  Molecular Basis of Disease, Human and Environmental Toxicology, and Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology.

LVU was originally founded by the Church of the Brethren in the late 19th century, and they retain some of the key elements from that tradition. The BD has four key emphases that guide their teaching philosophy. First, they emphasize the need to value life and to work to preserve it through peaceful means. Second, they value community and diversity. Third, they want their graduates to be committed to lifelong learning. And fourth, the school emphasizes community service as a responsibility of an educated person.

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Score: 87.83

Located in Madison, WI, the University of Wisconsin is a large public research university with an annual enrollment that regularly tops 44,000 students. The Department of Integrative Biology in the College of Letters & Science offers several degrees including a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. The BSB degree includes core requirements in supporting disciplines like chemistry, mathematics, statistics, and physics as well as introductory biology courses.

Students are required to take 60 credit hours in intermediate and advanced coursework which is distributed across five broad categories: Cellular and Subcellular Biology, Organismal Biology, and Agriculture and Natural Resources. Some possible classes include Prokaryotic Molecular Biology and Phylogenetic Analysis of Molecular Data. Students can also choose more focused options within the major. There are three options: Evolutionary Biology, Neurobiology, and Plant Biology. Each option has different coursework requirements, although the credit hours remain the same.

The BAB degree is similar to the BSB in structure with only moderate differences primarily found in the general education requirements where students take more courses from the humanities. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in all courses taken at UW, and must also have a 2.0 in all courses taken in the major at every level of experience. Transfer students must take at least 30 credits in residence at UW, with at least 15 credit hours in the major and 15 in upper-level courses to qualify for graduation from UW. As a large university, there are also plenty of exciting things to get involved including fraternities, sororities, and various clubs and organizations.

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Score: 87.85

A public research university, the University of Toledo has multiple campus sites across Toledo, OH, and regularly enrolls around 23,000 students in their more than 250 academic programs. Located in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the Department of Biological Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science or Arts in Biology. The BSB degree focuses on cellular and molecular biology and offers concentrations in neuroscience and several pre-professional programs such as medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and podiatry.

The BSB includes 34 credits of required courses including classes like Molecular Genetics, Developmental Biology, and Biological Literature and Communication. Students are also required to take 9 credit hours of advanced level biology electives as well as substantial coursework in chemistry, mathematics, and physics. The neuroscience concentration requires specific coursework and a lab experience relevant to the field. UT offers several additional unique opportunities like a five and half year BSB to MS in Bioinformatics. UT provides robust facilities for student research including several on-campus greenhouses, and a 47-acre arboretum located at the Lake Erie Center.

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Score: 88.83

Located in Erie, PA, Gannon University is a private Catholic university with an annual enrollment of over 4,000 students. The Biology Department offers both a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology-Secondary Education degree. GU has a Freshwater and Marine Biology program as well. The BSB major includes substantial work in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, as well as 18 credit hours in basic biology courses like Animal Form and Function, Molecular & Cellular Biology, and Genetics.

Students are also required to take 27 credits in upper-level biology electives in classes like Invertebrate Zoology, Clinical Microbiology, and Developmental Biology. There are two optional tracks available to students in the major, which include a Pre-Physician Assistant or Pre-Physical Therapy Track. These programs are structured similarly to the traditional program but bring in additional courses that are needed for students who plan to enter graduate school to complete their training.

GU also offers a BAB with Secondary Education which results in teacher certification for grades 7-12. Students must have a 3.0 or higher GPA to obtain teacher certification. GU offers several field experiences for students. They have two unique travel courses that are specifically tailored for biology majors. Tropical Marine Biology takes students to San Salvador Island in the Bahamas during spring break where they work on issues related to marine biology. The experience includes snorkeling in coral reefs to identify marine life to understand how marine animals interact with their habitats. A different travel course, Ecology of Yellowstone National Park, is offered during the summer and students engage wildlife and their habitats in Yellowstone.

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Score: 90.10

The Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania is located in Slippery Rock in the western part of the state. The school enrolls over 8,700 students annually and has one of the largest campuses in western Pennsylvania. The Department of Biology is located in the College of Health, Environment, and Science and offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Both the BSB and BAB programs have several concentration options and SRU also offers multiple accelerated programs for students to enjoy.

The BSB program offers concentrations in Biomedical Sciences, Cytotechnology, Histotechnology, Medical Technology, and Professional programs. There is also a Pre-Masters in Education program combinable with either the BSB or the BAB. The various BSB programs each have specific requirements for the different concentrations, but the average size of the major is around 62 credits which include a mixture of core requirements, major electives, and upper-level course work. The BAB program is more flexible and only requires 39-40 credit hours making it ideal to pair with another major or minor.

Accelerated program offerings include BSB to a Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine 3+4, BSB to Doctor of Pharmacy 2+3, and BSB to Doctor of Dental Surgery 4+4, all in partnership with Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, which is the largest medical school in the US. Students can also pursue a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies or a Doctorate in Physical Therapy at SRU in an accelerated program connected to the BSB program. There are also other options for medical school and dentistry with different affiliate partners including the American University of Antigua.

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Score: 90.44

Eastern Kentucky University is located in Richmond, KY, with additional campuses across the state for its over 16,000 enrolled students. The Department of Biological Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree with multiple concentrations available to choose from. Concentrations include Aquatic Biology, Biodiversity and Conservation, Teaching, and General Biology. All majors take a suite of core courses that includes classes like Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Ecology, Botany, and Evolution Theory and Application.

Generally, each concentration requires 29 credits in core courses, with an additional 15 in the concentration. Students in the AB concentration would take classes like Freshwater Invertebrates, Herpetology, and Hydrology, while students in the BC concentration might take classes like Mammalogy, Ornithology, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, or Animal Behavior. The teaching concentration is the most unique since students have to take 37 credits to fulfill requirements for teaching certification.

Students are strongly encouraged to explore research opportunities with faculty at EKU. Seniors or exceptional Juniors can apply to work with a faculty member in their lab and receive class credit for their work. There are also additional research opportunities that students can apply for through the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates, the National Institutes of Health Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research, the Institute for Broadening Participation Pathways to Science program, and through both the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. Most of these programs are available during the summer and will pay a stipend for participation. The DBS also regularly offers summer travel courses that are usually housed at the Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory which is a 1,700-acre natural area and wildlife refuge in the Knobs Region of Kentucky.

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Score: 90.98

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is a public research university and is part of the University of Alabama System. The school regularly enrolls over 21,000 students into its 140 programs. The Department of Biology is located in the College of Arts and Sciences and offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The degree has three different tracks for students to choose between. The Integrated Biology track is designed for optimal flexibility so that students will have multiple options after graduation.

The Marine Science track trains students to engage with aquatic animals in their habitats. While the Molecular Biology track engages students in the important and emerging fields of genomics and epigenetics, as well as the larger world of DNA science. The IB track requires 56-58 credit hours which includes supplemental coursework in chemistry, mathematics, and physics, as well as core classes and classes spread over ecology & evolution, organismal, physiology and development, cellular and molecular biology, as well as a capstone experience.

The MS track is larger, requiring 74-76 credits and with 15 credits used toward Marine Science courses. Additional courses could include classes like Coastal Wetlands Ecology, Marine Ecology, Marine Botany, Marine Vertebrate Zoology, and Marine Invertebrate Zoology. The MB concentration is also larger than the IB track at 71 credits with classes like Molecular Genetics, Functional Genomics and Systems Biology, Epigenetics, Principles of DNA Technology, and Cellular Physiology. All students are required to maintain a 2.0 GPA in all biology classes. Students also have the option of combining their BSB program with a Master of Science in Biology within one year.

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Score: 92.16

Saint Peter’s University is a private Jesuit university located in Jersey City, NJ. The school enrolls around 3,500 students each year and offers over 60 different degree programs. The College of Arts and Sciences houses the Biology Department which offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology. The BSB program at SPU includes two concentration options, one in Biology the other in Forensic Science. Overall, the BC program consists of 61 credits, which includes 11 credits in upper-level courses. Core classes include Principles of Anatomy and Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics, Ecology, and Current Issues in Biology. Electives include classes like Biology of Global Change, Human Evolution Ecology and Adaptation, General Virology, Pathophysiology, and Civilization and Disease, among many others.

The FS program is meant to prepare students to work in criminal justice related fields. The program is 77 credits and offers a variety of classes for students to take like Criminal Evidence, Crime Investigation, Homicide: Investigation and Prosecution, Criminalistics and Forensic Science, and Introduction to Forensic Pathology. Students are encouraged to seek out research opportunities with faculty and SPU provides academic grants for faculty-student collaboration. Topics have included research on creatine monohydrate, investigations into the effects of various synthetic sweeteners, issues related to antibiotic resistance, and issues related to muscular dystrophy. There are also several organizations for students to get involved in including the Beta, Beta, Beta Biological Honor Society, Students Against Violating the Earth, and the Mendel Biology Society. Such groups offer opportunities for students to connect with other students, professors, and professionals in their fields of interest. 

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Score: 92.30

Part of the State University System of Florida, Florida State University is located in Tallahassee, FL and is a sea-grant research university with over 41,000 students enrolled in its 16 colleges. The Department of Biological Sciences offers, both, a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Science. The program is 120 credits and consists of 38 credits of coursework in the major, with an additional 25-37 credits in collateral courses like General Chemistry, Analytic Trigonometry, Calculus with Analytic Geometry, and Organic Chemistry.

Students in the major are required to take basic courses like Biological Science, as well as more advanced courses like Genetics, Eukaryotic Diversity, Cell Structure & Function, Evolution, and Experimental Biology. Students must then take courses in two of three areas: Cell and Molecular Biology, Physiology, and Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Some of the classes available in these areas include Cell and Molecular Biology, Fundamentals of Neuroscience, and Conservation Biology.

The DBS also provides several academic tracks to customize individual degrees. Tracks include Ecology; Evolution and Environmental Science; Marine Biology, and several Pre-Professional tracks as well. The BAB degree requires an additional nine credit hours in the fields of history and humanities. Student success is also important at FSU and all majors are required to take Careers in Biological Sciences which is a one-credit course designed to introduce students to the field and the numerous opportunities available to biology majors.  

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Score: 94.11

Located in Albuquerque, NM, the University of New Mexico is a public research university with over 25,000 students enrolled in its over 215 different degree programs. UNM is comprised of 12 different colleges and schools including the College of Arts and Sciences which houses the Department of Biology. The DB offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. The BAB degree requires a total of 32 credit hours including the four-course introductory sequence of Principles of Biology: Cellular and Molecular, Principles of Biology: Genetics, Ecology & Evolution, and Plant & Animal Form & Function. The BSB degree is similar, except that students are required to complete 37 credits to graduate. Both degrees include significant coursework in chemistry, mathematics, and physics and both degrees require all coursework in biology to be passed with a C or higher.

The program also offers three different concentrations: Biotechnology, Conservation Biology, and Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. The Biotechnology concentration is especially adept at preparing students to work in research facilities in biological and health professions. This concentration requires 45 credits for the BSB. The CB concentration is interdisciplinary and equips students for various careers in conservation. This program requires 45 credits for the BSB and 37 for the BAB. The EEOB concentration gives an overall exposure to a variety of subdisciplines within the field of biological studies. This program requires at least 51 credits for completion. There are several faculty-led research programs where undergraduates join faculty to research areas involving Neurobiology, Parasitology, Paleoecology, Molecular Evolution, and Stem Cell Biology.

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Score: 95.48

West Virginia University has an annual enrollment at their main campus topping 27,000 students. The Department of Biology is located in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. The BSB program requires 38 credits in biology which includes basic core courses like Principles of Biology, Introduction to Physiology, The Living Cell, and Ecology and Evolution. Students then take 20 credits from the following clusters: Cell and Molecular Biology, Organismal Biology, Evolution and Ecology, and Integrative Biology.

Classes from these areas include Computational Neuroscience, Environmental Microbiology, Central Nervous System Evolution and Development, Sensory-Neural Systems and Behavior, and Molecular Basis of Disease. There is also a capstone course which is built around a student research experience and includes training in how to write grant proposals and manuscripts, and how to make presentations of findings to the general public. The BAB has a similar structure, but only requires 32 credit hours in biology classes.

There are also four areas of emphasis followed within either the BSB or BAB degree. The Cellular and Molecular Biology emphasis prepare students for health professions like pharmacy or pharmacology, and for further graduate study in a variety of areas. The Genomics emphasis is especially adept at preparing students for further graduate study in the fields of genomics and bioinformatics and also lays the groundwork for medical school. There is also a Neuroscience track and an Ecology and Environmental Biology track. 

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Score: 100

George Mason University is located in Fairfax, VA and is a public research university. The student body annually tops 35,000. GMU is comprised of 11 colleges and schools including the College of Science where the Department of Biology is located. The DB offers, both, a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. The BSB degrees require up to 82 credits, which includes coursework in core classes for chemistry, mathematics, and physics, as well as 31 credits in biology electives. Electives include Comparative Chordate Anatomy and Applied and Industrial Microbiology.

The BSB also offers five distinct concentrations. Concentrations include Bioinformatics, Biopsychology; Biotechnology and Molecular Biology; Environmental and Conservation Biology, and Microbiology. Each concentration has a prescribed set of courses that students take within the 31 elective credits in the overall degree. The BAB program requires additional coursework in the humanities and has fewer elective requirements in biology.

GMU also offers two accelerated programs. Students can pursue a Masters of Education in Secondary Education with either their BAB or BSB degree, or a Master of Science in Biology along with their BSB degree. The MEd program requires an additional 29 credit hours, which can generally be completed in one additional year. The MSB program requires an additional year as well, and students can begin taking graduate-level courses after they have completed 90 undergraduate credit hours. Successful applicants will have a 3.0 GPA or higher. The DB also sponsors several biology-related student clubs as well as an annual College of Science Undergraduate Research Colloquium where students present their research to colleagues.

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Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the 30 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology, from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:

– 25% Student Satisfaction  

– 30% Earning Potential

– 15% Retention Data

– 20% Affordability

– 10% Acceptance Rates

For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.  

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