Best Online Biology Programs of 2022

Biology majors can pursue careers in fields as diverse as healthcare and manufacturing. Here, review some of the nation's best bachelor's in biology programs.

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by Bethanny Parker

Updated July 29, 2022

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B.S in Biology

Biologists study all types of living things, from plants and animals to bacteria and fungi. These professionals can make a positive impact on the world in many ways. For example, they work to find ways to increase productivity in crops and livestock, diagnose and treat illnesses, and prevent food contamination.

A bachelor's in biology is a four-year degree that prepares graduates for entry-level jobs in careers such as zoologist, wildlife biologist, biological technician, and microbiologist. Students in accelerated online bachelor's in biology programs may be able to finish in as little as three years, allowing them to start their careers one year sooner.

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The wages for a professional holding a bachelor's in biology can range widely. For example, according to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), biological technicians make a median annual salary $46,340, while microbiologists take home $84,400 annually. Students who want to pursue a career in microbiology should look for a program that has a concentration or several electives in microbiology.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Biology Programs

Is a bachelor's in biology worth it?

To determine whether this online bachelor's is worth the cost, you should consider both the cost of the program and the salary you expect to receive after graduation. If you plan to use your biology degree as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree, consider the cost of both degrees. How long will it take you to earn back the investment in your education?

Another way to look at this is by considering how much debt you will accumulate and how long it will take to pay it back. If most of your education will be covered by student aid, you'll be much better off than if you're planning on financing it through student loans.

What can I do with a bachelor's in biology?

A bachelor's in biology can help qualify you for jobs such as clinical laboratory technologist, elementary school teacher, biological technician, zoologist, wildlife biologist, or microbiologist. The median salary for these jobs ranges from $46,340 per year for a biological technician to $84,400 for a microbiologist.

Many students who earn a bachelor's degree in biology opt to continue their education. Some earn nursing degrees in order to become registered nurses, while others go on to medical school. Those who want to teach at the postsecondary level typically need a Ph.D. in biology.

Are biology majors in demand?

According to the BLS, the demand for many careers that require a biology degree is near the national average for all jobs. Additionally, a bachelor's in biology can be the first step toward a Ph.D. in biology, which could lead to a career as a postsecondary biology professor.

The BLS projects that the demand for postsecondary biological teachers will increase 13% from 2020-2030. This is much faster than average. The BLS projects the creation of about 8,000 new jobs for these postsecondary teachers from 2020-2030.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in biology?

Graduates with a bachelor's in biology may go on to work in many roles, including as clinical laboratory technologists and technicians (earning a median wage of $54,180 per year), elementary school teachers ($60,660 per year), biological technicians ($46,340 per year), zoologists and wildlife biologists ( $66,350 per year), or microbiologists ($84,400 per year).

Those who choose to continue their education by earning nursing credentials can earn a median salary of $75,330 per year as registered nurses. Bachelor's in biology graduates may also choose to get more education in order to become postsecondary biological teachers ($85,600 per year), medical scientists ($91,510 per year), or physicians (more than $208,000 per year).

What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in biology?

The highest-paying jobs for individuals with a bachelor's in biology without an advanced degree are microbiologists, who earn a median salary of $84,400 per year. If you want to make more than that, you may need to go back to school to earn an advanced degree.

With an advanced degree, you could become a physician and earn more than $200,000 per year. Other high-paying careers for biology majors with advanced degrees include dentist (median $164,010 per year) and pharmacist ($128,710 per year).

Related Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Biology Program?

The typical bachelor's in biology program requires about 120 credits, whether taken online or in person. Most programs take four years to complete, although accelerated programs may be completed more quickly. Bachelor's in biology students usually complete about 40-60 credits of biology classes, with the remaining credits dedicated to electives and general education courses. Depending on the school, there may be concentrations available, allowing students to specialize in a specific aspect of biology.

The number and variety of concentrations available vary from one school to another. Concentrations may include:

Some schools also offer career-oriented concentrations, such as pre-dentistry, pre-medicine, and pre-pharmacy options.

While most schools offer a bachelor of science (BS) in biology, some offer a bachelor of arts (BA). A BS program may appeal to students who plan to pursue a career in science, while a BA program might make more sense for students who plan to work in law, healthcare, or education. However, students who earn either type of degree can pursue employment in a variety of fields.

A bachelor's in biology program typically requires several labs. If you are earning an online bachelor's in biology, check to see how your school handles these labs. Some schools, such as Arizona State University, require online bachelor's in biology students to attend some labs in person.

Best Online Biology Programs of 2022

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1. Florida International University

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Location: Miami, Florida

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $229; Out of State: $346

Credits to Graduate: 120

View School Profile

Program Information

  • Degree Completion Program | No
  • Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • FIU offers a BA in biological sciences with a customizable curriculum. The 120-credit program runs fully online. Learners complete general education requirements and receive training in core biology areas like genetics and ecology.

    Enrollees can use elective credit for a minor from a different department. Students can also use electives for a specific biology track. A success coach pairs with each student to help them succeed

    Degree-seekers pay affordable tuition for the bachelor's in biology. Admission requires high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

    School Information

    • Admission Rate: 58%
    • Graduation Rate: 63%
    • Accreditation: Yes
    • Percent Online Enrollment: 68%

    2. University of Florida-Online

    100% Online | Scheduled Classes

    Location: Gainesville, Florida

    Average Cost per Credit: In State: $129; Out of State: $553

    Credits to Graduate: 120

    View School Profile

    Program Information

  • Degree Completion Program | No
  • Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • UF-Online's BA in biology provides an interdisciplinary curriculum. The program's broad focus prepares students for careers in a variety of fields such as education and allied health. The BA does not suit students planning to attend medical or other professional schools.

    An associate degree can fulfill the program's general education requirements. Learners take classes in areas like organismal biology, ecology, and cellular biology and genetics.

    The program's competitive tuition helps students graduate with less debt. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma. Some applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores.

    School Information

    • Admission Rate: 32%
    • Accreditation: Yes

    3. Logan University

    100% Online | Scheduled Classes

    Location: Chesterfield, Missouri

    Average Cost per Credit: In State: $275 ; Out of State: $275

    Credits to Graduate: 122

    View School Profile

    Program Information

  • Degree Completion Program | No
  • Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission
  • Chesterfield, Missouri-based Logan specializes in health sciences undergraduate and graduate programs. The school's online BS in human biology prepares enrollees for healthcare or science-related fields. Students can complete a traditional four-year program or an accelerated track.

    The major explores subjects such as cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, and organic chemistry. Logan charges affordable tuition. Students pay even less tuition for the online bachelor's in biology with merit-based scholarships. Admission requires a minimum 2.0 high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores.

    School Information

    • Admission Rate: 67%
    • Accreditation: Yes
    • Percent Online Enrollment: 79%

    4. Ottawa University-Surprise

    100% Online | Scheduled Classes

    Location: Surprise, Arizona

    Average Cost per Credit: In State: $499; Out of State: $499

    Credits to Graduate: 120

    View School Profile

    Program Information

  • Degree Completion Program | No
  • Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission
  • OU develops online programs such as the BS in biology with nontraditional learners in mind. The program covers fundamental concepts in biology. Learners also explore interdisciplinary issues. They examine the real-world applications of biological processes across industries.

    OU lets students transfer up to 80 credits into the online bachelor's in biology program. The school's student success team provides help with admissions, academic, and financial advising. Prospective students submit all high school and college transcripts.

    School Information

    • Admission Rate: 43%
    • Accreditation: Yes
    • Percent Online Enrollment: 100%

    5. Washington State University

    100% Online | Scheduled Classes

    Location: Pullman, Washington

    Average Cost per Credit: In State: $541; Out of State: $603

    Credits to Graduate: 120

    View School Profile

    Program Information

  • Degree Completion Program | Yes
  • Program Accreditation | Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • WSU's BS in biology features a fully online degree-completion curriculum. Students must transfer the degree's science courses from outside WSU's global campus. The program includes a broad curriculum in the biological sciences. Enrollees study a variety of biological fields, including genetics and evolutionary biology.

    Students learn research design and analysis methodologies. They also explore how to write professional communications in biology. Enrollees receive free online professional tutoring in biology. Admission to this bachelor's in biology program requires at least 27 credits and a minimum 2.5 GPA.

    School Information

    • Admission Rate: 76%
    • Graduation Rate: 60%
    • Accreditation: Yes
    • Percent Online Enrollment: 21%

    6. Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix

    100% Online | Scheduled Classes

    Location: Phoenix, Arizona

    Average Cost per Credit: In State: $628; Out of State: $628

    Credits to Graduate: 120

    View School Profile

    Program Information

  • Degree Completion Program | No
  • Program Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission
  • ASU offers a customizable online BS in biological sciences. The program requires general education coursework that students can transfer to finish the bachelor's in biology faster.

    Students choose a concentration in biology and society; conservation biology and ecology; or genetics, cell, and developmental biology. The accelerated program lets students complete a bachelor's and master's degree in just five years.

    ASU also offers a BS in applied biological sciences for students planning to attend veterinary school. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma. First-year students must complete prerequisite coursework.

    School Information

    • Admission Rate: 82%
    • Graduation Rate: 58%
    • Accreditation: Yes
    • Percent Online Enrollment: 57%

    7. Life University

    100% Online | Scheduled Classes

    Location: Marietta, Georgia

    Average Cost per Credit: In State: $276; Out of State: $276

    Credits to Graduate: 188 quarter credits

    View School Profile

    Program Information

  • Degree Completion Program | No
  • Program Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • LIFE, a Marietta, Georgia-based chiropractic college, offers an online BS in biology. The school emphasizes small-group work and personalized learning. The major explores areas such as cell biology, microbiology, and biochemistry. Learners study immunology and disease patterns.

    A course examines real-world experiments and requires that students design their own. All enrollees pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Admission to the online bachelor's in biology requires a high school or GED diploma.

    School Information

    • Admission Rate: 96%
    • Graduation Rate: 28%
    • Accreditation: Yes
    • Percent Online Enrollment: 31%

    8. University of Arizona

    100% Online | Scheduled Classes

    Location: Tucson, Arizona

    Average Cost per Credit: In State: $320; Out of State: $320

    Credits to Graduate: 120

    View School Profile

    Program Information

  • Degree Completion Program | No
  • Program Accreditation | HIgher Learning Commission
  • UArizona runs an online college with degrees such as the BS in biology. The bachelor's in biology meets UArizona's med school requirements. The customizable 120-credit degree requires general education classes. The major explores topics such as evolutionary biology, genetics, and the foundations of biochemistry.

    The biomedical sciences emphasis attracts students interested in medicine, biomedical research, and related fields. Students interested in pursuing careers as educators of biologists choose the organismal biology emphasis.

    First-year applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Transfer students provide college transcripts.

    School Information

    • Admission Rate: 85%
    • Graduation Rate: 65%
    • Accreditation: Yes
    • Percent Online Enrollment: 42%

    Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

    Related Programs That Might Interest You

    Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

    What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Biology Program?

    Biology I and II

    These courses introduce many subsets of biology, such as microbiology, zoology, botany, and cytology. Students learn about the scientific method, evolution, taxonomy, and genetics. They also learn about energy transfer, cell structure, and reproduction.

    General Chemistry I and II

    These courses introduce the periodic properties of elements, molecular structure, chemical bonding, compounds and molecules, and atomic theory. Students learn about the states of matter, thermodynamics, solution chemistry, and intermolecular forces.

    Organic Chemistry I and II

    In these courses, students study the techniques, principles, and theories of organic chemistry. They learn about spectroscopy, stereochemistry, and isomerization. Students also learn the mechanisms, reactions, properties, structure, and nomenclature of hydrocarbons.

    General Physics I and II

    Physics I and II teach students about cosmology, relativity, nuclear radiation, and quantum phenomenon. Participants learn about light and sound, magnetism, electricity, heat, and vibrations. They may also learn about global warming, energy conservation, and the search for extraterrestrial life.

    Calculus I

    In calculus classes, students learn about continuity and limits, derivatives, logarithmic and exponential functions, and definite integrals. Students strengthen their problem-solving skills and learn to think in the language of mathematics.

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    What are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Biology Program?

    Most schools have the same admission requirements whether you attend classes online or on campus. However, those requirements can vary from one school to another. As a general rule, you will always have to submit transcripts from previous schools or at least proof of graduation. Requirements regarding test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation vary.

    Some programs require students to complete specific courses during high school. For example, you might be required to have four units of math, four units of English, and two units of a foreign language.

    Application

    No matter which school you choose, you'll need to complete an application. It's usually a good idea to apply to more than one school, in case your dream school does not accept you. Each school has its own application, but many schools also accept the Common Application. Using the Common Application can help simplify the application process since you'll only have to enter your information once.

    Test Scores

    Many schools require college entrance exams, such as the ACT or SAT. You may need a certain minimum score to be admitted, and some schools may require additional math or English courses if your scores fall below a certain level. These additional courses may add an extra semester to the time it takes you to graduate.

    Letters of Recommendation

    Most colleges and universities require letters of recommendation. If you recently graduated from high school, these letters can come from your teachers, counselor, or principal. If you have been working for several years, you may be able to ask for letters of recommendation from your supervisor or a former supervisor.

    Essays

    College admission essays typically range from 250-650 words in length. It might not sound hard to come up with a few hundred words, but keep in mind that you are competing with hundreds of other applicants, many of whom have compelling stories and strong writing skills. Take your time with this essay.

    Official Transcripts

    Colleges and universities will ask for your official high school transcripts. If you have attended another college in the past, you will also need to request official transcripts from your previous postsecondary schools. Transfer students may be able to get credit at their new school for courses taken previously.

    What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Biology Degree?

    Career Outlook

    According to the BLS, many careers that require a bachelor's in biology are projected to grow in the coming years. For example, microbiologist, zoologist, and wildlife biologist positions are projected to grow by 5% from 2020-2030, while biological technicians are projected to see 7% growth.

    As of 2018, there were almost 3 million people working in the field of biology, and the median salary for those workers was about $65,000. Of those professionals, about 69% worked in a job that required at least a bachelor's degree and 59% had an advanced degree.

    Common careers for people with a bachelor's in biology are clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, registered nurses, and primary school teachers. People with biology degrees often work in government, scientific research, healthcare, or education.

    Find out where a bachelor's in biology can take you. Learn more about biology careers.

    Career Paths Biology Majors

    Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians

    Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians analyze body fluids and tissue samples and record whether their findings are normal or abnormal. They operate laboratory equipment such as cell counters and microscopes. They may also analyze blood samples for transfusions by determining the number of cells, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types.

    Median Annual Salary: $54,180 (May 2020)

    Primary School Teachers

    Primary school teachers prepare lesson plans to teach math, science, reading, writing, and other subjects. They evaluate students' strengths and weaknesses in order to determine the best way to teach them. They instruct classes, grade assignments, and communicate with parents. They may also be required to supervise children at lunch or recess.

    Median Annual Salary: $60,660 (May 2020)

    Biological Technicians

    Biological technicians care for laboratory instruments, such as scales, microscopes, test tubes, and pipettes. They prepare laboratory samples, such as bacteria cultures and blood, for laboratory analysis and conduct experiments and tests on the samples. After performing tests, they document the results along with their observations.

    Median Annual Salary: $46,340 (May 2020)

    Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

    Zoologists and wildlife biologists conduct experiments on animals in natural or controlled environments. They study how different species interact with each other, as well as the movement patterns, diseases, population dynamics, and reproduction habits of various species. They also work to implement and maintain breeding programs to increase the population of endangered species.

    Median Annual Salary: $66,350 (May 2020)

    Microbiologists

    Microbiologists conduct research projects to develop new drugs and improve sterilization procedures. They perform experiments to aid in the treatment and diagnosis of illnesses and study bacteria and other microorganisms. They may publish research papers and present their findings to their colleagues, other scientists, and to the public.

    Median Annual Salary: $84,400 (May 2020)

    Biology Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

    Related Programs That Might Interest You

    Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

    Continuing Education

    According to the BLS, 59% of workers with a biology degree also hold an advanced degree. One reason for this is that biology is a popular major for those who plan to attend medical school. Many of the required courses for a biology major align with the prerequisites for getting into med school.

    Common professions for biology majors that require advanced degrees are postsecondary health teacher, medical scientist, physician, dentist, and pharmacist. Nursing is another popular career choice for biology majors. This career choice requires additional training and a registered nurse license.

    Bachelor's in biology graduates often continue on to medical school or earn bachelor's degrees in nursing. Additionally, postsecondary teachers typically need a Ph.D. in biology or other doctoral degree.


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