On this page, you can learn essential information regarding 2021's best online bachelor's in biology programs. The following section presents the top five programs in the U.S. with links to each program's official website and social media profiles.
Later sections detail common curriculum and application requirements. You can also find answers to common questions asked about a bachelor's degree in biology. Finally, if you have additional questions about a program, use the included contact information to reach out to a school's admissions department.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Biology Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 4:
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
|1||University of Florida||Gainesville, FL|
|2||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|3||Logan University||Chesterfield, MO|
|4||Life University||Marietta, GA|
A bachelor's degree in biology can prepare you for an exciting entry-level career, such as a biological technician. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the need for these technicians should grow 7% between 2018 and 2028.
Other graduates use the degree to enter a master's in biology program or medical school. These graduate programs often require a bachelor's in a physical or life science area.
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Biology Programs
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
University of Florida
|Gainesville, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 88%||
A public university located in Gainesville, UF Online offers an online bachelor's in biology. Available courses span 17 academic departments related to microbiology, botany, ecology, and many other biological disciplines.
Participants have a lot of freedom when choosing guided electives, selecting from options like practical plant taxonomy, climate change biology, and population genetics. As a capstone experience, learners complete a critical analysis of biological research seminar. The program takes a broad, interdisciplinary approach and prepares students for careers in areas like bioscience management, food safety, or environmental journalism.
UF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Contact the School
Florida International University
|Miami, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
A public university in Miami, FIU offers a fully online bachelor's in biology program with five available concentrations: allied health; bioentrepreneur; health policy, environmental policy, and pre-law; science communication; and general biology.
No matter their concentration, participants take core courses covering topics related to ecology, genetics, and evolution. They must also complete a senior seminar class. Only students working toward their first college degree may apply to earn this online bachelor of arts in biology at FIU. Students may begin their studies at the beginning of the spring, summer, or fall semester.
FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Contact the School
|Chesterfield, MO||Graduation Rate: 58%||
Located in Chesterfield, Missouri, Logan focuses solely on health science-related degrees. The school offers an online bachelor of science in human biology that prepares students for a healthcare career or for graduate school. Available courses include an introduction to public health, biostatistics, and immunology. Students also complete a capstone course, choosing from options related to health science, medicine, dentistry, or allied health.
Logan also offers a Flexible Accelerated Science Track that allows students to expedite graduation, completing basic general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics courses in a single semester, instead of two semesters. New students can begin their studies at the beginning of any term.
Logan is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Contact the School
|Marietta, GA||Graduation Rate: 33%||
A private university located in Marietta, Georgia, LIFE offers an online bachelor's in biology. The program caters to students preparing to join the workforce immediately after graduation or attend grad school. In addition to general education classes and core biology coursework, students can choose from electives like human anatomy and physiology, pathology, nutrition, and exercise science.
Common careers pursued by program graduates include medical technologist, wildlife biologist, and geoscientist. LIFE follows a quarter system and the university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Contact the School
Online Bachelor's in Biology Program Overview
An online bachelor's in biology program covers much more than biology topics. Students take introductory — and upper-level — courses in physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Bachelor's programs also include a general education core that requires coursework in liberal arts. Additionally, learners may have the opportunity to complete a second major or minor.
A bachelor's in biology program's learning outcomes include enhanced communication, research, and analytical skills. Also, students develop a scientific mindset, a vital tool that employers value in applicants. These outcomes prepare degree-seekers for both a career and further education.
Although graduates need not earn an advanced degree to attain an entry-level job, many enter a graduate program. Graduate programs convey the knowledge and skills required to become a doctor, scientific researcher, or advisor. Master's and doctoral programs that admit online bachelor's in biology degree graduates take 2-6 years to complete, depending on the degree level and whether students can learn full time.
Common Bachelor's in Biology Degree Courses
- Integrated Principles of Biology
Integrated principles of biology introduces students to foundational biology topics, such as the origin of life, molecular organization and reproduction, and cellular structure. Also, this course lasts one academic year, and in the second semester, degree-seekers master more advanced topics. Additionally, academic requirements may include a laboratory component that students complete at home.
- Applied Physics
Physical forces and laws govern biological processes at all levels. Applied physics coursework focuses on the mechanics of motion, energy, and heat. As the course requires knowledge of advanced mathematics, common prerequisites include college-level trigonometry and algebra. Additionally, a school may ask learners to take an upper-level math course concurrently.
In a genetics course, students analyze how scientists before and after Gregor Mendel explained how living organisms pass down traits to the next generation. Course topics include DNA's structure, replication, and recombination. Students take this course after passing integrated principles of biology and other introductory courses.
- Cell Biology
This upper-division course explores how cells function. Students analyze plant and animal cells' structure with a focus on how cells produce energy and maintain homeostasis. Degree-seekers also analyze how the cell biology field affects other branches of the biological sciences, including immunology, biochemistry, and molecular biology.
- Anatomy and Physiology
Anatomy and physiology builds upon students' prior knowledge of the human body. In class, learners analyze all major body systems — skeletal, endocrine, muscular — and how they interact. The course also explores medical topics, such as disease and terminology. Academic requirements may include a lab component.
Online Bachelor's in Biology Admission Requirements
High School Diploma
Although many excellent online bachelor's in biology programs also accept the GED, some require that applicants possess a high school diploma. These programs ask applicants to pass high school course prerequisites, mainly math and science courses. Fortunately, many schools that have this requirement also admit transfer students, even those who passed the GED.
ACT or SAT Scores
Many colleges and universities require that applicants who graduated or left high school within the previous five years submit ACT or SAT scores. Schools use standardized test scores to make admissions decisions and award merit-based financial aid. As a result, you should create an ACT or SAT study plan so you can earn the highest score possible.
Competitive online bachelor's in biology programs use a GPA minimum for both recent high school graduates and transfer students. Most schools have a 2.0 minimum GPA cutoff. In some cases, a college or university may extend conditional admission to an applicant whose GPA falls below 2.0 but who can show academic potential in other ways.
GED Score Minimum
Like with the GPA minimum, many colleges and universities use a GED score minimum for applicants who do not possess a high school diploma. This requirement means that even if you passed the GED, your passing score might not meet a school's cutoff. However, you can still receive conditional admission in some cases.
Although a rare requirement for online bachelor's in biology programs, recommendation letters give admissions counselors another way to evaluate you as a potential student. If you have not yet graduated from high school, ask 1-2 teachers to write you a recommendation. For prospective nontraditional students, ask a work supervisor who can speak to your character and work ethic.
Online Bachelor's in Biology Career Paths
Recent bachelor's in biology graduates can work in one of many career fields that relate to the life sciences. Potential entry-level careers include food scientist, conservation scientist, environmental scientist, and microbiologist. However, to attain a promotion, you may need a master's or doctoral degree. Additionally, many careers — biochemist, epidemiologist, medical scientist — require either a master's or doctoral degree in addition to professional experience.
The most popular entry-level careers for online bachelor's in biology graduates do not require a state-issued license. However, many physicians earn a license or board certification to increase career and salary potential. Finally, earning a license involves passing an exam and meeting other requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What can you do with a bachelor's in biology?
A bachelor's in biology prepares you for career opportunities in and outside the natural sciences. With this degree, you can work in any of the entry-level jobs this article describes in a previous section. Also, your program's general education courses instill skills that allow you to explore career opportunities in other fields.
- What is the difference between a BS and a BA degree in biology?
The primary difference between a BS and BA degree concerns general education requirements. Typical BA programs have more general education courses and use a less-structured major curriculum. Although a BA may give you greater academic freedom, you may want to consider only BS programs if you plan to earn a master's in biology or a related subject.
- How long does it take to get a bachelor's in biology?
You can expect a bachelor's in biology program to take approximately four years if you study full time. If you study part time, you should need 5-6 years to earn a degree. However, some programs include an accelerated track that allows motivated students to graduate in fewer than four years.
- How much can you earn with a bachelor's in biology?
Individuals with a bachelor's in biology degree earn, on average, $69,000 per year. This figure takes into account professionals who possess one or more advanced degrees and relevant professional experience. As a result, optometrists and veterinarians earn a much higher salary than the average. Also, where you decide to work makes a significant impact on your salary potential.
- Are biology majors in demand?
As with biological technicians, the BLS projects that the need for life, physical and social science professionals should grow 7% between 2018 and 2028. This projection suggests that if you earn a bachelor's in biology in the next few years, you should have little to no trouble finding an entry-level career.