An online biology degree both opens up many exciting career paths and prepares graduates to enter different graduate programs (e.g., master of biology, MD). Professionals who possess only an associate degree generally cannot pursue these opportunities.
To understand the financial and career benefits of a bachelor's degree, consider professionals who possess an online marine biology degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), wildlife biologists earn a median salary of $63,420 per year. This lucrative career requires a bachelor's degree, and wildlife biologists with a master's or doctoral degree can earn even more. Environmental science technicians, meanwhile, many of whom possess only an associate degree, earn a median salary of $46,170 per year.
Top 5 Online Bachelor's in Biology
- University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
- Western Governors University - Salt Lake City, UT
- Excelsior College - Albany, NY
- Logan University - Chesterfield, MO
- Arizona State University - SkySong - Scottsdale, AZ
Best Accredited Online Bachelor's Programs in Biology
An online bachelor's degree in biology can provide you with new, fulfilling career opportunities. However, selecting the best program can sometimes feel like a difficult task. To save yourself time and frustration, review our ranking of the best accredited online biology bachelor's degrees for 2019. Each of these schools boasts affordable tuition, a rigorous curriculum, and valuable student support services, among other benefits that help students succeed academically and achieve their career goals.
Even if you attend a school not on this ranking, researching these schools can help you identify what to look for in an excellent program. Also, when reviewing online bachelor of science degrees in biology, contact the programs directly if you have questions. Representatives should have the details you need concerning admission requirements, tuition, courses, and many other topics. Many college and university websites boast live chat features that allow you to speak to someone during business hours.
University of Florida
|Gainesville, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 38%||
UF traces its origins to 1853 and moved to Gainesville in 1906. UF Online launched in 2014 and offers 20 flexible undergraduate majors in accordance with UF's 160-year tradition of academic excellence.
The online bachelor of arts in biology at UF Online provides foundational knowledge of biological principles through a broad, interdisciplinary approach. Students learn about animals, plants, and the building blocks for life through introductory biology, chemistry, and physics classes. Specialized classes allow students to tailor the curriculum to their interests and goals, such as molecular biology, organismal biology, ecology, evolution and diversity, and biology and society. Learners complete general education courses, electives, and a critical analysis of biological research class. During the research class, which serves as a capstone course, students participate in online discussions of research, peer-reviewed publications, and contemporary issues in the field.
The online bachelor's degree in biology at UF Online does not prepare students for medical, dental, or veterinary programs, but builds a holistic understanding of living structures, their interactions, and how they relate to real-world situations. UF's online biology degree prepares students for positions in education, allied health, and science-related fields. Students develop knowledge and skills appropriate for careers as medical or veterinary technicians, science writers, pharmacy assistants, and bioinformatics.
UF Online offers three start dates each year. Students submit an application, nonrefundable fee, and transcript information for consideration. UF maintains accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Western Governors University
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 88%||
Based in Salt Lake City and founded in 1997, WGU offers business, teaching, information technology, and health professions undergraduate and graduate degrees to more than 90,000 learners.
WGU offers an online bachelor of science in education degree for aspiring secondary biological science teachers. The program includes 39 courses and leads to teacher licensure. Students complete general education, foundations of teaching, and pedagogy courses alongside classes in general science, health sciences, chemistry, and biology. Specialized courses in molecular and cellular biology, heredity and genetics, human anatomy, and ecology and environmental science prepare students to teach at the secondary school level.
Learners participate in field experience classes, and must observe 75 hours of classroom instruction. During a series of supervised teaching demonstrations, learners instruct students under observation from faculty and clinical supervisors. The program also includes a cohort seminar, professional portfolio, and teacher performance assessment for students to reflect upon and demonstrate content, instructional, and planning expertise.
WGU's online bachelor's degree in biology allows students to transfer up to 31 credits into the program. Students complete the degree in 16-48 months, enroll in one class at a time, and work through the material at their own pace. Learners who seek initial teacher licensure must pass a state-specific skills test prior to their teaching demonstration. Students may waive some coursework based on previous college experience.
WGU's teachers' college maintains accreditation through the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. WGU holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
|Albany, NY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Founded in 1971 as a distance learning institution, Excelsior provides affordable, accessible, and collaborative online degrees to adult learners. From its main campus in Albany, New York, Excelsior offers more than 30 degree and certificate programs in business, health sciences, liberal arts, nursing, public service, and technology. Excelsior's more than 36,000 enrollees include over 10,000 active-duty military and veterans.
Excelsior offers an online bachelor of science in natural sciences with a biology concentration. The program prepares students for careers in healthcare, energy, and environmental science through a 120-credit curriculum. Students complete 60 credits in arts and sciences and 60 credits of applied professional, elective, and concentration coursework.
Concentration classes in microbiology, bioethics, evolutionary biology, chemistry, oceanography, and earth science and society allow students to emphasize aspects of science most relevant to their interests and goals. Students study the theories and principles of science while developing procedures and techniques applicable to the field. Lecture and laboratory studies train students to gather and analyze scientific data. Learners also complete a natural sciences capstone course at the end of the program to demonstrate degree competencies.
Excelsior awards academic credit for military training, job experience, and other accomplishments. Learners can transfer science credits earned within 10 years of enrollment into the online bachelor's in natural sciences degree.
Excelsior holds regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Programs also hold approval from the New York State Education Department.
|Chesterfield, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
Founded in 1935 in St. Louis, Logan moved to its current 112-acre campus in Chesterfield, Missouri in 1973. Originally a chiropractic institution, Logan continues to offer undergraduate and graduate health science programs to almost 1,600 students. Online degrees include a doctorate in health professions education; master's degrees in health informatics, nutrition and human performance, and sports science and rehabilitation; and a bachelor's in human biology.
Logan's online human biology bachelor's degree builds foundational knowledge of science applicable to careers in the health sciences industry. Students also gain the competencies to pursue graduate study in medicine, podiatry, chiropractic care, dentistry, and osteopathy.
Learners complete 122 credits of general education, integrated health, and elective coursework alongside core classes in biology, chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and physics. Nine hours of integrated health courses present students with information on future trends in healthcare, cultural awareness in healthcare, and medical terminology. Major classes in genetics, biostatistics, and immunology precede a health science capstone requirement. The capstone allows students to integrate coursework, degree knowledge, and experience into a report and presentation on a topic related to their interests within the discipline.
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Logan offers classes on a trimester system with three, 15-week trimesters each year. Transfer students may receive credit for work completed at an accredited institution. Logan also awards up to six credits for military training. Students can transfer up to 75% of elective coursework.
Arizona State University - SkySong
|Scottsdale, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 14%||
Founded almost three decades before Arizona became a state, ASU traces its origins to 1886. Today, ASU provides undergraduate and graduate programs to almost 74,000 learners on campus and online, including an online bachelor of science in biological sciences degree.
The online bachelor's in biological science program comprises 39 courses and 120 credits. Students complete foundational courses in conceptual approaches to biology, chemistry, and physics before enrolling in 45 upper-division credit hours. Advanced classes build knowledge and skills in cellular biology, animal physiology, vertebrate zoology, and ecology through a blend of lecture with laboratory courses. ASU offers five courses with laboratory exercises conducted through virtual reality. For students who wish to pursue graduate degrees that require hands-on lab exercises, ASU offers accelerated (1 week) courses in organic chemistry and biochemistry; alternatively, students may fulfill lab requirements through transfer credits. Learners can take classes in animal behavior, medicinal chemistry, and conservation biology in practice to tailor the curriculum to their interests and goals.
The online biological science bachelor's prepares students for careers in bioinformatics, practical science, environmental protection, teaching, and health services. Learners also gain the competencies to pursue graduate study and medical, veterinary, dental, and pharmacy professions. ASU's online bachelor's program aligns with the competencies recommended for pre-med students preparing for the MCAT, medical school admissions, or graduate study in biology.
Applicants submit ACT or SAT scores and transcripts. ASU partners with community colleges and institutions worldwide to facilitate transfer admission. ASU maintains regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Now that you know more about online schools for biology degrees, visit our complete degree guide page to learn how to select a program that matches your educational interests and future career goals.
The online biology degree you select should offer concentrations that can influence your career path. Review our career page to determine which concentrations align with popular biology careers.