An online biology degree is an excellent way for science-minded students to learn the intricacies of how the living world works. If you want to study a subject with significant educational and professional potential, including medical school down the road or work in pharmaceuticals or research, majoring in biology is a great option.
Finding the school can be difficult, no matter the subject or the learning mode. To help, EduMed.org has researched more than 7,700 schools to identify those with the best-in-class online degree programs in biology. Each college and university in the ranking has a winning combination of affordability, student support, and academic rigor. See who stands out as the top online biology programs for 2023.
|#||School Name||Type||Cost||Online Programs||More Details||School Information||Online Students||Academic Counseling||Career Placement||Students w/Institutional Aid||Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry||Accreditation|
|1||University of FloridaGainesville, FL||Public||$||1||
The University of Florida has created a fully online Bachelor of Arts in biology without sacrificing high quality education. Since the degree was designed to be taken online, the courses are optimal for online learners. Online classes are synchronous and include in-class participation. Students can also choose from a variety of specializations including biotechnology law, science journalism, bioscience management, and ecology. Since this program is interdisciplinary, the coursework is flexible and can be tailored to students’ individual interests. The program also offers great career resources to help students figure out a professional path after getting this versatile degree.
Bachelor of Arts in Biology
|2||Logan UniversityChesterfield, MO||Private not-for-profit||$$||1||Academic
|3||Washington State UniversityPullman, WA||Public||$$$||1||Academic
|4||Life UniversityMarietta, GA||Private not-for-profit||$$$||1||Academic
|5||Kean UniversityUnion, NJ||Public||$$$||1||Academic
|6||Arizona State University Digital ImmersionScottsdale, AZ||Public||$$$||1||Academic
FAQs About Online Biology Degrees
Perusing school websites and reading program profiles helps you learn programs details before applying. Knowing how prospective programs work and what to expect will help you make an informed decision. Below are answers to some key questions, including overall costs, career prospects, and learning outcomes.
How to Fund Your Online Biology Degree
Securing reliable financial aid before beginning study is crucial. Covering all the costs often seems overwhelming, but there are many financial aid options available.
Scholarships & Grants
These opportunities offer the most lucrative and comprehensive funding. They are merit or need-based awards set aside for tuition-related expenses, and many are renewable for up to four years. Most schools offer their own scholarships and grants, as do many businesses, professional organizations, and nonprofits.
Student loans are a viable option when standard scholarships are limited. Loans are subject to interest rates and need repaid after graduation. The federal government, private lenders, and individual schools often offer loans.
Additional funding options include paid internships, work study placements, and research fellowships. These are competitive and vary widely. Because biology is such a hands-on discipline, there may be more research or lab fellowships available than with other programs.
Accreditation Standards for Online Biology Degrees
Reputable programs must possess proper accreditation regardless of field or discipline. This ensures programming meets acceptable standards of quality and excellence. So, be sure to research potential schools ahead of time to verify their accreditation status.
The process begins at the institutional level through independent agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Private universities and public colleges usually receive regional accreditation, the most prominent and prestigious form. By contrast, technical, vocational, and for-profit institutions often hold national accreditation.
Additional forms of accreditation are only useful if schools first hold institutional accreditation. Often called programmatic or specialized accreditation, this additional designation provides backing specific to individual disciplines. In biology, bodies like the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology oversee this process.
Careers and Salaries for Online Biology Degree Grads
Earning an online bachelor’s degree in biology opens a variety of promising career paths. Biology graduates usually earn more than those from other programs and find work in a variety of industries relying on biological science expertise. Learn more below about the career and earning potential a biology degree offers.
What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in biology?
Graduates with an online biology degree enjoy a range of rewarding job options. Biologists can find work as researchers, scientists, lab technicians, and medical consultants. Career paths are often determined by specializations chosen in undergraduate and graduate school. A specialty in microbiology, for example, can prepare a student work studying viruses and parasites on the behalf of pharmaceutical companies.
Professionals with an online bachelor’s degree in biology can also work in less technical fields. Some work as faculty members or researchers within postsecondary institutions, while others teach elementary or high school science. A biology degree can also provide preparation for aspiring healthcare professionals.
Additional popular career options include:
- Wildlife biologist
- Biochemist or biophysicist
- Biological Technician
- Environmental scientist
- Natural science manager
- Conservation scientist
- Agricultural scientist
- Postsecondary teacher
How much can you earn with a bachelor’s degree in biology?
The table below outlines the salary prospects for several prominent career paths in biology based on recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. Median earnings for these professions outpace the national averages for all occupations in nearly every respect. Each career also offers room for advancement with top earners making significant increases over their starting salaries.
|Career||Median National Annual Salary (2019)||10th Percentile||90th Percentile|
|Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists||$63,270||$38,880||$101,780|
Continuing Education & Related Degrees
An online undergraduate biology degree qualifies you for many entry-level positions. Because the field is so specialized, though, many professionals regularly advance their education. Popular continuing education and advanced study opportunities, detailed below, can deepen skill sets, broaden job prospects, and increase earning power.
Continuing Education Options
- Online Master’s Degree in Biology
An online master’s degree in biology allows you to specialize and to deepen expertise. It acts as a steppingstone for students interested in earning a doctorate and prepares them for technical research in biology and other lab-based sciences.
- Online Master’s Degree in Public Health
Getting an online master’s degree in public health (MPH) complements a biology background by giving it more interdisciplinary focus. This credential prepares working professionals for leadership roles and shows how to apply insights from biology to community health concerns across different populations.
- Medical School
Biology is one of the most beneficial premed majors because it builds a solid foundation in key areas like genetics and physiology covered by the MCAT test. It also develops hard skills in core competencies like the scientific method and quantitative reasoning.
Related Degrees You May Be Interested In
- Online Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health
Earning an online public health degree prepares students for future work as health examiners, epidemiologists, and policy analysts among other professions. It requires some knowledge of basic biological processes, and it applies those principles in contexts that increase and support public health.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry
A chemistry degree requires a working knowledge of organic or biochemistry. It looks at how chemical elements and compounds function and how they interact with one another. It also examines how they behave when they encounter different forms of organic life.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Sciences
A degree in biomedical science emphasizes aspects of biology directly relevant to quality healthcare delivery and the advancement of medical science. Graduates sometimes pursue further advanced study and often work as social workers, health claims reviewers, and health science educators.
Resources for Biology Majors and Professionals
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Institute of Biological Sciences
- American Society for Cell Biology
- American Society for Microbiology
- Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
- National Association of Biology Teachers
- Phi Sigma
- Society for Conservation Biology
- Zoological Association of America