Interested in Taking a Biology Program? Here’s What You Need to Know
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What Are You Interested In?

Biology is one of the areas of study included in the life sciences; more specifically, it involves the study of living organisms. Biologists study how living things evolve, how they work and how they interact with each other. Examples of applied biology involve important issues of worldwide concern, such as threats to human well-being, environmental pollution and depletion, climate change and the maintenance of viable supplies of food.

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Areas of Study for Biology Degrees

There are thousands of educational organizations offering biology programs. Many are traditional colleges and universities, but there are a growing number of opportunities for obtaining biology degrees online, which can be helpful in the case of individuals who have other job or family obligations while pursuing their studies.

Larger universities may be able to offer more areas of specialization, such as a dedicated marine biology school, while smaller colleges and universities are generally known for smaller class sizes and more interaction with faculty members.

Specialties in the biological sciences can vary by educational organization and might include endocrinology, fisheries science, agriculture, ecology and oceanography.

In general, a bachelor's degree in biology will require course work in some of the following areas of study:

  • Developmental biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Genetics
  • Research methods
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Physiology
  • Field biology
  • Marine biology
  • Ecology
  • Botany
  • Parasitology
  • Ornithology
  • Animal behavior
  • Zoology
  • Human anatomy

Prospects for Biology Graduates

Job seekers with biology and marine biology degrees have a number of prospective employers for whom they can work, including federal government agencies, state and local governments, research laboratories, field research organizations and for-profit businesses. In particular, job growth in the near future is expected in biotechnology, molecular biology and government agencies that manage natural resources, such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

For some careers in biology, a two-year degree is sufficient; for most jobs in the field of biology, however, the requirement is at least a bachelor's degree.

Many careers in biology require a master's or doctoral degree. In general, biologists who wish to pursue advanced research or who want to work in a university environment will need an advanced degree. As is the case with undergraduate programs, many institutions now offer online graduate degrees in biology.

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