A degree from the best schools for biology is a phenomenal way to enter a unique field of work. With the ability to study the magic of life, this area of expertise comprises several notable science-based topics. Students can explore concepts such as plants and animals paired with molecular processes.
Biology Programs That Might Interest YouLearn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
You can pursue many notable career avenues with a biology degree, including a pharmacologist, teacher, research scientist, forensic scientist, and ecologist. Your first step is to find the perfect program to begin your dream career. We’ve ranked the top ten biology schools nationwide using the U.S. Department of Education data in this guide.
Each of the ranked schools meets the following criteria:
- An average annual cost of no more than $12,000
- A median starting salary up to $250,000 after graduation
- Accredited programs by recognized bodies
Additionally, the ranked programs have been listed in descending order from least to most expensive. With the ability to study such an encompassing topic with affordable schooling, the benefits are endless.
9 Best Schools for Biology
1. West Valley College
2 to 4 Year; Saratoga, CA
Average Annual Cost: $3,587
West Valley College is a strong option for an affordable and diverse collection of biology-related degrees. Students can work towards an A.S. in Biology, an A.S. in Biological Sciences, and an A.S. in Ecology, Biodiversity, and Conversation. There’s also the option of obtaining a Biotech Lab Technician Certificate of Achievement. Like many other A.A. and A.S. programs, an Associate in Science or Art degree enables students to move onto a four-year program.
Alternatively, students can use their two-year degree to find employment in the field of biology without further schooling. Each degree option comprises a well-rounded curriculum to give learners the fundamental knowledge to excel in a four-year elevated program. Students in this program try their hands at several biology-related tasks, such as studying the principles of evolution and natural selection and experimenting using the scientific method. Other courses explore critical thinking and observational skills, analyzing biological systems, and more. Upon completion of studies, graduates have completed 60 credits that are fully transferable to an institution of their choosing.
2. Mission College
2 to 4 Year; Santa Clara, CA
Average Annual Cost: $3,691
There are three different degree options for students interested in studying biology at Mission College. Students can work towards an A.S.-T in Biology, an A.S. in Biological Science, and an A.S. in Human Biology. With each degree pathway, many productive and fulfilling biology-related careers are made accessible as well as a continuance of education at a four-year university-level program.
The curriculum at Mission College is quite impressive, consisting of an assortment of diverse courses. Some of the most common classes for students include introductory neuroscience, microbiology, human biology, general biology, genetics and society, marine biology, human physiology, and principles of plant biology. As a graduate of Mission College, students gain the opportunity to delve into several career fields. Many students become wildlife biologists, pharmacists, medical doctors, research technicians, and more.
3. Las Positas College
2 to 4 Year; Livermore, CA
Average Annual Cost: $3,799
Many degree options are available for biology students enrolled at Las Positas College. The most common choice is to obtain an A.S. or A.A. in biology that can be used to transfer to a university-level program. Alternatively, students can also receive a B.A. in Biology Teaching and an A.A. in Computational Biology. Depending on one’s chosen specialty, learning pathways will differ, and course curricula will have a broad variance in different specialties.
With each learning pathway, students can focus on specific tenets to help them begin their dream career. For example, one can specialize in general zoology, cell/molecular biology, or even general botany. Students can expect to acquire a well-rounded education revolving around the fundamentals of biology.
4. Folsom Lake College
2 to 4 Year; Folsom, CA
Average Annual Cost: $4,799
Folsom Lake College’s biology program is unique and is one of the most popular programs in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics meta-major. As an enrollee, students have the opportunity to acquire a degree in health or environmental sciences. Graduates can then opt to dive right into the job market or transfer into a four-year physical therapy, biological sciences, or nursing program.
The majority of graduates from Folsom Lake College opt to explore careers in veterinary medicine, teaching, dentistry, or medicine. Alternatively, their courses give students the fundamentals to explore a career in environmental sciences. Currently, there are a few key degree options to consider, including an environmental A.S. degree, environmental science certificate, biological sciences A.S. degree, biology UC preparation certificate, heritage interpretation certificate, and biology A.S.-T degree
You can expect to take various biology-related courses to help prepare graduates for their future careers. The most common core courses for a biology degree at Folsom Lake College include foundations of biology, biology of organisms, general biology, environmental biology, natural history field studies, principles of botany, and principles of zoology
5. Gavilan College
2 to 4 Year; Gilroy, CA
Average Annual Cost: $5,634
Gavilan College has two introductory biology learning pathways, one providing students with an A.S. in Biological Science. The other option is to acquire a Certificate of Achievement in Biotechnology, ideal for developing a professional career. It’s a fantastic program to consider with the ability to enroll in high-quality programs that create a diverse curriculum.
Like in many other biology programs, students can explore various fundamental concepts in school. A few of the most commonly required classes for biology students include general microbiology, general botany, general zoology, general physics, general chemistry, and cell and molecular biology.
One of the most significant benefits of Gavilan College’s biology program is it helps prepare students for further studies. If someone’s dream career requires university-level courses or a graduate degree, their A.S. can help them to enroll in a four-year program after graduating. From there, they can get a second degree specializing in a branch of biology.
6. San Juan College
2 to 4 Year; Farmington, NM
Average Annual Cost: $5,705
For those aiming for careers in physiology, microbiology, botany, forensic science, or environmental studies, this program is ideal. San Juan College offers a diverse array of courses to help students acquire an A.S. in Biology. This degree can help graduates to find job placements or go on to earn a four-year degree from a university-level institution. Obtaining an A.S. in Biology from San Juan College is relatively straightforward compared to other programs.
With a blend of in-class learning and hands-on experience, this program is ideal for career-oriented individuals. Students will graduate with a strong grasp of the tenets of biological science to propel them in their careers. Some of the courses that students commonly can expect to take include organic chemistry, human anatomy & physiology, cellular & molecular biology, introduction to ecology, biodiversity, ecology, and evolution, social/behavioral science, humanities, and pre-calculus.
7. College of Western Idaho
2 Year; Nampa, ID
Average Annual Cost: $7,682
Students who love biology but want to study a distinct area of the broad topic will love the College of Western Idaho’s program. They offer a few degree options that branch across several disciplines to help prepare students for productive careers. With CWI’s courses, students dive into topics such as genetics, botany, ecology, chemistry, and nutrition.
The four primary areas of study and degree options available to biology students include associate degrees of science in natural resources biology, microbiological, molecular, and biomedical sciences, general biology, and human biology. As one of the best schools for biology, CWI offers diverse learning objectives within each specialty to ensure that each degree program produces specialists. Students will be required to use critical thinking skills and analysis to collect and manage biological samples, develop science-related thinking skills, and more. There’s no doubt these programs take a unique hands-on approach to each specialty, ensuring students get their hands dirty.
8. Meridian Technology Center
2 to 4 Year; Stillwater, OK
Average Annual Cost: $7,707
Meridian Technology Center offers a unique avenue of study for prospective biology students. Within their Biomedical Sciences career, students can explore the systems of the human body to diagnose and treat diseases. Also, this area of study has a unique focus on collaboration to develop the best solution for patients’ overall health. Unlike a generic biology degree, the biomedical sciences are more specialized.
During classes, students gather essential training to help them pursue a career as a pharmaceutical researcher, pharmaceutical technician, physician, nurse, and more. Also, the program is entirely designed to prepare graduates for biology-related majors at the university level. With this degree option, students take an assortment of helpful courses, including algebra, principles of biomedical science, biomedical innovation, chemistry, biology, microbiology, anatomy, and physiology.
9. Monterey Peninsula College
2 to 4 Year; Monterey, CA
Average Annual Cost: $11,667
Monterey Peninsula College offers a collection of degree options for students looking to get their Associate’s degree. Learners can opt to enroll in the A.S. in Science for Transfer program as well, allowing them to take their degrees to four-year university programs. The other options for prospective biology students include an A.S. in Biological Sciences or an A.A. in General Studies: Natural Science Emphasis.
Undoubtedly, Monterey Peninsula College has a great selection of courses that explore the fundamentals of biology. Once an A.S. or A.A. has been obtained, students can continue to a specialty degree program. A few examples of the courses available in this program include human physiology, applied microbiology, everyday chemistry, biological anthropology, principles of biology, and marine biology. This program is unique because it’s a seamless blend of lab and classroom learning. Students in these programs learn valuable skills in collecting and analyzing biological samples while developing critical thinking skills. Students will also use their learned knowledge to address common physical problems, offering realistic solutions.