Many concentrations in this 4-year program are available, including microbiology, molecular biology, human biology and biotechnology. Pre-professional programs in areas such as dentistry, optometry, medicine, forestry, pharmacy and physical therapy also exist within a B.S. in Biological Sciences program. A high school diploma or GED is required to enroll in the program.
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
- Program Length: Four years
- Program Specializations: Many concentrations are available, including microbiology, molecular biology, human biology and biotechnology
Bachelor's Degree in Biological Science
A B.S. in Biological Sciences requires completion of 106-125 credit hours. The curriculum consists of a combination of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics courses. Additional general education courses in English, history and the humanities may also be required. Some courses students can expect to encounter include:
- Ecology, evolution and biodiversity
- Principles of microbiology
- Biological literature
- Molecular biology and genetics
- Cell biology
- Introductory biochemistry
Popular Careers Options
Employment options for holders of a B.S. in Biological Sciences are broad. Graduates seek employment with State and Federal Government agencies, hospitals, universities, pharmaceutical companies, animal rescue centers, museums, zoos, food processing companies and biotechnology firms. People with formal biology training are also needed in industries as varied as sales, marketing and publishing. Some specific careers available to those with bachelor's degrees include:
- Science technician
- Medical laboratory technologist
- Secondary school biology teacher
- Research associate
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth of 10%, about as fast as the average for all occupations, for biological technicians from 2012-2022. For the same decade, the BLS projected job growth of 30% for medical and clinical laboratory technicians and 14% for medical and clinical laboratory technologists. The projected outlook for high school teachers was a slower-than-average seven percent. As of May 2014, the BLS reported that the median annual wage of biological technicians was $41,290, of clinical technicians was $38,370, of clinical technologists was $59,340 and of secondary school teachers was $56,130.
Continuing Education Information
Many people pursue an undergraduate degree in biology as a stepping stone to a graduate program at a medical, veterinary, dental or other health-related school. The broad knowledge base achieved through the baccalaureate study of biology translates well to these more fine-tuned and focused advanced degrees. Students who wish to further their broad path of biological education have the option of pursuing a graduate degree in biological sciences. This type of advanced degree is essential for those looking to become biological scientists, conduct independent research or teach at the postsecondary level.