Bachelor's degree programs in biological science examine many areas of life science, such as microbiology, ecology and biochemistry. 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 in order to enroll in the program.
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 see 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 5% for biological technicians from 2014-2024, which is about as fast as average. For the same decade, the BLS projected employment growth of 14% for medical and clinical laboratory technologists. As of May 2015, the BLS reported that the median annual wage of biological technicians was $41,650, and for clinical technologists, it was $60,520.
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.
A bachelor's program in biological science covers a wide variety of life science topics. Through concentrations or pre-professional curricula, these programs can be customized to meet students' career needs. Potential occupations for graduates often include clinical lab work, scientific research and education, among others.