Due to the hands-on emphasis of laboratory work in this field, online bachelor's degrees are not common, but a few exist. Other programs are presented in a blended online/on-campus format. Such programs could lead to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Biology. Some programs offer distance learning bachelor's degrees in the biological sciences or natural sciences with the option to pursue a concentration in biology. Students are expected to complete hands-on labs, so they may need to purchase a lab kit or. For blended programs, students might have to complete labs on-campus. In addition, some programs require applicants to have an associate's degree before they enroll.
Some bachelor's-level students use the degree as a foundation for graduate study. Other students earn the degree to qualify for pre-med, pre-veterinary or pre-physical therapy degree programs. Still, other individuals use the degree to prepare for public school teaching careers.
Online biology teacher education programs typically require completion of supervised teaching experiences in K-12 classrooms so that students can meet certification requirements. Students ensure that the chosen distance learning program and classroom experiences meet their state's specific teacher licensure requirements.
Information and Requirements
Admission requirements vary among schools and programs. Online biology programs designed for freshman may only require a high school diploma or its equivalent along with standard admission criteria, such as SAT scores. Some programs are designed for students who already have some level of undergraduate training, perhaps as part of an associate's degree program. Biology programs geared toward students who want to become teachers may require a minimum number of prior college credits along with criminal background checks and interviews.
Students in an online program view lectures, complete assignments and communicate with instructors and classmates using a virtual classroom environment available on schools' websites. Schools offering hybrid biology classes require students to complete written work at home and then come to campus to participate in lab experiences. Students may need to purchase a lab kit from the school which contains laboratory equipment, chemicals, specimens and other items to complete hands-on assignments at home.
Like on-campus options, distance learning biology programs often require students to complete coursework in areas such as the following:
- General biology
- Human anatomy
- Environmental biology
- Biology research
Programs may offer the option to complete a concentration within the biology major, such as in wildlife management. Distance learning bachelor's programs in biology that focus on teacher education incorporate biological science courses with classes in teaching methods, instructional planning and education theories.
Although there aren't many online bachelor's degree programs in biology, there are some that exist. Since biology is a hands-on field, students in fully online programs will most likely need to buy lab kits from their schools to complete laboratory learning experiences at home.