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Best Colleges for Biology in the U.S.

Read about degree programs in biology, a field of study that deals with living organisms as they relate to their environments. Learn about the academic options at four well-regarded universities, and find out what's unique to other schools in the U.S. that offer programs for aspiring biologists. View article »

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94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)
  • 0:03 School Overviews
  • 0:30 Stanford University
  • 1:10 Harvard University
  • 1:40 University of…
  • 2:25 Johns Hopkins University
  • 3:05 Top Reputable Biology Schools

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Students who are interested in pursuing careers as biologists can find top-tier programs at Stanford University, the University of California in Berkeley, Harvard University, and Johns Hopkins University. The biological sciences programs at all four universities have received high rankings from U.S. News & World Report in 2014. Areas of specialization can include evolutionary, marine and plant biology, as well as microbiology.

1. Stanford University in Stanford, CA

School Highlight: Stanford University's biology programs stand out for their first place ranking in U.S. News and World Report's list of the best graduate biological science programs for 2014.

The Department of Biology at Stanford offers three different degree programs for biology students, including a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), a dual Bachelor of Science and Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). The undergraduate program is often pursued as a precursor to medical school, while the dual MS/BS is intended for students already enrolled in the undergraduate program. A minor is also available for student pursuing other majors.

2. Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: Harvard University, an Ivy League school, also received the first place ranking on U.S. News & World Report's list of graduate biological science programs in 2014.

The university's biology programs are separated into six distinct disciplines, which include chemical and physical biology, developmental and regenerative biology and molecular and cellular biology. Programs are also available in organismic and evolutionary biology, human evolutionary biology and neurobiology.

3. University of California - Berkeley

School Highlight: The University of California in Berkeley's (UC - Berkeley) graduate biological science programs are distinguished for their fourth place ranking from U.S. News & World Report in 2014.

Berkeley's undergraduate biology programs are offered through different colleges within the university. For example, the College of Letters and Science administers the molecular and cell biology and integrative biology programs, while the College of Natural Resources oversees the genetics and plant biology, environmental biology and microbial biology programs. A degree in chemical biology is available through the College of Chemistry. Graduate areas of study include genomic biology, nanoscale science and engineering, among other specialized fields.

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4. Johns Hopkins University

School Highlight: Johns Hopkins University was ranked fifth on U.S. News & World Report's list of top graduate biological science programs for 2014. The school has 27 biology research laboratories available to students, in addition to an undergraduate summer research program.

Undergraduate program options include a bachelor's degree in biology and a post-baccalaureate program for aspiring medical school students. Graduate study is available through a combined bachelor's and master's degree in molecular and cellular biology, a master's degree in biotechnology or bioinformatics and a doctorate in cell, molecular, biophysics and developmental biology.

Top Reputable Biology Schools

Let's take a look at some other top schools offering biology programs:

School Name Distinction Location
Washington University in Saint Louis Goldfarb Facility contributes to a strong plant biology program Saint Louis, MO
Yale University Offers six special programs in biology, including chemical biology and physical/engineering biology training programs New Haven, CT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Faculty members include four Nobel laureates Cambridge, MA
Princeton University Graduate molecular biology students can focus on one of 12 concentration areas Princeton, NJ
University of California - San Francisco Tetrad Program for graduate biology students interested in conducting research in cell biology, developmental biology, biochemistry and genetics San Francisco, CA
California Institute of Technology Offers interdisciplinary programs through its Division of Biology and Biological Engineering (BBE) Pasadena, CA

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in biology are available at several notable public and private schools. Students looking for the most distinguished programs can consider a school's specialization options, rankings, and research opportunities.

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