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Life sciences degree programs include several separate, but closely related, fields of study, such as biological, environmental, ecological, plant, and zoological science. Connecticut has colleges and universities offering associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in various life sciences. The field can be learned as a major or minor. The 10 largest schools in the state with these programs are profiled below.
Central Connecticut State University
Located in New Britain, Central Connecticut State University offers life sciences degree programs through two departments. The Department of Biology offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) program in biology with two specializations: environmental science; and ecology, biodiversity and evolutionary biology. Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MS) program are also available in biological sciences. The MA program offers specializations in global sustainability, and ecology and environmental science, while the MS program features specializations in anesthesia and health sciences, as well as a general biological sciences program.
The Biomolecular Sciences Department, which is a part of the School of Engineering and Technology, offers students bachelor's and master's degree programs in biomolecular sciences. The bachelor's degree program includes the option of specializing in biotechnology. All of these life sciences programs include several hours of independent laboratory coursework.
Gateway Community College
New Haven-based Gateway Community College offers an Associate in Science (AS) program in environmental science and toxicology that provides students with a broad approach to the discipline. Students are trained in the scientific, legal, and public health aspects of how pollutants and toxins affect people and the environment. Instruction in the use of computers for managing, processing, and researching toxicology is also a major component of the program. In addition to preparing students to work in such fields as pollution prevention; solid and hazardous waste; and fish, wildlife, and natural resources management, graduates of the program may also transfer the credits earned to a four-year degree program or gain waste water treatment and plant operator licensure in Connecticut.
Manchester Community College
This community college in Manchester provides students with the opportunity to earn an associate's degree in environmental science. The program prepares students to transfer to a bachelor's degree or technical degree program in something like the geosciences, ecology, or natural resources management. The associate's degree program consists of 64 credits and includes courses in ecology, sustainable energy, general biology, and computer applications. By the end of the program, students should be able to collect, analyze, and present scientific findings and use the scientific method to solve a variety of problems associated with environmental science.
Located in Hamden, Quinnipiac University offers students several different life sciences program options. Through the Department of Biological Sciences, students may earn a BS in Biology or a BS in Behavioral Neuroscience, the latter of which is an interdisciplinary program available in conjunction with the Department of Psychology. In addition, the university offers a joint BS/MS program, as well as a standalone MS program, in biology and molecular and cell biology. Finally, aspiring teachers can pursue a combined BS/MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) program.
In addition, students may earn a minor in biology and environmental science, as well as add a pre-medical studies program to any of these degree programs. Possible courses for these programs include ecological diversity, comparative anatomy, genetics, and evolution.
Sacred Heart University
Fairfield's Sacred Heart University has associate's and bachelor's degree programs in biology. Students can pursue an Associate of Arts in General Studies program with an emphasis in biology. Coursework in this program includes biology and chemistry, as well as labs in these same subjects.
The bachelor's degree program allows students to choose a concentration in ecology and conservation biology, molecular and cellular biology, or neuroscience. A traditional biology program is also available. Undergraduate students may participate in faculty-designed research projects and internships, as well as receive pre-medical school advice and preparation through the help of advisers, general education courses, and test prep classes. Students can also pursue a minor in biology.
Southern Connecticut State University
Located in New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University offers Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts options in biology. Both give students the choice of nine concentrations, such as general biology; marine and environmental biology; biotechnology, molecular, cellular, and developmental biology; and botany. The remaining concentrations include microbiology, physiology, zoology and a pre-professional concentration in pre-medical, pre-veterinary, or pre-dental. Aspiring biology teachers can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education program. Each of these programs has particular course requirements. A minor in biology is also an option.
A master's degree program in biology prepares students to teach or work as researchers. A student's specific program of study is designed in conjunction with an interim adviser and may be completed with a thesis, comprehensive exam, or a special project.
University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut is located in Storrs. Through the College of Liberal Arts and Science, students have bachelor's degree options in ecology and evolutionary biology, marine sciences, molecular and cell biology, and physiology and neurobiology. Students in these programs participate in extensive coursework, laboratory and field research, and internship opportunities. A number of programs include pre-medical concentration or degree options, and most offer a minor option.
Master's degree and Ph.D. programs are available in physiology and neurobiology, and cell and developmental biology, while a master's degree can be earned in biological oceanography. The number and types of required courses, specialization options, admission requirements, and other academic requirements vary by program and degree level.
University of Hartford
Located in West Hartford, this university's biology department offers four degree programs related to life sciences. Students can earn a BA or BS in Biology, a BS in Chemistry-Biology, or an MS in Neuroscience. The bachelor's degree programs include similar classes, such as biology, animal physiology, and genetics, though the chemistry-biology program is more research intensive and includes more coursework. The chemistry-biology program provides students with four options for completing the degree, depending on their choice of electives. Students interested in pursuing a minor in biology can design a program with the endorsement of the department chairman.
A master's degree program in neuroscience is an interdisciplinary program designed for non-traditional students. The program may be pursued full-time or part-time, and students may opt to write a thesis or complete a research paper with an applied or clinical approach.
Western Connecticut State University
Western Connecticut State University in Danbury offers students a Bachelor of Arts program in biology with specializations in biology, ecological sciences, and bioscience. A Bachelor of Science program in biology is also available for prospective teachers at the elementary or secondary education level. All four programs include courses in microbiology, genetics, animal physiology, and ecology, as well as a senior research project. An 18-credit program allowing for a minor in biology is available as well.
Yale University is located in New Haven and offers life sciences students many degree options at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree levels. At least 10 separate departments offer life sciences degree programs. Most departments, such as the departments of neurobiology and genetics, only admit graduate students, though some cater to undergraduates as well, with both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs. Examples of bachelor's degree programs include molecular biophysics and biochemistry, and ecology and evolutionary biology. Graduate program options include genetics, neurobiology, and computational biology and bioinformatics. Other fields of study feature neurobiology, general biology, biophysics and biochemistry, cell biology, immunobiology, molecular and developmental biology, and more. The admission and academic requirements for all of the programs in each of these departments vary, including the credits, courses, and concentration options.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Life Sciences Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Central Connecticut State University||4-year, public; large suburb|| BS in Biology,
BS in Biomolecular Sciences,
MA or MS in Biological Sciences,
MA in Biomolecular Sciences
| $9,300 in-state, $21,570 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$10,454 in-state; $21,506 out-of-state (graduate)*
|Gateway Community College||2-year, public; midsize city||AS in Environmental Science and Toxicology||$4,032 in-state, $12,096 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Manchester Community College||2-year, public; large suburb||AS in Environmental Science||$4,052 in-state, $12,116 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Quinnipiac University||4-year, private, not-for-profit; large suburb|| BS in Biology,
BS in Behavioral Neuroscience,
BS/MS in Biology and Molecular and Cell Biology,
MS in Biology and Molecular and Cell Biology,
BS/MAT in Biology,
MS in Molecular and Cell Biology
| $42,270 (undergraduate)*
|Sacred Heart University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| AS in General Studies - Biology;
BS in Biology
|Southern Connecticut State University||4-year, public; midsize city|| BA or BS in Biology,
BS in Secondary Education - Biology,
MS in Biology
| $9,600 in-state, $21,870 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$10,704 in-state; $21,756 (graduate)*
|University of Connecticut||4-year, public; large suburb|| BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology or Physiology and Neurobiology,
BS or BA in Marine Sciences,
MS or Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology or Physiology and Neurobiology,
MS in Biological Oceanography
| $13,366 in-state, $34,908 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
$15,296 in-state; $36,082 out-of-state (graduate)*
|University of Hartford||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city|| BA or BS in Biology,
BS in Chemistry-Biology;
MS in Neuroscience
| $36,460 (undergraduate)*
|Western Connecticut State University||4-year, public; small city|| BA in Biology,
BS in Biology for Elementary or Secondary Education
|$9,516 in-state, $21,786 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Yale University||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city|| BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry,
BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology;
PhD in Genetics, PhD in Neurobiology, PhD In Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
| $47,600 (undergraduate)*
Source: *NCES College Navigator.