Why a Degree in Biological Science?
Employment rooted in biological science is on the rise. Human beings are living longer, and therefore, physicians are in demand. Environmental sustainability and endangered species are trending topics as our natural resources and wildlife are vanishing from the planet. Graduates with a degree in biological science have a number of career options.
Like the number of career options available, a degree in biological science also casts a wide net. A bachelor's degree in biological science is ideal for those who know they want to work in the field of biology, but not exactly sure which area. And there are several areas of study to be explored, some of which include molecular biology, environmental science, genetics, biophysics, microbiology, and chemical biology. As an undergraduate, students will have the opportunity to gain knowledge in several or all of these areas before going on to careers in research, pharmaceuticals, environmental protection, or wildlife conservation.
Students majoring in biological science may also pursue an advanced degree in biological science or a related field, such as medicine. A bachelor's degree in biological science can serve as the first step toward becoming a doctor, dentist, or veterinarian. Students who pursue a Master's degree or PhD in biological science narrow their focus, based on their interests of study at the baccalaureate level.
What Skills Will I Learn While Studying for the Biological Science Degree?
While studying for a degree in biological science, students will be exposed to and be prepared for important field-related competencies, including:
- Conveying ideas to experts and laypersons.
- Recognizing the relationship between all living things.
- Applying science to propose, perform, and decipher research.
- Implementing sustainable living practices.
- Understanding biology's role in society.
- Understanding genetics as they relate to inherited traits and the flow of information.
How are Biological Science Courses Taught?
Courses taken at the undergraduate level are an opportunity for students to explore their interests within the larger category of biological science. Students also develop research, writing, and presentation skills that will assist them in gaining employment or that they will apply if furthering their education.
Biological science courses include laboratory work and traditional classroom lectures. Online programs are available.
Many colleges highly recommend taking chemistry early on, as chemistry makes understanding aspects of biological science easier. Biology and chemistry are symbiotic in that chemistry serves as the language of biology.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Degree in Biological Science?
A bachelor's degree in biological science can be earned in four years. A bachelor's degree in biological science provides students with a wide base of knowledge with which they can hone should they decide to pursue an advanced degree. Additionally, because the topic of biological science is so broad, students can tailor their undergraduate studies to their post-graduate career goals.
Jobs in the fields of zoology, veterinary science, and dentistry require additional schooling, be it a Master's degree or PhD in biological science or a degree more closely related to their field.
A Master's degree in biological science can be earned in approximately two years if attending full-time. This can be done either on-campus or through an online degree program. Those with a Master's degree in biological science often find employment in research or as a post-secondary educator.
Pursuing a PhD in biological science affords students the opportunity to delve even deeper into the many features of biology, including genetics, molecular biology, microbiology, biophysics, and neurobiology. While earning a PhD, many students are required to conduct research, teach courses at the college level, and fine-tune their skills as a scientist. Professions include science journalism, pharmacology, data science, and academia. Earning a PhD in biological science can take between 6 and 8 years.
How do Online Degrees in Biological Science Work?
An online degree in biological science works much like a traditional classroom-based biological science degree, which consists largely of lectures and lab work. The difference with an online biological science degree program is, in the case of lab work, it is either done virtually or a lab kit is mailed out for students to conduct labs independently. With the latter, all materials are included in the kit and students write a report and/or send materials back to the teacher or school for grading.
What if I Have Questions about the Online Biological Science Degree Format and Process?
A few things to look out for when searching for an online degree program in biological science is accreditation, how lab work will be conducted, and internship and job placement. More information for accredited online biological science degrees can be found on the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's website.
When exploring an online program of interest, investigate what sort of student support the school offers. Some things to look out for include:
- What types of financial aid does the school offer, if any?
- Is there access to technical support any time of day or night?
- Does the school provide access to class materials and an online library?
- Does the school help place students in internships, work study, and employment, post-graduation?
- Is there academic and career counseling available?
What Will I Need to be Successful Studying Online?
Choosing to obtain a bachelor's degree online has its benefits, such as affording students the ability to take courses sporadically when time allows or to attend school on a part-time basis. Distance learning requires self-discipline, effective time management, and organization. It is important for students to allot time in their schedule, not only for class time, but for completing coursework, as well. It is also vital to maintain a consistent study schedule in a consistent study space.
Biological Science Online Degree Course Examples
Courses taught online in pursuit of a biological science bachelor's degree include:
- Intro to Biology
- Systems Biology
- Organic Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry Laboratory
- Physics Laboratory
- Molecular Biology
- Behavioral Science
- Global and Historical Awareness
Tuition and Costs for an Online Bachelor's Degree in Biological Science
Tuition and costs associated with obtaining an online degree in any subject area are comparable to those when pursing a degree the traditional way. Tuition for an online baccalaureate degree in biological science ranges from $15,000 to $53,000 annually.
What Kinds of Jobs Can I Do with a Biological Science Degree?
Those with a Biological Science degree can explore a range of jobs in their field, a few of which include:
- Park ranger $60,970
- Dentist $158,120
- Environmental protection technician $45,490
- Forensic science technician $57,850
- Nursing $70,000
- Physical therapist $86,850
- Pharmacologist $82,240
- Zoologist $62,290
- Veterinarian $90,420
- High School Teacher $59,170
What are the Benefits of Having a Degree in Biological Science?
Because biological science degree programs are so varied in content area, students are afforded a variety of job opportunities once they earn their degree. Many of these jobs are highly sought after - health care providers, geneticists, epidemiologists, and environmentalists. Additionally, graduates are well-prepared for graduate school or career due to the research, time-management, and presentation skills gleaned while obtaining their undergraduate degree.
How Can I Get More Information on Biological Science?
More information on both an undergraduate and graduate Biological Science Degree is available at the following sites: