Biology

As a biology student, you can study the characteristics and environments of different living organisms, including plants, animals and human beings. Keep reading to explore education and career options in this field.

Are Biology Studies for Me?

Career Overview

If you decide to study biology, you can learn about all types of living things and how they relate to their habitat. This kind of background can prepare you for jobs in many fields, including academics, research and teaching. Majoring in biology can even lay the foundation for becoming a medical doctor or veterinarian. You can also specialize in specific areas, such as wildlife biology. There are also master's and doctoral degree programs in biology that can prepare you for lab and research work in university and government jobs.

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), wages and job duties can vary greatly in biology-related careers (www.bls.gov). General practitioners made an average salary of $183,940 during 2013, while high school biology teachers earned an average salary of $58,260. Biological scientists earned an average salary of $75,160 in the same period, the BLS reported.

How Can I Work in Biology?

Education

An undergraduate degree in biology can be a good starting point for careers across a range of fields. It can take anywhere from four years to complete a bachelor's degree in biology, to more than eight years to earn a Ph.D in Biology. If you're interested in pursuing a career in medicine, scientific research or teaching, you will likely need to earn a graduate degree. Graduate programs in biology include biochemistry, ecology, genetics, evolution, microbiology, plant biology and molecular biology. These programs typically require you to undertake extensive research projects.

Courses of Study

As a biology student, you may take courses such as neuroscience, embryology, nutrition, cell biology, physiology and anatomy, in addition to your humanities curriculum. Biology courses that discuss humans or animals can help you prepare for medical school entrance exams or veterinary school. To become a doctor, you need additional years of schooling as well as hands-on work in residencies.

Additional Program Options

If you're interested in becoming a middle or high school biology teacher, you can often gain your teaching credentials while you're pursuing a biology degree. Alternatively, you can find master's degree programs in teaching that allow you to fulfill biology teacher licensing requirements after you've earned a bachelor's degree.

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