Online Associate Degree Programs in Biology

In an associate's degree program focused on biology you can learn about ecosystems and scientific methods and you can prepare yourself for entry-level work in the biology field. Learn about the curriculum offered in online associate's programs. Find out topics discussed in the classroom, and get information about careers that might be available.

What Types of Associate's Degrees in Biology Are Available?

If you want to study biology online, you may consider an associate's degree program in biology or a program in liberal arts with an emphasis in the sciences. While the curriculum in either program can be similar, the associate's degree in liberal arts typically incorporates more general education classes. Both types of associate's degrees are available as a transfer program, which allows you to continue studying biology through a bachelor's degree program.

Degree Options Associate's in biology, associate's in liberal arts with a sciences emphasis
Prerequisites High school diploma, ACT or SAT scores, high school transcripts, letters of recommendation
Study Topics Cells, plant species, human anatomy and ecosystems, living creatures and their habitats, evolution
Online Components Internet discussion forums, conference calls, email, video chat
Average Salary (2018)$48,060 (for biological technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% growth (for biological technicians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are There Any Prerequisites?

You'll need at least a high school diploma to be considered for admission to an online program in biology at this degree level. You may also be required to submit ACT or SAT scores, high school transcripts and letters of recommendation. The strongest applicants usually have taken high school coursework in biology, chemistry, computer science or statistics.

What Will I Study?

In addition to general education, you will also study living creatures and their habitats. At the associate's level, study often includes fundamental knowledge in subjects like animals, human anatomy and ecosystems, as well as cells, evolution or plant species.

You will also learn how to perform biological experiments in a laboratory setting, which includes foundational knowledge in scientific methods, laboratory equipment and safety procedures. Many online programs also focus on technology, including basic computer literacy and statistical software.

How Does the Online Program Work?

In an online associate's degree program in biology, you'll use Internet discussion forums, email and conference calls, as well as video chat to communicate with your professor and classmates. Some programs will require you to complete basic experiments at home, while some will ask you to simply view videos of experiments. Depending on your program, all your classes may be offered online or you might take some on campus.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Although many advanced biology positions require a bachelor's or master's degree, you can still pursue entry-level work to introduce you to the field. With enough lab experience you may pursue employment as a biological technician, which according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was expected to grow by 10% from 2016 to 2026 ( The BLS also reported that the average annual salary for this career was $48,060 in May 2018. Some students decide to enroll in bachelor's degree programs in biology, which offer specialization areas like cell biology, anatomy or ecology.