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Bioscience Schools and Degree Programs

Bioscience is a wide field with careers to suit anyone interested in the study of living things, from microorganisms to human beings. Read about some of the degree options in bioscience, and get info on choosing a school. Review a few of the many jobs you could pursue with a background in bioscience.

What You Need to Know

Bioscience schools and degree programs provide an in-depth learning experience about life in all its forms. Students will be trained to explore new innovations and scientific developments that may find cures for diseases, create a safer environment or improve the quality of life. Many undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available.

Degrees Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs
Courses Biology, chemistry, mathematics, biophysics and many more
Training Hands-on research and internships

What is Bioscience?

Bioscience is a general term that includes the study of human beings, plants and animals at the organism, cellular and molecular levels. General fields of study within bioscience include biochemistry, biophysics and genetics. More specialized fields include immunology, biomedical engineering, forensic science, food science and ecology. As a bioscience student, you'll take courses in biology, chemistry and mathematics.

How Do I Choose a Degree Program?

Associate's degree programs will prepare you for entry-level jobs as a research assistant, laboratory technician or laboratory assistant. They'll also prepare you for further study. If you plan to pursue a bachelor's degree, look for associate's degree programs with credits that will transfer. An Associate in Science in Bioscience/Biotechnology is one program option.

A bachelor's degree is the minimum qualification for some entry-level laboratory technician jobs. If you intend to pursue a master's or doctoral degree in bioscience, a bachelor's degree in any of the life science fields can satisfy most entrance prerequisites. There may be various options to consider, especially Bachelor of Science programs in fields like biology, cellular and molecular biology, ecology and evolutionary biology or health and medical sciences. Some Bachelor of Arts programs in biology are also available. These courses may be covered in a bachelor's-level program:

  • Quantitative biology
  • Research in biology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Physics
  • Plant physiology
  • Human physiology
  • Wildlife ecology

What Graduate Programs Are Available?

Master's degree programs are ideal for those who want to work in advanced research or in administrative positions within bioscience. Bioscience master's degrees are sometimes offered as Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree programs, which emphasize the business aspects of bioscience as well as covering the scientific and technical principles of the field. These programs are often geared toward working professionals who already have experience in the industry. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is required if you want to teach bioscience to college students or conduct independent research.

What Should I Look For in a School?

Look for a school with courses that closely match your interests and with outcomes that closely match your career goals. You can also look for schools that offer opportunities for hands-on research, internships within the biosciences industry and up-to-date laboratories. If you intend to work as a clinical laboratory scientist, medical technologist, medical technician or scientists' assistant, look for programs accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

What Careers Will My Degree Prepare Me For?

A bioscience degree prepares you for careers in a wide variety of research settings, including the following:

  • Health care
  • Agricultural chemistry
  • Biofuels
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Biotechnology

Bioscience technologists might also work in product research and development, quality control, or sales and marketing in manufacturing settings. Teaching bioscience is another career avenue, as long as you supplement your degree with the appropriate teaching licensure and certification.

Possible job titles for graduates of a bioscience program might include:

  • Clinical research coordinator
  • Cytogenetic technologist
  • Microarray technologist
  • Molecular genetics technician
  • Nanotechnology technician
  • Product safety manager
  • Renewable energy technician
  • Research and development assistant
  • Research assistant