Online Undergraduate Biology Degree Programs
Some undergraduate biology courses are available online, although lab work and attendance at lectures on campus may be required. Learn more about program requirements and concentration options along with the career prospects in the field of biology.
What Courses Will I Take as an Undergraduate Biology Student?
As an undergraduate biology student, you'll complete courses in chemistry, physical science and physics. This foundational study will provide you with the knowledge base to take advanced math, calculus, organic chemistry and genetics courses. Lab work and lectures will introduce you to the functions of organic compounds, proteins and DNA in biological processes. Physiology and ecology courses build upon this foundation to provide an overview of how living organisms function. Most baccalaureate degree programs in this field lead to a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
Some colleges offer undergraduate biology courses online. Generally, you'll be expected to complete lab work and classroom lectures in person. However, directed reading and self-study may be completed through the Internet.
|Common Courses||Physics, chemistry, physical science, ecology, physiology|
|Concentration Areas||Ecology, general biology, environmental biology, molecular biology|
|Career Options||Microbiologist, agricultural scientist, biochemist, food scientist, biophysicist|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)||6% growth (for biochemists and biophysicists)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$93,280 (for biochemists and biophysicists)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Concentrations Can I Pursue?
As a biology major, you can pursue a general program option, which can prepare you for graduate study. If you would like to find work with your bachelor's degree or already know your desired graduate study specialization, you can select a concentration to study at the undergraduate level.
You might choose to pursue a concentration in genetics if you plan on working in biology or agriculture. If you want a career in marine or environmental biology, you can pursue a concentration in ecology or environmental biology. These concentrations can also prepare you for a career dealing with wildlife or addressing issues related to invasive species. A concentration in cellular or molecular biology is helpful if you're pursuing a career in medicine or medical research. Pursuing this type of concentration will provide you with specialized training in genomics, bioinformatics or a related field.
How Can I Apply My Degree?
After you earn an undergraduate degree, you can work as an agricultural, food or soil scientist. You might also find work as a biochemist or microbiologist. Many positions in these career fields are open to you after you earn a 4-year degree, but research and supervisory positions may require a graduate education.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you could expect to earn a median income of $93,280 in 2018 as a biochemist or biophysicist; median earnings of microbiologists during the same year were $71,650 (www.bls.gov). Between 2018 and 2028, demand for biochemists and biophysicists should increase 6%, and demand for microbiologists should increase 5%.
The BLS also reports that soil and plant scientists earned median wages of $63,950 in 2018, and that demand for agricultural and food scientists should rise by 7% in the 2018-2028 decade. Median wages of food scientists and technologists were $65,300 in 2018.