Field of Study Overview

Biological and Biomedical Sciences is all about studying life. You will learn how molecules become cells and how cells become organisms. With many options for majors and concentrations, this is a great field for students who love math, science, nature and the environment.

During your classes you will be required to collect data from the lab and the field. This involves getting outdoors into forests and rivers, as well as examining specimens in the laboratory and under the microscope. You will get very intimate with all different kinds of organisms and explore their populations and their environment. This major is for a student who is ready to work hard in order to gain a strong foundation in biology with strong content knowledge in chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

Students can major in General Biology. However, you also have the opportunity to pick a more specialized major. Ecology involves learning about interactions of living and nonliving things in all sorts of ecosystems. Neurobiology and Neuroscience allows you to study the way the brain functions and the importance of the nervous system as well as the evolution of the brain. If you are more interested in exploring the animal kingdom you may choose to major in Zoology. Students with a more medical bent might be interested in Microbiology Sciences and Immunology, where they will get the chance to study bacteria and infectious disease.

Explore additional the majors in this field of study to see what peaks your interests.

Required Skills

Biology is a great field for curious students who love learning about how living organisms grow, adapt and survive. Many of the fields can be quite rigorous and competitive. Be prepared for long hours in the lab doing research, analyzing results and writing lab reports.

Completing your coursework will help you develop critical thinking and analytic skills. You will need to read and evaluate scientific material, learn terminology and memorize formulas. Problem solving skills will help you work through difficult scenarios. Accuracy and attention to detail are absolutely necessary when performing experiments and recording results.

Students will often work with partners or in groups, making communication and collaboration important. You need to be a team player as well as leader. Don't be afraid to listen to theories and perspectives that may challenge your opinions. Work on your writing and speaking skills in order to present information clearly and accurately.

Some programs may require field experience or allow students to pursue internships or independent research. This experience is valuable and will make you more competitive in the workplace.


With a strong academic background, graduates with a degree in biology will have the ability to enter many different occupations. Many become lab scientists working for a variety of medical, health or environmental industries. There are many opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry to work as a researcher, developer, sales person, marketer, or medical laboratory assistant.

Some careers in biology will require a minimum of a master's degree. Some careers that biology majors have gone into are professor, biotechnologist, biomedical engineer, lawyer, forensic scientist, or zoologist. Many grads also eventually become doctors, nurses, pharmacists or veterinarians.

Salary can vary depending on your career choice and on whether or not you receive an advanced degree. However, graduates report an average starting salary of $37,467 with a mid-career salary of $69,731.


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Field at a Glance

  • Yearly Graduations
    (online) 961
    (associate) 5,635
    (bachelor) 121,969
  • Average Starting Salary
  • Average Mid-Career Salary

Explore Top Majors in this Field

Click Major to View Top CollegesPopularitySalary PotentialMajors Matcher
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology High Best N/A
Biological & Biomedical Sciences (Other) Average N/AN/A
Biomathematics & Bioinformatics Low N/AN/A
Biotechnology Low Fair N/A
Botany/Plant Biology Low N/AN/A
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences Average Good N/A
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology Average Fair N/A
General Biology High Poor N/A
Genetics Low Good N/A
Microbiological Sciences & Immunology Average Low N/A
Neurobiology & Neurosciences High N/AN/A
Pharmacology & Toxicology Low N/AN/A
Physiology & Pathology Sciences High Low N/A
Zoology Average Poor N/A

College Ranking by Field of Study

Click rankings below to view the top colleges in this field
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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