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2021 Best Colleges for General Biology

Approximately 97,754 general biology degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a daunting task finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for General Biology ranking analyzed 630 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in general biology. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 schools for General Biology students.

Choosing a Great General Biology School

Best Colleges for General Biology The biology program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality biology program can vary widely even among the top schools. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we include a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a collection of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 17% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 9%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 140 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

General Biology graduates from colleges on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average general biology bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $27,776, graduates of colleges on this list average $36,168.

Starting Salary  ( 32792 to 39407 )
$0
$42,600

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on General Biology students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other general biology students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized general biology related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for General Biology students.

Best Schools to Study General Biology in United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study general biology. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 630 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Biology Colleges

#1

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

Every student who is interested in general biology has to look into Dartmouth College. Located in the town Hanover, Dartmouth is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 15 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Dartmouth is a great school overall.

There are roughly 74 general biology undergrads enrolled in this program at Dartmouth. General Biology students from Dartmouth College receive an earnings boost of approximately $6,432 over the typical income of general biology majors.

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#2

Tufts University

Medford, MA

Tufts University is among your best bets if you want to study general biology. Located in the large suburb Medford, Tufts is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 59th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, Tufts also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after graduation, biology students generally make around $36,300 in the first five years of their career.

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Columbia University in the City of New York is one of the finest schools in the country for general biology. Located in the city New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 32 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great college overall.

A preferred choice for general biology undergrads, there are approximately 103 individuals enrolled in this program at Columbia. Columbia University in the City of New York general biology majors receive $3,232 more than the average biology graduate.

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#4

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Stanford University is among your best bets if you're planning on studying general biology. Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Stanford. A Best Colleges rank of 6 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Stanford is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Stanford also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Students who graduate from the biology program earn an average of $35,900 in the first couple years of working.

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#5

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Duke also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the biology program state that they receive average early career earnings of $34,300.

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Located in the large city Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. This school ranks 81st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

A preferred major for general biology undergrads, there are roughly 149 individuals enrolled in this degree at Northeastern. Students who graduate from this program report average early career income of $38,100.

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Located in the large city Stockton, Pacific is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. This school ranks 191st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

With 112 undergrads, University of the Pacific is one of most popular schools to study biology in United States. University of the Pacific general biology graduates receive $5,332 more than the typical biology graduate.

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Located in the city Cambridge, MIT is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 5 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means MIT is a great school overall.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the most popular college to study biology in United States with over 72 graduations last year. Grads of the biology program state that they receive average early career wages of $36,700.

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#9

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC

Wake Forest University is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Winston-Salem. A Best Colleges rank of 37 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Wake Forest University is a great school overall.

A popular major for general biology undergraduates, there are roughly 145 individuals enrolled in this program at Wake Forest University. Graduates of the biology program earn an average of $34,700 in their early career salary.

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Located in the city La Jolla, UCSD is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 94th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in something more advanced, UCSD also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Grads of the biology program state that they receive average early career wages of $29,000.

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#11

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. This college ranks 186th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

For those interested in something more advanced, Drexel also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. After graduating, biology students typically make around $36,100 in the first five years of their career.

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#12

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Located in the city Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great school overall.

There are about 297 general biology undergrads studying this program at Cornell. Graduates of the biology program earn about $32,800 in their early career salary.

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Located in the large city Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 124th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Minnesota.

There are roughly 348 general biology undergraduates studying this program at UMN Twin Cities. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, biology students usually make an average of $34,800 in the first five years of their career.

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#14

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

UPenn is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 9 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UPenn is a great college overall.

There are roughly 163 general biology undergrads studying this degree at UPenn. After getting their bachelor's degree, biology students typically make about $34,900 in the first five years of their career.

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#15

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA

Temple is a fairly large public school located in the city of Philadelphia. This school ranks 290th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There are approximately 270 general biology undergraduates enrolled in this program at Temple. Students who graduate from the biology program earn an average of $37,300 in their early career salary.

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#16

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

Holy Cross is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Worcester. A Best Colleges rank of 31 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Holy Cross is a great college overall.

College of the Holy Cross is one of the most popular college to study biology in United States with more than 60 graduations last year. General Biology students from College of the Holy Cross receive an earnings boost of around $2,932 above the typical income of general biology majors.

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#17

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Chestnut Hill. This college ranks 61st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There are about 213 general biology undergraduates enrolled in this program at Boston College. Students who graduate from the biology program earn an average of $34,700 in the first couple years of their career.

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UC Berkeley is a very large public school located in the city of Berkeley. This school ranks 69th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

With 272 undergraduates, University of California - Berkeley is one of most popular schools to study biology in United States. Students who graduate from the biology program make an average of $33,100 in their early career salary.

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UNC Chapel Hill is a very large public school located in the city of Chapel Hill. This college ranks 60th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

For those interested in something more advanced, UNC Chapel Hill also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Students who graduate from the biology program make an average of $30,700 in their early career salary.

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Located in the large city Detroit, UDM is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. This school ranks 281st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

University of Detroit Mercy is a fairly popular school to study biology in United States with over 94 graduates last year. University of Detroit Mercy general biology students earn $5,432 more than the standard biology graduate.

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#21

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue is a fairly large public school located in the small city of West Lafayette. This school ranks 84th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

There are roughly 139 general biology undergrads enrolled in this program at Purdue. Grads of the biology program report average early career earnings of $33,500.

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#22

Williams College

Williamstown, MA

Williams is a small private not-for-profit school located in the fringe town of Williamstown. A Best Colleges rank of 7 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Williams is a great school overall.

Williams College is a fairly popular school to study biology in United States with over 53 graduates last year. Grads of the biology program state that they receive average early career wages of $37,400.

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#23

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA

Located in the large suburb Swarthmore, Swarthmore is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 21 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Swarthmore is a great college overall.

Swarthmore College is a fairly popular school to study biology in United States with more than 47 graduations last year. Students who graduate from this program report average early career income of $36,800.

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#24

DePauw University

Greencastle, IN

Located in the distant town Greencastle, DePauw is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 50 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means DePauw is a great college overall.

A preferred choice for general biology undergraduates, there are approximately 19 individuals enrolled in this degree at DePauw. DePauw University general biology graduates make $3,132 more than the standard biology student.

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#25

University of Delaware

Newark, DE

Located in the large suburb Newark, U of Delaware is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 87th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Delaware.

There are about 166 general biology undergrads studying this program at U of Delaware. Students who graduate from the biology program earn about $33,600 for their early career.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Colleges for General Biology

#29

Georgetown University

Washington, DC
#31

Boston University

Boston, MA
#32

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN
#33

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA
#34

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
#35

Virginia Military Institute

Lexington, VA
#36

Providence College

Providence, RI
#37

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA
#39

Auburn University

Auburn, AL
#40

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY
#41

Marquette University

Milwaukee, WI
#42

George Washington University

Washington, DC
#43

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
#44

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL
#46

Union College New York

Schenectady, NY
#47

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA
#48

Grinnell College

Grinnell, IA

Additional Award Winners

This section shows the rest of the schools awarded a Best Colleges for General Biology badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 630 different United States general biology schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
52 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
53 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
54 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
55 Clemson University Clemson, SC
56 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
57 University of Massachusetts - Lowell Lowell, MA
58 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
59 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
60 Lafayette College Easton, PA
61 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
62 Brown University Providence, RI
63 Citadel Military College of South Carolina Charleston, SC
64 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
65 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
66 Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY
67 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
68 Stonehill College Easton, MA
69 New York University New York, NY
70 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
71 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
72 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
73 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
74 Wellesley College Wellesley, MA
75 Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA
76 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
77 Iowa State University Ames, IA
78 Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA
79 University of Wisconsin - La Crosse La Crosse, WI
80 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
81 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
82 University of Vermont Burlington, VT
83 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
84 Ursinus College Collegeville, PA
85 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
86 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
87 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
88 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
89 University of South Florida - Main Campus Tampa, FL
90 Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus Atlanta, GA
91 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
92 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
93 University of California - Davis Davis, CA
94 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for Biology students that almost earned our Best Colleges for General Biology award.

Rank College Location
95 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
96 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
97 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
98 University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
99 Emmanuel College Massachusetts Boston, MA
100 Washington College Chestertown, MD
101 University of New Hampshire at Manchester Manchester, NH
102 University of California - Merced Merced, CA
103 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
104 American University Washington, DC
105 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
106 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
107 Fordham University Bronx, NY
108 University of San Diego San Diego, CA
109 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
110 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
111 University of Oregon Eugene, OR
112 Illinois State University Normal, IL
113 New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ
114 Ripon College Ripon, WI
115 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
116 University of Puget Sound Tacoma, WA
117 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
118 Concordia College at Moorhead Moorhead, MN
119 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
120 University of Portland Portland, OR
121 University of Maryland - Baltimore County Baltimore, MD
122 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
123 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL
124 University of New England Biddeford, ME
125 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
126 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO

General Biology by Region

View the Best Colleges for General Biology for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 14 majors within the Biological & Biomedical Sciences area of study, General Biology has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 14,004
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 9,504
Physiology & Pathology Sciences 7,844
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 6,987
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 5,671

View All Biology Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Janderk. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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