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2020 Best Colleges for General Biology

Approximately 95,805 general biology degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for General Biology ranking analyzed 820 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 quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we consider 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 10% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 6%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 92 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. schools results in an average starting salary of $27,776, graduates of colleges on this list average $32,104.

Starting Salary  ( 28331 to 39068 )
$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 colleges 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 820 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Biology Colleges

Doctorate Highest Degree Type
13th Most Popular In MA
$36,700 Median Starting Salary

Every student pursuing a degree in general biology needs to take a look at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Located in the city Cambridge, MIT is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means MIT is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, MIT also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). General Biology majors from Massachusetts Institute of Technology get a earnings boost of around $4,596 over the average earnings of general biology graduates.

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#2

Stanford University

Stanford, CA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
35th Most Popular In CA
$35,900 Median Starting Salary

Stanford University is among your best bets if you're planning on studying general biology. Stanford is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Stanford. A Best Colleges rank of 7 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Stanford is a great school overall.

A popular choice for general biology undergrads, there are roughly 103 learners enrolled in this degree at Stanford. Students from the general biology degree program at Stanford University make $3,796 more than the typical college grad with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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#3

Tufts University

Medford, MA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MA
2.9% Growth in Graduates

Tufts University is among your top options 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 52nd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There are roughly 273 general biology undergrads enrolled in this program at Tufts. General Biology students from Tufts University get a earnings boost of approximately $4,196 above the average income of general biology graduates.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In CA
$29,000 Median Starting Salary

University of California - San Diego is a good decision for individuals interested in a General Biology major. Located in the city La Jolla, UCSD is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 72nd out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are approximately 443 general biology undergrads studying this program at UCSD. Grads of the biology program report average early career earnings of $29,000.

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#5

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
9th Most Popular In NC
19.1% Growth in Graduates

Wake Forest University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Winston-Salem. A Best Colleges rank of 37 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Wake Forest University is a great college overall.

With 152 undergraduates, Wake Forest University is one of most popular colleges to study biology in United States. Wake Forest University general biology majors earn $2,596 more than the average biology grad.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In NJ
$25,800 Median Starting Salary

Located in the small city New Brunswick, Rutgers New Brunswick is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 151st out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

There are about 662 general biology undergraduates studying this degree at Rutgers New Brunswick. Soon after graduating, biology students typically earn an average of $25,800 at the beginning of their careers.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In TX
13.2% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city College Station, Texas A&M is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 89th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There are roughly 768 general biology undergrads enrolled in this degree at Texas A&M. Students who graduate from the biology program make about $24,800 for their early career.

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#8

Duke University

Durham, NC
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In NC
$34,300 Median Starting Salary

Duke is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 1 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Duke is a great school 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. Students from the general biology program at Duke University earn $2,196 above the average college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

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#9

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In GA
8.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large city Atlanta, Emory is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 27 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Emory is a great college overall.

There are approximately 290 general biology undergrads enrolled in this program at Emory. Students who graduate from the biology program earn around $23,700 in their early career salary.

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#10

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In IN
$30,000 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large suburb Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 13 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Notre Dame is a great college overall.

University of Notre Dame is one of the most popular college to study biology in United States with more than 88 graduations last year. Soon after graduating, biology students usually make about $30,000 at the beginning of their careers.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In CA
1.9% Growth in Graduates

UCLA is a fairly large public school located in the city of Los Angeles. This school ranks 49th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There are approximately 517 general biology undergrads studying this program at UCLA. Graduates of the biology program make around $25,100 in the first couple years of working.

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#12

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
7th Most Popular In NY
$26,400 Median Starting Salary

University of Rochester is a large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Rochester. This college ranks 45th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in something more advanced, University of Rochester also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Students who complete this degree state that they receive average early career earnings of $26,400.

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#13

New York University

New York, NY
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
8th Most Popular In NY
4.3% Growth in Graduates

NYU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. This college ranks 129th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 188 undergraduates, New York University is one of most popular colleges to study biology in United States. After graduating, biology students typically earn about $25,000 at the beginning of their careers.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MD
$28,700 Median Starting Salary

Located in the suburb College Park, UMCP is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 103rd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There are about 485 general biology undergraduates studying this program at UMCP. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career income of $28,700.

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#15

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In PA
$34,900 Median Starting Salary

UPenn is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means UPenn is a great college overall.

With 161 students enrolled, University of Pennsylvania is one of most popular schools to study biology in United States. University of Pennsylvania general biology majors earn $2,796 more than the standard biology student.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In CT
$27,700 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large suburb Storrs, UCONN is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 97th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Connecticut.

For those interested in something more advanced, UCONN also offers 3 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 about $27,700 for their early career.

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#17

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In NH
$42,600 Median Starting Salary

Located in the remote town Hanover, Dartmouth is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 9 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Dartmouth is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Dartmouth also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Dartmouth College general biology graduates make $10,496 more than the standard biology graduate.

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#18

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In PA
$36,100 Median Starting Salary

Drexel is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. This school ranks 171st out of 1,727 colleges 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. Drexel University general biology majors earn $3,996 more than the typical biology grad.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
11th Most Popular In CA
$33,100 Median Starting Salary

UC Berkeley is a very large public school located in the city of Berkeley. This school ranks 65th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

A preferred major for general biology undergrads, there are approximately 278 students studying this program at UC Berkeley. Graduates of the biology program make around $33,100 in the first couple years of working.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
18th Most Popular In NY
$39,400 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 26 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great school overall.

A preferred choice for general biology undergrads, there are approximately 120 students enrolled in this degree at Columbia. Students from the general biology program at Columbia University in the City of New York make $7,296 above the standard graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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#21

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In MA
$34,700 Median Starting Salary

Boston College is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Chestnut Hill. This school ranks 58th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There are about 200 general biology undergrads studying this degree at Boston College. Boston College general biology majors earn $2,596 more than the typical biology grad.

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#22

Northeastern University

Boston, MA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
8th Most Popular In MA
$38,100 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 77th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, Northeastern also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. General Biology students from Northeastern University get a earnings boost of about $5,996 above the average income of general biology graduates.

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#23

Georgetown University

Washington, DC
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In DC
$37,000 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city Washington, Georgetown is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 42 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Georgetown is a great college overall.

There are about 58 general biology undergraduates enrolled in this program at Georgetown. Students from the general biology degree program at Georgetown University get $4,896 more than the average college grad with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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Master Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In MO
11.4% Growth in Graduates

WUSTL is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Saint Louis. A Best Colleges rank of 19 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means WUSTL is a great college overall.

There are about 158 general biology undergrads enrolled in this degree at WUSTL.

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#25

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In IL
$30,500 Median Starting Salary

Located in the small city Evanston, Northwestern U is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 10 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Northwestern U is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Northwestern U also offers 2 different higher degree levels in general biology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Soon after graduation, biology students usually make an average of $30,500 at the beginning of their careers.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Colleges for General Biology

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 820 different United States general biology schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
52 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
53 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
54 Davidson College Davidson, NC
55 University of Chicago Chicago, IL
56 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
57 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA
58 Rutgers University - Newark Newark, NJ
59 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
60 Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA
61 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
62 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
63 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
64 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
65 University of Maryland - Baltimore County Baltimore, MD
66 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
67 Baylor University Waco, TX
68 Ursinus College Collegeville, PA
69 Colgate University Hamilton, NY
70 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
71 St John’s University - New York Queens, NY
72 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
73 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
74 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
75 Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA
76 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
77 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
78 University of Denver Denver, CO
79 University of California - Riverside Riverside, CA
80 University of the Pacific Stockton, CA
81 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
82 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
83 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
84 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
85 Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA
86 Pomona College Claremont, CA
87 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
88 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
89 Colby College Waterville, ME
90 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
91 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
92 Bowdoin College Brunswick, ME
93 Trinity College Hartford, CT
94 Lafayette College Easton, PA
95 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
96 Franklin and Marshall College Lancaster, PA
97 Augustana College Rock Island, IL
98 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
99 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
100 Carleton College Northfield, MN
101 Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY
102 Fordham University Bronx, NY
103 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
104 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA
105 Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
106 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
107 Creighton University Omaha, NE
108 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
109 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
110 New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ
111 St Lawrence University Canton, NY
112 Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI
113 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
114 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
115 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
116 Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, IL
117 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
118 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
119 University of Georgia Athens, GA
120 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
121 University of South Florida - Main Campus Tampa, FL
122 Dickinson College Carlisle, PA
123 San Diego State University San Diego, CA

Honorable Mentions

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

Rank College Location
124 University of Richmond University of Richmond, VA
125 Ohio Northern University Ada, OH
126 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
127 Stonehill College Easton, MA
128 Grinnell College Grinnell, IA
129 University of Oregon Eugene, OR
130 Wellesley College Wellesley, MA
131 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
132 Iowa State University Ames, IA
133 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
134 Occidental College Los Angeles, CA
135 Bates College Lewiston, ME
136 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
137 Smith College Northampton, MA
138 SUNY Geneseo Geneseo, NY
139 University of San Diego San Diego, CA
140 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO
141 Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, PA
142 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
143 Denison University Granville, OH
144 Virginia Military Institute Lexington, VA
145 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
146 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
147 University of Tulsa Tulsa, OK
148 Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA
149 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX
150 Rutgers University - Camden Camden, NJ
151 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
152 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
153 Le Moyne College Syracuse, NY
154 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
155 Clarkson University Potsdam, NY
156 Gettysburg College Gettysburg, PA
157 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
158 University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, MI
159 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
160 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
161 Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY
162 Temple University Philadelphia, PA
163 Washington State University Pullman, WA
164 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA

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 14,048
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 8,716
Physiology & Pathology Sciences 8,072
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 6,799
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 5,493

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.

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