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2021 Best Colleges for General Biology in California

General Biology is a popular major and California is the 1st most popular state for students studying this major. 12,281 of the 97,754 General Biology diplomas awarded last year were given by colleges in California. With so many options it can be difficult finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for General Biology in California ranking analyzed 48 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in general biology. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 7 schools for General Biology students in California.

Choosing a Great General Biology School

Best Colleges for General Biology in California Your choice of general biology school matters. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 11% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 9%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 130 to 7 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

A general biology degree from colleges on this list usually translates into above average wages following graduation. While the average general biology bachelors degree from California colleges results in an average starting salary of $28,567, graduates of colleges on this list average $33,414.

Starting Salary  ( 27515 to 38684 )
$0
$41,500

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 in California.

Best Schools to Study General Biology in California

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for general biology majors.

Top 10 Best Biology Colleges in California

#1

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

It's difficult to beat Stanford University if you want to pursue general biology as a major. Located in the large suburb Stanford, Stanford is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 6 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Stanford is a great school overall.

A popular major for general biology undergraduates, there are roughly 111 students studying this degree at Stanford. Stanford University general biology students receive $5,180 more than the average biology graduate.

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It's hard to beat University of the Pacific if you want to pursue general biology as a major. Pacific is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Stockton. This college ranks 23rd out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

University of the Pacific is one of the most popular school to study biology in California with over 112 graduations last year. Students from the general biology degree program at University of the Pacific make $10,780 more than the average college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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University of California - San Diego is one of the finest schools in the United States for general biology. UCSD is a very large public school located in the large city of La Jolla. This college ranks 12th out of 116 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are roughly 454 general biology undergrads studying this program at UCSD. After graduating, biology students typically make an average of $29,000 in their early careers.

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Every student who is interested in general biology needs to check out University of California - Berkeley. Located in the medium-sized city Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 10th out of 116 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are roughly 272 general biology undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UC Berkeley. University of California - Berkeley general biology graduates earn $2,380 more than the average biology grad.

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#5

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA

Located in the medium-sized city Santa Clara, SCU is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 68 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means SCU is a great college overall.

With 60 undergrads, Santa Clara University is one of most popular schools to study biology in California. Graduates from the general biology major at Santa Clara University get $7,380 more than the average graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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Located in the city Los Angeles, UCLA is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 65 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UCLA is a great college overall.

There are approximately 496 general biology undergrads enrolled in this degree at UCLA. Students who graduate from this program state that they receive average early career income of $25,100.

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Located in the suburb San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 20th out of 116 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are about 258 general biology undergrads studying this degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Students who graduate from the biology program earn about $31,200 in their early career salary.

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San Jose State is a very large public school located in the city of San Jose. This school ranks 48th out of 116 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

With 205 students enrolled, San Jose State University is one of most popular schools to study biology in California. San Jose State University general biology graduates earn $8,480 more than the standard biology student.

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Located in the medium-sized suburb Santa Barbara, UCSB is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 16th out of 116 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There are about 352 general biology undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UCSB. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, biology students typically make around $30,100 at the beginning of their careers.

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UC Davis is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Davis. This college ranks 11th out of 116 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are approximately 271 general biology undergraduates enrolled in this program at UC Davis. Soon after graduation, biology students usually earn about $30,200 at the beginning of their careers.

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Best General Biology Colleges in the Far Western US Region

Explore all the Best General Biology Schools in the Far Western US Area or other specific states within that region.

State Colleges Degrees Awarded
Washington 293 1,487
Oregon 252 900
Nevada 190 552
Hawaii 162 248
Alaska 120 111

General Biology is one of 14 different types of Biological & Biomedical Sciences programs to choose from.

Majors Similar to Biology

Related Major Annual Graduates
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 2,153
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 1,816
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 1,312
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 759
Microbiological Sciences & Immunology 576

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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