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2021 Physiology & Pathology Sciences Degree Guide

Pathology and Physiology are both subjects that focus on cells and the body and so are often studied together. In Pathology you will learn about the causes and progress of disease or injury in people. In Physiology you will learn about mechanical and biochemical process of the body and can focus on one specific body part or system. Studying both of these topics has exciting implications. As you dive deeper into the material you will learn valuable information about how to prevent disease and improve human life.

Courses that you will take to increase your knowledge are: biology, chemistry, physiology, pathology, advanced mathematics, microbiology, genetics, reproduction, and molecular biology. There will be a lot of labs in your coursework, allowing you to gain hands-on experience and participate in experiments.

he ability to choose a concentration is available at some schools. Some of these concentrations are: General Physiology, Molecular Physiology, Cell Physiology, Endocrinology, Reproductive Biology, Cardiovascular Science, Exercise Physiology, Vision Science, Pathology, Oncology and Cancer Biology, and Aerospace Physiology and Medicine.

Physiology & Pathology Sciences Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#93 Most Popular Major
7.8k Degrees Awarded
-2.9% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, physiology and pathology sciences was the 93rd most popular major nationwide with 7,844 degrees awarded. This represents a 2.9% reduction in physiology degrees awarded over the prior year's total of -8,072.

Approximately 88 colleges in the U.S. offer a physiology and pathology sciences degree of some kind. This year's Best Colleges for Physiology & Pathology Sciences ranking compares 32 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom physiology rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Physiology & Pathology Sciences

A passion for your topic of study will help you through difficult coursework. Be confident with your skills, but ready to ask for help if you get stuck. Work on your time management skills in order to juggle multiple science and math classes and labs at the same time. This is a rewarding and exciting topic when you master it.

Classes and lab work will teach you how to analyze data and information. Students will be required to memorize formulas and then put them into practice through experiments. You will be spending a lot of time in lab often working closely with a lab partner. Interpersonal skills are helpful when working with your peers and your professors.

Prior Education for a Physiology Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most physiology degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. In addition to these basic physiology and pathology sciences program qualifications, to serve in some physiology careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Physiology & Pathology Sciences Degrees

Physiology degree levels vary. Physiology & Pathology Sciences programs offered by schools range from a associate's to a professional practice doctorate, which is the highest physiology degree you can get. Depending on the physiology and pathology sciences degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to physiology, with approximately 29.0% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for physiology workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 28.8%
Master’s Degree 25.3%
Doctoral Degree 19.2%
Post-Doctoral Training 19.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 2.8%

63.3% of physiology workers have at least a master's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in physiology and pathology sciences careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the physiology career you are seeking.

Physiology Careers

Average Number of Jobs
$32.2k Average Starting Salary
18% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Some graduates continue their education to receive Medical degrees or another advanced degree. However, there are also options for grads who want to go straight into a career. Those more interested in physiology could easily do research for a drug company or become an exercise physiologist and work with people to help improve their health. Your skills in the field of pathology will enable you to work in medical fields as a researcher or medical writer. Graduates could also find work in government, education or private businesses.

High Growth Projected for Physiology Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your physiology degree? Physiology & Pathology Sciences careers are expected to grow 18.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to physiology and pathology sciences.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Health Specialties Professors 294,000 25.9%
Medical Scientists 136,100 13.4%
Biological Science Professors 71,700 15.1%
Natural Sciences Managers 62,300 9.9%
Biological Scientists 41,800 8.0%

Physiology Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated physiology and pathology sciences students earned an average of $32,215 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $19,300 to as high as $95,500. As you might expect, salaries for physiology graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Physiology Majors

Salaries for physiology and pathology sciences graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers physiology grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Natural Sciences Managers $139,680
Health Specialties Professors $122,320
Biological Science Professors $97,340
Medical Scientists $96,420
Biological Scientists $83,600

Getting Your Physiology & Pathology Sciences Degree

With over 532 different physiology degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased physiology school rankings to help you with this.

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

Majors Similar to Physiology

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Biology 98,638
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 14,004
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 9,504
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 6,987
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 5,671

View All Physiology Related Majors >


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