*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Scientists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
Generally speaking, most bachelor's degrees in Biology take approximately four years for full-time students to complete. Traditional programs usually consist of 120 credit hours of coursework, or approximately 40 college courses. It is important to note that some institutions offer accelerated degree programs, often designed to help students earn a bachelor's and master's Biology degree simultaneously and in less time. Some high schools also offer college credit for certain courses, which can shorten the graduation timeframe.
It is important to realize, however, that students enrolled part-time are unlikely to graduate within four years. Those taking only a few classes per semester typically graduate within five to eight years.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
As you begin exploring colleges and universities, you may already know what you want to major in. If you have a Biology major in mind, look through the undergraduate catalog, either online or a copy of the book and browse the majors offered by that college. If you find this major, this will be one school you'll want to consider attending; if not, then cross the school from your list and move on to the next.
If you're uncertain what Biology degree you're interested in, try to find a school with a robust variety of courses, that will let you experience a few varied lower level classes and allow you to figure out what you enjoy while you work through your general education.
A Biology degree will certainly require to consist of some really particular training courses. Generally, a bachelor's degree in Biology looks like an associate level doubled, but associates courses (the first two years) focus more on general studies. While the 3rd-5th years focus more on specific studies related to Biology. Below is a sample of online bachelor's degree courses so you can see the kind of curriculum that will be typically found. Universities will differ in their specific studies needs. Compare colleges very carefully on the courses they will require you to take to gain your bachelor's degree in Biology. Sample courses you may need:
Only 41% of students actually manage to finish their Biology degree on time. There are a variety of factors that could potentially play a part in unexpectedly extending your college career, such as:
Work. Working over 25 hours per week can get in the way of academics.
Credit Hours. Most colleges will define a full course load as 12 credit hours per semester. If you do the math, you will see that you actually need to take 15 credit hours per semester in order to graduate on time.
Transferring. Many students end up transferring during their college career. Many times, there are hiccups with transferring credits. This can put you behind, or even cause you to end up losing your credits altogether.
Be aware of these common mistakes, so that you don't make them yourself.
The college or university itself should be accredited. Look for a regionally accredited school based on that school's location. The six regional accreditation agencies are The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, The North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, and The Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Online-only schools should have accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, the Distance Education and Training Council, or the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges but they should also hold regional accreditation.
Accreditation is an important part of the selection process. It adds value to a Bachelor of Arts in Biology degree by offering wider acceptance than degrees from non-accredited schools receive. Accreditation ensures employers and other reviewers of your educational background that you have a quality education in Biology. It informs potential employers that the graduate has the expected level of education and knowledge to perform work in today's high-paced, technology-driven environments.
The Department of Education designates regional and national accreditation agencies. It is also through this department that educational loans and grants are provided to college students. The federal policy is to limit student loans to schools and colleges with acceptable accreditation. Which means that, if your school isn't accredited, you will likely not be eligible to receive any financial aid. For many students, accreditation is key to getting funds to pay for the substantial costs of a degree in Biology.
The cost will depend on several factors. Are you pursuing your Biology degree online or in a traditional setting? If you attend your courses on campus, you will also need to pay for food, room and board, and other fees. This can increase the cost of your Biology education significantly unless you have a plan in place to keep these costs low. If you attend a public, state school, it will depend on whether or not you are a resident. In-state students usually pay much lower rates than out-of-state students. However, this can be overcome by attending classes online, as most institutions charge in-state rates for all online courses. Either way, you need to research the costs for each Bachelor’s Degree in Biology program you are considering applying to, as each institution will have their own rates.
We recommend that students make a specific inquiry about job placement assistance programs at any school they consider for a Bachelor in Biology degree program. Advanced institutions incorporate career planning into the two or four-year course of study for a bachelor's or master's degree in Biology. The school may host job fairs, business community awareness communications, and host interviews for employers from across the region.
The school of Biology, college, or university is a broad community of alumni, business sponsors, and corporate partners. Both new and established schools often have extensive local, regional, and national networks. The overall resources of the Biology school and the larger schools can potentially assist in producing high levels of job opportunities and hires for recent graduates.
Some schools pair students with advisers, career counselors, and job coaches at various stages of their academic careers. Observers can see the results in annual satisfaction surveys, and the numbers of students that get interviews and offers of employment.