5 Most Popular Colleges for Biology Majors

Find out which schools have the largest biology programs for students and how much they cost.

The biology major is popular at many schools, especially since it’s a common choice among those who plan to go on to medical school. Find out which schools are the most popular colleges for biology majors, and how much they cost, to help you make your decision about where to go for your degree.

5. Arizona State University: $9,724 (residents), $22,977 (non-residents)

As one of the country’s largest public universities, it’s no surprise that Arizona State University (ASU) also has a popular biology program. This school has over 2,700 students studying the sciences, many of whom are focusing on biology.

Students at ASU can choose one of three Bachelor of Science degrees:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology

Within those degree programs, students can also choose to specialize in one of the following concentrations:

  • Animal Physiology and Behavior
  • Biology and Society
  • Conservation Biology and Ecology
  • Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology

ASU is a popular choice not only for their massive sciences program because the university is ranked 21st in the world for biological sciences.

4. Ohio State University: $10,037 (residents), $25,445 (non-residents)

Ohio State University (OSU) is another large school with a popular biology program. Over 37 percent of incoming students enroll in the arts and sciences program, which includes the biology major.

OSU students getting their Bachelor of Science in Biology at OSU can choose from the following specializations:

  • Forensic Biology
  • Life Sciences Education

Students often choose OSU for biology studies due to the fact that the school is ranked 18th about the country’s top public universities. In addition, the university is ranked 11th for research expenditures among U.S. public research universities, which is great for students in the sciences.

3. University of Florida: $5,656 (residents), $27,933 (non-residents)

The University of Florida (UF) has a popular biological sciences program. In a typical year, over 7 percent of the graduating class will earn a Biological/Life Sciences degree.

Students working towards their Bachelor of Science in Biology at UF choose one of six tracks designed to prepare them for a future career in the sciences:

  • Pre-professional (Medicine)
  • Life Sciences Research
  • Private Industry
  • Agriculture
  • Government Science
  • Education

One unique facet of the UF Biology program is that it works with two of the university’s colleges: the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). This provides more elective course choices and access to more mentors and research projects.

2. University of Minnesota: $13,022 (residents), $18,022 (non-residents)

The massive University of Minnesota has a thriving biology program that offers several different selections for majors:

  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
  • Genetics, Cell Biology and Development
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Plant Biology

The University of Minnesota actually has a separate College of Biological Sciences so students have an entire set of administrators and faculty dedicated solely to their education. This College graduated 469 students in the 2011-2012 school year.

1. University of Central Florida: $5,584 (residents), $21,063 (non-residents)

The University of Central Florida (UCF) is the country’s second-largest university. Its biology program is among the top 15 majors at the school, and the Colleges of Sciences enrolls over 10,000 undergraduate students each year.

Students in UCF’s biology program can choose one of the following subspecialties:

  • Molecular Biology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Marine Biology

A major benefit of going to UCF for biology studies is their many partnerships with nearby organizations, including the Disney Wilderness Preserve, the Kennedy Space Center and the Canaveral National Seashore.

Quick Facts

  • Most biology majors choose to pursue an advanced degree in a more specialized field.
  • Biology majors can pursue a wide variety of career options after graduation, including medical doctor, public health assistant, technical writer, wildlife biologist, zoologist, geneticist and ecologist, to name a few.
  • According to Forbes, the average salary for a graduate with a biological and life sciences degree is just $33,430. However, students who pursue an advanced degree will likely earn much more in their field.
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