Tamatha Barbeau, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology

Coordinator: Veterinary Studies Program
Coordinator: Program for Undergraduate Research (PURE)


What Can I Do With A Biology Degree?

Biology is the science of life and how living things work, behave, and interact with the environment.

There are many things you can do with an undergraduate degree in Biology. So much, in fact, that it cannot all be listed here.

Categories of career options include research, healthcare, teaching, science writing, administration, management, government, industry, and miscellaneous careers that do not fit into the other categories.

Click Here for a listing of over 100 careers you can have with a Biology degree.

Remember to talk with your advisor, your teachers, and other faculty within the department!

Jobs with a Biology Degree (i.e. "What are my options?")

There are many different entry levels for jobs in Biology. "Entry level" refers to what kind of degree is required for the job. Here are some examples of "entry levels":

High School diploma - Some jobs only require a high school diploma (otherwise known as "secondary education") because the skills required are taught to employees as "on-the-job" training. All experience and skills required are taught after you're hired. Sometimes these jobs are considered "apprenticeships" in which you study under someone with many years of experience in the field. Often these apprenticeships end in "certification" to work in a particular area.

Post-secondary non-degree - Post-secondary education is any education or training after attaining a high school diploma. There is a wide variety of Post-secondary training programs available. This training can be given in the form of apprenticeships (see above) or even from vocational schools, community colleges, and technical colleges. The difference with this training is that it does not necessarily result in attaining a specific degree.

Associate's degree - An associate's degree is typically a 2-year "technical" degree in a particular biological or health program and can be offered by community colleges, junior colleges, and technical colleges. In some cases, even 4-year colleges offer an associate's degree program.

Bachelor's degree - A bachelor's degree is 4-year degree in Biology in which you complete prerequisite courses in Biology as well as other science courses like chemistry and physics. Additionally, a bachelor's degree also requires some coursework in english, math, social sciences, humanities, and the arts - in order to provide students a well-rounded education. A Bachelor's degree is often used as a stepping stone for applying to higher education programs, such as a Master's, and Doctoral education (see below).

Master's degree - A Master's degree is a 2 - 3 yr program in a particular area of Biology and is offered at 4-year Universities. You can get either a Master of Arts degree (MA) or a Master of Science (MSc) degree. An MA is primarily course-based or a mixture of coursework and research. A MSc degree involves conducting research studies that are written up and defended as a "thesis". There are many specialties you can can an MSc degree such as biology (in any subdiscipline thereof), physical or occupational therapy, physician assistant, prosthetics, and many, many more!

Doctoral (Ph.D.) degree - A Ph.D. is the highest degree you can attain in a particular program and discipline. It can take anywhere from 3 - 6 years to get a Ph.D. degree depending on the program and the focus of study. It is primarily a research-based program in which you design and conduct research experiments and write up and defend a dissertation in order to earn your degree.

Internet Resources

****This is a GREAT place to start looking for a large listing of biology and healthcare related jobs, average pay, and educational requirements for these jobs! The United States Department of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2013.

NIU Career Services
is another good web resource with links to possible jobs with a BSc degree and links to biology-related job sites.

South Carolina State Government e-recruit system (http://jobs.sc.gov)
See for state and/or government jobs in South Carolina

Jobs with the US Department of Health and Human Services

Jobs with the US Department of Energy

Jobs with the US Geological Survey (USGS)

Jobs with the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Jobs with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Jobs with the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Salary Survey for Bachelor of Science (BS) degree
What can I expect to get paid with a Biology degree?

Jobs in Science (from New Scientist Jobs)

Jobs in Biomedical Sciences

Biology careers and related organizations

Careers in the Biological Sciences (American Institute of Biological Sciences) - www.aibs.org/careers/

On this site I will post supplements that will help you learn material from lecture. These supplements will be posted with each chapter covered and might include practice quizzes, interactive exercises, review material, and relevant examples to material covered in class.

Written by Tamatha Barbeau, 2004. This web site is for educational purposes; if you own an image on this site and would like it removed or used with permission, or if you have comments, corrections, or suggestions, please contact me.