What can I do with a degree in biology?
Bachelor of Science degree
Common careers for students entering the job market directly after completing their BS degrees include medical technologists, lab technicians, and pharmaceutical drug sales. Other students work as field technicians, wildlife or marine biologists, veterinary assistants, and environmental consultants. With additional course work in education, graduates also serve as teachers in high school.
The BS degree is also excellent preparation for pre-professional or graduate school; about 50% of our graduates go into such programs. Every year, large numbers of our graduates enter medical, dental and veterinary school. Other pre-professional programs popular with our graduates include physical therapy and optometry. Many of our students opt to join graduate programs to obtain advanced training in biology, marine biology, ecology, or public health. Although most students follow these traditional pathways to careers, we find that our students are well prepared for success in such diverse areas of graduate training as law, education and engineering.
Here are some websites with useful information on specific careers related to our majors.
Ecology & Evolution
- Ecological Society of America "Explore Ecology as a Career"
- Botanical Society of America Careers in Botany
- Genetics Society of America Careers
- NOAA Fisheries Careers in Marine Biology
- Sea Grant Guide to Ocean Opportunities
Medical and Allied Health Sciences
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Healthcare Occupations
- American Society for Microbiology Careers in Microbiology and the Microbial Sciences
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
- The American Institute of Biological Sciences “Careers in the Biological Sciences”
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Biological Technicians
- The New Scientist “A day in the Life of a Cell and Molecular Biologist”
- The New Scientist “A career in genetics and genomics”
Master of Science degree
Graduates of our master’s program are well prepared to enter the work force as laboratory or environmental scientists or to pursue advanced degrees. Many of our MS graduates seek additional education as doctoral students (57%) or in pre-professional schools (8%). For the 35% of MS graduates who enter the job market directly, most obtain supervisory positions in environmental protection or management agencies, or in biotechnology, food safety or forensic labs. Other students with MS degrees work as instructors in high schools, community colleges, and universities. For more information, see our report on the careers of our master's graduates.
Doctor of Philosophy degree
Our doctoral graduates are successful in competing for teaching and research positions in universities and institutions around the world. About 83% of our doctoral program graduates enter careers in academics, with most of the remaining students working as research scientists in federal, state or private laboratories. Of the doctoral program graduates entering academics, about 61% move into post-doctoral research positions following graduation, with the remainder directly obtaining positions as assistant professors or instructors. For more information about the career paths of our doctoral graduates, see our report on the careers of our doctoral graduates.