Best Colleges for a Biology Major: List of Schools

Read about some of the best colleges in the nation for biology majors. Obtain school rankings, program possibilities and location info, and compare similarities and differences to find the school for you.

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School Information

Though they're located on opposite sides of the country, Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offer two of the best degree programs in biology. Biology majors at these universities can participate in classroom instruction and perform research in state-of-the-art campus laboratories. Students might be able to specialize in subjects like ecology and evolution, marine biology and biochemistry.

Best Colleges for Biology Majors

1. Stanford University in Stanford, CA

According to 2014 rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Stanford tied for first place in the nation among schools offering biology programs, along with Harvard and MIT. Biology majors at Stanford have their choice of three degree routes - general biology with or without honors or biology major with a field of study and honors. The general biology curriculum consists of courses in biology and core science principles, while the field of study option lets students focus on one of six areas of concentration. Students can enroll in biology courses once they've completed the first-year core requirements and prerequisites - as early as sophomore year.

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA

In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked MIT seventh-best in the nation among all universities. MIT's Department of Biology offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology, as well as a minor in biology for students who may be interested in other disciplines. Students within the department have access to 14 research programs, including those dealing with cancer, cloning, stem cells and cellular biology. Biology majors at MIT can choose between two programs: Course VII, which prepares students for careers in research, or Course VII-A, which is preparation for careers without laboratory research.

List of Good Schools with Biology Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Harvard University Harvard tied for first-place ranking on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 list of schools with the best biology programs. Cambridge, MA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT ranked #5 on U.S. News & World Report's 2014 list of best value schools. Cambridge, MA
Stanford University In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked Stanford #4 among all national universities. Stanford, CA
University of California-Berkeley UCB earned the #4 spot on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best biology schools. Berkeley, CA
University of California-San Diego Biological sciences faculty members include 23 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 28 fellows for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.La Jolla, CA
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Students can join the Biology Student Alliance, the Society of Biology Students, the Neuroscience Students Association, and more. Ann Arbor, MI
University of North Carolina The school's 56 research faculty members have several areas of strength, including cell biology, ecology, evolution and plant biology. Chapel Hill, NC
University of Texas In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked UT-Austin #7 in the nation among schools offering programs in evolutionary biology and ecology. Austin, TX
University of Washington-Seattle UW's facilities include a biology study area, a comparative genomics center, a greenhouse, an imaging facility and a medicinal herb garden. Seattle, WA
University of Wisconsin-Madison The biology program offers three options: evolutionary biology, neurobiology and plant biology. Madison, WI
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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (14)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (5)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (2)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (5)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (2)
    • Wisconsin (1)

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (2 campuses)
    • California (5)
    • Colorado (1)
    • Florida (1)
    • Hawaii (1)
    • Texas (2)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Pharmacology and Toxicology
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      • Bioinformatics
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      • Bioinformatics
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Pharmacology and Toxicology
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      • Bioinformatics
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      • Botany
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Zoology

Popular Schools

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