Working adults and other students may want to obtain a biology degree, but wonder how they can afford it. Fortunately, college can be an option even despite their financial barriers, since there are several ways to find affordable biology degrees. With some creative thinking, you can make an average or high-priced biology degree into an affordable biology degree.
First and foremost, search the web to find affordable biology degrees. A person can also make expensive biology degrees affordable by applying for financial aid. Students can obtain grants that they don’t have to pay back as long as they complete the degree program. You can also take out low-interest loans that can help pay for the cost of tuition.
When looking for affordable biology degrees, look into private grants and scholarships. These options can provide a student with money to complete their degree. However, they don’t have to be paid back if the student completes their degree. Working adults can also look into an employer reimbursement program. With this option, once an employee completes a degree, their employer pays for a portion of their education.
Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Biology Degree Programs
To rank the most affordable biology degrees, Bachelor’s Degree Center editors started with accredited, reputable institutions. The ranking features schools according to their tuition cost, using current IPEDS data.
1. University of West Florida
Topping the list of the most affordable biology degrees is the bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of West Florida. Students can customize the degree by choosing electives in microbiology, biotechnology, toxicology or another field. They learn to solve problems in medicine, the environment and agriculture by making technological breakthroughs in physiology, molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, ecology, botany and biochemistry. There are two specializations available. Students can choose a BS in General Biology or a BA in Biology Teaching.
The University of West Florida strives to use the power of higher education to incite change around campus, throughout Florida and all over the world. The school compares its staff and students to voyagers on a quest to change the way things are and make them better.
What We Like: Students who complete the BA in Biology Teaching will be certified to teach high school classes in the state of Florida.
Degree: BS in Biology
2. Eastern New Mexico University
Next on the list of the most affordable biology degrees is the BS/BA in Biology from Eastern New Mexico University. ENMU also offers a BS in Biology with secondary science licensure for those who want to teach high school science. Other degree options include a BS in Biology with an emphasis in ecology, evolution and organismal biology; a BS in Biology with an emphasis in microbiology, molecular biology and biotech; and a BS in Biology with an emphasis in pre-medicine. The BS/BA in Biology with no emphasis is a good choice for those who want to customize the degree to focus on an area where no emphasis is available.
Eastern New Mexico University has been helping students prepare for advanced study and to enter the workforce for 85 years. The school’s mission is to focus on student life, cultural diversity, freedom of inquiry and liberal learning.
What We Like: Biology majors often have the opportunity to participate in research projects or do work in a lab.
Degree: BS/BA in Biology
3. Florida State University
The BS/BA in Biological Science from Florida State University is one of the most affordable biology degrees in the US. Students can customize their degrees by choosing electives in zoology; pre-professional health science; plant sciences; marine biology; ecology, evolution and environmental science; or cell and molecular biology. Students who choose the pre-professional health sciences track are qualified to enter the physician’s assistance, physical therapy, pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine or medicine program.
Florida State University is a preeminent research university, as designated by the Florida State Legislature. The school’s faculty has been awarded more than $1 billion in grants and contracts over a 5‑year period. Students who excel in their areas of study are recognized as “Student Stars.”
What We Like: Juniors and seniors enrolled in the BS/BA in Biological Science may qualify to be involved in the Undergraduate Honors in the Major Program in Marine Biology.
Degree: BS/BA in Biological Science
4. Ferris State University
Another affordable biology degree is the BS in Biology from Ferris State University. This program provides a strong foundation for students who want a career in the biological sciences. The curriculum includes physics, chemistry, math, ecology, genetics, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and general biology. Students can choose additional electives in the areas that interest them most. This program can help students enter the workforce in the field immediately or prepare them to pursue a more advanced degree.
Ferris State University is known for its large selection of degree programs and its quality instruction. The school is divided into seven colleges: College of Pharmacy; Michigan College of Optometry; Kendall College of Art and Design; College of Health Professions; College of Engineering Technology; College of Business; and College of Arts, Sciences and Education.
What We Like: This program is open to high school graduates (or equivalent) who are well-prepared academically, with an educational background appropriate to the study of biology.
Degree: BS in Biology
5. Indiana State University
Indiana State University’s BS in Biology is another of the most affordable biology degrees in the country. In this program, students will lean how new technologies change our understanding of the way organisms interact with each other as well as their cellular and molecular components. The program incorporates several sub-disciplines of biology, such as general genetics, molecular biology, ecology and evolution, and cellular and microbial biology. These sub-fields contribute new knowledge to wildlife and environmental management, biotechnology, genomics, bioinformatics, teaching, agriculture, medicine, and more.
Indiana State University’s core values are inclusiveness, engagement, discovery and learning. The school strives to prepare the next generation of citizens and leaders by providing transformative experiences that help students excel.
What We Like: Students who complete the program may choose to attend a graduate school or a professional school, such as forensic science, dental hygiene, pharmacy, optometry, medicine or dentistry.
Degree: BS in Biology
6. University of Central Florida
Next on the list of the most affordable biology degrees in the US is the BS in Biology from the University of Central Florida. Biology majors get a foundation in the physical, mathematical, and chemical sciences as well as a broad education in the biological sciences. Students can choose a general biology track or select one of five specialties: zoology and pre-veterinarian science; pre-health professional; plant sciences; marine and aquatic; or ecology, evolutionary and conservation. Students who choose the pre-health professional track will be prepared to pursue studies in human or veterinary medicine.
The University of Central Florida was established in 1963 to provide talent for the US space program. US News & World Report ranks it as one of the top 20 most innovative colleges in the US. UCF is a metropolitan research university that demands excellence and continually tries to increase the number and type of opportunities available to students.
What We Like: The UCF biology department has several research labs and facilities, including the Herbarium, Greenhouse, Bug Closet and Arboretum.
Degree: BS in Biology
7. West Virginia University
The BS in Biology from West Virginia University is another of the most affordable biology degrees. This program requires at least 120 credit hours, which includes general education foundations, college Bachelor of Science requirements, STEM foundations, major requirements and electives. The curriculum includes at least 38 credit hours of coursework in the biological sciences. The biology major requirements include professional development, ecology and evolution, the living cell, introductory physiology, principles of biology and the labs that correspond to those courses.
West Virginia University is a collection of campuses that share a single mission: to create an inclusive and diverse culture that advances prosperity, healthcare and education. The school boasts groundbreaking research, career-oriented programs, and tech-focused programs that create a better future for students around the world.
What We Like: The BS in Biology is a SpeakWrite Certified ProgramTM. The program develops students’ visual, verbal and written communication skills.
Degree: BS in Biology
8. Washburn University
The BS in Biology from Washburn University is another affordable biology degree. This program studies the function, evolution and structure of living organisms. Students learn about animals, plants and humans while studying genetics, insects and diseases. Biology majors must choose a minor in the natural sciences (mathematics, physics or chemistry, for example). Students have 24 credits of biology electives that allow them to customize their degrees according to their interests. There is also a BA in Biology, which requires foreign language competency instead of a science minor.
Washburn University helps students become their best selves. The school is an urban university that offers a big-city feel to rural and small-town students. Washburn University provides an affordable education and has a student-faculty ratio of 22:1. Over half of the school’s classes have less than 20 students.
What We Like: There are a variety of scholarships available for students in the Department of Biology.
Degree: BS in Biology
9. Georgia Institute of Technology
Another of the most affordable biology degrees is the BS in Biology from Georgia Tech. This affordable biology degree program provides an excellent foundation in the life sciences and prepares students for careers in health and biology-related fields. The program can be customized to suit the student’s career goals and interests. Students have the opportunity to participate in teaching experiences, internships, international research trips, research courses and more. The curriculum includes evolution, ecology, genetics, cell and molecular biology and biological processes.
Georgia Tech is a large research university with almost 40,000 students from all 50 states and almost 150 countries. Georgia Tech has some of the biggest and best computing and engineering colleges in the country. Its business, science, liberal arts and design programs are also outstanding.
What We Like: Students can choose a concentration in applied physiology, integrative biology, marine science, environmental science, computational and quantitative biology, bio-inspired design, biomolecular technology or biomedical science.
Degree: BS in Biology
10. University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama offers a BS in Biology. This affordable biology degree provides students with a solid background in the biological sciences. Students can choose a general biology degree or a concentration in senior thesis, marine biology or environmental science. Biology majors must take 48 credit hours of general education courses, five biology core courses and 26–29 hours of other STEM courses. Required biology core courses include cell biology, genetics and ecology and evolution.
The University of South Alabama is a community of learners and leaders who challenge and support each other through service, research and academic experiences. The school seeks to make a positive impact on the Gulf Coast region and the world. USA encourages discovery and creativity by connecting hands-on educational experiences to real-world applications.
What We Like: Students majoring in biology must also complete a minor consisting of 18–24 credit hours.
Degree: BS in Biology
Will a Certification Help My Career?
If a person doesn’t want to earn a complete online bachelor’s degree and already has either an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree in biology, the person may want to consider earning one of the biology certifications instead. Biology certifications allow a person to specialize in a certain area of biology. Therefore, he or she can choose to learn about a particular area of science.
Biology certifications can also help a person obtain jobs that he or she wouldn’t have been qualified for before he or she earned the certification. Biology certifications can also give a person a leg up on the competition. A person who has a biology certification may be able to obtain a position that he or she wasn’t qualified for before he or she had a certification, depending on the job.
Online biology certifications show that a person took the initiative to further his or her education and learn more about the field. This is impressive to prospective employers.
Online biology certifications could allow a person to get a raise at work or advance his or her position or take on new roles at his or her current job.
How Much Can I Make with a Degree in Biology?
Once a person decides to earn a biology degree, he or she may search salary biology degree before he or she takes the plunge and earns a degree in the field. When a person searches salary biology degree, a person will notice that the salary depends on the job he or she takes on. Sometimes, a person may want to further his or her education to an online master of science degree to earn even more than an entry-level salary.
There are many career paths in biology. Wildlife biologists may not make as much as biologists working in pharmaceuticals, for instance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the best reference for careers.
A degree in biology salary for a biologist, for example, is $80,200. This is the same degree in biology salary hourly wage of $38.56. If a person decides to become a biologist technician (biological technician), the average biology degree salaries for this career is $45,860. As a person is comparing biology degree salaries, a person should know that he or she will make an average of $22.05 per hour for this full-time position.
If a person decides to complete a biology degree and takes biology courses in zoology or wildlife biology, a person can choose to become a zoologist. A degree in biology salary is $63,270 per year. A degree in biology salary for this career is the same as $30.42 per hour.
A person can become a pharmaceutical sales rep, which can also earn a person a lucrative. With this particular career, a degree in biology salary can range anywhere from $73,000 per year to over $100,000.
Keep in mind that a degree in biology salary grows over time. A person can also take on a higher salary if he or she chooses to specialize in a certain area of biology.
The degree in biology salary can also be higher in certain states and even certain cities. Keep in mind that the bachelor’s degree in biology salary is also higher in certain types of facilities as opposed to others.
A person should also consider that he or she can grow his or her bachelor’s degree in biology salary by earning a master’s degree. Even a certification can enhance the bachelor’s degree in biology salary.
Can an Online Biology Degree Help Me Get into Medical School?
Online biology programs will provide the fundamentals of biology just like a conventional, on-campus bachelor of science in biology. Online programs have accreditation, and online students can go onto doctoral programs, or other graduate programs like a master’s program. Enrollment in medical school is extremely competitive, however, so online learning may make it difficult to get into med school.
However, you can choose specializations that are better for med school, such as organic chemistry or immunology. Online schools may offer fewer specializations, but lower tuition rates for greater affordability.