2019 Accredited Online Biology Degrees

Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Degree Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, and Certificate
Avg Tuition: $29,762
Avg Salary: $74,394

Students will find 184 degree options on our comprehensive list of online biology degrees, and 13 of the most outstanding schools are highlighted on the list of best colleges offering master's in biology programs. These schools are ranked based on tuition rates and alumni salaries provided by PayScale. Earning an online biology degree can lead to a career as a laboratory technician, teacher, researcher, zoologist, doctor, or veterinarian, among other careers.

Students who are researching biology programs are encouraged to choose a school that is accredited by a reputable accrediting agency. Accreditation indicates that the school has been thoroughly evaluated and that it is recognized by the US Department of Education. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation provides a database of agencies and accredited schools that meet quality standards.

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Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Biology Degrees ( 66)

Partner School
Partner School
Full List Accreditation Annual Tuition Recommend Rate
Full List (66)
Albany State University SACS COC $16,136 Add Review
45 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Associate of Science in Biological Science
American Public University System HLC $6,880 71% (146 reviews)
462 Programs, 3 in Biology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences - Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences - Earth Science
Arizona State University HLC $15,691 - $27,372 71% (88 reviews)
223 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • BS in Biochemistry
  • BS in Biological Sciences
Bluefield College SACS COC $24,800 100% (1 review)
28 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Education - Biology
Central Methodist University HLC $5,760 - $23,770 100% (1 review)
53 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in in Education - Secondary Education - Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in in Education - Secondary Education - Unified Science: Biology
Clarkson University MSCHE $47,950 Add Review
38 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Bioethics - Health Policy & Law
  • M.S. in Bioethics
Clemson University SACS COC $36,058 100% (2 reviews)
26 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Biological Sciences
  • Master of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology - Non-thesis
Colorado State University-Fort Collins HLC $28,903 100% (5 reviews)
81 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Conservation Actions with Lands, Animals, and People
  • Master of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology (M.F.W.C.B.)
Columbia University in the City of New York MSCHE $57,208 Add Review
87 Programs, 4 in Biology (view all)
  • Certificate of Professional Achievement in Bioethics
  • Master of Science in Bioethics
  • Master of Science in Computer Science - Computational Biology
  • Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - Systems Biology
Columbus State University SACS COC $16,920 20% (5 reviews)
55 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary Education - Biology
Drexel University MSCHE $52,002 60% (5 reviews)
320 Programs, 3 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate PA Intern Teaching Certification - Secondary Education - Biology
  • Master of Science in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum: Teacher Certification - Secondary Education - Biology
  • Post-Bachelor's Teaching Certificate in Secondary Education - Biology
Excelsior College MSCHE Not Provided 61% (130 reviews)
242 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences - Biology
Florida International University SACS COC $18,954 90% (10 reviews)
127 Programs, 7 in Biology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology - Allied Health Profession
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology - Bioentrepreneur
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biology - Environmental Policy
George Mason University SACS COC $34,370 Add Review
58 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Biodefense
  • Master of Science in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (Thesis Option)
The George Washington University MSCHE $53,518 75% (4 reviews)
134 Programs, 4 in Biology (view all)
  • Microbiology Certificate
  • MS in Health Sciences in Clinical Microbiology
  • MSHS in Clinical Microbiology
Georgia State University SACS COC $23,971 0% (1 review)
62 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Associate of Science - Biology Pathway
Grand Canyon University HLC $17,050 52% (416 reviews)
220 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • MS in Biology with an Emphasis in Education
Illinois Institute of Technology HLC $45,864 Add Review
70 Programs, 7 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Biology
  • Master of Science in Biology - Biochemistry
  • Master of Science in Biology - Biophysics
  • Master of Science in Biology - Cell and Molecular Biology
Indiana State University HLC $19,452 88% (8 reviews)
79 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Genomics, Health, and Public Policy
  • Master of Science in Biology without Thesis
Indiana Wesleyan University Online - Adult Education HLC $25,980 29% (7 reviews)
143 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Teaching Certificate - Biology
  • Master of Education - Major in Biology
Jackson State University SACS COC $18,314 Add Review
26 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science and Mathematics in Teaching - Biology
Johns Hopkins University MSCHE $52,170 Add Review
323 Programs, 12 in Biology (view all)
  • Dual MS in Biotechnology/Flexible MBA in Financial Businesses
  • Dual MS in Biotechnology/Flexible MBA in Health Care Management
  • Dual MS in Biotechnology/Flexible MBA in Management Leading Organizations
  • Dual MS in Biotechnology/Flexible MBA in Marketing
Kentucky State University SACS COC $19,638 Add Review
9 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Certificate in Aquaculture/Aquatic Sciences
Lehigh University MSCHE $50,740 Add Review
27 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Engineering in Biological Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Molecular Biology
Mississippi State University SACS COC $22,358 0% (1 review)
83 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science in General Biology
  • Master of Science in General Biology - Teachers in Biology
Missouri Southern State University HLC $11,568 100% (1 review)
32 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Environmental Health & Safety Certificate in Environmental Biology
Montana State University NWCCU $24,071 Add Review
24 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Science Teaching - Life Science
New York University MSCHE $50,464 100% (2 reviews)
58 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Advanced Certificate in Bioinformatics
  • MS in Bioinformatics
North Carolina State University SACS COC $27,406 67% (3 reviews)
110 Programs, 9 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Biology for Educators
  • Graduate Certificate in Horticultural Science
  • Master of Animal Science
  • Master of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Northeastern University NECHE $49,497 100% (10 reviews)
314 Programs, 6 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Experimental Biotechnology
  • Graduate Certificate in Molecular Biotechnology
  • Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Science
  • Master of Science in Bioinformatics - Bioinformatics and Chemoinformatics
Ohio State University-Main Campus HLC $29,696 Add Review
51 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Arts in Bioethics
Oregon State University NWCCU $29,457 43% (7 reviews)
154 Programs, 3 in Biology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences - Aquatic Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences - Conservation Biology
  • Professional Science Master's in Environmental Sciences - Biogeochemistry
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus MSCHE $13,988 67% (3 reviews)
231 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Life Sciences
Regent University Online SACS COC $17,288 50% (14 reviews)
459 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Theological Studies - Cosmogony
Saint Leo University Online SACS COC $22,220 68% (83 reviews)
137 Programs, 4 in Biology (view all)
  • B.S. in Biology - Biomedical & Health Sciences
  • B.S. in Biology - Ecology
  • B.S. in Biology - Education Minor
  • B.S. in Biology - General Biology
Salem University HLC $16,700 100% (1 review)
54 Programs, 3 in Biology (view all)
  • Associate of Science in Biology
  • BS Biology - Physiology and Exercise Science
  • BS Education - Biology Education
Stanford University WASC WSCUC $49,617 Add Review
55 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Informatics - Data, Modeling and Analysis
  • Professional Certificate in Stanford Genetics and Genomics
Stevenson University MSCHE $35,490 Add Review
110 Programs, 11 in Biology (view all)
  • BS in Biochemistry/MA in Teaching (Bachelor's to Master's Option)
  • BS in Biochemistry/MS in Forensic Science (Bachelor's to Master's Option)
  • BS in Biology/MA in Teaching (Bachelor's to Master's Option)
  • BS in Biology/MS in Forensic Science (Bachelor's to Master's Option)
Texas A & M University-Commerce SACS COC $20,884 86% (7 reviews)
50 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Biological Science
Texas A&M University-College Station SACS COC $36,606 67% (3 reviews)
118 Programs, 8 in Biology (view all)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Breeding
  • Master of Engineering in Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • Master of Engineering in Biological and Agricultural Engineering - Food Engineering
  • Master of Natural Resource Development - Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
Troy University SACS COC $13,520 55% (11 reviews)
90 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • MS in Environmental and Biological Science - Environmental Policy (Non-Thesis)
University of California - Berkeley WASC WSCUC $42,184 67% (3 reviews)
30 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Certificate in Advanced Biosciences
University of Connecticut NECHE $36,948 100% (1 review)
29 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Genetics & Genomics
University of Delaware MSCHE $33,150 0% (1 review)
37 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Applied Bioinformatics
University of Florida SACS COC $28,659 60% (5 reviews)
269 Programs, 18 in Biology (view all)
  • BA in Biology
  • BS in Microbiology and Cell Science
  • Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Neuroscience
  • Graduate Certificate in Medical Anatomy and Physiology
University of Illinois at Springfield HLC $20,938 100% (7 reviews)
55 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Licensure in Teacher Education - Secondary - Science (Biology and Chemistry)
University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign HLC $31,194 Add Review
129 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Teaching Biology
University of Maine NECHE $30,282 Add Review
48 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Professional Science Masters in Bioinformatics
University of Mary HLC $18,224 100% (3 reviews)
67 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • MS in Bioethics
University of Maryland - College Park MSCHE $33,606 50% (4 reviews)
48 Programs, 3 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Chemical and Life Sciences
  • Master of Engineering in Bioengineering
  • Master of Professional Studies in Applied Entomology
University of Massachusetts - Amherst NECHE $33,477 75% (4 reviews)
78 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Education Specialist in Science Education
  • Master of Education in Science Education
University of Massachusetts-Lowell NECHE $31,865 83% (6 reviews)
84 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction - Science Education Option
University of Missouri HLC $26,506 Add Review
123 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Biological Engineering
  • Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences - Veterinary Sciences
University of Nebraska at Kearney HLC $13,194 0% (1 review)
147 Programs, 3 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Biology
  • Master of Science in Education - Science/Math Education Program - Integrated Option: Biology
  • Post-Baccalaureate Transitional Certification Program in Biology 7-12 Subject Endorsement
University of Nebraska-Lincoln HLC $24,098 Add Review
72 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Entomology
University of Northern Colorado HLC $21,132 Add Review
61 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Science in Biological Science
University of Saint Joseph - CT NECHE $38,033 Add Review
18 Programs, 4 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Integrative Genomics
  • Master of Science in Biochemistry (Non-Thesis Option)
  • Master of Science in Biochemistry (Thesis Option)
  • Master of Science in Biology
University of the Southwest HLC $16,200 40% (5 reviews)
40 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • MS Biology in Forensic Science
University of Toledo HLC $18,885 Add Review
68 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Education and Science in Biology
University of Washington - Seattle NWCCU $35,538 100% (3 reviews)
85 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Certificate in Basic Bioscience
University of West Alabama SACS COC $16,818 100% (3 reviews)
86 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • Alternative Teaching Certification in Biology 6-12
  • Master of Science in Conservation Biology
Villanova University MSCHE $51,284 100% (2 reviews)
78 Programs, 4 in Biology (view all)
  • Certificate in Biochemical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Biochemical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering - Geotechnical Engineering
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University SACS COC $31,014 Add Review
31 Programs, 1 in Biology (view all)
  • Master of Agricultural and Life Sciences - Environmental Science
Washington State University NWCCU $25,817 80% (10 reviews)
98 Programs, 3 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Bioethics
  • Professional Science Master’s in Molecular Biosciences
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Molecular Biosciences
Western Governors University NWCCU $6,070 72% (622 reviews)
66 Programs, 2 in Biology (view all)
  • B.S. Science Education (Secondary Biological Science)
  • M.A. Science Education (Secondary Biological Science)
Western Kentucky University SACS COC $25,512 0% (1 review)
147 Programs, 4 in Biology (view all)
  • Graduate Certificate in Biology
  • Master of Arts in Education in Teacher Leadership - Middle Grades Education - Biology
  • Master of Arts in Education in Teacher Leadership - Secondary Education - Biology
  • Master of Science in Biology - Non Thesis

Online Biology Degree Overview & Career Information

Students in associate and bachelor's degree programs take general education courses with an emphasis on mathematics and other sciences like chemistry and physics. Biology coursework includes classes in the origin of life, cells, genetics, organic evolution, phylogeny (the evolutionary history of organisms), plant form and function, animal form and function, and ecology. Students in bachelor's degree programs may take additional courses in biodiversity, anatomy and physiology, human genetics, microbiology, developmental biology, and bioethics.

Master's and doctoral degree programs prepare students to conduct original research in biology. Students take courses in biological statistics and learn how to design and conduct experiments, collect and analyze results, and report conclusions. Students take elective courses in advanced biology topics like scientific illustration, animal behavior, microbial diversity, environmental biology, and human evolution. Students seeking a master’s or doctoral degree in biology will find that the program concentrates on research; however, in an online setting, this is less prominent. Online graduate study concentrates on reading material and original writing, so, depending on your learning style, it can be even more challenging to earn a graduate degree online than it is in traditional school.

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Online Associate Degrees in Biology

Online associate degrees in biology and biochemistry prepare students for a wide range of entry-level positions in the life sciences. Studies focus on a broad range of life fundamentals, including animals, bacteria, fungi, and plants. Prerequisites may include biology, calculus, chemistry, and physics. Most programs require completion of 60 to 67 credits, which typically takes 2 years of full-time study to complete. An associate degree program in biology is used almost exclusively to prepare students to transfer to a four-year degree program. By choosing to complete an associate degree before a bachelor's degree, students may be able to bypass several very challenging courses, get extra help when they need it, and avoid taking classes in large lecture halls.

Students develop a comprehensive knowledge base of principles in the fields of biology and build foundational skills for practice. The coursework covers areas such as anatomy and physiology, animal biology, biology of plants and fungi, biology of sexually transmitted diseases, biotechnology techniques, botany, cell and molecular biology, cell culture techniques, ecological systems, general botany, genetics, history of life, human ecology, human physiology, microbiology, and organismal biology and ecology. Training also includes laboratory practice, which gives students the opportunity to build research competencies in the biological sciences.

Graduates may pursue a wide range of entry-level careers in biochemistry, biology, botany, forestry, microbiology, and zoology. Employment opportunities are also available in the fields of medical technology and pollution control. They may take up positions such as laboratory technicians or research assistants in biological and medical laboratories. Online associate degrees in biology also help to lay a strong foundation for individuals who wish to pursue upper-division studies in biology, botany, wildlife science, zoology, or other programs in the natural sciences. Others opt to pursue medical-related studies such as dentistry, medicine, physical therapy, or veterinary medicine.

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Online Bachelor's Degrees in Biology

Online bachelor's degrees in biology prepare students for successful careers in the biological sciences. Programs focus on building a strong foundation in cellular, ecological, evolutionary, molecular, and organismal biology. Prerequisites include calculus, physics, and statistics. Bachelor's degree programs require completion of 120 to 128 credits, which takes four years of full-time study.

Many students choose to major in biology because they are planning on going into a medical field like veterinary medicine, pharmacology, or nursing. Several different biology courses are included in the curriculum, and in some programs, students can choose to specialize in one particular area of biology. There will also be electives offered in everything from pharmacology and psychology to physiology and environmental sciences. Students can often choose to structure their degree program in a way that leads to further medical and graduate study.

The bachelor’s curriculum combines content from biology, biochemistry, and chemistry. Coursework covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, biology of sex, cancer biology, cell and molecular biology, chemistry, genetics, field ecology, medical terminology, molecular modeling, organic chemistry, organic evolution, and vertebrate physiology. The curriculum also teaches students about laboratory techniques in the field. Bachelor's programs usually require completion of a capstone course. Graduates of online programs may increase their job prospects by gaining laboratory experience through internships in a biological, medical, research, or other similar approved facility.

Employment opportunities for bachelor's graduates are available in agriculture, animal science, biotechnology, ecology, human medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and wildlife management. Work settings include government agencies, industrial research facilities, and medical laboratories. Bachelor's degrees also help to establish a strong foundation for those who wish to pursue graduate studies in biochemistry, biotechnology, dentistry, forensics, medicine, or veterinary sciences.

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Online Master's in Biology

The online biology master's degree allows students to delve into advanced natural science topics and conduct original research. Applicants to these degrees need an accredited bachelor's degree in biology, biochemistry, or a closely related discipline. To learn more about online master's programs in biology, see our master's overview which includes a list of the best programs.

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Online Doctoral Degrees in Biology

Students who are seeking doctoral degrees in biology usually have a master's degrees in a related area. A strong resume with experience in research and applied biology is important for applicants. Students will spend between four and six years earning a doctorate in biology.

Doctoral students take only one or two courses per semester for two to four years. The coursework is demanding and will include major research and laboratory components. The curriculum is designed to enhance student creativity and problem-solving skills. During their final year (sometimes during their final two years) students will complete their dissertations. Dissertations are extensive research papers on an original topic that is preferably related to the student's future research interests or career experiences.

Biology doctorate students are typically expected to hold part-time jobs or participate in internships or research fellowships that enhance their education and resumes. Some schools give students credit for internships. Those attending major research universities often find their place right there on campus, participating in major research studies in their school's laboratories or hospitals. Graduates of a biology doctorate programs may pursue positions in medical research or academia.

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Online Biology Certificates

Online undergraduate certificates in biology introduce students to concepts in the life sciences. These programs generally include three to eight courses and can be completed in one to two semesters. To apply, candidates need a high school diploma or the equivalent, along with high school natural science coursework.

The required coursework in the biology program will vary, depending on the certificate's focus. Students enrolled in a general biology certificate program may take courses in human biology, microbiology, biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology. Other certificates specialize in areas like plant biology, marine biology, aquaculture and fisheries, or animal behavior. Depending on the program, students may have the option to choose elective courses to complete the requirements for their certificate. Offerings may include courses in bioethics, bioinformatics, and biometry.

Online biology programs must rely on bookwork, videos, and prerecorded lectures to reach students. This can be extremely challenging, as traditional students will spend a considerable amount of time gaining exposure to laboratory equipment and research, and they have direct access to professors and instructors. Traditional students learn in a group-based environment. Online students must be very comfortable learning alone.

The graduate biology certificate is generally used to support a student's current profession or to prepare for additional study. For example, current technicians in fisheries or aquaculture settings could use a biology certificate to improve the health of their fish. Others use the undergraduate certificate to see if they might like to study biology in a longer associate or bachelor's degree program.

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The Importance of Accreditation

The purpose of accreditation is to provide public recognition that a school or individual degree program meets established academic standards. Attending a biology degree program provided by an accredited college or university helps ensure that you will receive a well-respected education. Students who plan to use a biology degree as the foundation for graduate study are especially encouraged to attend an accredited school. Only degrees and credits earned from accredited schools can be applied toward future degree programs.

Students can verify the accreditation status of a school on its website or via national or regional accrediting boards. The US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation also offer lists of accrediting agencies and accredited schools.

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Career Opportunities for Biology Graduates

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs in biology can begin work as biological technicians helping scientists conduct research in laboratories. Biological technicians can work for colleges and universities, government agencies, research and development labs, and pharmaceutical companies. Graduates of online programs may increase their job prospects by gaining laboratory experience through internships.

Technicians looking to advance their careers may earn industry certifications. The American Society for Clinical Pathology is one professional organization that awards certification. Those who want to move into research careers or begin working in academia can earn master's and doctoral degrees.

Teaching is another career path open to graduates of bachelor's degree programs. Teacher certification requirements vary by state, but all states require high school teachers to hold at least a bachelor's degree. Prospective teachers may also be required to complete college courses in education and child psychology and complete supervised field work to earn certification. Some states require teachers to hold a master's degree in their subject area or in education.

References

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