Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Biological Sciences - Careers

Career Information and Further Study

An undergraduate degree in biological sciences is excellent preparation for becoming (through graduate studies) a professional biologist. It is also an excellent preparation for post baccalaureate programs such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatry and chiropractic. It can lead to teaching certification, medical or science librarianship, public health, nutrition, genetic counseling, environmental and waste management positions, and other professions.

Skills gained in this program include:
  • Creating and writing reports to explain the basis and methodologies for complex scientific research findings;
  • Leading a group of people in the implementation of a specific scientific procedure or laboratory experience;
  • Testing the quality of biological products and identifying bacterial contaminants.
  • Caring for laboratory animals;
  • Using complex data collection equipment such has microscopes, dissection tools, and computer instruments;
  • Gathering and interpreting scientific data about wildlife or human populations;
  • Predicting the effects of chemical pollutants on various life forms and ecosystems;
  • Improving industrial methods for processing food, wood, cotton, or biological pharmaceuticals;
  • Identifying and protecting different species of plants, fish, and wildlife;
  • Organizing large projects by harnessing the talents of diverse groups of people and allocating responsibilities accordingly;
  • Teaching, instructing and consulting various people and organizations on complex issues and theories;
  • Using complex pieces of equipment for data input and analysis;
  • Impacting political environments to produce changes.

Career Choices
  • Author or technical writer
  • Biologist
  • Chemist
  • Cloth technologist
  • Crime laboratory analyst
  • Document restorer
  • Environmental analyst
  • Food and drug inspector
  • Horticulturist
  • Hydrologist
  • Industrial hygienist
  • Laboratory assistant
  • Medical librarian
  • Medical technologist
  • Museum technician
  • Neuroscientist
  • Paleontological helper
  • Patent examiner
  • Pest controller
  • Pharmacist
  • Physician
  • Professor or teacher
  • Public health educator
  • Range manager
  • Scientific photographer
  • Veterinarian
  • Zoologist

Work settings include:
  • Agricultural organizations
  • Botanical parks, gardens and nurseries
  • Cattle ranches
  • Federal, state and local regulatory or public agencies
  • Health agencies
  • Food production corporations
  • Hospitals and clinical laboratories
  • Industrial and/or research firms
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Private industry
  • Rehabilitation and training centers for the mentally and physically disabled
  • Scientific publishing
  • Seed supplier
  • Strip-mining companies
  • Textile manufacturer
  • Universities and primary or secondary schools
  • U.S. Patent Office and Department of Commerce
  • Wood and paper producers
  • Zoos, aquariums, and museums

Salary Information

Salaries can vary greatly among different occupations, geographic areas, and organizations and companies. According to the Fall 2008 NACE national salary survey for bachelor's degree candidates the average salary for biological science graduates is $35,522; for chemistry graduates is #43,951; and for environmental science graduates is $38,838. The complete Fall 2008 NACE national salary survey is located in Career Services, 259 Capen Hall.

Career Hints

To conduct research, a Ph.D. degree is needed. Students interested in graduate study should check the availability of teaching assistantships and research fellowships to pay expenses. A bachelor's degree prepares one for such positions as laboratory assistant, technician, or inspector, but openings at this level tend to be competitive, and it is wise to seek out opportunities for honing one's skills in technical writing, data processing, biometrics (statistics), and laboratory techniques.

Practical applications in biology include agriculture, forestry, medicine and various health-related fields; however, more specialized or advanced education may be necessary for these occupations. Students who wish to pursue biology or medicine in graduate training or as a career may engage in research projects with faculty members or seek out volunteer opportunities within health care facilities.

What percentage of graduates goes on to find related employment?


What percentage of graduates goes on to graduate school?

30% to graduate school; 40% to medical school

Last updated: February 22 2022 21:08:39