College Majors 101: Biology
Enjoy being outside exploring nature? Love animals or algae? If you want to study living organisms, then a biology major could be a good fit for you. Learn about possible career paths, pay, education requirements, high school preparation and scholarships for biology majors and graduates.
What jobs exist for biology majors?
A biology major could lead to careers in zoology, microbiology, botany and more. You may end up working for the government, a pharmaceutical company, a biomedical engineering company, or even a zoo or aquarium. With graduate education, you also could explore careers such as becoming a veterinarian, doctor or pharmacist.
How much do biologists make?
Annual pay depends on the type of biologist you want to be. Zoologists, for example, have a median annual salary of $57,710, while biologists employed by the federal government have a median annual pay of $72,700. Microbiologists’ overall average median salary is $66,260.
What are the education requirements for biology majors?
Courses for biology majors may include marine biology, ecology, anatomy, plant science and cellular biology, as well as courses in other sciences such as chemistry and physics. Courses often will have a hands-on laboratory component to them.
Many colleges also encourage biology students to participate in undergraduate research—whether with a professor at your college or through a special summer research program at another school.
How can I prepare in high school to major in biology?
Take as many math and science classes as you can. Consider volunteering at your local zoo or animal shelter, or try to arrange a job shadow experience with a biologist who works at a nearby laboratory. Also consider participating in a pre-college summer program that focuses on an area of science.
What scholarships are available for biology majors?
There are many college scholarships available to biology majors. Check with laboratories and national and regional professional organizations, as well as with the university you plan to attend for opportunities.
Examples of available scholarships include the American Council of Independent Laboratories’ Scholarship Alliance, which awards $5,000 scholarships each year, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s undergraduate scholarship program covers up to $45,000 during a student’s junior and senior years of college.
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