The differences between ASU Online’s biological sciences concentrations

October 03, 2023 · 5 min read · By ASU Online
Tailor your biological sciences studies to fit your career goals with one of four specialized concentrations.
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ASU Online’s Bachelor of Science in biological sciences helps you develop a broad understanding of the field of biology and allows you to develop expertise that ranges from the cellular level to entire ecosystems. For those who want to specialize their studies, we also offer this program with four concentrations that each focus on a particular aspect of biology. Read on to get the details on each.

 

Biomedical sciences concentration

A biological sciences degree with a biomedical sciences concentration is the first step for many students who are interested in post-graduate studies. The curriculum aligns with coursework requirements for the MCAT, so graduates can go on to medical school and other graduate school programs related to the health profession.

Along with biology, you’ll focus on chemistry, physics, statistics, scientific research methods and the use of biomedical concepts in clinical, academic and industrial settings. Additional key topics include the body’s major chemical and biological processes, as well as ethics in medicine.

Featured courses include:

  • Cell Biology: You’ll complete surveys covering topics such as structural, biochemical and molecular aspects of cell function.
  • Developmental Biology: This course studies the development of major organ systems and teaches you their underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms.
  • Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry: Organic chemistry lab (CHM 235) and Biochemistry lab (BCH 367) are required and must be completed at ASU’s Tempe campus or transferred from another institution.

Potential career options after completing graduate studies, along with their 2022 median annual salaries according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), include:

 

Biology and society concentration

You’ll learn about the historical, philosophical and political complexities within topics across biological sciences in the biology and society concentration. This concentration incorporates a humanities focus on biology and emphasizes the critical thinking skills needed to address the potential for ethical complexities that come along with scientific discoveries. A deep understanding of how society and science influence each other can be especially valuable for professionals in areas such as research, education and health.

Featured courses include:

  • Biology and Society: You’ll explore topics that interact with both biology and society, such as environmental, ethical, historical, legal, philosophical and social issues.
  • General Genetics: This course covers the fundamental principles of genetics through topics such as molecular and functional genetics, cytogenetics, genetics of development, complex traits and population genetics.
  • General Organic Chemistry Lab I & II (optional): All required labs for this program are offered online, but if you choose to take organic chemistry as an elective, there will be a required in-person lab component. (Pre-health students should take CHM 237/238 instead of CHM 235).

Potential career opportunities, along with their 2022 median annual salaries according to BLS, include:

Note, some of the professions listed above may require additional certifications or graduate studies.

Meet four ASU Online students who traveled to Arizona for a summer lab opportunity. In this video, they share their experiences conducting chemistry experiments and learning side-by-side with their professor and peers.

Conservation biology and ecology concentration

If you want to help protect natural resources and address major issues such as climate change or habitat destruction, the conservation biology and ecology concentration can help you get there. To succeed in a career focused on promoting biodiversity and restoring damaged ecosystems, you’ll need a strong understanding of the ecological principles that support positive and sustainable change. In this program, you’ll learn how to investigate and analyze these ecological issues and develop constructive solutions.

Featured courses include:

  • Fundamentals of Ecology: This course focuses on the organization, functioning and development of ecological systems. You’ll cover topics such as energy flow, biogeochemical cycling, environmental relations and population dynamics.
  • Conservation of Biodiversity: In this course, you’ll study approaches to the protection, management and restoration of biological resources from scientific and policy perspectives.
  • General Organic Chemistry Lab I & II (optional): All required labs for this program are offered online, but if you choose to take organic chemistry as an elective, there will be a required in-person lab component.

Careers commonly pursued by graduates, along with their 2022 median annual salaries, according to BLS, include:

 

Genetics, cell and developmental biology concentration

If you want to assist in building a better understanding of diseases, regeneration and aging for people across the world, the genetics, cell and developmental biology concentration may best fulfill your interests. This concentration combines three disciplines that investigate what makes living organisms unique and the conditions in which they exist, survive and thrive. Discoveries in these areas can influence and support important developments in medicine, genetics, biotechnology and many related fields.

Featured courses include:

  • Animal Physiology: In this course, you’ll study the principles and mechanisms of physiological regulation in animals with a slight focus on the effects of humans.
  • Functional Genomics: This course covers the emerging fields of genomics and proteomics which focuses on new technologies and their applications to the study of genomes.
  • Organic Chemistry Lab: Organic chemistry lab (CHM 235) is required for this program and must be completed at ASU’s Tempe campus or transferred from another institution. (Pre-health students should take CHM 237/238 instead of CHM 235).

Potential career opportunities upon graduating and their 2022 median annual salaries according to BLS, include (note: some of these roles may require additional certifications or graduate studies):

Everything you need to know about ASU Online classes and degree programs

We’ve compiled what you need to know about online classes and degree programs at Arizona State University. Read on to learn all about what to expect from the ASU Online learning experience.

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About ASU Online

Earn your degree completely online from the nation's most innovative university. ASU Online offers more than 300 degree programs and certificates in high-demand areas such as nursing, engineering, business, education and more. Explore all of our areas of study.

Our offerings include:

  • Elite expertise and research.
  • Innovative curriculum design.
  • Superior student support services.

Learn more at our about us page. And follow ASU Online on Facebook, YouTube, X and Instagram, and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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