What you can do with a biology degree: Careers in science, medicine and more

June 18, 2024 · 5 min read · By ASU Online

A biology degree can be the foundation for a wide array of educational and career opportunities. Read on to learn more about starting your career in the field, potential job opportunities for biology majors, and choosing the right biology degree for you.


Biology is a comprehensive field that covers a broad range of disciplines from medicine and molecular biology to environmental conservation, community health services and more. Earning a biology degree is a foundational first step when pursuing a science- or medicine-related career, as you’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to begin your professional journey.

“A biology degree opens doors to many possible careers in medicine, biotechnology, education, conservation and so many others,” noted Zack Shaffer, an assistant teaching professor for Arizona State University's School of Life Sciences. “For example, doctors, veterinarians and nurses are all specialized and applied biologists.”


How to succeed as a biology major

Succeeding as a biology major involves a combination of academic diligence, time management and a sincere interest in the field. The curriculum of a biology program can be rather challenging at times, therefore it’s important to pursue a path that fascinates you.

“It will help to have some background in biology, math and chemistry,” professor Shaffer noted. “But even without those courses in one's background, if you have a true interest in living creatures and the processes of life, we can teach you everything else”.

“Keep a close eye on the course calendar and due dates once you begin a course,” said Schaffer. “While tests can be daunting for some students, most of our classes are designed in a way that rewards effort. So even if not every test goes your way, if you put in hard work in assignments and other projects, you can still succeed”.

Get the scoop on how you’ll learn biology online at Arizona State University. Learn all about our immersive learning experiences, at-home hands-on labs, tailoring your studies with one of several concentrations, and more.

Choosing the right biology degree for you

As a biology major, you’ll be provided study and training in multiple disciplines, gaining expertise that ranges from the cellular level to entire ecosystems.

For example, ASU Online’s biological sciences bachelor’s program spans investigations into genetic and environmental causes of diversity, how organisms evolve, the interplay of organisms and their environments, and how these factors influence health and disease. The curriculum also aligns with the broad scientific competencies recommended for premed students, and it includes all chemistry, biochemistry, math and physics courses needed to prepare you for the MCAT or medical school admissions, as well as biology master’s programs.

As a student in the ASU Online’s program, you’ll also have the opportunity to choose between five concentrations specific to your desired career path. Available concentrations and their related career paths include:

  • Biology and society
    • Explore how society shapes science and the impacts science has on how we understand the world around us.
    • Related career paths: Bioinformatics scientist, community health worker, biotechnology lawyer.
  • Biomedical sciences
    • Learn how to apply core scientific concepts to various biological systems in the human body and medicine.
    • Related career paths: Dentistry, pharmaceuticals and epidemiology.
  • Conservation biology and ecology
    • Develop solutions to the complex threats against Earth’s living organisms and ecosystems.
    • Related career paths: Environmental analyst, hydrogeologist, professor of biological sciences.
  • Genetics, cell and developmental biology
    • Gain a deep understanding of these three essential areas of life sciences as you prepare for careers in medicine, biotechnology or medical research.
    • Related career paths: Geneticist, cytotechnologist and clinical trial manager.
  • Neurobiology, physiology and behavior
    • Delve into the workings of animal and human biology, and gain a comprehensive understanding of how we function, think and behave.
    • Related career paths: Physical therapist, neurologist and physician's assistant.

Please note that advanced careers may require additional education and/or other requirements. Additionally, if you’re interested in a career path that entails earning a master’s or doctoral degree, you’ll want to confirm any additional qualifications your program entails.

What you need to know about ASU Online’s hands-on science labs

One of the things that sets ASU Online’s science programs apart is our on-campus laboratory experiences. Respected by professional health programs and the science industry, these in-person lab experiences provide you with a rigorous and legitimate education, traditionally only available to students in on-campus programs.

Read on to learn all about these valuable lab experiences that allow you to graduate with practical, hands-on skills desired by employers.

Preparing for postgraduate studies

In addition to preparing you for professional pathways, earning a biology degree can also provide you with the experience you need for a variety of postgraduate studies.

“Biology is good training in that it opens doors to many potential fields and graduate programs,” said Shaffer. “There are so many biology-related careers and graduate programs that a student can transition into after earning an undergraduate biology degree”.

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.


About ASU Online

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  • Elite expertise and research.
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