Best Colleges for a Biology Major: List of Schools

Oct 20, 2021

Read about some of the best colleges in the nation for biology majors. Obtain school rankings, program possibilities and location info, and compare similarities and differences to find the school for you.

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School Information

Three of the best colleges for undergraduate biology programs are Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University. These schools offer students a variety of program options and research opportunities. Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Harvard University offer some of the best degree programs in biology, and all three are highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Biology majors at these universities can participate in classroom instruction and perform research in state-of-the-art campus laboratories. Students might be able to specialize in subjects like ecology and evolution, marine biology, or biochemistry.

Stanford University in Stanford, CA

Stanford University was ranked fifth among national universities by U.S. News and World Report for 2017. The bachelor's degree in biology at Stanford has three degree routes: general biology with or without honors, or the biology major with a field of study and honors. The general biology curriculum consists of courses in biology and core science principles, while the field of study option lets students focus on one of six areas of concentration. Students can enroll in biology courses as early as sophomore year, once they've completed the 1st-year core requirements and prerequisites.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked as the seventh best national university on U.S. News and World Report's 2017 list. MIT's Department of Biology offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology, as well as a minor in biology for students who may be interested in other disciplines. Students within the department have access to 14 research programs, including those dealing with cancer, cloning, stem cells, and cellular biology. Biology majors at MIT can choose between two programs: one which prepares students for careers in research, known as Course VII, or on for students not pursuing lab research roles, known as Course VII-A. Ph.D. programs are also available through specializations in areas like developmental biology, cell biology, biochemistry, immunology, and neurobiology.

Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

Harvard tied for a first-place ranking on U.S. News and World Report's most recent list of schools with the best biology programs from 2014. Harvard's life sciences major offers concentrations that include chemical and physical biology, human developmental and regenerative biology, human evolutionary biology, integrated biology/organismic and evolutionary biology, molecular and cellular biology, and neurobiology. Students may participate in life sciences research at one of Harvard's labs. A master's degree is also available.

More Top Biology Programs

Other top schools with biology programs include:

School Name Distinction Location
University of California - San Diego Offers biology programs in various areas of study, including Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology La Jolla, CA
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Students can join the Biology Student Alliance, the Society of Biology Students, the Neuroscience Students Association, and more Ann Arbor, MI
University of North Carolina The school's 56 research faculty members have several areas of strength, including cell biology, ecology, evolution, and plant biology Chapel Hill, NC
University of Wisconsin - Madison The biology program offers three options: evolutionary biology, neurobiology, and plant biology Madison, WI

The country's best biology colleges offer program options that include different specializations, research opportunities, and dedicated lab facilities.

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