Biology is one of the best degrees you can get in the natural sciences field. There are plenty of job opportunities in the research and tech sectors, and a biology degree can prepare you for medical school. Since many schools offer great affordable biology programs, looking for the cheapest online biology degree is a good move.
Of course, what is best will vary from person to person. You want to choose the most affordable biology degree program that still meets your educational and career goals. To help with your school search, we’ve gathered information on the cheapest online schools for biology, the degrees you can get at each of them, and other helpful tips like how to pay for your online education.
Can I Get a Biology Degree Online?
Yes, you can get a biology degree online. There are plenty of online learning programs in the field of biology, including different degree levels, part-time schedules, and full-time programs. Online biology students enjoy the same quality of education in the biological sciences as on-campus students.
Why Should I Get a Biology Degree Online?
You should get a biology degree online because studying online is convenient and affordable. Online education is flexible, accessible, and benefits individuals who can’t study full time due to competing commitments like family and work.
Online degrees get the same level of recognition as in-person degrees as long as you study with an accredited institution, so there’s really not much of a trade-off when it comes to quality. As long as your learning style is a good fit for distance learning, you can take advantage of the convenience of online coursework.
What Are the Most Affordable Online Biology Degree Programs in the US?
The most affordable online biology degree programs in the US are generally at the associate degree and bachelor’s degree levels. Although many careers in biology require training beyond the bachelor’s degree, you can get a headstart in the field without breaking the bank by choosing one of these programs.
Cheapest Biology Degree Programs Online That Will Help You Stand Out
- Associate of Science in Biology from Community College of Denver
- Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Biology from Georgia Military College
- Bachelor of Arts in Biology from University of Florida
- Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from Florida International University
- Bachelor of Science in Biology from Life University
How Much Does an Online Biology Degree Cost?
An online biology degree can cost anywhere from $129 per credit to $629 per credit, depending on various factors. One factor affecting cost is the degree level, as an associate degree requires fewer credits to complete and will therefore cost less than a bachelor’s degree. Tuition is cheaper at public schools than at private schools as well.
Will Getting a Biology Degree Online Save Me Money?
Yes, getting a biology degree online will save you money. As an online student, you won’t have to relocate, pay for on-campus accommodation, or pay for transportation if you’re commuting from home. The tuition for online programs is often lower than for on-campus programs, so you can save on your tuition bill as well.
Online Biology Programs vs In-Person Biology Programs
While online programs are cheaper than on-campus programs, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits of each program type before picking one or the other. To make it easier for you to decide, we’ve included some of the advantages of both online platforms and in-person study below.
Benefits of an Online Biology Degree
- Access quality education. Because online programs let you learn from anywhere, you don’t need to live near a great college or move to attend a good school. You can access world-class lectures from schools like MIT or full degree programs from schools like Indiana State University from the comfort of your home.
- Study on your schedule. Whether you’re a morning person, a night owl, or someone trying to squeeze coursework into your busy work schedule, online biology programs give you the flexibility to study whenever you want.
- Build discipline and time-management skills. Being isolated from a physical classroom and finishing an online program requires commitment and discipline, which are two desirable skills in the job market. A graduate of an online program will have developed independence and self-management skills.
- Balance your personal life. Getting an online biology degree is helpful to students who are working and juggling family responsibilities. Online education lets dedicated students work on their degrees without sacrificing their jobs or time with their families.
- Save money. Online schools tend to have lower tuition rates compared to on-campus programs. This is true for both public and private institutions. Online students are generally spared from many of the fees that on-campus students need to pay to maintain facilities.
Benefits of In-Person Biology Degree Programs
- Learn without distractions. The classroom does not come with the tempting distractions of a home environment, and students who are not on-task will be called out. A classroom also allows for more personalized instruction from professors and a collaborative learning environment where students can easily interact with each other.
- Access great facilities. On-campus learning facilities like libraries and labs to work on projects are a huge benefit. These facilities can help students on their learning journeys, especially when working on group assignments. Some students find physical learning tools and resources are more helpful for their learning styles.
- Build relationships. You get to interact more with fellow students and teachers in an on-campus learning setup. In-person interaction is psychologically beneficial and promotes social wellbeing. Students also get the chance to build networks that can help in college and beyond, and they can also access job fairs.
- Learn in a structured environment. A structured learning schedule works better for some students. Not all students have the willpower to work on their class lessons and assignments without a dedicated time and place for classes, their professor overseeing them, or peers to work alongside.
- Enjoy multimodal learning. On-campus classes provide many different modalities of learning. For science students, it can be especially important to get experience in a physical lab setting. The more immersive learning experience on college campuses offers different ways to learn, which can be great for students who don’t absorb information best through lectures.
Online Biology Degree Career Options
Plenty of career options await you after completing your online biology degree. You can work with animals, people, or in research laboratories depending on your passion and expertise in the biological field. Some examples of job titles you can get with a biology degree include biological technician, biochemist, and wildlife biologist.
Biology Job Outlook
Employment in life, physical and social sciences is projected to grow by eight percent from 2020 to 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is as fast as the average across occupations and will result in about 113,800 new jobs. The demand for expertise in this field is increasing, particularly in biomedical research and psychology.
Some biological fields are experiencing lower rates of growth. For example, the employment of zoologists and wildlife biologists is projected to grow five percent in the same timeframe, per BLS. Growth is still growth, though, and 1,700 new jobs are projected each year for zoologists and wildlife biologists.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a biology graduate in the United States is $69,944 a year. Most biology majors earn between $43,000 and $85,500 each year, with top earners in the 90th percentile earning $119,000 annually. Salaries in biology fields depend on the level of education, job description, work experience, and industry.
Can I Enroll in an Online Biology Program for Free?
No, enrolling in an online biology program is not free. You may be able to find free courses online, but they will only provide you with knowledge and training, not a credential. There will always be a tuition cost attached to degree and certificate programs in the United States.
However, you can make use of financial aid to cover a large portion or even all of your tuition costs, particularly if you can demonstrate financial need. Make sure that you do your research and apply for all federal grants, state grants, and scholarships that you qualify for.
Cheapest Online Biology Degree Programs
|University of Florida
|Bachelor of Arts in Biology
|$129.18/credit (in state); $552.62/credit (out of state)
|Community College of Denver
|Associate of Science in Biology
|$153.35/credit (in state); $629.25/credit (out of state)
|Georgia Military College
|Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Biology
|Florida International University
|Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences
|$228.81/credit (in state); $345.87/credit (out of state)
|Bachelor of Science in Biology
|University of Nebraska–Kearney
|Master of Science in Biology
|$315/credit (in state); $504/credit (out of state)
|Bachelor of Science in Human Biology
|Indiana State University
|Master of Science in Biology
|$438/credit (in state); $569/credit (out of state)
|Bemidji State University
|Master of Science in Biology
|Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Biology Degrees Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Most Affordable Online Biology Programs
We chose the most affordable biology degree programs based on tuition and general cost information from the schools’ official websites, the US Department of Education’s database of accredited schools, and the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard tool.
The Cheapest Online Biology Degree Programs: A Deep Dive
Common Online Biology Degree Courses
Biology program curriculums may vary depending on the degree level and the school’s general focus. Still, there are foundational courses that are common in most of these programs. You can read more about these biology core courses below.
General biology courses provide a basic introduction to biology, the study of life. The main focus of the course is the cell, which is the basic unit of life, including cell structures, functions, and reproduction. This course may also cover evolution, speciation, phylogenetics, DNA, and developmental biology.
In cell biology courses, students deepen their basic knowledge about cells by diving down to the molecular level. The course covers the structure and function of cells. It also covers cell theory, genetics, and other related topics.
Principles of Genetics
Principles of genetics courses cover various topics such as genetic selection, mutation, chromosome structure and replication, the genetics of cancer, and the principles of genetic engineering. Students are exposed to several aspects of cellular hereditary material.
The microbiology course is a general introduction to the field of microbiology and investigates the diversity of microbial life, including bacteria, viruses, and prions. The course covers the fundamental concepts of microorganisms and their physiology. Students also learn about immunology and related topics in this course.
Embryology covers reproduction and development from the embryonic stage all the way to the fetal stage. This covers all animal fetal development, including humans. Students learn about the different organs and tissues that develop at different stages of gestation, as well as birth defects and congenital disorders.
Can I Apply for Federal Aid to Finance My Online Biology Degree?
Yes, you can apply for federal aid to finance your online biology degree. If you are enrolled in an accredited educational institution and can demonstrate financial need, you can be eligible for federal aid. Getting federal aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) makes your online biology degree even more affordable.
Options to Help Pay for an Online Biology Degree
Several financial aid options are available to students looking to get an online biology degree. Grants, student loans, and work-study programs are some of the most common types of financial aid available to students who want to lower the cost of their education.
Federal and State Grants
Federal grants are provided by the federal government while state grants come from your local government. Federal grants are administered based on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application, whereas application requirements and deadlines may vary by state. You may also qualify for grants from your college or community organizations.
Grants, unlike loans, do not need to be repaid and are granted to students based on merit or financial need. However, there are cases where you may have to repay a grant, such as early withdrawal from your program of study.
Federal and Private Loans
A student loan is a type of financial aid that needs to be repaid with interest after graduation. Federal loans are accessible loans that have stable interest rates and income-pegged repayment plans.
Private loans generally come with higher interest rates, but you might qualify for a bigger loan through a private entity. Loans can be applied to educational expenses besides the tuition, whether you are studying on campus or online.
Work-study is another form of financial assistance that lowers the student’s tuition costs. In a work-study program, the student works part-time in the school where they are studying or through a partner organization. Work-study opportunities are available for online students but might not be as easy to find, since many of the jobs are based on campus.
Cheapest Biology Degree Programs Online
When considering the cheapest biology degree programs online, it’s important to take the type of degree into account. For example, the cheapest master’s degree programs are still quite costly when tuition is compared to lower-level degrees like associate degrees. Because of this, the list below groups the most affordable online biology degrees by degree type.
Most Affordable Online Biology Associate Degrees
- Community College of Denver | Associate of Science in Biology. This online associate degree program is offered both in the classroom and online. The credits that students earn can be transferred to a four-year college and used towards a bachelor’s degree. Graduates of this program are guaranteed acceptance in four-year colleges in Colorado.
- Georgia Military College | Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Biology. The GMC online biology associate degree program is best for those who wish to be biology educators or researchers. They can use credits earned in this program to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. Some possible careers with further education are physicians, veterinarians, dentists, pharmacists, and genetic counselors.
- Midlands Technical College | Associate of Science in Biology. This associate degree program in biology can be taken online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format. This degree is one of the MTC to University of South Carolina direct transfer tracks, making it easy for graduates to transfer to the university for a bachelor’s program. The program consists of 60 credit hours and costs around $11,280 in total.
Most Affordable Online Biology Bachelor’s Degrees
- Florida International University | Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences. This online Bachelor of Arts in Biology program is interdisciplinary and focused on the humanities as well as biology. The curriculum is designed to hone students’ technical knowledge while developing critical thinking skills.
- Logan University | Bachelor of Science in Human Biology. This BS in Human Biology is designed for students interested in healthcare. Students learn about vital concepts in human biology and prepare themselves for rewarding healthcare careers. The program also has accelerated education options.
- University of Florida | Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Students receive broad training in the field through this online BA program in biology. After completion, students can pursue careers in education, health professions, or health law. Some of the possible specific professions graduates have started include epidemiologists, pharmacist assistants, and conservation biologists.
- Life University | Bachelor of Science in Biology. This bachelor’s program by Life University is offered both online and on-campus. Students will learn in an engaged and active environment. This university offers a strong chiropractic program, and this undergraduate degree is a strong choice for students interested in that career path.
- American Public University | Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences. American Public University’s online bachelor’s degree in natural sciences covers the foundations of biology, chemistry, and physics. Students apply the scientific method to real-world scenarios and develop skills in scientific analysis and research. The program costs $285 per credit and requires 120 credit hours to complete.
Most Affordable Online Biology Master’s Degrees
- University of Nebraska–Kearney | Master of Science in Biology. This online master’s program in biology offered by UNK offers personalized education tailored to students’ career interests. This program is especially suitable for educators, scientists, researchers, and those preparing for professional or doctoral studies.
- Indiana State University | Master of Science in Biology. This online degree in biology is focused on coursework and does not require students to submit a thesis. This advanced curriculum is particularly useful for students looking to work in federal and state government agencies. Students can also use this program to prepare for medical school.
- Clemson University | Master of Science in Biological Sciences. This MS program in biological sciences is best for aspiring K-12 teachers who want to teach biology or general sciences. It’s open to both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students.
- Bemidji State University | Master of Science in Biology. This master’s program offers a non-thesis capstone project, allowing students to focus more on coursework. Students are able to customize the program with their elective choices. Possible careers after graduation include environmental scientists, research associates, and parks educators.
- Texas A&M University-Commerce | Master of Science in Biological Sciences. The MS in Biological Sciences offered by Texas A&M University–Commerce helps students advance their careers or prepare for doctoral studies. Topics include behavioral ecology, environmental science, and microbiology. Students can choose between a thesis or non-thesis option.
Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Best Online Master’s Degrees
Most In-Demand Biology Jobs With an Online Biology Degree
|Doctoral or professional degree
Best Jobs With an Online Biology Degree Explained
The five in-demand biology jobs listed above are just some of the many career opportunities available to those with biology degrees. We’ve included some details about these professions below, including descriptions of duties, average salaries, and projected employment growth.
Is an Online Biology Degree Worth It?
Yes, an online biology degree is worth it as it offers a flexible way to earn your degree and quickly meet your goals. Studying biology online lets you enroll in the best program without having to relocate.
Choosing the right program will always depend on your circumstances, so you should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each option. With an online degree in biology, you’ll enjoy career stability and high salaries.
Additional Reading About Biology
[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/introduction-to-biology/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/biology-major/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/bachelor-of-science-biology/
Cheapest Online Biology Degrees FAQ
A Bachelor’s Degree in Biology typically takes four years to complete. However, there may be accelerated programs that let you complete your biology degree more quickly.
To become a biotechnologist, you must first earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology or a similar field, such as biology or biochemistry. After that, you complete an internship and can either get a job in a laboratory or pursue a master’s degree for more opportunities.
Generally, biotechnology is a better option than microbiology because microbiology is a subfield of biotechnology. Biotechnology has a larger scope compared to microbiology, in terms of subject area and employability.
Yes, some microbiologists work as clinical scientists in hospitals. You can also work in universities and medical school laboratories where you perform research and give scientific advice to medical staff.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.