25 Best Colleges for Biology 2020

Ranking Badge

This list highlights the best 25 colleges with a Bachelor's in Biology, in order of highest median salary for graduates with this major one year after college. Dartmouth College is ranked #1 with a salary of $42,600 and also offers the lowest median debt on the list, at $7,547. The rest of the schools on the list boast median starting salaries in the $37,000-$41,600 range.Other schools on this list with comparatively low median debt are Indian River State College, at $8,000, and Williams College, at $9,257.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Dartmouth College $55,453 $7,547 $42,600
#2 #2 University of Detroit Mercy $28,000 $19,000 $41,600
#3 #3 University of the Pacific $48,164 $19,500 $41,500
#4 #4 California State University-East Bay $18,863 $17,000 $40,300
#5 #5 Neumann University $31,400 $31,250 $39,600
#6 #6 $59,430 $21,146 $39,400
#7 #7 $10,201 $8,000 $39,300
#8 #8 $49,704 $27,000 $39,300
#9 #9 $19,676 $19,000 $39,200
#10 #10 $22,236 $25,000 $39,200
#11 #11 $52,770 $27,000 $39,100
#12 #12 $17,082 $26,000 $38,900
#13 #13 $39,804 $27,000 $38,500
#14 #14 $19,436 $25,000 $38,300
#15 #15 $51,711 $24,499 $38,100
#16 #16 $51,522 $27,000 $38,100
#17 #17 $33,879 $27,000 $38,000
#18 #18 $45,706 $23,250 $37,900
#19 #19 $15,348 $25,500 $37,700
#20 #20 $42,746 $27,000 $37,600
#21 (tie) #21 $48,350 $27,000 $37,400
#21 (tie) #21 $50,530 $27,000 $37,400
#22 #22 $55,450 $9,257 $37,400
#23 #23 $29,066 $26,000 $37,300
#24 #24 $54,104 $15,500 $37,000
#25 #25 $52,588 Not Reported $36,800

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top five colleges for a Bachelor's in Biology degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

Median Debt
$7,547
Median Salary
$42,600

The Bachelor of Science in Biology at Dartmouth College is completed through the Department of Biological Sciences. Students who are majoring in biology need to complete the following prerequisites: Chem 5, Chem 6, and at least one quantitative course. Depending on which concentration a student chooses, Chem 51-52 will also be a prerequisite. As graduate schools tend to require students to have taken Chem 51-52 as well, all students are encouraged to take these courses. 

The biology major at Dartmouth has many concentration options. Among the options available: behavior and neurobiology, cell biology, plant biology, evolutionary ecology, paleobiology, and human biology. All students getting a B.S. in biology will need to complete three core courses (out of five choices), and then they will have seven courses they choose according to their area of concentration. 

Visit Dartmouth College’s website

Median Debt
$19,000
Median Salary
$41,600

The Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Detroit Mercy is offered through the Department of Biology. The program requires that students complete 126 credit hours, with a minimum of 39 credit hours in the major, to earn a B.S. in biology. There are two biology courses and two biology laboratories students must complete as prerequisites to the rest of the program. The other courses fall under categories like biological systems, cell biology and genetics, biostatistics, science and math, and electives.

The Department of Biology aims to teach its students critical skills for entering research, teaching, or industry. Students will be given courses and tasks that are designed to teach good practices in reading biology literature, conducting and analyzing research, presenting research (orally and in written form), understanding ethical standards in the field, and understanding ecological and evolutionary theory. 

Visit University of Detroit Mercy’s website.

Median Debt
$19,500
Median Salary
$41,500

The University of the Pacific offers two bachelor's degrees in biology: the Bachelor of Science in Biology and the Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Each of these degrees requires students to complete at least 124 units. As this is a liberal arts university, students will need to satisfy both the General Education course requirements and their major’s requirements. 

The Bachelor of Arts in Biology requires several principles of biology courses, a genetics class, and an ecology class. There are some electives to choose from, and students are required to make one of their electives a course with a laboratory element. There are two general chemistry courses students must take, and two physics courses. 

The Bachelor of Science in Biology, similar to the B.A., begins with general principles of biology courses. It differs from the B.A. in a few ways – for example, students need to take an organic chemistry course in addition to general chemistry, and students need to make sure two of their electives have laboratory components. 

Visit University of the Pacific’s website

Median Debt
$17,000
Median Salary
$40,300

The Department of Biological Sciences at California State University–East Bay offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. The B.S. is more common for students planning to further study biology, teach in higher education, become professional biologists, or go into health careers. Students can choose between doing the quarter system or semester system. 

There are six concentrations to choose from for students obtaining their B.S. in biology: cellular and molecular biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, forensic science, microbiology and biomedical lab sciences, and physiology. Each concentration requires a student to complete 180-187 units. Students who opt to take the quarter system for their B.A. in biology also have concentration options. They may choose between biology education and general biology, both of which have 120-unit requirements. If they opt for the semester option, students getting a B.A. in biology will only be able to do the biology education option.

Visit California State University – East Bay’s website.

Median Debt
$31,250
Median Salary
$39,600

Neumann University offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Students can choose from three track options, finding the degree specification that best fits their long-term education or career aspirations. The department has Track 1, the general biology track; Track 2, the combination of biology and clinical laboratory science (CLS) track; and Track 3, which guides students through getting a secondary teacher certification in biology and general science. Track 2, the biology/CLS track, can function as a pre-medical degree for students interested in pursuing medical school or physician's assistant programs. 

The Bachelor of Science in Biology has students complete prerequisites during their freshman and sophomore years. Then students move into introductory courses, along with laboratory practice. For students taking the biology/CLS track, the program finishes with a 16-week clinical practicum at a medical center.

Visit Neumann University's website