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Biology Schools

Biology Schools, Biology Courses, Biology Education


Science and the Universities


There are some small, selective and highly regarded liberal arts colleges that specialize in the arts and do not have much in the way of science departments.  However, most colleges and universities include biology as one of their principal areas of scientific focus, although it may surface under an assortment of titles, particularly at the graduate level.  Microbiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, bioinformatics: all crisp and intimidating scientific titles for different areas of study.  All, however, return to the basic science that embraces the study of organisms and their environment.


Biology Schools on Campus and Online


Perhaps the largest public university system in the country is the California State University system, a collection of twenty three campuses that enroll over four hundred thousand students annually.  Recently the system held a major conference in which nineteen of the campuses participated that discussed the evolving nature of the biology curriculum due to scientific developments.  A further logistical issue that this state system of higher education faces is the integration of the tens of thousands of transfer students that come to their schools annually and bring an assortment of introductory biology course credits with them.  The upshot of the conference was the development of a set of focal guidelines for the redesign of the biology major within these college's science divisions.  The distilled benchmarks were:


1) Life changes over time, leading to biodiversity.

2) Life depends on energy transformations and transfer.

3) Genetic information directs life processes and is heritable.

4) Life forms respond to and are affected by their environments.

5) Life exists as highly organized, complex entities.

6) How we ask and answer questions in science.


From these touchstones and the course outlines that emerged from them will come twenty three similar, but distinct biology majors.  The public universities treat their life sciences as a principal component of their curricular structure and should be considered a reasonable and cost-effective choice in any state.  It is noteworthy that a system that large would recognize the rapid changes in biology and attempt a system-wide upgrade of the discipline.  If you cannot afford the luxury of a full time, on-campus college experience there are a number of online options, many of them offered by traditional universities.


Some traditional schools are only offering online courses at this point.  Some, like the University of Colorado at Denver have online baccalaureate programs for biology in place.  Schools such as Stanford and Cornell have limited biology courses available online.  Others such as the University of Indiana and the University of Kansas have more extensive course offerings but no complete course of study for a degree yet.


Some of the larger online schools that also have campus facilities offer biology courses.  The University of Phoenix and Kaplan University both include biology in their curricula; their online courses are somewhat limited but their campus programs are more extensive.  The University of Phoenix has one hundred seventy campuses in thirteen states.  Kaplan has over seventy locations in multiple states. 


The key to selecting a school for biology study is to know what you want at the conclusion of your studies.  Many colleges now include biology as a major component in their engineering departments.  You need an in-depth grasp of the career opportunities that are emerging in this academic field that continues to diversify.

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