Choosing the best university to study biology in the USA can be tough. There are many factors to consider, including the type of education you want, how much money you want to spend on tuition, and what kind of environment you want to study in. Don't worry! We've got your back. We've broken down all this information into one easy-to-use guide so you can decide where to find the best universities to study biology in the USA.
Top-Ranked US Universities for Biology
The USA is a top destination for science and medicine students. With a long history of innovation, an incredible number of universities offering cutting-edge education, and an industry-leading research culture—the USA has something to offer every student looking to get a degree in biology.
There are so many different universities that it can be hard to choose where to go, and there are so many different kinds of courses and degrees available that it can be even harder to know what type of biology degree is right for you.
To make your decision easier, we'll explore how to find the best universities to study biology in the USA. We will analyse what makes the US universities a good choice for international students, the cost of education and some of its top institutions.
Why Study Biology in the USA?
The unique qualities of US biology programs are the resources, cutting-edge research, collaboration opportunities and international diversity. US universities have a lot of resources compared to other countries.
The most excellent biology universities have comparable facilities and well-respected faculty. They also offer more support for students to pursue independent research projects.
In addition, a large number of universities in the USA are huge—they have many more faculty members than smaller schools do—so they have more opportunities for internships or research collaborations with other institutions worldwide.
Biology Tuition Fee in the USA for International Students
The tuition fees in the US vary depending on various things, such as
- The institution
- The level of education
- Program duration
Still, international students' average tuition fees for biology in the USA are around USD 25,000. That's less than a third of what it costs in most European countries. The cost of living in the USA is high and can be as much as 30% higher than what you'd pay at home or in another country.
List of the Best Universities to Study Biology in the USA
Many universities in the USA offer quality courses and degree programs in biology. The following table provides a rating of the best universities focused on biological sciences
|University||QS World Ranking 2022|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||2|
|University of California, Berkeley (UCB)||7|
|University of California, San Diego (UCSD)||8|
|University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)||9|
|California Institute of Technology (Caltech)||13|
|University of California, San Francisco||17|
1. Harvard University
Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the USA and one of America's most prestigious universities. It is one of the first universities in the USA to offer a degree program in biology. To prepare for careers in biology, students at Harvard can choose between majors like
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical and Physical Biology (CPB)
- Cognitive Neuroscience & Evolutionary Psychology (CN&EP)
- Integrative Biology (IB)/Organismic & Evolutionary Biology (OEB)
- Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB)
To earn a bachelor's degree from Harvard, students must complete at least 120 credits, including 30 credits of advanced research requirements, with two semesters' worth of independent research experience required to be eligible for graduation. The annual tuition fees is between USD 60,000 - 65,000.
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
US News and World Report have listed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as one of the top institutions in the USA. It is also considered a top-20 university when it comes to research spending.
MIT is a great school to study biology, especially if you want to research. It has some of the most rigorous courses in the country, which can be challenging but also rewarding. MIT's undergraduate program is one of the most comprehensive in the country.
The cost of tuition per year is USD 57,590. The school offers several pathways for students who wish to pursue a career in biology. The biology department conducts research in the following fields:
- Biochemistry and Biophysics
- Cancer Biology
- Cell Biology
- Human Genetics
- Molecular Medicine and Human Disease
- Plant Molecular Biology
- Structural Biology
MIT also has developed numerous additional graduate programs specifically designed for those interested in teaching at the university level and those who wish to pursue careers in research or industry.
3. Stanford University
Stanford is another top-notch institution studying biology in the USA. The school's faculty includes numerous Nobel Prize winners and other notable scientists who have made significant contributions to the field of biology.
Stanford offers undergraduate degrees through its pre-med program or undergraduate programs for engineering, computer science or physics, plus several other options, including master's degrees in biology and genetics and PhD programs focused on stem cell research. The fields of study are:
- Biochemistry and Biophysics
- Computational Biology
- Ecology and Evolution
- Marine Biology
- Microbes and Immunity
- Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology
The university has an enrollment of about 7,000 undergraduate students and 6,500 graduate students. Tuition for international students at Stanford is USD 60,000 per year—making it one of the most expensive.
4. University of California at Berkeley - UC Berkeley
UC Berkeley is one of the most prestigious schools in the world, and it's no surprise that it's home to several world-leading scientists. If you're looking for top-tier biology education, look no further than UC Berkeley. The university has produced many Nobel Prizes winners.
The school offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees for all disciplines, including medicine, dentistry, and nursing. After finishing their degrees, students will be better prepared to pursue intriguing studies and professions. Students have the opportunity to pursue and get a variety of degrees, including
- Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology
- Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cell Biology
- Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Plant Biology
- Bachelor of Science in Microbial Biology.
The department's research focuses on the role of living creatures in the environment and their ability to reproduce and adapt. Coursework covers a wide variety of subjects. Subjects covered include
- Science of structure
5. University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
UCSD is another excellent option for students interested in studying biology. The university offers more than 500 programs across its nine schools, including medicine and dentistry. The school's School of Biological Sciences offers a variety of programs, including
- Marine Biology, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
- Botany & Plant Science
- Plant Science
- Microbiology & Immunology
- Physiology & Biophysics
The average tuition fee for international students studying biology at UCSD is USD 50,800 annually. Students can pursue a bachelor's degree in Biology or Biological Sciences, a Master's degree such as Marine Biology or Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, as well as doctoral degrees such as Doctorate in Medicine with a speciality in Emergency Medicine or Doctorate in Public Health with a speciality in Epidemiology & Biostatistics (public health).
6. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Along with Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale, UCLA is one of America's greatest undergraduate colleges. At UCLA, students will have access to a wide range of classes and resources that allow them to immerse themselves in their coursework fully.
This includes smaller lessons with more personalised attention from instructors and tutors and access to laboratories that will enable students to work on experiments under the guidance of faculty members.
The university is known for its world-class faculty. It's also known for its award-winning research laboratories that work on projects related to cancer treatments and new drug development. The university offers degree programs at all levels:
- Bachelor's degrees (Biological Sciences)
- Master's degrees (Biomedical Engineering)
- Doctoral degrees (Medical Sciences)
- Postdoctoral fellowships (Biomedical Engineering)
7. Yale University
The Yale School of Medicine is one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country. It offers training in primary care medicine and research possibilities for persons interested in Alzheimer's disease or early cancer detection.
In addition to its well-deserved reputation as a top-tier institution, Yale has several other features that make it an excellent choice for biology students. Approximately USD 58,000 is the average cost of tuition. The university offers four biological science majors:
- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (E&EB)
- Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (MB&B)
- Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)
- Neuroscience (NSCI)
Yale offers many scholarships for those who need financial assistance but has various resources available to help students succeed.
8. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
Located in Pasadena, California, Caltech is one of the top academic institutions in the world. The academy has produced some of the most famous scientists and inventors in history, including Albert Einstein's successor to the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Many famous people have studied at or taught Caltech, including Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson. The annual cost of tuition is usually around USD 56,364, on average. However, it has a meagre acceptance rate due to its expensive tuition fees.
The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in these areas:
- Biological engineering
- Cellular, Developmental and Systems Biology
- Evolutionary and Organismal Biology
- Molecular biology, biophysics, and biochemistry
Caltech also offers fully funded PhD programs designed to help students succeed in their academic careers and provide them with all the resources necessary to excel and grow as professionals.
9. Cornell University
Cornell is another great option for studying biology at an Ivy League institution. The school's mission is to educate students to think critically, engage knowledgeably with others, develop and utilise practical communication skills, to create and sustain a community dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge.
The university is one of the largest universities in the USA, with over 23,000 students enrolled from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The average annual tuition and fees are about USD 60,000. There are 14 different paths available to students, including:
- Biodiversity and systematics
- Human nutrition
- Plant Biology
- Computational biology
- General biology
These are just a few of the many areas of focus. Cornell University offers students a wide range of support services, including tutoring programs and counselling services available throughout the academic year. You can participate in research projects during your time at Cornell so you can gain valuable experience.
10.The University of California, San Francisco
UCSF is one of the greatest US institutions for biology. It offers various programs that focus on providing students with an excellent education. You will learn from enthusiastic, knowledgeable specialists in the industry.
UCSF is also known for having a solid reputation for offering access to health care services for residents of San Francisco and surrounding areas. You will have access to labs, research facilities, and other resources that allow them to conduct experiments and study bacteria under controlled conditions to understand better how they work within our bodies.
International students have to pay around USD 58,000 annually for their tuition. In addition to the standard list of programs that all universities offer, UC San Francisco has a few unique options.
- The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with concentrations in Neuroscience or Immunology.
- It also offers a Master's degree in Evolutionary Anthropology.
- If you're interested in studying genetics or plant biology, this may be your best bet for earning your master's degree at an elite institution.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the requirements for a biology degree?
The requirements vary depending on your desired field of study. Some schools require you to complete at least one year of pre-medicine courses while others have more liberal admissions standards (for example, community colleges). In general, however, you must complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline before applying to a graduate program.
How many years does it take to study biology in the USA?
It depends on the program you are interested in. The average time to complete a bachelor's degree is 4 years, though some programs can take between 5 and 7 years. Some schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to finish their degrees faster than others.
Our Concluded Thoughts
If you want to study biology in the USA, you have plenty of options. You might want to look at a university's biology program before applying, but it shouldn't get too complicated. Ultimately, choosing the best universities to study biology in the USA will likely come from your personal preferences. If you're not sure which school to apply to, try to get in touch with current students or contact the university directly. You'll likely be able to learn more about what it's like to study there from first-hand sources.