Best Universities In California For Biology

Last Updated on August 10, 2022

Biology is a challenging field, and the rigors of a biology degree might prove too much for individuals who only feel indifferent about the subject. However, for those who begin their studies with a plan for how they want to use their education, it can be one of the most rewarding degrees available. Find related content to postings about Best Universities In California For Biology, best colleges for biology, best CSU schools for biology & California State University biology major on Collegelearners.

You will also discover related posts on UCSD biology ranking, which California State University is the best for biology, best private universities in California for biology, best UC for biology and so much more right here on Collegelearners.

California is a haven for biologists, whether you’re searching for marine life to study underwater, want to observe the migration of monarch butterflies and other spectacular species to keep tabs on them, or just want to gaze at some of the most beautiful landscapes and natural formations the state has to offer. Take a look at these best universities in California for biology majors.

Best Colleges for Biology Majors

top biology colleges undergraduate

General Biology is a popular major and California is the 1st most popular state for students studying this major. 12,281 of the 97,754 General Biology degrees awarded last year were given by schools in California. With so many choices it can be difficult finding the best choice. This year’s Best Colleges for General Biology in California ranking analyzed 48 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor’s degree in general biology. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of schools for General Biology students in California.

1California Institute of TechnologyPasadena, CAcaltechCalifornia Institute of Technology offers 13 Biology Degree programs. It’s a small private university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 54 students graduated in the study area of Biology with students earning 32 Doctoral degrees, 19 Bachelor’s degrees, and 3 Master’s degrees. Based on 4 Reviews
2Stanford UniversityStanford, CAstanfordStanford University offers 24 Biology Degree programs. It’s a large private university in a large suburb. In 2015, 387 students graduated in the study area of Biology with students earning 282 Bachelor’s degrees, 83 Doctoral degrees, and 22 Master’s degrees. Based on 64 Reviews
3University of California-Los AngelesLos Angeles, CAuc los angelesUniversity of California-Los Angeles offers 48 Biology Degree programs. It’s a large public university in a large city. In 2015, 1,414 students graduated in the study area of Biology with students earning 1,264 Bachelor’s degrees, 97 Doctoral degrees, 53 Master’s degrees. Based on 88 Reviews
4University of California-BerkeleyBerkeley, CAUC BerkeleyUniversity of California-Berkeley offers 27 Biology Degree programs. It’s a large public university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 1,085 students graduated in the study area of Biology with students earning 971 Bachelor’s degrees, 102 Doctoral degrees, and 12 Master’s degrees. Based on 140 Reviews
5University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CAuscUniversity of Southern California offers 42 Biology Degree programs. It’s a large private university in a large city. In 2015, 590 students graduated in the study area of Biology with students earning 473 Bachelor’s degrees, 66 Master’s degrees, and 51 Doctoral degrees. Based on 52 Reviews
6University of California-San DiegoLa Jolla, CAUniversity of California-San DiegoUniversity of California-San Diego offers 27 Biology Degree programs. It’s a large public university in a large city. In 2015, 1,103 students graduated in the study area of Biology with students earning 951 Bachelor’s degrees, 101 Master’s degrees, and 51 Doctoral degrees. Based on 36 Reviews
7University of California-DavisDavis, CAUniversity of California-DavisUniversity of California-Davis offers 47 Biology Degree programs. It’s a large public university in a small suburb. In 2015, 1,119 students graduated in the study area of Biology with students earning 982 Bachelor’s degrees, 91 Doctoral degrees, and 46 Master’s degrees. Based on 92 Reviews
8University of California-Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara, CAUC Santa BarbaraUniversity of California-Santa Barbara offers 26 Biology Degree programs. It’s a large public university in a mid sized suburb. In 2015, 519 students graduated in the study area of Biology with students earning 489 Bachelor’s degrees, 16 Doctoral degrees, and 14 Master’s degrees. Based on 52 Reviews
9University of California-IrvineIrvine, CAUniversity of California-IrvineUniversity of California-Irvine offers 31 Biology Degree programs. It’s a large public university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 807 students graduated in the study area of Biology with students earning 715 Bachelor’s degrees, 55 Doctoral degrees, and 37 Master’s degrees. Based on 16 Reviews
10Claremont McKenna CollegeClaremont, CAClaremont McKenna CollegeClaremont McKenna College offers 11 Biology Degree programs. It’s a small private university in a large suburb. In 2015, 31 students graduated in the study area of Biology with students earning 31 Bachelor’s degrees. Based on 4 Reviews

best colleges for biochemistry and molecular biology in California

School NameAverage tuitionStudent Teacher RatioEnrolled Students
California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA5/57 : 12,255
Stanford University Stanford, CA5/56 : 116,980
University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA3/512 : 141,908
University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA3/521 : 138,189
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA5/516 : 143,401
University of California-San Diego La Jolla, CA3/515 : 132,906
University of California-Davis Davis, CA3/515 : 135,186
University of California-Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA3/524 : 123,497
University of California-Irvine Irvine, CA3/517 : 130,836
Claremont McKenna College Claremont, CA5/58 : 11,349
Pomona College Claremont, CA5/58 : 11,663
Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA5/58 : 1825
University of San Diego San Diego, CA5/515 : 18,251
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA5/514 : 18,680
Occidental College Los Angeles, CA5/511 : 12,023
University of California-Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA3/527 : 117,868
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA3/523 : 120,944
University of California-Riverside Riverside, CA3/524 : 121,385
San Diego State University San Diego, CA2/531 : 134,254
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona Pomona, CA2/531 : 123,717
University of California-Merced Merced, CA3/521 : 16,685
California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, CA2/527 : 137,446
Pepperdine University Malibu, CA5/516 : 17,632
University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA5/515 : 110,797
Scripps College Claremont, CA5/510 : 1989

Best Universities in California for Marine Biology

Learn about the top ranked colleges and universities for general biology majors.

Marine biology is the study of plants and animals that dwell in the ocean, and how they react to the environment around them. It is a competitive field with strict regulations about interactions between people and marine life.

Students who want to pursue a marine biology degree also make planning on becoming a marine biologist but worried about choosing the best college. Don’t worry, here we have created a list of Best Marine Biology Colleges in California to help you find colleges that fit your needs.

Find out which top-ranked universities offer degree programs in marine science or marine biology in California. We wish you all the best!!

1. University of California, Berkeley

The ocean plays a central role in physical, biological, chemical, and geological processes on Earth. The field of marine science thus requires an understanding of the interactions between the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere. Some examples of the current research directions of societal concern in the marine sciences include the role of the ocean in climate change. The ocean’s role in climate phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña (and their effect on modern marine ecosystems), the history of El Niño and other climatic/oceanographic events recorded in marine sediments and corals, coastal pollution and its effect on coastal marine ecosystems, and coastal erosion (natural and human-caused).

  • Founded In: 1868
  • Ranking: 1st Tuition & Fees Approximately: $14,194
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: 510-642-3175
  • Apply Now:

2. Stanford University

As part of the Biology program at Stanford, Hopkins Marine Station is home to graduate students working toward their Ph.D. Students train under the supervision of Hopkins faculty, conducting research in areas from molecular biology to whole-organism physiology to population biology, ecology, and conservation. Hopkins Marine Station is the ideal place to learn about biology and the ocean. Whether you are considering a career in marine biology, are looking for intriguing courses related to your major

  • Founded In: 1885
  • Ranking: 2ndTuition & Fees Approximately: 46,320 USD
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: 650.723.2413
  • Apply Now:
Best Biology Colleges in California | 2021

3. San Francisco State University

The M.S. in Biology with a concentration in Marine Biology is designed to offer students a broad exposure to the major marine groups and nearshore habitats and experience with the research methodologies to study them. The faculty offer coursework and active research programs in the ecology, evolution, and ecological physiology of marine organisms, the systematic and ecological genetics of marine organisms, the ecology and behavior of marine mammals, the biology of the algae and salt marsh flora, and estuarine ecology. Its Resident scientists are conducting research in estuarine ecology, physiology, population and evolutionary biology, marine microbiology, and wetland restoration and ecology. Students completing the marine biology program have been successful in obtaining marine-oriented positions with state and federal agencies and private environmental consulting firms. Many of our graduates enter the teaching profession, while about one quarter continues on to competitive Ph.D. programs in the marine sciences.

  • Founded In: 1899
  • Ranking: 3rdTuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 6,476 USD, Out-of-state 17,636 USD
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: (415) 338-1111
  • Apply Now:

4. University of California, Santa Cruz

The marine biology major is designed to introduce students to marine ecosystems, including the great diversity of marine organisms and their coastal and oceanic environments. The marine biology major is a demanding program that offers a B.S. degree and requires several more courses than the general biology B.A. major. Students with bachelor’s degrees in marine biology find employment opportunities in a variety of fields. In conjunction with a teaching credential or graduate degree in teaching, students often use their marine biology background to teach science at the K–12 level. The emphasis is on basic principles that help us to understand the processes that shape life in marine environments. The faculty encourages applications from students who are prepared to transfer into the marine biology major at the junior level.

  • Founded In: 1965
  • Ranking: 4thTuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 13,461 USD, Out-of-state 38,169 USD
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: (831) 459-2131
  • Apply Now:
See the Top 10 Global Universities for Biology and Biochemistry | Best  Global Universities | US News

5. University of California-San Diego

Marine Biology (MB) is the study of marine organisms and their relationship with the physical and chemical dynamics of the marine environment. Faculty expertise encompasses several major areas of modern biology including evolutionary, ecological, organism, physiological, biochemical, and genetic processes of marine animals and microorganisms. The Marine Biology Research Division (MBRD) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (University of California, San Diego campus) consists of research laboratories in the fields of cell and developmental biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, microbiology and physiology of marine organisms.

  • Founded In: 1960
  • Ranking: 5thTuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 13,530 USD, Out-of-state 38,238 USD
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: (858) 534-3624
  • Apply Now:

6. University of Southern California

The core scientific mission of the Marine and Environmental Biology section is to understand marine organisms, their interactions in complex marine ecosystems, and the emergent properties of the communities that result from these interactions. The minor in Marine Biology combines courses related specifically to marine science from several Dornsife College departments or programs. Studies of the marine environment are relevant to many contemporary environmental issues and problems central to understanding earth-system evolution, dynamics, climate, and sustainability. This program is an appropriate start for students who are seeking a focus in marine science or who are interested in broadening their base of knowledge about marine biology, earth sciences or environmental science.

  • Founded In: 1880
  • Ranking: 6thTuition & Fees Approximately: 50,210 USD
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: (213) 740 – 1109
  • Apply Now:
Best Biology Colleges in California | 2021

7. University of California-Los Angeles

Students in the Marine Biology major are required to participate in the Marine Biology Quarter (MBQ). The MBQ provides the opportunity for undergraduates to live the life of a marine biologist.  The focus of the MARINE BIOLOGY major is the study of marine organisms and their environment. The Marine Biology major is designed for students who wish to specialize in the area of marine sciences. Completion of this major provides students with both an excellent background in biology and specialization in various disciplines such as oceanography, subtidal and intertidal ecology and physiology of marine organisms.

  • Founded In: 1919
  • Ranking: 7thTuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 12,763 USD, Out-of-state 37,471 USD
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: 310-825-1680
  • Apply Now:

8. University of California-Santa Barbara

Biological Sciences at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) are administered jointly by the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology (EEMB) and the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB).  The Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara provides broad, interdisciplinary education leading to the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees with an emphasis on ecology and evolution, and marine biology and oceanography. Santa Barbara is a multidisciplinary program bringing together marine faculty from across the UCSB campus to provide graduate training leading to the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Marine Science.

Best Biology Colleges in California | 2021
  • Founded In: 1891
  • Ranking: 8thTuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 13,968 USD, Out-of-state 38,676 USD
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: +1 805-893-8000
  • Apply Now:

9. California State University-Long Beach

The Marine Biology Program at California State University Long Beach! We offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology to undergraduates and a Master of Science degree in Biology for graduate students carrying out original research in marine biology. Students working towards the Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology enroll in small upper-division lecture and lab classes taught by Ph.D.-level faculty. A Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from CSULB has helped many of our past students to successfully compete for marine biology-related jobs in resource management agencies and companies. Many of our alumni also go on to do graduate work in the marine sciences. These students design and carry out basic and applied research that moves the field of marine biology forward.

  • Founded In: 1962
  • Ranking: 9thTuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 6,452 USD, Out-of-state 17,612 USD
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: 562.985.4111
  • Apply Now:
Best Colleges in California for 2021

10. California State University-Monterey

CSUMB offers a Master of Science in Marine Science through Moss Landing Marine Labs. Through lab and field experience, students apply techniques of experimental design, data acquisition, analysis and presentation that provide them with the skills needed to monitor and analyze marine science problems. Students in the Marine Science major apply a wide range of technologies to studying marine ecosystems. Graduates of the Marine Science major are prepared for a variety of career pathways in the public and private sector. Students are encouraged to interact with other Monterey Bay institutions, such as the Moss Landing Marine Labs, to take advantage of additional local expertise in marine and coastal ecology.

  • Founded In: 1994
  • Ranking: 10thTuition & Fees Approximately: In-state: $7,048 Out-of-state: $18,928
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: 831-582-3000
  • Apply Now:
Best Colleges in Molecular Biology Program

best universities for biology uK

iology is one of the major sciences, and is crucial to the understanding of all life. The subject is incredibly broad in its scope — for example, Cellular Biology breaks down the study to the molecular level, while Botany is the study of plants, and Zoology allows you to focus on both animals and the wider ecosystems in which they live.

A Biology degree can open up a fascinating world of scientific study, and address the need for graduates in important fields such as conservation and medical research.

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best universities for Biology degrees in the UK and the USA.

So, what are the best degrees for Biology?

The UK and the USA are home to many prestigious universities, with a history of scientific research dating back many years. Some of our partner universities are among the UK’s and USA’s best universities for Biology degrees, with a reputation of excellent teaching and research

Arizona State University

students in laboratory

For example, Arizona State University has a global reputation in the field. It ranks in the top 175 universities in the world for Biological Sciences (Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2022)

The ASU Natural History Collections is an incredible facility comprising millions of specimens including insects, plants, reptiles, molluscs and more, to support the university’s teaching and research.

Some of the Biology degrees you can study at ASU include Applied Biological Sciences, Biochemistry and Plant Biology and Conservation.

University of York

University of York campus

The University of York is an excellent UK university for Biology, which ranks 10th in the country in Biological Sciences (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022).

With high-quality teaching and facilities, York offers degrees such as Biotechnology and Microbiology, or Molecular Cell Biology.

York also offers Biology students the opportunity to spend a year in industry, or in Europe, during their degree. This extra practical experience will also help make you more attractive to employers!

University of Glasgow

BHF & Biomedical Centres in Glasgow

The University of Glasgow is highly regarded in the field of Biological Sciences, ranking 10th in the UK in the subject (Complete University Guide 2022).

One of Scotland’s “ancient universities”, Glasgow is a member of the Russell Group, and well-known for its scientific research. It is also an excellent choice if you’re interested in pursuing a career in clinical practice or research — available degrees include Anatomy, Clinical Genetics, Infection Biology, and Medical Genetics and Genomics.

University of Bristol

University of Bristol campus

The prestigious University of Bristol enjoys an impressive ranking for Biological Sciences, and is currently 11th the in the UK for the discipline (Guardian University Guide 2022).

The University is also among the UK’s top 10 most targeted university by top employers (High Fliers Research 2021), so a Bristol Biology degree is a fantastic first step towards a successful career.

The University also offers you a wide range of biology-related degrees, from Biochemistry and Biology to Cancer Biology and Immunology & Medical Microbiology. Many of these degrees also include an optional year in industry. Bristol therefore represents a fantastic choice for students looking to gain practical experience during their degree.

University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham campus

The University of Birmingham is well known for its strength in the sciences, and is also ranked 24th in the UK for Biological Sciences (Complete University Guide 2022).

A red brick university and member of the research-intensive Russell Group, it is highly regarded for its academic prowess. This means that a Biology degree from Birmingham will be highly valued by employers.

With Kaplan, you can related degrees such as Biological Sciences, Biomedical Science and Human Biology at the University of Birmingham, at both an undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London is a highly regarded Russell Group university, which currently ranks among the top 150 universities in the world for Biological Sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021).

Biology degree from Queen Mary University of London can prepare you well for an exciting career. Biology graduates are equipped for careers in conservation and wildlife management, or in the agricultural industry or biotechnology. Many of Queen Mary students go on to clinical and laboratory work, postgraduate research or science education. 

You even have the option to undertake overseas fieldwork or integrate a year abroad into your degree.

Pace University

Pace University campus

Pace University carries out extensive research in areas including cancer research, plant biology, global warming, bacterial pathology, ecological field studies, and tropical ecology.

In addition, Pace has received considerable investment in its Science facilities and labs, and student-faculty research is a benchmark of the Pace experience.

Biology graduates from Pace also generally enjoy high starting salaries of around $53,200. This is on par with those of the most selective Ivy League schools in the country!

Enrol on a degree at Pace and you can study Biochemistry, Biological Psychology, or Biology.

How to enter a UK or US university<br>

If you want to study at one of the best universities for Biology, Kaplan can help. You can gain entry to a top UK or US university through a pathway course. It might be the first step towards a successful career, and into the scientific discoveries of the future.

Kaplan offers exceptional study options for international students interested in Biology. Find Biology degrees in the UK or Biology degrees in the USA using our degree finder.

best cSU for biology

Biology programs can be found at all the CSU’s. There is no ranking for undergrad Biology programs in the CSU’s but I would base the “best” by the competitiveness of the CSU’s overall.

The top five-six CSU’s would probably be Cal Poly SLOSan Diego State, Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly Pomona and San Jose State.

Some schools may have a specialized emphasis/concentrations vs another school, that might be more of interest to you.

For example, SLO’s biology major has these concentrations:
Anatomy and Physiology
Marine Biology & Conservation
Molecular & Cellular Biology
Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation

San Diego state has these concentrations/emphasis:
B.S. Biology (General degree, no emphasis)

B.S. Biology (Emphasis in Cellular and Molecular Biology)

B.S. Biology (Emphasis in Ecology) B.S. Biology (Emphasis in Evolution and Systematics)
B.S. Biology (Emphasis in Marine Biology)

Long Beach state has these concentrations:
General Biology
Organismal Biology
Molecular Cell Biology & Physiology
Marine Biology

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