Even biologists can't make money grow on trees to cover hefty tuition prices, but biology scholarships are luckily now as diverse as the planet's wildlife species. Our nation's increased focus on STEM education has led to an abundance of scientific scholarship opportunities for biology majors to cash in on. Although biology is one of the most popular majors for aspiring medical school applicants, the degree can lead to a wide variety of career options in laboratories, zoos, aquariums, parks, schools, and much more.
Biology is the study of living creatures, so your broad science background can be applied to virtually any field. Turn your innate fascination with the wonders of our world into free money for college by checking out the following undergraduate and graduate scholarships for biology majors.
1. ACIL Scholarship Alliance Program
Deadline: April 3rd
Annually, the American Council of Independent Laboratories (ACIL) hosts the Scholarship Alliance Program to award up to $5,000 to currently enrolled college students who are pursuing a bachelor's or graduate degree in the physical sciences, including biology, physics, chemistry, geology, and environmental science. Eligible candidates must have at least junior level status, attend an accredited U.S. institution, exhibit financial need, show leadership potential, and maintain academic achievement. Applications must include a brief resume or personal statement, two letters of faculty recommendation, a transcript, and financial aid reports.
2. ASABE Foundation Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
In the amount of $1,200, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE) Foundation offers an annual scholarship to one outstanding undergraduate student who is pursuing a four-year bachelor's degree with a major in biology, agriculture, engineering, or a closely related technical field. Qualified applicants must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, need financial assistance, attend an institution accredited by the ABET, have completed at least one full academic year, be ASABE members, and not be graduating. Students must write a 750-word personal essay describing why they've chosen a career in agricultural or biological engineering.
3. BioOhio Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 12th
Created in 2009, the BioOhio Scholarship Program gives non-renewable undergraduate biology scholarships of $1,250 apiece annually to several graduating high school seniors who are enrolling in an accredited Ohio institution to pursue a degree for bioscience. To qualify, candidates must reside in Ohio, be seniors in good standing, plan to maintain full-time enrollment, and aspire for a career in biosciences. Eligible students are asked to submit an application with a high school transcript, college admission test scores, two letters of recommendation, and a 500-word essay explaining their interests in studying biology.
4. Brown and Caldwell Minority Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
At Brown and Caldwell, the Minority Scholarship is presented annually for $5,000 to a deserving full-time college student who is currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program with a declared major in engineering, biology, environmental science, geology, hydrogeology, or ecology. Eligible African American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Alaska Native students must have at least junior status, be U.S. citizens, attend an accredited college, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and show promise for an environmental career. Applicants must submit official college transcripts, a copy of their student ID, and a personal goals statement.
5. Catherine H. Beattie Fellowship
Deadline: November 30th
Sponsored by the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC), the Catherine H. Beattie Fellowship will provide $1,000 to $4,500 annually to outstanding graduate students majoring in biology, horticulture, agriculture, or a related field to conduct research on a rare or endangered plant found in the United States. Qualified candidates must submit a three-page research proposal, a current resume, a letter of endorsement from an academic advisor, official transcripts, and a recent digital photo. Priority for these graduate biology scholarships will be given to those studying endangered flora of the Southeast.
Catherine H. Beattie Fellowship
4651 Shaw Blvd. Suite 173
St. Louis, MO 63110
6. Dennis Raveling Scholarship
Deadline: October 31st
Ranging in value from $1,000 to $2,000, the Dennis Raveling Scholarship is granted each year by the California Waterfowl Association (CWA) to graduate students who are pursuing an advanced university degree for wildlife biology, zoology, botany, ecology, or another related biological science. Eligible recipients must attend an accredited U.S. college, be conducting research studying waterfowl, wish to enter a career in wetlands management, and possess high academic achievement. Along with the application, students must attach a one-page project proposal, resume, personal statement of interests, faculty recommendation, and two references.
7. Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship
Deadline: May 29th
Through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship is awarded annually to female and minority graduate students who are pursuing a graduate-level degree in oceanography, marine biology, biological science, natural resource management, or maritime archaeology. Eligible candidates must attend accredited U.S. institutions, envision a career protecting our globe's oceans, be involved in independent marine-related research, show academic merit, and have financial need. Recipients will receive up to $42,000 of yearly support and invited to complete a six-week program at a NOAA facility.
8. Friends of Volo Bog Scholarships
Deadline: March 31st
Every year, the Friend of Volo Bog Scholarships are granted for $1,000 to one graduating high school senior and one continuing college student who are attending an accredited U.S. university with plans to major in biology, ecology, environmental science, or another environmental-related field. Qualified candidates must have attended high school with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in Lake, McHenry, Kane, Cook, Kendall, Will, or DuPage County of Illinois. Applications won't be complete without an official transcript, two recommendation letters, a short personal goals paragraph, and an essay titled "My Statement of Environmental Ethics."
9. Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Deadline: January 13th
Started in 1999 by the Bill and Melina Gates Foundation, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program provided need-based awards annually to African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Hispanic American students who are majoring in a STEM field, including biology. Qualified recipients must be U.S. citizens or legal residents, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.3, be enrolling for the first time at an accredited American college full-time, be actively involved in community service, and meet Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria. Scholars receive an average award of $12,492 with web-based academic resources, career planning, mentoring, and leadership development programs.
Gates Millennium Scholars Program
1805 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
10. John Kitt Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Administered by the American Association of Candy Technologists (AACT), the John Kitt Memorial Scholarship is presented each year for $5,000 to undergraduate students who are obtaining a bachelor's degree in food science, chemistry, biology, or a related scientific field. For consideration, candidates must have at least sophomore standing, attend an accredited four-year college in North America, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and demonstrate a sincere interest in confectionery technology. Applications should include a transcript, one reference letter, a short personal goals statement, and a resume of confectionery experience.
11. Jordan Viders "Spirit of the Sea" Scholarship
Deadline: December 31st
Created by Beneath the Sea in 2007, the Jordan Viders "Spirit of the Sea" Scholarship is designed to award $1,000 every year to young adults between the ages of 22 and 30 who are majoring in marine biology, biology, environmental conservation, ecology, or another related field to follow a career path using electronics to expand science's underwater knowledge. Eligible students must live in the United States, maintain good academic standing, and show potential for protecting the ocean environment. Applications must have two letters of recommendation from scuba instructors, faculty, employers, or mentors.
12. Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 9th
Through the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), the Libbie H. Hyman Memorial Scholarship is given for $1,500 to $3,500 each year to honor the accomplishments of one of America's chief invertebrate zoologists. Eligible undergraduate or graduate students must be currently enrolled in an accredited biology program and wish to carry on research studying invertebrates at a marine, freshwater, or terrestrial field station. Application forms should include a research proposal, college transcripts, and two letters of reference from biology faculty members. SICB membership isn't necessary for the biology scholarships.
13. Mikkelson Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: April 17th
In the amount of $3,000 apiece, the Mikkelson Foundation Scholarships are awarded every year to outstanding Colorado graduating high school seniors who have been accepted into an accredited U.S. college or university to study engineering, mathematics, biology, and other natural sciences. Eligible recipients must be beginning their studies this upcoming fall, carry an unweighted GPA of 3.7 or higher, have scored at least 1800 on the SAT or 28 on the ACT, and demonstrate ability to excel in scientific disciplines. To qualify for up to four years of funding, interested students must submit an application, official transcripts, three references, and an original personal essay.
14. NABT Biology Educator Leadership Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
As part of the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), the Biology Educator Leadership Scholarship (BELS) program is hosted annually to financially support practicing teachers who are enrolling in a master's or doctoral degree program related to biology or biology education. Eligible candidates must be NABT members, have less than 10 years of teaching experience, possess valid teaching credentials, showcase academic merit, exhibit financial need, and display professional promise for teaching secondary biology courses. This graduate biology scholarship gives preference to teachers working in high needs schools.
15. National Garden Clubs College Scholarships
Deadline: March 1st
The National Garden Clubs (NGC) gives approximately 35 college scholarships annually for $3,500 apiece to juniors, seniors, and graduate students pursuing a master's degree who are planning for a career related to gardening, landscape design, or horticulture. Acceptable majors include agriculture, floriculture, horticulture, forestry, biology, botany, wildlife science, plant science, and environmental conservation. To qualify, applicants are required to be U.S. citizens or legal residents, be attending an accredited college full-time, possess a minimum overall GPA of 3.25, demonstrate financial need, and be involved in their state's garden club.
16. Recreational Boating Industries Scholarships
Deadline: April 1st
Ranging in value from $500 to $2,500, the Recreational Boating Industries Scholarships are given annually by the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) for 10 to 15 currently enrolled college students who are studying majors related to the boating industry, including marine science and biology. Although preference is given to Michigan students, any candidates attending an accredited U.S. university with career interests in recreational boating can apply for this scholarship for biology majors. Applications won't be accepted without a 300-word personal statement, authentic college transcripts. and two letters of recommendation.
17. Rich J. Guadagno Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: December 16th
In honor of an avid wildlife refuge law enforcement officer who was a passenger on the 9/11 hijacked flight that crashed into western Pennsylvania, the Rich J. Guadagno Memorial Scholarship is granted annually for $5,000 through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Eligible students must be currently pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree full-time with at least junior level status in the natural sciences at Humboldt State University. Biology majors should show good academic and professional promise in following Guadagno's footsteps in protecting our planet's wildlife.
18. Steven J. Muir Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
As one of the undergraduate biology scholarships gifted by the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Educational Foundation, the Steven J. Muir Scholarship is named in honor of the former Chapter Services Director who received the Order of the Golden Eagle in 2007. Qualified active members must be at least sophomores earning an accredited bachelor's degree in any of the pure sciences, including biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and engineering. Applicants should be involved in a Beta Eta Chapter, display outstanding leadership in the fraternity, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and submit official college transcripts.
19. William F. Helms Student Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
Sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the William F. Helms Student Scholarship is available annually to provide up to $5,000 to sophomores or juniors who are majoring in biology, agriculture, plant pathology, ecology, or a related field. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens, attend an accredited university, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and be pursuing a career safeguarding America's natural resources from pests and diseases. Recipients are required to work for the agency during school breaks for at least 640 hours prior to graduation.
20. Women Divers Hall of Fame Scholarships
Deadline: November 28th
Annually, the Women Divers Hall of Fame provides eight scholarships ranging from $750 to $2,000 apiece for outstanding female divers who are attending accredited U.S. universities to study conservation, biology, marine biology, underwater archaeology, marine education, or another relevant field. Eligible applicants must be at least 18 years old, exhibit financial need, carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, have completed at least 60 credits of college coursework, have passed an approved scuba diving program, and be committed to marine science. Applications must include a resume or curriculum vitae, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and an original personal goals essay.
Women Divers Hall of Fame Scholarships
43 Mackey Avenue
Port Washington, NY 10050
Whether you're earning a bachelor's degree in general biology or working towards a graduate degree in a specialized biological science like marine biology or microbiology, you'll likely need to depend on financial aid. Loans can provide capital quickly without much effort, but they'll need to be repaid with interest after you graduate with your biology degree. That's why aspiring biologists should maximize their other financial aid options like scholarships and grants to reduce their future loan debt. Thankfully, these are just 20 of the great biology scholarships available for students using their passion for science to better understand living organisms.