By Iris Stone
A biology degree is one of the most versatile degrees you can get in undergrad. Biology students have the flexibility to become teachers, researchers, or conservationists, to go to graduate school, or to enter into a number of pre-professional programs, from medicine to pharmacy.
In our ranking of the best value small colleges for a biology degree, we turned to College Navigator, a website run by the National Center for Education Statistics. We used the data on the website to determine the 50 schools that:
- Offer a degree in biology or the biological sciences
- Admit 50% or fewer of their applicants
- Retain of a student body of 3,000 people or fewer
- Have a low net price*
*Net price is a value that provides more insight than simple tuition rates. While its considers a school's in-state and out-of-state tuition rates, it also factors in the average financial aid package that students at the school receive, as well as other potential expenses.
Bringing these four qualities together enabled us to develop a list of the "best value" small college biology degrees, i.e. the ones that fall into the overlap in a Venn Diagram of quality and affordability. Each of the 50 schools below have something unique to offer, but they all unite in the desire to provide a high caliber curriculum for a lower than average cost.
50. York College
Biology isn't a passive field, open to people who just want to sit and listen - so why should school be that way? York College actively engages its students from day one, emphasizing "data-driven labs" that require intensive investigation and analysis. Lab practices keep pace with the changes in the scientific community, allowing students to explore contemporary topics that will gain them easy access to top graduate programs. As a biology major at York College, you can focus on molecular/cellular fields or organismal/population aspects of biology. Alternatively, you could take the Pre-Medical track and gain important early clinical experience at York Hospital.
Net Price: $17,733/yr
49. Pomona College
Students who are looking for a broad foundation in the biological sciences with a small liberal arts twist will find Pomona College the perfect fit. You can choose a concentration in environmental, organismal, plant, or cell and molecular biology, any one of which can serve as a great platform for science-based careers. However, many Pomona graduates also become successful in law, government, journalism, consulting, or teaching, using their biology background as a guide. Pomona also stands out among small colleges for its above par facilities; the biology building is energy efficient, labs feature advanced instruments, and the campus also offers both greenhouses and cold rooms.
Net Price: $17,419/yr
48. Daemen College
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Are you interested in chemistry, ecology, and genetics? There's good news - at Daemen College, all
these classes and more are a part of the standard biology degree program. Students also take required
physics and seminar classes, ensuring that they gain a solid foundation across scientific disciplines.
Concentration tracks in Environmental Studies and Adolescence Education help divert students to either a
professional- or teaching-focused plan of study. But Daemen offers much more than an affordable biology
degree; "study away" and research opportunities will round out your education with a dose of hands-on
learning that you won't find in the classroom.
Net Price: $17,300/yr
47. Cumberland University
If you want a job in allied health, Cumberland University might be the way to go. If you want top-notch
career preparation along with an intimate educational environment, Cumberland may very well be the best
small college biology degree you'll find. For the past two decades, this school has had one of the highest
acceptance rates to allied health fields of any U.S. institution. CU is also ideal for students who aspire
to be teachers, and it even offers a five-year accelerated track that leads to a Master's in Teaching. But
that's not all - soon Cumberland will be adding a "green track" with a focus on environmental issues
and sustainable practices.
Net Price: $17,147/yr
46. Stillman College
Natural Sciences: Biology
Stillman College's Natural Sciences program incorporates a broad spectrum of scientific coursework and is ideal for students who want a solid, cheap biology degree. A combination of classes and "support activities" prepare students for standardized tests and teacher certification for secondary school science. Some students also go on to graduate school, while other alumni have secured work in industrial and government labs. The coursework is also broad enough to provide a pathway to numerous professional programs, including dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, physical therapy, and public health. And as far as affordability goes, Stillman has plenty to offer; it's already cheap tuition is made even more affordable for military veterans through the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Net Price: $17,126/yr
45. Newman University
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Newman University doesn't stop at an accredited biology degree, because having just one option is too "old school" for Newman. Instead, students can choose between a B.S. or B.A. in Biology, the latter of which takes a more general approach to the topic (B.S. students take more technical and math courses). What's more, Newman provides an option in Biomedical Research, a dual program in Biology/Medical Technology, and a minor track that you can combine with another science major. Biology students also have the option to concentrate in one of a litany of pre-professional concentrations, from Chiropractic and Medical to Pharmacy and Physical Therapy.
Net Price: $16,943/yr
44. Toccoa Falls College
No matter what career you envision pursuing with your biology degree, Toccoa Falls College can help you build a ladder to success. Every biology major at TFC will take general courses in physics, biochemistry, and organic chemistry, as well as every biological area of study. You can then pick a subset based on your intended career path, including Pre-Medical, Pre-Nursing, Education, or Sustainability (as a minor). And although some people think science labs are boring, TFC works hard to buck the stereotype; you'll be able to dissect animals, breed fruit flies, grow germs, help goldfish recover from insulin shock, and even analyze your friends' DNA!
Net Price: $16,922/yr
43. Huston Tillotson University
Any school can produce good test takers - students who know how to answer multiple-choice questions and pass classes. But TFC promotes a nobler goal: to increase its students' scientific literacy and analytical capabilities. Toccoa Falls also sees career prep as of the utmost importance, and offers specialized coursework that will help you achieve success in research, medicine, academia, technology, or public health. And if your plan includes medical school after earning a small college biology degree (TFC has fewer than 1,000 students), pay close attention: the Joint Admissions Medical Program (JAMP) offers highly qualified students early admission to any medical school in the state of Texas.
Net Price: $16,825/yr
42. Washington Adventist University
If you attend Washington Adventist University as a biology degree student, you actually get two schools in one. Science students attend "STEM University," a department that "makes champions." WAU offers an array of pre-professional programs within its B.S. and B.A. in Biology tracks, as well as related programs in Biochemistry, Mathematics, and Computer Science. As a service-oriented school, WAU also gives biology students plenty of opportunities to put their knowledge to good use. For instance, school-sponsored trips to the Dominican Republic help students combine their healthcare aspirations with compassion and aid for the less fortunate.
Net Price: $16,737/yr
41. Virginia Military Institute
For a university that offers complete transparency in its outcomes, Virginia Military Institute is a refreshing choice. 90% of its biology degree graduates make quick moves toward their career goals - about a third join the military, 36% attend graduate school, and another quarter go directly into health professions. How are VMI students so successful? The school combines the impressive dedication and focus common in the military with top-notch facilities and motivated students. Small class sizes (the student-to-faculty ratio is just 12:1), a heavy focus on laboratory work, and regular advising will also help keep you on track.
Net Price: $16,633/yr
40. Alderson Broaddus University
If you're tired of being reminded of your limitations, you might want to consider the school whose motto is, "You can do that here." Alderson Broaddus University offers its students all the tools and resources they will need to find success - it's simply your responsibility to commit to the process. Biology students can concentrate in Ecology, Physiology, Anatomy, or even Organismal Zoology - or they can combine concentrations and specialize in multiple areas. ABU's program is also more integrative than most, which means that you could easily graduate in four years with a degree in both Biology and Chemistry, Biology and Computer Science, or even Biology and Environmental Science. By combining fields without lengthening your time to degree completion, you will increase your competitiveness in the grad school admissions process as well as in the job market!
Net Price: $16,551/yr
39. Amherst College
Any scientific expert will tell you that there aren't clear distinctions between the major fields (Chemistry, Biology, and Physics) and academic programs should reflect their cross-cutting nature. Amherst College's affordable biology degree incorporates classwork in all major disciplines at the lower level, allowing you to specialize in genetics, evolutionary biology, neurophysiology, and animal physiology once you reach upper level classes. Many seniors also complete an honors research project, designing an experiment, earning faculty support, writing a full thesis report, and sometimes even getting published - all before graduation! Amherst also offers a few targeted classes for pre-medical students.
Net Price: $16,550/yr
38. Dillard University
Biology (Dual Degree Program)
Dillard University places a premium on building connections, and this priority is evident throughout the
school's STEM program. For example, its
accredited biology degree is available in conjunction with several partner universities, which means you
get the benefits of two schools for one ultra-low price. Dillard also participates in LAMP-STEM, or the
"Louis Stokes Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation," which aims to increase the number of
minority students pursing STEM degrees. Other unique programs include the Waterway Alliance for Training
of Environmental Research, which turns Louisiana's natural environment into a hands-on classroom in the
study of biodiversity and ecosystems.
Net Price: $16,461/yr
37. Wesleyan College
As a women's school, Wesleyan College proudly claims the right to many "firsts" for the gender. After graduating the first woman to ultimately receive a Doctor of Medicine Degree, WC established a strong reputation for its acumen in the biological and health sciences. The small college biology degree coursework emphasizes collaborative learning - a goal it easily accomplishes thanks to small class sizes and a campus of just 700 students. But despite its small sizes, WC goes big on scientific investment. 1,200 square feet of laboratory space, individual research labs for faculty members, a microscopic imaging room, and ultra-centrifuge room, a greenhouse suite, and a programmable walk-in environmental chamber are just some of the facilities that set Wesleyan apart from the average school.
Net Price: $16,353/yr
36. Missouri Valley College
Missouri Valley College's affordable biology degree program is well organized, providing clear-cut options for students based on their career goals. While this might not seem that important, you'd be surprised by how much rigid academic guidelines can help you stay on track. Advisors can point you in the right direction, whether you want to keep it broad with General Biology, prepare for grad school with the Pre-Med Pre-Vet option, or train for work as a wildlife manager or field researcher through the Conservation option. But regardless of where you see yourself 10 years down the road, Missouri Valley College offers some serious benefits. One of the biggest perks is the variety of coursework MVC provides, such as Vertebrate Zoology, Entomology, Wildlife Ecology and Management, Taxonomy of Higher Plants, and Ornithology.
Net Price: $16,337/yr
35. Johnson C. Smith University
One of the most obvious reasons for choosing a small college biology degree is the one-on-one attention these schools provide, and JCSU is no exception. Professors at Johnson C. Smith don't just take an interest in their students during class time; they also provide research opportunities and internships that can be hard to find at larger schools. In fact, 60% of biology undergrads at JCSU present scientific research at conferences before they graduate, and several have also participated in the Virginia-North Carolina eight-week summer research program. And as an HBCU, this school goes above and beyond to offer support to minority students, from tutoring and financial assistance to seminars on time management and study habits.
Net Price: $16,118/yr
34. Warner University
Warner University offers a traditional approach to the physical sciences for students who are considering applying to graduate schools. The well-rounded curriculum emphasizes physics, chemistry, and biology nearly equally, using upper-division coursework to focus more closely on life science topics. For example, you could take classes in Zoology, Botany, Ecology, Microbiology, and/or Biochemistry during your time at Warner, or even sign up for a "Special Topics" that focuses on contemporary issues in the field. And if you really excel in your academic pursuits you'll have the opportunity to join the ranks of the prestigious Alpha Chi, an honors society reserved for those in the top 10% of their class.
Net Price: $16,109/yr
33. Florida Memorial University
B.S. in Biology
Earning a cheap biology degree doesn't have to mean settling for less. Florida Memorial University keeps costs low for its small student body - approximately 1,500 students - with small but robust campus facilities. Updated classrooms and labs will be your home base as you study chemistry, zoology, microbiology, physics, genetics, ecology, and more. FMU has also taken a leading role in research and innovative new programs, and as a result it has added concentrations in Radiochemistry and Radiobiology to its Health and Natural Sciences Department. These programs are the only ones of their kind in the entire state, making Florida Memorial unique in a truly distinctive way.
Net Price: $16,005/yr
32. University of Saint Mary
Is science the study of life, or is life itself a science? At the University of Saint Mary you will have the freedom to indulge your inquisitive side, delving into classes that will require you to master the scientific method above all else. Unlike some larger universities this small college biology degree puts a heavy focus on lab work, where fully qualified professors, not graduate students, teach classes. Research assistantships abound for juniors and seniors and provide another avenue for you to get to know your professors. Resume-building and interview prep courses can also help you get one-up on your competition after you graduate - so much so that StemJobs.com ranked the University of Saint Mary as a "STEM Job Approved College" in 2015. (See: Best Value Schools STEM Scholarship for Women)
Net Price: $15,611/yr
31. Bryan College Dayton
As a religious institution that advocates "Christ Above All," you might not think of Bryan College as an ideal first choice for biology majors. But you might be surprised! BC expertly melds a reverence for God with an acceptance of scientific principles, affirming the "inerrancy and authority of scripture" while also pushing students to explore experimental design and reporting. BC students also have plenty of chances to apply to summer research programs, earn internships, or volunteer in local hospitals. This affordable biology degree is best for students who are interested in healthcare (a nursing option is available), graduate studies, or teaching (a secondary licensure track is also available).
Net Price: $15,258/yr
30. Ohio Valley University
Who ever said the liberal arts were incompatible with scientific research? Ohio Valley University contradicts this misconception with its well-rounded small college biology degree, which allows students to learn about everything from "the amoeba to The Aeneid. Within the School of Mathematics and Sciences, programs in biology, biochemistry, mathematics, and wellness intertwine to form a comprehensive physical sciences curriculum. If you're particularly ambitious you can join the honors program, which gives you the rare opportunity to create individualized contracts with faculty to engage "in-depth study" in topics of interest to you.
Net Price: $15,226/yr
29. William Carey University
One of the benefits of choosing William Carey University for your cheap biology degree program is the emphasis the school places on pre-professional programs. In fact, as a WCU student you will have your choice of biology concentrations in Pre-medicine, -dentistry, -veterinary medicine, -physical therapy, -occupational therapy, -optometry, or -pharmacy, as well as Environmental Biology and Microbiology. William Carey offers all the traditional biological courses, from Chemistry to Zoology, but there are some less traditional learning opportunities as well. In particular, you'll enjoy a field experience at the end of your senior year, which includes camping trips to two nearby state parks.
Net Price: $14,536/yr
28. Paine College
Paine College's Biology Department is ideal for students who see teaching, graduate school, or healthcare as the next step after college. The degree splits between two emphasis tracks - pre-professional sciences or secondary education - and offer courses that are tailored to your individual aspirations. Paine is committed to your success, and as a result offers review workshops and test-taking courses to help you ace the MCAT and/or GRE. But even more so, this school is all about "enrichment opportunities," which include clinical observation sessions at nearby hospitals and research experiences - both on campus and off-site over the summer.
Net Price: $14,234/yr
27. Lander University
At Lander University, biology consists of more than just a degree; it's an entire department that provides programs in General Biology, Genetics, Medical Technology, and Pre-Allied Health. And Lander's curriculum is rife with interesting coursework that you won't find elsewhere. From the first year you'll have access to classes in Animal Development, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Immunology, and Limnology. As you move toward graduation your learning will get even more interesting. Medical technology and pre-professional students will gain valuable experience in clinical settings as well as receive on-one-one academic advising to make sure that you take full advantage of your four years on campus. Genetics students will dive head first into laboratory research projects, making the program not only distinctively comprehensive, but also the first of its kind in South Carolina.
Net Price: $13,847/yr
26. Fort Valley State University
As a student interested in biology, it would make sense to go to a school that that promotes and supports its science programs above all else. Fort Valley State is one such university that strongly encourages students in its accredited biology degree program to go the distance. Concentration options are available in Allied Health Science, Wildlife Conservation, Fisheries, and Forensic Science, providing both a breadth and depth of study beyond what most colleges offer. Learning at FVSU extends far beyond the classroom, too. Summer internships at major universities, assistance with preparing research presentations, field trips to the CDC and the Everglades, and study abroad missions to ecologically-rich nations are all within easy reach at Fort Valley State.
Net Price: $13,741/yr
25. Brescia University
Ecology and Evolution, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Genetics, Embryology, Histology, Immunology, and Marine Biology are just a few of the small college biology degree courses that you will take at Brescia University. And it only gets more exciting from there. Design an independent study course to indulge your interests, take a "special topics course" with your favorite faculty mentor, tackle a directed research project to pad your resume, or enroll in a seminar based largely on your favorite subjects and activities. Brescia gives new meaning to the terms "flexible" and "individualized," to say the least. You, not faceless administrators, will guide a course schedule that suits your exact needs and aspirations.
Net Price: $12,399/yr
24. Edward Waters College
At the foundation of any biology degree program is the scientific method, and it's important for schools to emphasize an unbiased, analytical way of thinking above all else. Edward Waters seeks to graduate students who will lead "productive lives" in the spirit of this investigative attitude, which will serve them well in any career from healthcare to academia. As a student at EWC you will take several lab courses, potentially collaborate with faculty on research, and - if you are interested in the health sciences - explore the "eCenter for Promoting Health and Wellness." This small college also has a partnership with Life University, which supports innovative, out-of-the-box coursework that focuses on healthy living.
Net Price: $12,188/yr
23. Emmanuel College
Why do students choose to study biology in the first place? Emmanuel College believes that the best scientists are the most curious, and they stoke their students' passion by celebrating the question, "Why?" They also add the question, "What if?" bringing attention to the importance of novel ideas and creativity in the scientific community. The curriculum is heavily hands-on, which means that you'll spend just as much time in the lab as you will buried in a textbook. The Maureen Murphy Wilkens Science Center is one of EC's greatest assets; the building is crammed full of labs, multipurpose classrooms, and common areas that provide the perfect vehicle for collaborative, interactive scientific research.
Net Price: $12,171/yr
22. LeMoyne Owen College
B.S. in Biology
The truth about biology is that there aren't many careers in the field that don't involve some level of scientific research. Doctors, nurses, professors, lab technicians, and even middle school teachers all have to understand the principles behind research, from diagnostics to lab experimentation. That's why LeMoyne Owen College places a premium on technical, relevant, real-life skills that will serve you for years to come. Classes will help you develop quantitative, analytical, and computer skills, and you might consider visiting the Bornblum Institute to hear successful visiting scientists share their knowledge. As an incoming student you will also enroll in a Freshman Seminar, which can provide clarity on the values and interests you would like to carry with you throughout your journey to a biology degree.
Net Price: $11,709/yr
21. Christian Brothers University
Bachelor of Science in Biology
One of the benefits of choosing a small college biology degree over a program at a larger university is the access to unique coursework. While large state schools often design a fairly generic curriculum that is meant to support hundreds of students, small colleges (like CBU) inherently enjoy more flexibility. For example, CBU offers degrees in Biology, Biomedical Science, and Ecology, the latter of which features one-of-a-kind classes such as Wetland Ecology, Algae Fungi and Lichens, Herpetology, and Dendrology. CBU is an especially good choice for aspiring teachers, who can enroll in the school's five-year B.S. in Biology/M.A in Teaching/Secondary School Licensure program and kick their career into high gear.
Net Price: $11,679/yr
20. Kentucky State University
As would be expected, Kentucky State University's main degree in the biological sciences is called "General Biology." KSU's suggested course plan for students in this program includes classes in Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Genetics, and Ecology, among others. Seniors will also take a seminar course and a class called "Special Problems in Biology" where they are exposed to some more advanced, in-depth topics. There are also options for Pre-Professional and Teaching students; the former track includes coursework in Anatomy and Physiology as well as Embryology, while the latter covers special topics in Child Development and Educational Assessment, among others.
Net Price: $11,635/yr
19. Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Oklahoma Panhandle State University's affordable biology degree represents a traditional option for students who want to acquire all the basic scientific knowledge required to qualify for a career in the field. But students don't just go through the motions - they learn to see and respect the dynamism of the biological sciences and will graduate equipped with the passion they need to be successful as teachers, doctors, or researchers. OPSU's biology department can also help you prepare for professional graduate study in medicine, nursing, dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, medical technology, or even forestry!
Net Price: $11,456/yr
18. Central State University
Central State University leverages its liberal arts curriculum in a way that enhances its students' study of the sciences, especially biology. The broad-based curriculum seeks to develop well-rounded students, and internships, research assistantships, and summer programs practically guarantee that graduates wield impressive resumes. You might even receive faculty support to publish your research or present your ideas at national conferences! The best students will also earn entry to TriBeta, a national honors society that emphasizes research and academic scholarship. But everyone is allowed to join the Biology Society, a special-interest group that speakers to campus and funds fun science events on campus.
Net Price: $11,199/yr
17. Alice Lloyd College
Bachelor of Science in Biology
There's a reason Alice Lloyd College's accredited biology program "rivals some of the best in the nation." Actually, there are multiple reasons. The comprehensive curriculum makes an impact strong enough to support advanced graduate study or work in nursing, dentistry, veterinary science, industry, forestry, or healthcare. Furthermore, graduates of ALC have an almost unbeatable track record of employment; 96% have relevant jobs or acceptance to graduate schools within just six months of graduation. And when Alice Lloyd says it supports its alumni, it puts its money where its mouth is - your education may become even more affordable through the Caney Scholars Program, which provides funding for students to pursue advanced degrees even after they leave ALC!
Net Price: $11,036/yr
16. Our Lady of Holy Cross College
B.S. in Biology
Smart students choose to major in biology for a variety of reasons, one of which is that it opens up a remarkably wide breadth of career options. Biology is an especially popular choice for students who want to attend a professional program, such as medical, optometry, veterinary, physical therapy, or pharmacy school. Our Lady of Holy Cross College offers biology degree concentrations in all of these areas, PLUS a teacher certification option and an associate's degree for future dental hygienists. Because of OLLHC's small class sizes, biology students have the added benefit of attentive professors and integrated, focused labs that build on lecture topics. Small class sizes also mean well-funded labs that include real clinical case studies and whole body animal dissections. Plus, every student gets his or her own microscope!
Net Price: $11,003/yr
15. Lane College
At Lane College, lectures, labs, and seminars are the buildings blocks to a successful education, just like anatomy, botany, ecology, and zoology form the foundations of the life sciences. Although each class has its own unique focus, an appreciation and respect for nature wind through each of the courses you will take. Professors are both idealistic and realistic, inspiring your love of the microscopic universe while also imparting valuable technical skills in experimentation, the scientific method, and computer literacy. But even as you immerse yourself in the study of life, you'll still find time for other pursuits; Lane College puts an emphasis on spiritual development, civic engagement, and community building outside the classroom.
Net Price: $10,823/yr
14. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology makes a pretty clear-cut case for why you should choose its small college biology degree program over other schools. On the one hand, large universities provide excellent research opportunities but it can be easy to get lost in large lecture halls. On the other hand, it's easier to get attention at small colleges, but research and internship programs are often lacking. NMIMT is the best of both worlds, offering stellar research centers and projects framed by classes that average fewer than 25 students. As a STEM-focused college, NMIMT also has an incredible degree selection; Biology, Environmental Science, Medical Technology, and Biomedical Sciences are all options for students, as well as a 5-year accelerated master's program.
Net Price: $10,735/yr
13. Brigham Young University Hawaii
The opportunity to go to school in Hawaii might be all the motivation you need to choose Brigham Young University, but its cheap biology degree has plenty of selling points, too. Lecture classes and hands-on labs impart essential knowledge in the life sciences, but what would a science program be without field work? Consider the Hawaiian islands your classroom: study local ecosystems, learn about conservation, and discover the anatomy and physiology of plants with the brilliant Pacific Ocean as your backdrop. Many students choose to pursue careers in Fish and Wildlife Services, but graduates also find success as research biologists or agricultural workers.
Net Price: $10,660/yr
12. Concord University
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Whether you want to go to graduate school, medical school, or enter the workforce immediately after college, one thing is for sure: you need to stand out from the crowd! Concord University is committed to helping you achieve this goal and tailors its affordable biology degree to specific career goals. As such, CU students have their choice between Pre-Professional, Liberal Arts, Pre-Physical Therapy, and Education tracks within the department. On a related note, if you're interested in medicine and healthcare you might want to explore Concord's Health Department. Dubbed "the new kid on the block," this new program offers programs in Sports Medicine, Health Promotions, Health Education, and a few other related areas.
Net Price: $10,275/yr
11. Tougaloo College
Tougaloo College understands that not everyone has the same reasons for studying biology. But everyone at TC can benefit from life sciences education, whether they're using it as a compliment to their liberal arts studies or as a platform for a future in medicine. If you fall into the second category, you can enroll in TC's Pre-Health program and enjoy speakers and special advising related to health professions. Another choice is the Pre-Nursing track, which includes coursework in Human Nutrition and Physiology as well as an early-entry option for qualified applicants. The Jackson Heart Study offers unique undergraduate training opportunities for pre-med aspirants, and the "Early Medical School ID" initiative could earn you early acceptance to Boston University or Brown University's medical school as soon as your sophomore year!
Net Price: $10,117/yr
10. Dickinson State University
Bachelor of Science Degree - Biology
At Dickinson State University, you'll have access to all the basic classes typically encased in a cheap biology degree. But just because DSU is low cost doesn't mean it stops with the bare essentials. Students at this small college can study Zoology, Biometry, Animal Physiology, Evolution, Parasitology, and Epidemiology alongside Physics and Organic Chemistry. A sophomore seminar course and a class on "Scientific Writings and Readings" add to the uniqueness of the program and help set Dickinson State apart from its competitors. And if biology isn't your only interest, you can pick it as a minor or combine it with coursework in education to broaden your career choices.
Net Price: $9,981/yr
9. Mississippi Valley State University
At Mississippi Valley State University, you'll start this affordable biology degree program with the basics: Zoology, Botany, Anatomy, Physiology, and the like. Scattered amongst your first few years are Seminar courses, which give you a vehicle to discuss relevant scientific research and stay up-to-date on current events in the field. Classwork in scientific techniques, research methodology, and independent study options will help fill in the cracks that some other schools miss. MVSU also has plenty of complementary programs to help occupy students' time, from pre-professional organizations in medicine, dentistry, and allied health, to a minority research support program that encourages activity specifically in the biomedical sciences.
Net Price: $9,807/yr
8. Mississippi University for Women
The Department of Mathematics and Sciences offers a group of degree programs that will appeal to the science-minded, including mathematics, pre-professional tracks, and biology. The biology program in particular is further divided into general and teacher tracks that cater to students' anticipated career preferences. All students take the same basic set of courses, but the teacher track incorporates a variety of additional "professional education" classes in Communication, Human Growth and Development, Reading, and others. General track students may be more interested in undergraduate research, and they can even earn a stipend for their time and for travel to professional conferences!
Net Price: $9,766/yr
7. Coppin State University
In some ways, Coppin State University's accredited biology degree has a structure quite similar to the other small colleges on this list. Both biology, teacher education, and minor options are available within the life sciences program. But CSU goes one step further by developing an additional major in General Science: Biology. The purpose of this option is to provide a tailored curriculum for students who need the foundations of biology but don't plan to pursue jobs in education or research. These students typically attend graduate programs in physical therapy, physician assisting, or occupational therapy instead. On the other hand, if you're thinking about becoming a dentist or pharmacist, the General Science: Chemistry program would be a better fit.
Net Price: $9,667/yr
6. Texas A&M University Texarkana
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Texas A&M University at Texarcana features one of the more comprehensive cheap biology degree departments you could choose. From biology and chemistry to environmental science and pre-health, Texarcana's programs intertwine in a way that helps you get the best of all possible worlds. For example, after you complete all the foundational courses, you can dabble in topics like Global Change, Endangered Ecosystems, Evolutionary Biology, Biotechnology, and Forensic Science. Seminars, "Special Topics," Independent Study, and even a one-of-a-kind course in "Darwin and the Origin of Species" guarantee that your experience at TAMUT will be truly unique.
Net Price: $9,288/yr
5. Rust College
One aspect of a top biology degree program that many students ignore is the importance of other scientific topics. Regardless of your career choice, as a biology student you will probably also need to understand elements of physics, psychology, chemistry, computer science, and mathematics. At Rust, you will get your fill of all these topics, including Calculus, Probability and Statistics, Physics, and General Psychology. Rust College is also in the minority of small colleges, as it includes a Biology Internship on its list of core requirements for life science students. But perhaps the shining light at RC is its McNair Scholars Program, which supports first-generation, low-income college students through financial stipends, personalized advising, and the chance to spend a summer conducting research at the University of Mississippi.
Net Price: $8,575/yr
4. Southern University at New Orleans
Southern University at New Orleans doesn't just accept students into its small college biology program; it actively recruits them as a part of the school's commitment to STEM education. SUNO also demands (as it should!) that students perform well in order to receive a diploma - biology department members must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA and retake courses in which they earned below a C. Furthermore, the department won't simply let students retake courses as many times as they need to, so make sure that you enroll at SUNO with a serious academic attitude!
Net Price: $8,528/yr
3. West Virginia State University
For a small college, West Virginia State University stands out in a big way. The biology department alone has over 200 students - that's almost 10% of the entire student body! Add 13 full-time faculty members to the mix, and it's easy to see why WVSU is such a powerhouse in small college biology degree programs. The university provides three options for undergraduates: Environmental and Organismal Biology, Biotechnology and Genetics, or Pre-Medical and Biomedical Sciences. Furthermore, students can opt for a minor or continue at the university to pursue a graduate degree in Biotechnology. And don't worry if your schedule is somewhat atypical - the department offers a "night course rotation" for adults and parents.
Net Price: $7,910/yr
2. University of Arkansas Pine Bluff
Biology degree students at this smaller, regional campus of the University of Arkansas have two main options: Non-Teaching and Science Education (Earth Life Science). The curriculum achieves an ideal balance between foundational and in-depth topics and will adequately prepare you for a range of career options. But it's Pine Bluff's extracurricular options that really distinguish it. For example, the STEM Academy is one of the college's premiere programs, focusing on initiatives that cover everything from student networking to study groups to research ventures. UAPB also hosts an annual Science Fair and participates in supportive programs for minority students.
Net Price: $7,298/yr
1. Berea College
B.A. Degree with a Major in Biology
Unlike many of the other small colleges mentioned above, Berea does not include science education as a main component of its biology department. While this may not be the best news for future teachers, it means that students interested in pure science have even more options! Specifically, BC divides its department into three tracks: Field and Organismal Biology; Molecular, Cellular, and Systems Biology; and General Biology. Berea also works to identify highly qualified students and present them with extra opportunities, including working as lab and teaching assistants, pursuing independent study, participating in faculty-led research. This means that, while Berea's net price already makes it the most affordable biology degree on this list, its relevant on-campus jobs could help you simultaneously earn extra cash and skills to support your future goals.
Net Price: $2,323/yr
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Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates' careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.