How would you like a degree in life? That’s what an accelerated biology degree is.
A biology degree is a degree in the study of life from molecules to animal and plant communities. There are many different areas of life to study and just as many biology careers that you can pursue. You can focus on the smallest living organisms such as bacteria. Or you can look at animals, plants and humans.
You could get a degree in zoology. Yes, zoo keeper. That would be the dream job of your 5-year-old self! Or an epidemiologist and study diseases, how they spread and how they could be prevented. Or you can focus on wildlife. The natural environment. Preservation and conservation.
If you love studying life, a biology degree can help you dig into a career that encompasses life!
Not only is biology a big subject but it a degree can prepare you for big careers too. Not just zookeeper. A bachelor’s degree in biology could mean a career in:
- Environmental Conservation
- Forensic Science
Yes, it looks like a degree in biology can get you a career in almost any field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics job opportunities are expected to grow by 10% by 2026, with 124,800 new jobs created. There is an increased demand for experts in the sciences that includes biomedical research, energy management and environmental protection.
Did you also know that the average yearly salary for a career following a biology degree is $63,340? That’s $27,000 more a year than the national average.
Great career choices. Excellent job growth. High paying career.
What’s stopping you?
Could it be that you can’t put your real life on hold for 4 years to sit in class? Or maybe the thought of paying over $200,000 for your degree makes you want to cry into your field journal.
Wipe your tears because there is good news. You could get a fully accredited degree in biology in less than 2 years. I’ll show you 3 amazing tips that can also save you $76,000 off your degree.
Accelerated Biology Degree Programs Overview
Biology is not a subject that is all textbook. The best way to study life is to get your hands dirty. A biology degree will involve experiments, labs, research and reporting. There can even be field work involving studying and interacting with large or small creatures.
Your study will be filled with exploring life forms in their natural habitats and working in a laboratory with microscopes and slides. You can learn critical thinking skills, group work and how to communicate your scientific findings. Every biology degree will give you a basic grasp of biology principles but you can then specialize in classes like:
- Animal biology and physiology
- Cell and molecular biology
- Computational biology
- Ecology and evolution
- Environmental biology
- Forensic biology
- Marine Biology
- Molecular Biosciences
- Natural Science
- Organic Chemistry
If you are already excited about biology this class list will make you jump out of your seat.
Your classes will change depending on what area of biology you are looking at. But you know that each class you take can help you better understand the natural world around you.
Careers with an Accelerated Biology Degree
You will need to decide how far you want to go with your biology degree. A bachelor’s degree in biology can start you on a career as a biological scientist, biology teacher, science technician or clinical laboratory technician. But if you go on to graduate school you can also become a veterinary, medical doctor or professor.
Research is one of the most popular careers in biology and can cover medical specializations such as health, disease, neurology, genomics, microbiology and pharmacology. You know those breaking news articles you read on the latest research? That could be you making those discoveries!
Healthcare, as it involves human life, employs a vast amount of biology degree holders. To be a healthcare professional like a doctor, nurse or lab tech you will need additional training but your biology degree sets you up with a good foundation.
Don’t forget all the other living organisms in our world. An environmental biologist studies, researches and conserves these important living things. You could be hired by charities, not for profit organizations, government and public sectors as a:
- marine biologist
- aquatic biologist
- zoo biologist
- conservation biologist
Remember those big bucks that biology degree holders can get? Here’s the numbers for each career.
|Agricultural Scientist|| |
|Biological Technician|| |
|Conservation Scientist|| |
|Environmental Scientist|| |
|Veterinarian (requires further education)|| |
|Biology Teacher (requires certification)|| |
|Life scientist|| |
|Wildlife Biologist|| |
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Just as the study of life can be mind boggling, choosing a field and career to focus on can be mind boggling too. But the one question you don’t have to ask is: why do I have to wait until September to start?
Accelerated Biology Degree Programs Offer Year-Round Admissions
There are seasons and stages to all parts of life but life never actually stops. Neither do admission dates. You can start your classes for your degree at any point in the year. This could speed up your degree completion by months!
Instead of waiting for September to roll around again, you could sign up for classes now. By September you could be done a semester (or more!) of classes.
Accelerated Biology Degree Programs Online – Accelerated Classes vs. Self-Paced Classes
Deciding between accelerated and self-paced classes are like asking yourself this question: Would you rather be a plant that can grow at double the normal speed or a plant that has no limit to how fast it grows? Accelerated classes are like taking classes dipped in Miracle Gro. You take the same material and complete the same assignments as a traditional class. Accelerated classes give you a date for when your class will start and when you need to complete it. Like a typical growing season has a start date and an end date. But you can complete the classes twice as fast as usual.
A self-paced class also has a set start and end date but the biggest difference is how many classes you complete during that time. There is no limit! You can push yourself to complete multiple classes and finish them as fast as you can.
Option 1: Accelerated Online Biology Classes
Often students will register for a 16-week class because they think there is no other option. You will know better. You have the option of registering for an online accelerated class that will give you the same credit in 6-8 weeks.
Instead of booking time off work to attend a traditional class, you can complete the class work on your lunch break, in the evenings and on the weekends. You make the class work for you! And you finish in half the time, so you can then take another class right away. In the space of 16 weeks without sitting in a classroom you can complete at least 6 credits.
Option 2: Self-Paced Online Biology Classes
What if there was an option that let you complete as many classes as you wanted in 12 weeks? There is. This is the self-paced online path. There are no set class schedules. You can decide which classes you will work on and in what order.
A school like Capella University has a self-paced semester option. When you register for the 12 weeks you only pay $2300. You decide on your class list and have it pre-approved. During the 12 weeks you complete as many of these classes as possible. If you can knock out 5 elective classes than you are only paying just over $500 per class. This option not only saves you time if you are a hard worker but saves you serious money on tuition too.
Types of Accelerated Biology Degree Programs
If you can name an area of life that you think would be interesting to study, there is probably a biology major to match it! Your degree would be a Bachelor of Science but your major could be in:
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- General Biology
- Biomedical Sciences (Pre-Med)
- Cell & Molecular Biology
- Environmental Biology
- Forensic Science
- Zoo & Wildlife Biology
- Zoology (including Pre-Vet)
Which major was the one that caused you to pause? Could that possibly be the major you will want to pursue? Each of those biology majors have a list of careers that you can get once you are done, so they are all good options.
3 Ways to Accelerate Your Biology Degree Even More
Nature can only move as fast as it is programmed to do but there are elements that can speed or slow down how fast nature moves. Your biology degree will require you to earn 120 credits but there are elements that you can put into play that will help you earn those credits quicker.
1. Test out of college classes (up to 1 year)
You can not change the laws of nature but you can change your idea of how to earn credit. Credit does not need to be earned by taking a class. You can earn the same credit you would get in class through a process called Credit by Exam.
You are looking at potentially earning a whole YEAR of class credit through this program. That is up to 30 credits. The College Level Examination Program allows you to register for an exam, study (if necessary) than go to the exam center and take the exam. If you pass with at least a 50% you earn full credit for courses like:
– Introductory biology
– American Literature
– American Government
You could complete your whole freshman year of classes by taking 10 exams. Each exam is 100 questions that you answer in 90 minutes and costs $85. That means you can earn 30 credits in only 15 hours! For $850. Cheapest and fastest semester ever.
2. Get college credit for your life and work experience
Another trick to cheat the nature of earning college credit (completely ethical and legitimate though!) is to be granted credit for your life and work experience. Most universities have programs set up that will give you credit for your work experience. If it isn’t obvious than ask your program or school advisor!
How it works is that you pull together in a portfolio the details about your job training, military experience, credentials and experiences. You detail which classes you have already met the outcomes for and how you did that. You submit this portfolio along with your one-time fee and the school will potentially present you with up to 15 credits.
3. Stay continuously enrolled with max course load
If you wanted a few tomatoes you could plant 5 tomato plants. But if you wanted to maximize how many tomatoes you grew you would plant as many as you had room for and you would grow them in all seasons. Same for credit.
You could just take 15 credits a semester and earn a few credits each year. Or you could maximize all three semesters. Yes, you can earn credit in fall, winter and summer semesters. In each semester you could earn 18 (not 15!) credits.
This trick will earn you an extra 24 credits a year. But it will require a lot of hard work so get your work boots on!
Transferring Your Existing College Credits
Sometimes you grow plants from seeds and sometimes you can save yourself time by buying transplants. Existing college credit is like buying transplants.
You can plunk any college credit you have into your current degree plan. Check first to make sure that:
- Your credit is from an accredited college
- You earned at least a C in the class
- The credit fits your biology degree
If you can answer yes to the first 2 points than don’t worry about the 3rd. There is usually a spot for electives that you can fit any college credit into. Plant that credit!
Lower Tuition Costs
If you want to save money on your degree than don’t take as many classes. Now before you roll your eyes and say that is ridiculous consider what you just read. Taking classes is not the only (or best) way to earn credit.
Each class you take can cost you from $1000-$1750. That adds up really quickly. Remember that you could get 15 credits through Credit for Prior Learning? Earning 15 college credits by going to class would cost you at least $5000.
Cost Of Biology Degree
|Ways To Earn Credit||Number Of Credits||Total Cost|
|Attend Vassar College||120||$209,280|
|Attend Southern California University||120||$213,792|
|Attend Liberty University||120||$46,800|
|College Level Examination Program |
Credit for Prior Learning
Remaining classes at Liberty University
Not only will Credit by Exam and Credit for Prior Learning save you $10,000s of dollars, you are also saving yourself up to 2 and ½ years of classroom work. Time is money and each year that you are in full time school you are still needing to pay for your room and board.
The sooner you finish the sooner you can start working which will have you earning money from your degree instead of spending money on your degree.
Biology Degree Accreditation
Don’t waste your time or money on fake degree programs. It’s not worth it. The tricks you learned here are valid and legitimate. You can use these tricks with any school. But you need to make sure that the school you are attending for your biology degree is accredited.
Accreditation is the checkmark that your college or university earns after being reviewed by an accrediting body. Accreditation makes your degree recognized by employers, graduate schools and certification programs. Either regional or national accreditation will meet your needs.
The big names you can look for in national accreditation are:
- American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
- Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
Another option is to look up your school on the U.S. Department of Education website. The schools listed there will be considered legitimate.
List of Online Biology Degrees
|Arizona State University – Tempe||Online Bachelor’s in Biology||Higher Learning Commission|
|Bellevue University||Online Bachelor’s in Biology||Higher Learning Commission|
|Excelsior College||Online Bachelor’s in Biology||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|Logan University||Online Bachelor’s in Biology||Higher Learning Commission|
|National University||Online Bachelor’s in Biology||WASC Senior College and University Commission|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Online Bachelor’s in Biology||New England Commission of Higher Education|
|University of Florida||Online Bachelor’s in Biology||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|University of West Georgia||Online Bachelor’s in Biology||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Western Governors University||Online Bachelor’s in Biology||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities|
|Westfield State University||Online Bachelor’s in Biology||New England Commission of Higher Education|
The only plants that will NEVER grow are the ones that are never planted. You will NEVER get a biology degree if you never start.
Are the biggest reasons for holding back on starting your degree the fact that it will take too much time and money?
You don’t need to be limited by those reasons. You could start now and amaze those around you by finishing in just 18 months while paying only $31,600.
Doesn’t that sound doable?
Then you can start dropping your resume at the zoo. Or at the conservation office. The genomic research company.
The only thing holding you back from those great jobs is that you need a biology degree. But getting your degree can be easier than you thought!