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Why study Biology?

"Pursuing a career in biology can be immensely rewarding and exciting. Studying biology teaches us to ask questions, make observations, evaluate evidence, and solve problems. Biologists learn how living things work, how they interact with one another, and how they evolve. They may study cells under a microscope, insects in a rainforest, viruses that affect human beings, plants in a greenhouse, or lions in the African grasslands. Their work increases our understanding about the natural world in which we live and helps us address issues of personal well being and worldwide concern, such as environmental depletion, threats to human health, and maintaining viable and abundant food supplies."

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Career Resources

There are many sources of information!

A few places to start:
The American Institute of Biological Sciences
101+ Things You Can Do with a Degree in Biology
Jobiology (Science Careers in Bio., Ecology, and more)
Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)
Exploring Health Careers

Schedule an appointment at the UM Career Center to seek advice!

Or make an advising appointment with a Biology faculty member.

Information for Specific Career Paths

Investigate the options below for details about a few popular career paths for Biology students... 

Medical School

Medical school is highly competitive and the application process is quite lengthy. The following websites should get you started, and you can see how you compare to other graduates here.

Dental School

Many students interested in healthcare choose dental school because they like the autonomy and income. In the United States, the DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) are the same degree. Different universities award the different degrees, but the American Dental Association has declared them equivalent.

Veterinary School

Veterinary schools are highly competitive and few in number. Most schools require students to learn about a wide range of species instead of specializing. Unlike medical school, internships and residency are not required.

Pharmacy School

While most pharmacists will work at a local pharmacy, some go one to work in industry, hospitals, or for government agencies.

Graduate School

This is the typical route into academia. Most college and university professors and researchers will obtain a master's degree or a PhD.


Industry jobs usually involve working for a company on their ideas and products. This is typically done with a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company.

The Career Center Connector can help with job searching.

A good article on why some people choose industry instead of academia: On the Move from Academia to Industry.


The government offers a wide range of career options. A few examples would be research scientist, science advisor, policy planning, and patent examiner.


A very rewarding career path involves educating future scientists.  While most college professors will go the route of graduate school, elementary through high school teaching requires teacher certification.


Professional Opportunities

The Program in Biology receives numerous announcements about career, volunteer, and internship opportunities for undergraduates:

On-Campus Employment Opportunities

Visit this area for internal (Program in Biology) undergraduate and graduate student employment positions: