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What can I do with a major in Biological Sciences?

Careers in Biological Sciences

Daisuke Kihara, professor of biological sciences and computer science, and his graduate students discuss a bioinformatics project.

Daisuke Kihara, professor of biological sciences and computer science, and his graduate students discuss a bioinformatics project.


Medical Device Sales Representatives are responsible for promoting medical equipment, products or services to a variety of markets, primary including hospitals, medical centers and doctors’ practices.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives are known as drug reps or pharmaceutical salespeople, provide drug information and product samples to physicians.

Product Specialists are experts about a specific product, strategically plan production, marketing and sales, and interact with many organizational departments and customers.

Quality Control Associates (QC) carry out testing and analysis to ensure that biomedical research studies and biomedical products meet specifications and regulatory guidelines.

Regulatory Affairs Specialists work to ensure that biotechnology or biopharmaceutical products meet all the quality attributes – safety, efficacy, potency and purity – required by customers and regulatory agencies.


Biology Teachers instruct secondary school students in the fundamentals of biology at both private and public schools.

Museum Curators oversee museum collections by managing the acquisition, preservation and display of museum artifacts. They may conduct instructional, research, or public service activities of institution.

Museum Technicians (registrars) help curators by preparing and taking care of museum items. Registrars also may answer questions from the public and help curators and outside scholars use the collections.

Park Rangers teach people to respect the delicate natural balance of our national and state parks and forests.

Science Writers describe discoveries and commercial developments in all branches of science, engineering, medicine and environmental science. They explain the impact these discoveries have on the lives of average individuals.

Wildlife Biologists & Zoologists study the characteristics and habits of animals and wildlife.


Air Quality Specialists’ work includes a variety of tasks having to do with air quality monitoring, air pollution inspections, regulation, law enforcement, and planning.

Botanists interested in ecology study interactions of plants with other organisms and the environment.

Cartographers design, prepare and revise maps, charts, plans, three-dimensional models and spatial information databases, often using computer-based techniques and applying principals from science, mathematics and graphic design.

Climate Change Analysts (climatologists) evaluate scientific data and research about the climate. The climate data often includes, but is not limited to, information about atmospheric temperature, ocean conditions, ice masses and greenhouse gases.

Ecotourism Specialists seek to provide people with ways of seeing the world while doing minimal harm to the environment and respecting the cultures in the lands they visit.

Environmental Scientists & Specialists use their knowledge of the natural scientists to protect the environment.

Geoscientists perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health.

Hydrologists examine the physical characteristics, distribution & circulation of water above & below the earth’s surface. They study rainfall & other precipitation, the paths precipitation takes through the soil & rocks underground, & its return to the oceans and air.

Remote Sensing Scientists use sensors to analyze data and solve regional, national, and global problems in areas such as natural resource management, urban planning and climate and weather prediction.

Renewable & Alternative Energy Specialists help ensure that we can meet the world’s energy needs in the future.

Sanitarians perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health.

Soil Scientists map and classify soils and provide interpretations for land planners and managers.

Soil & Water Conservationists work to discover, develop, implement, and constantly improve ways to use land that sustains its productive capacity, and enhances the environment at the same time.

Water Quality Specialists study how water quality affects human health, while considering the long-term “health” of pipes in the distribution system.


Allied Health

They are directly or indirectly involved with patient health, require additional education (1-4 years depending on profession) and are regarded as an expert in their field. The pre-professional advising office works with students from every major in order to assist them with the application process.

Anesthesiologist Assistants operate anesthesia equipment, monitor patients, and assist in providing quality care.

Blood Bank Technologists are responsible for testing donated blood before it is used in transfusions.

Cytogenetic Technologists analyze chromosomes found in biological specimens such as amniotic fluids, bone marrow and blood to aid in the study, diagnosis, or treatment of genetic diseases. 

Cytotechnologists study microscopic cells for evidence of disease, such as cancer.

Genetic Counselors provide information & support to individuals who are at risk of having birth defects or genetic conditions. Some work in research settings, where they discover how disorders are inherited & evaluate treatment options.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists operate equipment that detects and maps radioactive drugs within a patient’s body to create diagnostic images. The images are then produced on a computer screen or on film for diagnosis by the health care team.

Nurses (RNs), regardless of specialty or work setting, treat patients, educate patients and the public about various medical conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients’ family members.

Occupational Therapists help patients perform daily living and working tasks so they can lead independent, satisfying lives.

Orthotist & Prostheists (O&P professionals) design medical support devices and measure and fit patients for them. These devices include artificial limbs (arms, hand, legs and feet), braces and other medical or surgical devices.

Paramedics provide more extensive care than do EMTs. In addition to carrying out the procedures that EMTs use, paramedics can give medications orally and intravenously, interpret electrocardiograms (EKGs) and use other monitors and complex equipment.

Perfusionists are vital members of the cardiovascular surgical team because they are responsible for running the heart-lung machine.

Physical Therapists (PTs) provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients with injuries or disease.

Physician Assistants (PAs) practice medicine under the direction of physicians and surgeons. They are formally trained to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment.

Radiation Therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by giving radiation treatments.

Respiratory Therapists specialize in treating airway and breathing problems.

Speech-Language Pathologists (speech therapists) evaluate and diagnose those with disorders and challenges in these areas, and help them improve their communication skills.

Public Health

Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases.

Biostatisticians design research studies and analyze data related to human health, animals, or plants.

Community Health Workers serve as a bridge between the community and the health care, government and social service systems.

Epidemiologists are medical scientists who investigate and describe factors that influence the development of disease, disability and other health outcomes. They formulate means for prevention and control.

Immunologists are research scientists or practicing specialists who study, analyze and/or treat disease processes that involve the immune system.

Medical Laboratory Scientists (Medical Technologists) perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Virologists study viruses that affect humans, animals, insects, bacteria, fungi and plants, in community, clinical, agricultural and natural environments.

Law and Government

Crime Scene Investigators may use tweezers, black lights, and specialized kits to identify and collect evidence. In addition to processing crime scenes, they may also attend autopsies.

Environmental Consultants are earth scientists who assist in the creation, analysis and enforcement of government policies designed to protect the environment from industrial hazards.

Environmental Lobbyists work to persuade politicians to vote on legislation in a way that will favor the interests of the environmental group they represent.

Forensic Pathologists (medical examiners) are specially trained physicians who examine the bodies of people who died suddenly, unexpectedly, or violently.

Forensic Science Technicians help investigate crimes by collecting and analyzing physical evidence.

Patent Agents work with inventors, researchers and attorneys to evaluate an invention disclosure, assess patentability, and draft a fillable patent application. Patent law offers opportunities for those who wish to leave the lab but not science.

Patent Lawyers review advances in technology and explain and argue differences in technology to judges, juries, and patent office examiners.

Science Policymakers serve as the bridge between researchers and the public, using their talents to find ways to translate esoteric, often highly technical scientific issues into something that can be sold as good policy.

Toxicologists combine the elements of many scientific disciplines to help us understand the harmful effects of chemicals on living organisms.

Research and Development

Aerospace engineers design, develop, and test aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles, as well as supervise the manufacture of these products.

Astronauts train to pilot a spacecraft, travel in a spacecraft or work in space.

Biochemists study the chemical components and processes of living systems – plants, insects, viruses, microorganisms, and mammals to explain how and why chemical reactions occur.

Bioinformatics Scientists (computational biologists) work at the intersection of biology, computer science and information technology (IT), helping identify the genetic causes of human, animal and plant development and disease.

Biological Technicians are responsible for doing scientific tests, experiments, and analyses under the supervision of biologists or other scientists who direct and evaluate their work.

Chemical Technicians work in every aspect of the chemical process industry, from basic research to hazardous waste management.

Clinical Research Associates help conduct clinical trials that evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new treatment interventions or compare the effectiveness of new treatments to current best practices or other control groups.

Consumer Product Development Specialists use chemistry, physics and engineering to study and develop products that range from food and personal care items to medicine.

Laboratory Managers oversee the operations of many different types of laboratories, including medical, criminal, research and research development labs.

Medicinal Chemists (pharmaceutical scientists) research & create chemical compounds for use as drugs. By applying chemical research techniques to isolate natural healing agents or develop artificial ones, these chemists play a vital role in pharmaceuticals.

Microbiologists study the growth, development, and other characteristic of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, and fungi. 

Nanotechnologists can work in any scientific area, including agriculture, medicine, engineering, and technology. They enjoy learning new things, working with cutting-edge science, and developing solutions to society’s problems.

Process Development Scientists (process chemists) research and develop ways to manufacture products and monitor existing processes and products for quality and efficiency.

Validation Engineers design or plan protocols for equipment or processes to produce products meeting internal and external purity, safety, and quality requirements.

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