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General Biology, B.S.

General Biology, B.S.

What is a General Biology Degree?

Biology BS

Biology at Florida Tech is not just something you study—it's something you go out into the field and do. Florida Tech’s biology program allows you to explore the field and follow your interests. We have strong ties to the Kennedy Space Center and the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, which means more opportunities for students. In addition, nearby natural resources such as the estuarine habitats of the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean marine ecosystem are ideal for biological research, making Florida Tech one of the country's most attractive General Biology colleges.

 Small Class Sizes and an Internationally Recognized Faculty

Small class sizes with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1 give you an opportunity to receive one-on-one attention from professors. Florida Tech's active faculty is involved in research and teaching. The PhD faculty teaches all the classes—no graduate student teachers. In addition, students learn from world-renowned chemists in an environment that encourages undergraduate participation in research projects.

Students learn from world-renowned faculty who enjoy working closely with students. Florida Tech classes encourage a learning environment that is one of mentorship. For curriculum and career planning, students have one faculty advisor who counsels them for the entire four-year program. The strong working relationship between students and professors gives us an edge over other biology colleges.

High-Tech Laboratories and Facilities

Our state-of-the-art F.W. Olin Life Sciences Building, a 70,000-square-foot teaching and research laboratory, includes an aquaculture facility, a climate change institute, and the offices and research labs of several of the marine Biology faculty. The 29,000-square-foot Harris Center for Science and Engineering serves the research needs of aquaculture and fish biology programs. Small-scale culture of algae, shellfish, and fish species is conducted here. This includes:

  • Eight teaching labs, 12 modern research labs, a computer facility, and an electron microscope suite
  • A 2,500-square-foot indoor aquaculture facility, primarily wet laboratory space
  • Recirculating systems ranging from small glass aquaria to 720-gallon tanks harboring a wide variety of aquatic species

The Vero Beach Marine Laboratory is a four-acre off-campus facility on the Atlantic Ocean where large-scale culture is conducted. The Sportfish Research Institute involves students in the study of vital sport fish species like the Atlantic Tarpon.

Location, Location, Location

Florida Tech is the perfect place for a General Biology degree. The 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral just north of us), minutes away from the Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America. Our location in a state with so many miles of coastline provides us with many local, state, and national agencies, marine environmental consulting firms, public aquaria, mariculture companies, private marine research organizations, and other places that offer internships and employment.

The area has the fifth largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce also provides a variety of internship and employment opportunities.

Florida Tech is just a short trip to the Florida Keys or the Orlando theme parks. We also have a rich campus life that includes a wide range of intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities.

Build Lasting Professional Relationships through Campus Organizations

Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) is a biology honor society that teaches students from all disciplines about biology and its importance, and recognizes students for outstanding academic achievements. This active group holds events such as guest lectures, as well as social events such as BBQs, fishing outings and more. Membership is the perfect way to network with other biological sciences students to learn about biology internships, research students and hands-on activities.

Why Pursue a General Biology Degree at Florida Tech?

Biology at Florida Tech is not just something you study, it's something you go out into the field and do. Florida Tech's biology program allows you to explore the field and follow your interests. Plus, you'll benefit from the department's small class size and personalized attention given by faculty. This makes us very attractive among biology colleges.

Strong Learning Relationship Between Faculty and Students

Students learn from world-renowned faculty who enjoy working closely with students. Florida Tech classes encourage a learning environment that is one of mentorship. For curriculum and career planning, students have one faculty advisor who counsels them for the entire four-year program. The strong working relationship between students and professors gives us an edge over other biology colleges.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The department has a young and active faculty who are involved in research and teaching. Undergraduate students are heavily involved in research, and usually find a home in a research group early in their career. This research-based focus gives you an opportunity to be published in scientific journals and conduct research exchanges with other biology colleges. Together, the faculty has secured $3 million in external funding for the department, as well as another $2 million to support research instrumentation.  You can also build leadership and professional experience through internships and professional organizations.

High-Tech Laboratory Facilities

Biology colleges need to be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and Florida Tech is no different. Here you have access to the state-of-the-art F. W. Olin Life Sciences Building, a 70,000-square-foot teaching and research laboratory that includes an aquaculture facility, climate change institute and the offices and research labs of several of the marine biology faculty. It houses the Chemistry Department, state-of-the-art instrumentation, and rooms for NMR spectrometers, photochemistry, glassblowing and computational chemistry.

The 29,000-square-foot Harris Center for Science and Engineering serves the research needs of aquaculture and fish biology programs. Small-scale culture of algae, shellfish and fish species is conducted here. This includes:

  • Eight teaching labs, 12 modern research labs, computer facility, and an electron microscope suite
  • A 2,500-square-foot indoor aquaculture facility, primarily wet laboratory space
  • Recirculating systems ranging from small glass aquaria to 720-gallon tanks harboring a wide variety of aquatic species

The Vero Beach Marine Laboratory is a 4-acre off-campus facility on the Atlantic Ocean where large-scale culture is conducted. The Sportfish Research Institute involves students in the study of vital sport fish species like the Atlantic Tarpon.

Among biology colleges, Florida Tech provides cutting-edge lab learning.

A Great Florida Location

Florida Tech's location on Florida's Space Coast puts it closer to rich marine environments than other biology colleges. These include the Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America and the Atlantic Ocean.

Our location in a state with so many miles of coastline provides us with many local, state, and national agencies, marine environmental consulting firms, public aquaria, mariculture companies, private marine research organizations, and other places that offer internships and employment. In addition, Florida Tech is just a short trip away from the Florida Keys and the Everglades, something other biology colleges can't offer.

For entertainment, there are many attractions that are also easily accessible, such as the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Brevard Zoo, Port Canaveral, Sebastian Inlet and Orlando theme parks. All these things combined to make Florida Tech one of the most appealing biology colleges in the country.

How Will a General Biology Degree prepare me for the future?

Peerless Internship Opportunities

Biology internships are an exciting and hands-on way for Florida Tech students to gain experience in the workplace while completing their degree. These valuable learning opportunities build skills and a highly competitive resume that equips you for future biology internships or jobs. Some of the companies include the American Museum of Natural Science, the Andean Biodiversity Consortium, the Baltimore Aquarium, the Brevard Zoo, EPCOT Center, Sea World Florida, the National Park Service, and Shedd Aquarium.

Stunning Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The department has a young and active faculty who are involved in research and teaching. Undergraduate students are heavily involved in research, and usually find a home in a research group early in their career. This research-based focus gives you an opportunity to be published in scientific journals and conduct research exchanges with other biology colleges. Together, the faculty has secured $3 million in external funding for the department, as well as another $2 million to support research instrumentation.

Biology students take part in research both during and outside of classes. Students can expect to take part in hands-on research in many of Florida's natural environments, including mangroves, seagrass and salt marshes, sand and mud flats, lagoons, reefs, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Students may also be invited to join faculty research teams, where they can work alongside experienced professors to conduct original research, or volunteer in research labs where they work with faculty, graduate students, and fellow undergraduates on comprehensive research projects in aquaculture, molecular biology, ecology, marine biology, and biochemistry. Current areas of interest include:

  • Paleoecology
  • Reef ecosystems
  • Sportfish population cultivation and conservation
  • Marine birds, fish, and invertebrates
  • DNA analysis and chromosome replication
  • Plant molecular biology

What can you do with a General Biology Degree?

Graduates of the biology program at Florida Tech are ready for entry-level careers in biology in a variety of industries. A BS in the biological sciences from Florida Tech prepares graduates to explore the mysteries of human evolution and study the complexities of living systems in numerous careers in biology.

 Career Outlook

Biology graduates work in both commercial enterprises and government agencies, often doing scientific research and analysis related to conservation and health. Biological science graduates often find their first jobs at research-based non-governmental organizations, zoos and aquariums, state and federal agencies, and schools, museums, and other educational nonprofits.

Employers who have recruited Florida Tech grads for internships and careers in Biology are many, including:

  • American Museum of Natural Science
  • Andean Biodiversity Consortium
  • Baltimore Aquarium
  • Brevard Zoo
  • EPCOT Center
  • Florida Medical Entomology Lab
  • The Perry Institute for Marine Science
  • Sea World Florida
  • Shedd Aquarium

The US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes a resource called the Occupational Outlook Handbook that provides detailed information about hundreds of jobs, including data about median pay, projected growth in employment, and specifics about what the jobs entail and prerequisites. According to the bureau, job growth for biological scientists is expected to grow more than 20% through 2018.

Career Options

Careers in biology are as varied as they are challenging. Some of the more common jobs include:

  • Agricultural and food scientist
  • Biochemists and biophysicist
  • Biological engineer and technician
  • Chemist and materials scientist
  • Dentist and orthodontist
  • Environmental scientist and specialist, including health
  • Food scientist
  • Geoscientist and hydrologist
  • Health educator and healthcare social worker
  • Marine biologist
  • Medical and clinical laboratory scientist
  • Microbiologist
  • Occupational health and safety specialist
  • Optometrist
  • Pharmacist
  • Physician and surgeon
  • Physical therapist
  • Veterinarian

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

Careers in biology are built on the foundation of a biology degree alone or in combination with graduate studies. In fact, biology degree graduates have gone on to pursue master's and doctoral degrees not only at Florida Tech but at many other institutions as well, including:

Medical Schools

  • Boston University
  • Florida State University
  • Howard University
  • SUNY Syracuse
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Miami
  • Washington University (St. Louis, MO)

Master’s and Doctoral Degrees

  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Texas A&M
  • UC Davis
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of North Carolina
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