The Top 10 Global Universities for Biology

Top 10 Universities for Biology

A major in biology provides an in-depth study and perspective of the natural world. In addition, it teaches you how to conduct research, solve problems, organize, and think critically. You will find that a biology degree opens the door to numerous intriguing career choices, such as in medicine or biochemistry. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 universities for biology/bioscience around the world, as well as their admissions requirements, to assist you in finding the proper school and making the best choice.

Some frequent requirements include:

All colleges need IB students to study Biology HL and Chemistry HL, preferably at the highest level. You may want to take physics or mathematics as your third HL, but it is not required. Choose subjects in which you are proficient and where you believe you can do well.

Next, all institutions require you to submit recommendation letters. However, the amount of letters required may vary by university. However, do not fear; we have you covered. Continue reading to learn more.

#1: Harvard College

Through coursework and hands-on research, Harvard students will have the chance to examine numerous problems fundamental to contemporary biology and medicine. This is why it tops the list of the best universities for biology. 

Graduates with a rigorous education can comprehend and assess the implications of new research discoveries in the biological sciences as they unfold at a dizzying and escalating rate.

Here are their specifications:

  • Harvard requires at least forty IB points.
  • Harvard wants three recommendation letters, including two from professors and one from a school counselor.
  • For the future Harvard College Classes of ’27, ’28, ’29, and ’30, Harvard will accept applications from candidates without requiring SAT or ACT (standardised exam) results.

According to Harvard University’s website, the university is linked with 19 hospitals and health-focused research organizations in the Boston area, providing several opportunities for student study in the life sciences.

The following are the suggested test scores:

Test       Recommended Score Minimum in each Section
TOEFL 104 26
IELTS 7.5 7.5
SAT 1580
ACT 35

#2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT is a community dedicated to research, teaching, and service that is inclusive, supportive, and collaborative. Focusing on molecular cell biology at all levels, from molecular structure to human disease, they investigate a vast array of fundamental biological questions.

Here are their specifications:

  • MIT requires 2 letters of recommendations. This is not a strict requirement, but one recommendation should come from a math or science teacher and the other from humanities, social science, or language teacher.
  • To get to know you, the MIT application also requires you to compose many short essays. This is not a writing contest, so be genuine, forthright, and honest.
  • Additionally, MIT has modified its entrance criteria, requiring the SAT or ACT for both incoming freshmen and transfer students. Know more about how we arrived at this conclusion. However, neither the ACT writing component nor the SAT optional essay are required.
  • MIT requires a mark of six or seven in IB Biology HL. Overall, you must achieve a minimum grade of 39 to have a chance.

According to the university’s website, three faculty members in the biology department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. Therefore, MIT is unquestionably one of the best universities for biology, and you should expect nothing less than the best!

The following are the suggested test scores:

Test       Recommended Score Minimum in each Section
TOEFL 90 104
IELTS 7 7.5
SAT 1500 1580
ACT 34 36

#3 Stanford University 

Biology as an undergraduate major can serve as a stepping stone to a multitude of job paths. The biology major provides a solid foundation in the basic life sciences for students wishing to attend medical, dental, or veterinary school, as well as graduate school in biological and applied sciences. In addition to preparing students for biology subjects, research and technical roles in universities, government, and industry, this foundation of knowledge and laboratory experience also prepares students for research and technical positions in government and industry. During the first two years, students will begin studying these courses, exploratory lab courses, and a number of extra breadth courses in Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. If students wish to enrol in one of the top institutions for biology, they must investigate Stanford University.

Here are their specifications:

  • Stanford requires two letters of recommendation from two teachers, plus one letter from a college counselor. Additionally, they require a personal statement, many essays, or both.
  • Stanford suggests that you follow a moderately difficult programme, selecting courses from among the most rigorous available at your school.
  • Stanford continues to make the ACT and SAT optional for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle due to the persistent issues posed by the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • Stanford demands an IB mark of at least 5 in chemistry and physics. If you have taken Applications and Interpretations HL for mathematics, you will not receive credit. Minimum score required for IB Math Analysis and Approaches HL is 6.

The following are the suggested test scores:

Test       Recommended Score Minimum in each Section
TOEFL 104 Anything more than 100
IELTS 7 Anything higher than 7
SAT 1520 1550
ACT 31 35

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#4 University of California, San Francisco, ranked fourth

The Institute for Global Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco caters to students interested in global health and it should be included on your list of biology-focused universities. The institute conducts scientific research, provides medical care, provides advice on public health, and creates health policies. USF biology will prepare you for careers and graduate programmes in field and laboratory biology, biotechnology, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and public health through hands-on training.

Here are their specifications:

  • UCSF does not require a letter of recommendation for admission. You may still send one, but all applications, with or without letters of recommendation, will be evaluated equally.
  • UCSF also considers your response to their short answer question in addition to your personal statement. Make care to keep it unique and not from your essay!
  • UCSF seeks college-ready individuals with a solid academic record. To be eligible for admission, you should have completed:
  • 4 academic years of English
  • Three years of math
  • Three years of social studies
  • Two years of foreign language study
  • 2-year course in laboratory science
  • Applicants to the nursing profession must take chemistry and either physics or biology.
  • Due to the persistent issues posed by the COVID-19 epidemic, UCSF will continue to make the ACT and SAT optional for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle. Note, however, that if you choose not to submit standardised test scores, the admissions committee will regard your short answer question more heavily.
  • Students must maintain a minimum IB score of 26 to have a decent probability of admission to UCSF.

The following are the suggested test scores:

Test       Recommended Score Minimum in each Section
TOEFL 80
IELTS 7
SAT 1330
ACT 29

#5 The University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is not just one of the best universities for biology, but also one of the world’s oldest and largest institutions of higher education. They are widely recognised for their exceptional academic achievements and also reflect the intellectual accomplishments of their pupils. The University of Cambridge is well-known for the outstanding original research conducted by its faculty and Colleges.

Here are their specifications:

  • Cambridge demands that you submit one or two high school or college essays, which may be discussed during an interview. The majority of applicants are required to take a subject-specific written admission assessment to evaluate competencies, such as writing and language skills, as well as levels of knowledge and comprehension pertinent to the programme.
  • Cambridge University demands a total IB score between 40 and 42 out of 45 points, with 2 7s and a 6 or 7 in HL subjects. IB applicants are also expected to take “Analysis and Approaches” at the IB Higher Level in Mathematics.

According to the institution’s website, the department of biochemistry at the University of Cambridge is home to more than 50 research groups exploring “how cells and their constituent chemicals function in life and connect to disease.”

The following are the suggested test scores:

Test Recommended Score Minimum in each Section
TOEFL 100 Anything more than 100
IELTS 7 Anything higher than 7

#6 Berkeley University of California

The Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley generates substantial advances in the understanding of the function and behaviour of living organisms. From the molecular and biochemical to the ecological and medicinal, and everything in between, UC Berkeley provides a vast selection of life science majors and subdisciplines to accommodate the different interests and career objectives of Berkeley students. There are several chances for students to do unique laboratory or field research.

Here are their specifications:

  • As it is not completely regarded in the admissions process, UCB allows you to submit two letters of recommendation.
  • Due to the persistent issues posed by the COVID-19 epidemic, UC Berkeley will continue to make the ACT and SAT optional for the 2022-2023 admissions season.
  • The Minimum IB score required by UCB is 37 out of 45.

The following are the suggested test scores:

Test       Recommended Score Minimum in each Section
TOEFL 80 100
IELTS 6.5 7
SAT 1415 1530
ACT 29 34

#7 University of California, San Diego

The undergraduate programme in the School of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego emphasizes molecular, biochemical, cellular, organismal, and ecosystem-scale biological processes and systems. With a good understanding of these topics, students can pursue professions and additional training in any area of biology, from genetic counselling to biotechnology to epidemiology. The UC San Diego campus is a world-class life science research institution in proximity to others and should be included on your list of biology-focused universities.

Here are their specifications:

  • The University of California, San Diego does not factor SAT or ACT scores into admissions choices.
  • The minimum mark required by UCSD for IB chemistry and biology is a 5. If you have taken Applications and Interpretations HL for mathematics, you will not receive credit. Minimum score required for IB Math Analysis and Approaches HL is 5.
  • To have a decent probability of admission to the University of California, San Diego, applicants must maintain a minimum IB score of 37.

The following are the suggested test scores:

Test       Recommended Score Minimum in each Section
TOEFL 83
IELTS 7
SAT 1250 1470
ACT 26 31

#8: Oxford University

Talking about the 8th number in the list of top universities for biology. The modular design of the Oxford Biology course promotes an interdisciplinary perspective. The choices’ system in the second and third years allows students to study either a general background covering a broad range of topics, or to specialize in specific aspects of animals, plants, cells, and ecosystems. The course includes an optional fourth year, allowing students to depart after three years with a BA or stay on to complete an extended project; this feature distinguishes the university from other biology-focused institutions.

Here are their requirements:

  • The University of Oxford requires 39 IB points out of 45, with a 7 in Biology and either Chemistry, Physics, or Mathematics at the Higher Level.
  • You are not required to take a written exam or submit any written work to enrol in this course.

The following are the suggested test scores:

Test Recommended Score Minimum in each Section
TOEFL 100
IELTS 7

#9: Johns Hopkins University

The Department of Biology at Johns Hopkins provides both a challenging undergraduate programme leading to a BA or BS degree and a five-year programme leading to a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree. The programme helps students as they integrate information at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels to produce a detailed, nuanced picture of biology.

Here are their specifications:

  • Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on testing availability and access, Johns Hopkins University will accept applications without a test requirement through the 2025-2026 application cycle. In our method, students who do not submit test scores are not penalized. I 
  • John Hopkins demands a minimum IB score of 37 out of 45.

The following are the suggested test scores:

Test       Recommended Score Minimum in each Section
TOEFL 100
IELTS 7
SAT 1470 1560
ACT 34 36

#10: University of Toronto

A bachelor’s degree in biology provides a stepping stone to a range of careers, including world-class research, the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, and forensics, among others. The biologists at the University of Toronto can assist you in achieving your professional goals. They provide engaging undergraduate programmes in all the major biological fields, with a focus on four primary topics: Ecology & Field Biology, Whole Organisms; Genetics & Evolution; Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology; Physiology & Behavior. And for these reasons, it is one of the biology universities.

Here are their specifications:

  • Due to the persistent issues posed by the COVID-19 epidemic, the University of Toronto will continue to make the ACT and SAT optional for the 2022-2023 admissions cycle.
  • You can take Mathematics: Applications and Interpretations HL, Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches SL, or Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches HL for the IB Mathematics programme.
  • Minimum IB score required by ETH Zurich is 37 out of 45. In addition, an English HL or SL grade of 4 is necessary for admission.

The following are the suggested test scores:                                                     

Test       Recommended Score Minimum in each Section
TOEFL 100
IELTS 6.5
SAT 1330 1500
ACT 29 34

Here are some more items that will earn you bonus points on your application.

  • Consider the Science Olympiad or the Biology Olympiad as an extracurricular activity if you are pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology. If you achieve a good score, it will greatly enhance your college applications and make you stand out. It will also demonstrate that you have developed an interest in the topic and wish to learn more. Additionally, you can participate in biology clubs.
  • After completing the 12th grade, you can also volunteer in areas related to your major. For example, if you are pursuing a biology degree, you can consider volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association, Mental Health community, Cancer societies, and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO).
  • The alternative is job shadowing. Here, you can simply volunteer to work at a hospital by observing what doctors do on a daily basis and gaining an understanding of how a hospital really operates. A certification from the hospital would significantly strengthen your application.
  • If you’re very motivated and don’t want to waste time, you can take in college credit classes before the school year begins. This can let you waive some college credits upon enrollment.

Any and all extracurricular activities contribute in some way to your application for admission to the best institutions for biology. Remember that everything you include in your statement of purpose should demonstrate your true passions. Include an explanation of your compassion for all you’ve done to demonstrate your desire to pursue a biology major.

Now that you have the comprehensive guide to all you need to know about the best universities for biology, it’s time to get started and work towards your dream school. Best of luck with your application!

References:

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