12 Best Biology Schools in California 2022 (2023)

This is a well-detailed blog post on the best biology schools in California to facilitate admission for students who want to pursue a biology degree in the state of California.

Home to Stanford University, Hollywood, UCLA, and Disneyland, California is a vibrant place for studying and meeting a diverse range of people and cultures to broaden your study abroad experience and earn a degree from some of the best universities in the world. The state is also one of the right places to pursue a business degree.

Turns out we have a well-detailed blog post on the best business schools in California which gives further information on how to apply and the application requirements.

In the United States, Biology is one of the most popular majors as well as the hottest. Students with a degree program in any biology field are quickly employed, whether it is an associate, bachelor, master’s, or doctorate, they are in high demand.

Biology has grown to become a field with a wide range of disciplines that are studied separately, the courses under biology are:

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Molecular Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Ecology
  • Cell Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Biophysics
  • Anatomy
  • Conservative Biology
  • Immunology
  • Neuroscience
  • Physiology
  • Zoology
  • Human Physiology
  • Computational Biology

These courses are under biology and most, if not all, are studied as a separate degree program in the undergraduate and graduate levels of study. Another thing all of these courses have in common is that you need to have a strong knowledge of biology before applying for them.

If it is a course that you want to study as a graduate degree program, you must satisfy biology in your undergraduate study before going into them. Biology is what is used to scientifically explain our world and its importance keeps showing itself day by day. It is used in all forms of medicine as well, to produce drugs that will counter sicknesses and diseases which is why the graduates are in high demand.

Going for a biology program is a good choice and choosing a good school for the program is an even better choice but maybe a bit of a hassle for your which is what this blog post is created for. This post on the best biology schools in California will help you make the right choice in choosing a school that is just right for you to make your career a successful one.

Without further ado, let’s get into the best biology schools in California.

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Top Best Biology Schools in California

Listed below are the best biology schools in California which are further discussed with the direct website link to learn more about specific program offering requirements.

  • Stanford University
  • The University of California, Berkeley
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • The University of California, Irvine
  • The University of California, Santa Barbara
  • The University of California, San Diego
  • The University of Southern California
  • The University of California, Davis
  • Harvey Mudd College
  • Pomona College

1. Stanford University

Stanford University is a prestigious institution with global recognition located in Stanford, California and its biology programs are recognized as well, making it rank among the best biology schools in California. The university can offer biology programs through its School of Humanities and Sciences which is just one of the academic programs at Stanford.

The School of Humanities and Sciences here at Stanford houses the Department of Biology which offers undergraduate, coterminal master’s program and a Ph.D. program. The undergraduate biology program is designed for students wishing to study biology, enter medical school, or get started in research. For students who seek an advanced degree in biology, the masters and Ph.D. program is for them.

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2. The University of California, Berkeley

Established in 1896 as a public land-grant research university in Berkeley, California, UC Berkeley is one of the best biology schools in California. The university has 14 colleges and schools offering more than 350 degree programs to students enrolled in the graduate and postgraduate levels of study.

There is no single department of biology at UC Berkeley, courses in the biological sciences are offered through many campus departments including the Departments of Integrative Biology, Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology, Optometry, Environmental Science, Policy & Management, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Plant &Microbial Biology which collectively offers 27 biology programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

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3. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Caltech is a private research institute in Pasadena, California is known for its strength in science and engineering and its devotion to the instruction of pure and applied sciences. There are six academic divisions within the school with a strong emphasis on science and engineering. The Division of Biology and Biological Engineering offers biology and biology-related programs.

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The BBE division has seven research areas related to biology including Systems Biology, Microbiology, Biological Engineering, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Biophysics, and more. The graduate degree options are Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, Medical Engineering, Neurobiology, Biology, Geobiology, Computation & Neural Systems, Social & Decision Neuroscience, and Bioengineering.

Bioengineering is the only undergraduate program offered in the BBE division.

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4. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

UCLA is a world-renowned institution of higher learning located in Los Angeles, California established in 1919. The institution has a current enrollment of 31,500 undergraduates and 12,800 graduates enrolled in over 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. These programs are offered via the schools six undergraduate colleges, seven professional schools, and four professional health science schools.

UCLA offers 48 biology programs through its College of Life Sciences which lead to undergraduate majors and minors and graduate degrees. The College is consistently ranked among the best biology schools in California due to its many achievements in the field.

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5. Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College is one of the best biology schools in California, it was established in 1946 as a private liberal arts college located in Claremont, California. The Keck Science Department offers a wide range of undergraduate science courses including biology. There aren’t any graduate biology programs at this college but the undergraduate program is one of the best in the country.

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6. The University of California, Irvine

This is one of the best biology schools in California established in1965 as a public land-grant research university in Irvine, California. UCI offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduates degree programs through its 16 academic units including the School of Biological Sciences that offer biology and other biology-related programs.

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The School is a center for quality education that fosters the passionate and ongoing expansion of knowledge in the biological sciences and facilitates research not just for graduate students only but also for undergraduate students. The School further houses four departments where students are equipped with knowledge and skills to find answers to complex biological issues.

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7. The University of California, Santa Barbara

UCSB or UC Santa Barbara as it is commonly referred to has a wide range of biology programs available to students in the undergraduate and graduate levels of study and due to the quality of the program and the achievement it continuously brings to the school, this allows it to be consistently ranked among the best biology schools in California.

The biology programs are offered through the School of Biological Sciences and as of 2015, 1,119 students graduated from programs in the study area of biology earning bachelor, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The biology program at UC Santa Barbara is the fastest-growing program at the campus.

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8. The University of California, San Diego

UC San Diego has a Division of Biological Sciences consistently ranked as one of the best biology schools in California. The Division offers a wide range of biology-related programs leading to bachelor, master’s, and graduate degrees. The mission here is to advance knowledge of basic biological sciences and apply research discoveries in ways that improve human health, protect the environment and enrich the economy.

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9. The University of Southern California

Established in 1880 as a private research university in Los Angeles, California, USC is the oldest private research university in the states and its Department of Biological Sciences is one of the best biology schools in California. The Department has research faculty with specialties in four disciplines: human and evolutionary biology, marine and environmental biology, molecular and computational biology, and neurobiology.

Through these four disciplines, the department offers a range of undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral training programs.

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10. The University of California, Davis

UC Davis College of Biological Sciences is one of the best biology schools in California offering a wide range of top-notch biology programs leading to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The college explores life to advance knowledge and meet the scientific challenges of the modern world.

The college houses five departments through which these academic degrees are produced, the Departments of Evolution and Ecology, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behaviour, and Plant Biology. There are also facilities with cutting-edge equipment for students to engage in practical and research purposes.

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11. Harvey Mudd College

This is a private not-for-profit college in Claremont, California established in1955. Harvey Mudd College is known for its strength in science and engineering, the biology program is equally recognized and makes the college one of the best biology schools in California. The college offers only four-year degree programs, so, if you want to pursue an undergraduate degree program in one of the best biology schools in California, you may want to consider Harvey Mudd College.

Harvey Mudd College has a Department of Biology, the biology program here is hands-on and interdisciplinary. In lab and field courses, students do open-ended, cross-disciplinary research and learn by doing.

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12. Pomona College

Pomona College has a biology department that offers both a major and minor, educates students in a range of biological principles, practices, and subject areas. The department has facilities that allow students to join professors in hands-on practical research even as undergraduates. They get to apply scientific inquiry and critical analysis to study organisms in the classroom, lab, and field.

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These are the 12 best biology schools in California that you may want to apply to, whether for undergraduate or graduate programs you will be trained and equipped with skills and a quality degree that is recognized anywhere in the world.

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FAQ on the Best Biology Schools in California

What is the difference between a biology school and a marine biology school?

A marine biology school prepares students for a career specifically in marine biology but a biology school prepares students for a wide range of careers in the field of biology which include biochemistry, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, medicine, environmental science, marine biology, etc.


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Which college has the best biology program in California? ›

Stanford University

#1 Best Colleges for Biology in California.

Which Cal State has the best biology program? ›

5 California Colleges for Biology Majors
  1. 1. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. ...
  2. University of California, Davis. ...
  3. 3. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. ...
  4. University of California, San Diego. ...
  5. University of California, Berkeley.
8 Dec 2021

Which college has the best biology program? ›

Here are the best global universities for biology and biochemistry
  • Harvard University.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Stanford University.
  • University of California Berkeley.
  • University of California San Francisco.
  • University of Cambridge.
  • University of California San Diego.
  • University of Washington Seattle.

What is the #1 college in California? ›

Stanford University

Is Berkeley or UCLA better for biology? ›

However, with regard to general biology/molecular biology, there are only slight academic differences between the schools. If you are interested in medicine, UCLA might be a better choice. But, regardless of whether you go to UCLA or UC Berkeley, you will undoubtedly be successful. Both are amazing options!

What is the hardest Cal State school to get into? ›

The hardest Cal State to get into is the Cal Poly San Luis, Obispo. It has an acceptance rate of 28%, the lowest among CSUs. It also has the highest average SAT score requirement of 1340 and an average ACT score of 29, also the highest among the CSUs.

What are the top 5 Cal States? ›

Ranked List of the Best Cal State Schools
  • 1. California Polytechnic State University | Cal Poly. Location: San Luis Obispo, CA. ...
  • San Diego State University | SDSU. Location: San Diego, CA. ...
  • Long Beach State. Location: Long Beach, CA. ...
  • San Jose State. ...
  • CSU Fullerton. ...
  • CSU Northridge | CSUN. ...
  • CSU Chico. ...
  • CSU San Bernardino.
14 Feb 2022

What is the #1 medical college to go to in California? ›

Part 2: List of medical schools in California: 2023 rankings & admissions statistics
California Medical SchoolsU.S. News RankingDegree
UCSF School of Medicine*1 (3)MD
Stanford University School of Medicine2 (8)MD
UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine*3 (19)MD
UC San Diego School of Medicine*4 (20)MD
12 more rows
26 Apr 2022

Which Ivy is best for biology? ›

Dartmouth. Dartmouth is the most science-oriented school out of all of the Ivy League schools, known for the Natural Sciences: biology, chemistry, and biology.

Which field of biology pays the most? ›

Highest-paying biology jobs
  • Biochemist. ...
  • Medical and health services manager. ...
  • Pharmacist. ...
  • Veterinarian. ...
  • Physician assistant. National average salary: $105,627 per year. ...
  • Oncologist. National average salary: $192,522 per year. ...
  • Dentist. National average salary: $196,417 per year. ...
  • Physician. National average salary: $202,387 per year.

Which country is best at biology? ›

Best countries to study biology
  • Biology in Sweden.
  • Biology in Finland.
  • Biology in Ireland.
  • Biology in Lebanon.
  • Biology in Fiji.
  • Biology in Germany.
  • Biology in Australia.
  • Biology in Belgium.

Which city has best schools in California? ›

Top School Districts in California, 2020
RankSchool DistrictCity
1Acalanes Union HighLafayette
2Laguna Beach UnifiedLaguna Beach
3Piedmont City UnifiedPiedmont
4Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union HighLos Gatos
46 more rows

What is the number 1 hardest school to get into? ›

Harvard ranked as the toughest school in the country to get into. It has a 5% acceptance rate, according to Niche. Stanford came in second on the list— with an acceptance rate of 5% as well. However, it accepts students with slightly lower test scores, Niche says.

What is the top 10 schools in the US? ›

Here are the best colleges in the U.S.
  • Princeton University.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Harvard University.
  • Stanford University.
  • Yale University.
  • University of Chicago.
  • Johns Hopkins University.
  • University of Pennsylvania.

Is UCLA hard to get in? ›

According to Forbes, UCLA is considered a most selective school with an acceptance rate of 12%. Over 139,000 students applied for the UCLA Class of 2025. Of those applicants, UCLA admissions accepted roughly 31,000 students. Although there are no set UCLA GPA requirements, the average GPA sits around 3.95.

What are the Ivy League schools in California? ›

8 “Ivy League” Schools in California
  • Stanford University. Location: Stanford, CA. ...
  • 2. California Institute of Technology. Location: Pasadena, CA. ...
  • UC Berkeley. Location: Berkeley, CA. ...
  • UCLA. Location: Los Angeles, CA. ...
  • Pomona College. ...
  • University of Southern California. ...
  • Claremont McKenna College. ...
  • Harvey Mudd College.
10 Apr 2020

Is UCLA harder to get into than Berkeley? ›

Both the universities require students with high GPAs, SAT scores & ACT scores. UCLA is extremely selective and only enrols students who have a GPA of 3.9 or more. UC Berkeley requires a GPA of 3.89 from all its students.

What major is UC Berkeley best known for? ›

The most popular majors at University of California, Berkeley include: Social Sciences; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Engineering; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Mathematics and Statistics; Natural Resources and Conservation; Business, Management, ...

Is UC Berkeley a top 10 school? ›

University of California, Berkeley's 2022-2023 Rankings

University of California, Berkeley is ranked #20 out of 443 National Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

What California school is easiest to get into? ›

The easiest colleges to get into in California include the Academy of Art University, California State University-Fresno, California Northstate University, Azusa Pacific University, Sonoma State University, California State University-Channel Island, and California State University-Monterey Bay.

Is UCLA or USC harder to get into? ›

In terms of selectivity, the schools rank fairly equally—UCLA has an 8.6 percent acceptance rate (getting more competitive every year) and USC's acceptance rate is 11.8 percent.

Is it harder to get into Berkeley or Stanford? ›

Because of their high requirements, neither school has a high admission rate. Stanford brings in a smaller percentage of students, resulting in an acceptance rate of just 5.2%, but even Berkeley's slightly larger 17.5% is very low.

What is the number 1 state in the US? ›


Are California schools good? ›

Overall, it ranks among the lowest on NAEP (the “nation's report card”), but its scores are much closer to the U.S. average if English learners' results are excluded. Its high school students are more likely to take advanced placement classes and perform well.

What is the number 1 best state? ›

WalletHub has an answer. Researchers at the personal finance publication ranked the 50 states based on scores in five categories: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life, and safety. Massachusetts topped 2022's list, touting a score of 62.65 out of 100.

Is UCLA a top 10 medical school? ›

University of California--Los Angeles (Geffen) 2023 Rankings

University of California--Los Angeles (Geffen) is ranked No. 19 in Best Medical Schools: Research and No. 13 in Best Medical Schools: Primary Care. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

Which California State University is the best for medicine? ›

Here are the Best Medical Schools for Research in California
  • University of California--Los Angeles (Geffen)
  • University of California--San Diego.
  • University of Southern California (Keck)
  • University of California--Davis.
  • University of California--Irvine.
  • Touro University California.
  • University of California--Riverside.

What is the easiest Ivy to get into? ›

Based on the information provided above, you probably noticed that Cornell University has the highest acceptance rates out of all the Ivy League schools and can therefore be classified as the easiest Ivy league school to get into.

Which Ivy has the highest acceptance? ›

1. Which Ivy League School has the highest acceptance rate? Recent data shows Cornell University is the Ivy League school with the highest acceptance rate.

Which Ivy has the best pre med? ›

The Best Ivy League Schools for Pre-Med
  • Harvard University.
  • University of Pennsylvania.
  • Columbia University.
  • Dartmouth College.
  • Yale University.
  • Cornell University.
  • Brown University.
  • Princeton University.

Is a biology degree worth it UK? ›

Biology graduates are well placed to succeed in any job where data handling or research skills are important. These jobs would not necessarily have to be restricted to science-based employers. Employers recruiting graduates for biology-related jobs include: universities and clinical research organisations.

Which science degree pays the most UK? ›

The highest paying degrees in the UK
  • Veterinary medicine.
  • Chemical engineering.
  • Economics.
  • Physics and Astronomy.
  • Law.
  • Architecture.
  • Mechanical engineering.
  • Computer science.
2 Nov 2022

What jobs are in demand in biology? ›

Five Popular Biology Careers
  • Research Technician.
  • Clinical Project Manager.
  • Conservation Scientist.
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative.
  • Biomedical Engineer.

Where is the best place to study biology UK? ›

Best Global Universities for Biology and Biochemistry in the United Kingdom
  • University of Cambridge.
  • University of Oxford.
  • University College London.
  • Imperial College London.
  • University of Edinburgh.
  • King's College London.
  • University of Manchester.
  • University of Glasgow.

Who is the No 1 biologist in the world? ›

Darwin is known as one of the world's top scientists. He was a geologist, a naturalist, and a biologist. Charles Darwin is regarded as one of the most crucial scientists who have theorized evolution and put forward an understanding of different species in the world.

Is Oxford better than Harvard? ›

The QS World University Rankings for 2022 have Oxford at second, Cambridge in joint third place and Harvard coming in at fifth. By contrast, the Times Higher Education Rankings puts Oxford in the first position, with Harvard in joint second and Cambridge in joint fifth.

What school is harder to get into than Harvard? ›

Princeton Admission Statistics

Princeton University is one of the hardest schools to get into and has one of the lowest acceptance rates of any college in the world. Some might argue it's the hardest Ivy to get into, even though its current acceptance rate is not quite as low as Columbia or Harvard.

What Ivy League has the easiest classes? ›

This is the case for these 3 schools.
  • Cornell University.
  • Dartmouth College.
  • University of Pennsylvania.
12 Jun 2022

Which school sends most students to Harvard? ›

In total, one out of every 20 Harvard freshmen attended one of the seven high schools most represented in the class of 2017—Boston Latin, Phillips Academy in Andover, Stuyvesant High School, Noble and Greenough School, Phillips Exeter Academy, Trinity School in New York City, and Lexington High School.

What school is number 1 in the world? ›

The University of Oxford tops the ranking for the seventh consecutive year.

What is the hardest high school in the US? ›

The Most Challenging American High Schools
1.International Academy*, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.6.323
2.Stanton College Prep*, Jacksonville, Fla.5.639
3.Paxon*, Jacksonville, Fla.4.668
4.Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham4.567
143 more rows

Is biology good at UCLA? ›

In College Factual's most recent rankings for the best schools for biology majors, UCLA came in at #14. This puts it in the top 5% of the country in this field of study. It is also ranked #3 in California.

What medical school is easiest to get into in California? ›

What is the easiest medical school in California to get into? Judging by the school's low median GPA and MCAT score, Touro University of California College of Osteopathic Medicine would be the easiest to get into as compared to other schools where the median GPA and MCAT scores are higher.

What is the toughest medical school to get into? ›

Top 10 Hardest Medical Schools To Get Into
  • Harvard Medical School. ...
  • Wake Forest School Of Medicine. ...
  • George Washington School Of Medicine And Health Sciences. ...
  • Warren Alpert Medical School Of Brown University. ...
  • Howard University College Of Medicine. ...
  • New York University (NYU) Grossman School Of Medicine.

What is the #1 medical school in the US? ›

Harvard Medical School

Which Ivy League is best for pre-med? ›

The Best Ivy League Schools for Pre-Med
  • Harvard University.
  • University of Pennsylvania.
  • Columbia University.
  • Dartmouth College.
  • Yale University.
  • Cornell University.
  • Brown University.
  • Princeton University.

Is pre-med harder than med school? ›

Less than 40% of pre-meds get accepted to medical school, and the average MCAT and GPA of matriculants is higher than the average MCAT and GPA of applicants. In other words, in medical school your classmates are going to be higher scoring than your pre-med counterparts, on average.

What college has the highest acceptance rate in California? ›

The Best Colleges With High Acceptance Rates in California
SchoolAcceptance Rate
Azusa Pacific University94%
Sonoma State University94%
California State University – Channel Island93%
California State University – Monterey Bay93%
6 more rows
9 Aug 2022

Which college sends the most students to medical school? ›

According to the AAMC, these schools produced the largest number of medical school applicants during the 2022 application cycle:
  • University of California–San Diego: 646.
  • University of Georgia: 591.
  • Texas A&M University: 579.
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: 541.
  • The Ohio State University: 522.
3 Nov 2022

What major is UCLA famous for? ›

At the University of California-Los Angeles, the most popular majors students study are Sociology, Political Science and Government, General, and Econometrics and Quantitative Economics.

What major is UCLA most known for? ›

U.S News lists the most popular UCLA majors as:
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
  • Psychology.
  • Mathematics and Statistics.
  • Engineering.
  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies.
  • Visual and Performing Arts.
  • English Language and Literature/Letters.
  • History.

What is UCLA mostly known for? ›

The second oldest of the campuses in the system, UCLA leads the way in innovation, education, and athletics. One of the rare “Public Ivies” – public schools with academic output and reputation similar to those of the vaunted Ivy League schools, UCLA has a long list of impressive alumni and faculty.


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