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What Can a Biology Degree Do For You?

The biology major will allow you to pursue various fulfilling careers including those in health care, education, research, pharmaceutical sales, law, genetic counseling, medical illustration...the list is nearly endless and only limited by your imagination.  A breakdown of the careers our recent graduates entered is shown here:

Health Care (40%)

Our program provides excellent preparation for professional schools including medical, dental, and optometry. Related career paths include allied health fields ranging from physical therapy to physician assistant programs.

Research (25%),

Our graduates accept entry-level research positions in industry, government, non-profit organizations, or in a university.  Penn State Biology provides a variety of research experience opportunities to prepare students for these positions or for graduate level research programs.

Teaching (10%)

A Penn State Biology degree provides a strong foundation for potential educators.  High school level positions require certification through a secondary education program or a master's degree in education.  Teaching at the college or university level typically requires a Ph.D.

Other Options (25%)

Biology graduates also work in pharmaceutical sales or supply.  Another popular option has become genetic counseling, requiring a two-year graduate program.  Graduates can also pursue positions in the FDA, EPA, or non-profit conservancy organizations.

Suggested Biology and Related Careers

Athletic Trainier

Cardiovascular Technologist/Technician

Clinical Laboratory Scientist



Electroneurodiagnostic Technology

Genetic Counselor

Careers in Aging

Health Information Administrator

Medical Assistant

Medical Illustration

Nuclear MedicalTechnology

Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapy Assistant



Orthotics / Prosthetics



Physical Therapist


Physician Assistant


Radiation Therapy

Respiratory Therapist (Respiratory Care Practitioner)

Agricultural Careers

Anthropology and Archaeology

Aquatic Science


Environmental Careers

Forensic Entomology

Forensic Scientist


Genomics Technician


Marine Science

More Marine Mammal Science info

Microbiology and Bacteriology

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Museum Careers


Plant Pathology

Soil Science

Theoretical Biology

Graduate School Information

U.S. News and World Report Graduate Program Rankings

Peterson's: Search for Graduate Programs Search for Graduate Programs

Opportunities for Volunteering

Peace Corps


Global Volunteer Network

Participate in the Mentoring Program

Becoming a Mentor

You can make an impact on a student's life by becoming a mentor.  Mentors serve as guides to students, answering questions, giving advice and helping them to learn more about their field of interest and about themselves.

How can I enroll in the program?

If you are an alum of the Biology Department, or any Penn State alum working in a biology-related field, then you are eligible to mentor a student. Once we receive your application, we will match you with a student whose interests closely align with your professional experience. You will be assigned a student with junior standing so that your mentoring partnership can remain throughout the student's junior and senior years.  You may sign up to become a mentor at any time of year and every effort will be made to match you with a student protege with the same interests.  The only requirement is that you attend a Mentoring Kickoff Dinner and Workshop in February where you will have the opportunity to meet your student protege in person, learn more about the mentoring program, and work with your protege to develop goals and action steps for participation in the program.

What should I expect as a participant in the mentoring program?

Regular communication will help you and your protege to get the most out of the program.  Mentors/proteges can communicate with one another via e-mail, phone and visits to your workplace if you so choose.  This is not a job placement program. You are not expected to offer employment or internships to the student you are mentoring.  You are simply asked to communicate regularly with the student as the two of you see fit.  The student may have questions about areas of study, career options, or your career or area(s) of expertise and interest.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please use our online application, or contact Mary Hudson, Mentoring Program Coordinator, at (814) 867-2896 or

Additional Helpful Links and Tools

Career Services at Penn State

Development and Alumni Human Resources

PSU Office of Human Resources

Occupational Outlook Handbook

O*Net Occupation Search