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  • The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Mahatma Gandhi
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Become a Biologist

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Biologists are scientists whose work centers on the study of living plants, animals and organisms, including microorganisms that are too small to see with the naked eye. Biologists may work in the field, the laboratory or both, with many specialty options to choose from.

Although it depends on your specialty, your work as a biologist will generally involve laboratory studies, field (outdoor) studies and academic activities. One of the main purposes of laboratory and field studies is research. Your research will be geared toward expanding the human knowledge base and finding solutions to problems through scientific inquiry. Academic activities might include teaching at a college or university and writing for scientific publications.

Career Requirements

Earn a Bachelor's Degree

The first step towards working as a research biologist is to earn a bachelor's degree in biology. Bachelor's degree programs in biology usually require four years to complete. Courses in these programs cover topics like cellular biology, genetics, ecology and biochemistry.

Obtain a Master's Degree

Many Ph.D. programs require that applicants possess a master's degree for admission. Master's degree programs in biology can take up to three years to complete. The curriculum of these programs often focuses on research. Elective coursework could include classes in zoology, biochemistry, botany and microbiology.

Pursue a Doctoral Degree

Obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in biology prepares an individual to work as a research biologist and qualify for other career advancements. Doctoral degree programs center on independent research, although students also participate in scientific seminars and complete coursework related to the topic of their dissertation. Many schools offer research opportunities and teaching assistantships to doctoral students to prepare them for their careers.