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What would be a good college to look into if you want to become a researcher in the biology field? What would be a good college if you are looking to become a physician's assistant?

I'm tied between becoming a researcher or a physician's assistant. Both sound interesting and can be in the biology category. I do better with a team and i know both are/can be working with other people.

Thank you comment icon My quick search turned up this: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/biology-biochemistry Geoffrey Goldberg

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LaTausha’s Answer

While most people would suggest a Biology degree because that's the default answer to tell anyone who's interested in science or medicine, I'd like to suggest Medical Lab Science or Clincal Lab science degree. I did both: BS biology then post-bac CLS. I found the CLS more beneficial.
The degree plans are very similar in the first couple years so whether you go in to research or practice medicine, you'll be prepared either way. The CLS curriculum should include a research component so you'll get a feel for that. It's hands-on, diagnostic learning. The benefit of CLS is that it's a working degree after 2 or 4 yrs. So if you don't go to PA school or grad school immediately, you can find a decent job. In my opinion and experience, the Biology degree will usually require at least a masters or medical degree before it's useful.
Either career field will require some independent thinking and team work. You can major in both.

I see you're in Texas. I earned my biology degree from Prarie View A&M University and my CLS degree from University Texas health science at San Antonio. Great programs! UTMB Galveston now offers a Doctoral program in CLS.
Texas has soooo many schools to choose from. Biology is more accessible meaning most schools offer that degree. CLS programs are limited and more competitive so you'll have to search to see the requirements and where they're located.
All the best to you.
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Jacob’s Answer

It's great that you're considering both research and becoming a physician's assistant (PA) in the biology field. These are both fulfilling career paths, and your choice will depend on your interests and career goals. Here are recommendations for colleges based on each path:

**For Becoming a Researcher in Biology**:

1. **Harvard University**: Harvard offers outstanding research opportunities and has a renowned biology department. Its resources and faculty can provide an excellent foundation for a research-focused career.

2. **Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)**: MIT is famous for its cutting-edge research in various fields, including biology. It's an ideal choice if you're passionate about delving deep into scientific inquiry.

3. **Stanford University**: Stanford's biology programs emphasize interdisciplinary research, which can be perfect for aspiring researchers. The proximity to Silicon Valley also offers unique opportunities.

4. **University of California, Berkeley**: UC Berkeley is known for its strong emphasis on biological sciences and research. It's a hub for innovative research projects.

5. **Johns Hopkins University**: Johns Hopkins is renowned for its research-intensive environment, particularly in the medical and biological sciences. It offers access to top-notch labs and faculty.

**For Becoming a Physician's Assistant**:

1. **Duke University**: Duke's PA program is highly regarded and offers a comprehensive curriculum. It's known for producing well-prepared PAs who excel in clinical settings.

2. **Emory University**: Emory's PA program is well-established and emphasizes clinical training. It also offers opportunities to work in diverse healthcare settings.

3. **University of Washington**: This program has a strong emphasis on primary care, which is a significant component of the PA role. It also has a solid reputation for producing competent PAs.

4. **Yale University**: Yale's PA program is known for its rigorous curriculum and commitment to producing PAs who can excel in various medical specialties.

5. **University of Iowa**: The University of Iowa's PA program is respected for its clinical training and comprehensive approach to healthcare education.

Ultimately, your choice should align with your personal interests and career aspirations. Consider what aspects of biology and healthcare resonate most with you. Remember that both paths involve teamwork and collaboration, but the nature of your work and the setting will differ significantly. Reach out to current students or professionals in these fields to gain insights and make an informed decision about your college and career path.
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Siddhartha’s Answer

Hello Shaila,

A degree in Biology is a gateway to a multitude of exciting career paths. Think of it as a versatile tool, like a Swiss Army knife, that equips you with a range of skills and knowledge. The subfield you choose to focus on and whether you decide to pursue graduate studies can further expand your opportunities. As a Biology major, you could find yourself decoding the genetic code of elusive viruses, engineering innovative plant species, or even pursuing a career in medicine.

Moreover, as a Biology student, you'll have the chance to contribute to cutting-edge scientific research in various fields such as cancer, genetics, food safety, virology etc. If you're considering a Physician Assistant (PA) program, a Biology major would also be a suitable choice.

Texas A&M is a good in-state university that offers a broad spectrum of degrees in the biological sciences. This includes bachelor's degrees in Biology, Microbiology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, and Biomedical Sciences. You can learn more about these programs here: https://www.bio.tamu.edu/DEPT/about.html

If you're looking for affordable yet high-quality education, the University of California (UC) system is worth considering. The UC campuses, including UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis, offer excellent programs in the biological sciences. UC Riverside provides volunteer research positions and field research opportunities. UC Berkeley and UC Davis are among the top schools in the nation for graduate-level biological sciences.

You can find more information about these schools and their Biology programs at this link: https://www.collegeaffordabilityguide.org/subjects/biology/

I hope you find this information beneficial in your academic journey!
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Atul’s Answer

Given your aspiration to be a Physician's Assistant, UT Austin is a great choice. It's a state school, affordable, and conveniently located in your city. Your main goal should be to complete your undergraduate degree without accumulating a significant amount of student loan debt.

Only consider Ivy League or Johns Hopkins if you receive full scholarships to further your studies in Biology. Otherwise, earning your Bachelor of Science at a state university like UT Austin is a wise decision.

Furthermore, a degree in Biology offers more opportunities. It not only allows you to become a Physician's Assistant but also opens up the possibility of becoming a Medical Doctor or Research Scientist. These options provide a wider scope and potentially higher salary compared to focusing solely on becoming a Physician's Assistant.
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Kristi’s Answer

Hello Shaila,

Texas is home to some fantastic schools that offer robust programs for science majors. As you explore your options, remember to check into their science departments to ensure they align with your academic goals and interests.

If you're considering a career in research, you'll likely be spending a lot of time in labs. Therefore, it would be beneficial to choose a college that places a strong emphasis on student research. Not only will this provide you with hands-on experience, but it will also make a great addition to your resume should you decide to pursue a research career.

On the other hand, if you're leaning towards becoming a Physician Assistant, you'll need to earn a master's degree. PA programs have specific prerequisites that you'll need to fulfill. So, it would be wise to choose a school that can adequately prepare you for this additional education.

In any case, remember to choose a school that fits you best and supports your future ambitions.
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