Career Preparation

Two people holding a diploma.Your instructors, advisors, and staff in the QC Biology Department understand that for many of you, your BA from Queens College will launch a career. From here you might wish to go straight into the job market; obtain research, teaching, or clinical experience; become certified or licensed in a particular skill; or obtain an advanced degree. Biologists graduating from QC who seek an advanced degree commonly go to graduate school for a Master’s or PhD, or enter professional schools such as medical, nursing, dental, veterinary, physican’s assistant, or pharmacy.

We encourage you as a Biology student to obtain advisement regarding your career goals as early as possible during your time at Queens College. Our Biology Department faculty can help you decide what coursework and other experience will help you move to the next stage of your career upon graduation.  Certain members of our faculty are Undergraduate Advisors, each of which has time set aside each week to meet with undergraduates and provide advice. All of our undergraduate advisors are academic biologists, and each has a particular range of expertise and interests. To see who and where they are and find their current hours, click on the Advisement button on the Faculty Hours page.

To obtain advice more tailored to specific interests (e.g., genetics, developmental biology, cancer, parasitology, microbiology, biotech, evolution, animal science, ecology, conservation, agriculture), we also encourage you to take advantage of the expertise of our Biology faculty as a whole. See the Full Time Faculty page for an introduction to our faculty and their research interests. Email a faculty member and set up an appointment to discuss your interests and learn how best to move forward with them.

Two people working inside a lab together.

For many career paths in Biology, a Master’s degree can boost your relevant education and experience and give you the edge over your competition. Whether you want eventually to go into research, teaching, academics, industry, government, technology, the environment, or the allied health professions, consider transitioning from your undergraduate degree program into a Master’s program. In particular, recent changes in the Queens College Office of Graduate Admissions and our Biology Department have made a QC Master’s degree quicker, more affordable, and more competitive. See our Biology Master’s Degrees page and contact our department’s Graduate Advisor, Dr. David Lahti, for details.

For careers in medicine and other health-related fields, you should consult the QC Health Professions Advisory Services. One of our Biology Department faculty members, Dr. Mika Vesanen, is a pre-health advisor and can provide you with all you need to prepare yourself for the next step of your professional life, including the timeline, important courses, helpful experience, upcoming standardized tests, and relevant schools or programs.

Certain schools require special coursework or experience in order for you to be a competitive candidate for admission. Our advisors can help you construct the best collection of courses in order for you to simultaneously achieve your Bachelor’s degree in Biology and qualify for the program of your choice.

Undergraduate students planning to pursue a career in the health professions might consider a Minor in Health Sciences. If you have any questions about this option, please ask Dr. Saima Cheema. After graduation, consider a Post-Baccalaureate Medical Career Preparation Certificate. Among the certifications offered at QC are several related to medical careers, including nine specialities ranging from dentistry to occupational therapy to veterinary medicine. See here for more information on these programs, including eligibility requirements, and how and when to apply. This certification program is run by Dr. Mika Vesanen.

Dr. Saima Cheema has put together the following set of resources to help you prepare for specific medical programs. In each program area the blue button links to a document that contains the prerequisites for that program– the particular courses you must take in order to be a viable candidate for that program. The green button links to a document that maps out how you can arrange your undergraduate curriculum in order to achieve your Bachelor’s degree and fulfill your chosen program’s prerequisites at the same time.

Occupational Therapy