School of
Integrative Biology

Undergraduate Options

What can I do with a degree in IB?

A degree in Integrative Biology will prepare you for many immensely satisfying careers.  Here are just a few of the most common careers our graduates pursue.  Click on the links below to learn more about our Advising Options, which are advanced course suggestions grouped by career path.

Health Professions

Health professionals: doctor, dentist, pharmacist, physician assistant, genetic counselor, physical therapist, nurse, medical technician, public health educator, chiropracter

Industry: pharmaceutical research, quality control, medical product design, medical device sales, food science, pharmaceutical sales

Government: National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control, Department of Health and Human Services, Local Government Health Services

Ecology and Conservation

Private Sector: Botanical gardens, museums, parks

Industry: Environmental advocacy, product research, environmental education, environmental consulting

Government: National Park Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy

Organisms and Evolution

Private Sector: Veterinary Medicine, marine biology, zoology, gardens, parks, museums, aquariums

Industry: agricultural research, fisheries, biodiversity research

Government: National Park Service, Department of Agriculture


Opportunities abound to do research with faculty in IB and in any unit at Illinois.  After earning your degree, you may work as a technician in a pharmaceutical or genetic lab or a research assistant on a conservation or restoration team. You will likely consider continuing your training as a research scientist by going to graduate school in some specialized field, either immediately after graduation or after you have done other work or travel prior to beginning grad school. After earning your MS or PhD, you have career options that open up in academia, industry or government.


You may admire one of your early teachers who has become a role model for your future career. You may have experienced the joy of passing on your excitement about biology to young children or adolescents. Your work and extra-curricular experiences may have indicated that you enjoy explaining ideas.

To become a teacher certified to teach biology in a public middle school or high school, you can start as an IB major, but you will switch to the Teaching of Biology degree, where you'll take courses in Integrative Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Education.  Teaching of Biology graduates are highly competitive for positions in the educational field.

And many, many more!

Here are just a few more ideas of career paths for IB majors:

      Scientific Writing
      Law (Envirionmental, Patent, Healthcare)
      Bioenergy Research
      Forensic Science
      Medical Illustration
      Biomedical Information Management
      Food Science
      Laboratory Assistance
      Technical Systems Management

Want more information?

Call 333-3046, make an appointment online, or visit 2002 Natural History Building to discuss these or other options with an IB Advisor in more detail. You can also follow any of the links below for more information from campus or off-campus sources.