Online Science Labs: Can I Take Biology & Chemistry Courses Online?
If you aim to earn a science degree online—chemistry, biology, anatomy, physics, health sciences, engineering or environmental studies—you'll need to complete one or more online science labs.
In the past any online degree program that offered a lab science major, or an applied science major such as chemical engineering, would require students to take a course on campus, often through a summer residency or weekend study.
Today, a new generation of lab science courses are available online, many of them involving home lab kits or virtual simulations. Some online science courses even allow students to access to lab microscopes and machines remotely via an online web browser interface to analyze specimens or program complex machines to test things such as viscosity or surgical techniques.
Advances in Internet connectivity and the development of virtual lab kits make it possible for geeks and science nerds to earn their degrees online even in lab-dependent subjects such as Chemistry.
Online Science Courses with Labs
This great state university offers General Chemistry I and II with Labs appropriate for engineering, pharmacy, chemistry, nursing and biology majors. They also offer Organic Chemistry suitable to medical science majors such pre-med, dentistry and pharmacy as well as chemical engineering majors.
This private company which does not offer degrees but does offer regionally accredited college courses online that may be used toward degrees or professional licensing requirements for nurses, pharmacists and nutritionists. CalCampus offers Biology I and II online courses with labs as well as College Chemistry I, II with lab. Other hard to find courses with lab components of interest to nurses and medical professionals include Microbiology, and Anatomy and Physiology I and II.
The Georgia State system has partnered with eCore, a private entity, to offer Chemistry I, II with a lab component. These courses are approved for lab majors and designed to meet the rigor needed for science majors as well as pre-med and health majors.
Forensic Science Online Labs
Applied science majors, such as forensics science, now offer online virtual labs and crime solving kits that allow students to re-construct and analyze events such as blood splatter or decomposition. Home lab kits allow students to set up simulated crime scenes to learn how to diagnose crime sites and collect clues.
3 Rules for Selecting Online Science Labs
- If you are majoring in a lab science, such as Chemistry, or you are working toward a pre-professional degree in preparation for medical, dentistry or nursing school, make sure a science course with a virtual lab is acceptable to your degree granting school. Some colleges require what is called a "wet lab" or a hands on lab and will not accept a virtual lab regardless of its rigor.
- Make sure any course you take meets the requirements of your profession for licensing. For example, if you need to take a lab science to become a LPN or RN (nurse) make sure you understand and meet the course requirements enforced by your licensing agency.
- There are many online course companies. If you need online science courses with labs to meet a degree requirement or professional licensing requirements make sure your course provided is accredited by a regional agency. If the course is not accredited the credits you earn may not transfer toward a degree or meet licensing regulations.
About the Author: Vicky Phillips was cited in 2009 by US News & World Report as "for 20 years the leading consumer advocate for online college students." In 1989 she designed America's first online counseling center for distance learners on AOL. In 1998 she authored the first print guide to online graduate degrees - Best Distance Learning Graduate Schools put out by the Princeton Review. In 2001 she authored Never Too Late to Learn the Adult Student's Guide to College.
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