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Careers in Life Sciences

“You also need to have a desire to help people, high ethical standards, and the ability to work in multi- cultural, multi-ethnic and multidisciplinary teams,” adds Dr. Sheldon M. Schuster, President-Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, California, USA.

Educational path
The basic eligibility for a career in life sciences is a science background at the 10+2 level. There are many institutions in India which offer bachelor’s degree courses in biotechnology, microbiology, zoology, botany and biochemistry. Many colleges also offer bachelor’s degree programmes in life sciences. Following a bachelor’s degree, one can opt for a master’s in the fields mentioned above or in a variety of other specialisations such as immunology, pharmacology, genetics, toxicology, etc. Some of the top colleges that offer bachelor’s degree programmes are:

  • Biotechnology – IIT Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur; AIIMS, New Delhi; Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai.
  • Life sciences – University of Delhi; JNU, Delhi
  • Biology – IISc, Bangalore; AIIMS, Delhi
  • Biochemistry – University of Delhi; Osmania University, Hyderabad
  • Microbiology – University of Delhi; University of Pune


  • The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA by James D. Watson
  • A Primate’s Memoir: A Neuroscientist’s Unconventional Life among the Baboons by Robert M. Sapolsky
  • The Cartoon Guide to Genetics by Larry Gonick and Mark Wheelis Competitions:
    • National Science Olympiad www.sofworld.org/nso
    • Indian National Biology Olympiad


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