Educational Series: Best Free Biology Books

Biology Books

Biology is the study of living organisms and their structure, life-cycles, adaptations and environment.

All of the books featured below are released under an open source license.

Concepts of Biology

Concepts of Biology

By OpenStax (619 pages)

Concepts of Biology is designed for the introductory biology course for nonmajors taught at most two- and four-year colleges. The scope, sequence, and level of the program are designed to match typical course syllabi in the market.

Concepts of Biology includes interesting applications, features a rich art program, and conveys the major themes of biology.

Cell and Molecular Biology 2e: What We Know & How We Found Out

Cell and Molecular Biology 2e: What We Know & How We Found Out

By Gerald Bergtrom (474 pages)

The interactive electronic text (iText) Cell and Molecular Biology 2e: What We Know & How We Found Out focuses on experimental support for what we know about cell and molecular biology.

It was written to serve as the introductory biology course for biology majors with high school chemistry and biology prerequisites as well as for “gateway” cell and molecular biology courses for students with a college-level general biology and general chemistry course background.



By OpenStax (1309 pages)

Microbiology covers the scope and sequence requirements for a single-semester microbiology course for non-majors. The book presents the core concepts of microbiology with a focus on applications for careers in allied health. The pedagogical features of the text make the material interesting and accessible while maintaining the career-application focus and scientific rigor inherent in the subject matter.

Microbiology’s art program enhances students’ understanding of concepts through clear and effective illustrations, diagrams, and photographs.

Introduction to Human Osteology

Introduction to Human Osteology

By Roberta Hall, Kenneth Beals, Holm Neumann, Georg Neumann, Gwyn Madden (131 pages)

This book is designed for use in the human osteology laboratory classroom. Bones are described to aid in identification of skeletonized remains in either an archaeological or forensic anthropology setting. Basic techniques for siding, aging, sexing, and stature estimation are described. Both images of bone and drawings are included which may be used for study purposes outside of the classroom.

The text represents work that has been developed over more than 30 years by its various authors and is meant to present students with the basic analytical tools for the study of human osteology.

Human Anatomy Physiology Preparatory Course

Human Anatomy and Physiology Preparatory Course

By Carlos Liachovitzky (85 pages)

The overall purpose of this preparatory material is to help students familiarize with some terms and  some basic concepts they will find later in the Human Anatomy and Physiology course.

The organization and functioning of the human organism generally is discussed in terms of different  levels of increasing complexity, from the smallest building blocks to the entire body. This Anatomy and  Physiology preparatory course covers the foundations on the chemical level, and a basic introduction  to cellular level, organ level, and organ system levels. There is also an introduction to homeostasis at  the beginning.

General Biology

General Biology

By (189 pages)

The word biology means, “the science of life”, from the Greek bios, life, and logos, word or knowledge. Therefore, Biology is the science of Living Things. That is why Biology is sometimes known as Life Science.

The science has been divided into many subdisciplines, such as botany, bacteriology, anatomy, zoology, histology, mycology, embryology, parasitology, genetics, molecular biology, systematics, immunology, microbiology, physiology, cell biology, cytology, ecology, and virology. Other branches of science include or are comprised in part of biology studies, including paleontology, taxonomy, evolution, phycology, helimentology, protozoology, entomology, biochemistry, biophysics, biomathematics, bio engineering, bio climatology and anthropology.


Biofundamentals 2.0

By Michael W. Klymkowsky & Melanie M. Cooper (253 pages)

Our goal is to present the key observations and  unifying concepts upon which modern biology is  based; it is certainly not to survey all of biology! Once understood, these foundational observations and concepts should enable you to approach any biological process, from the origin of disease to cooperation and kindness, from a scientific perspective.



By OpenStax (1478 pages)

Biology is designed to cover the scope and sequence requirements of a typical two-semester biology course for science majors. The text provides comprehensive coverage of foundational research and core biology concepts through an evolutionary lens. Biology includes rich features that engage students in scientific inquiry, highlight careers in the biological sciences, and offer everyday applications.

The book also includes clicker questions to help students understand—and apply—key concepts.

CK-12 Biology

CK-12 Biology

By Jean Brainard, CK-12 Foundation (1065 pages)

CK-12 Biology is a high school textbook covering cell biology, genetics, evolution, ecology, microorganisms, fungi, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, and physiology.

NOTE: This is a draft.

OPEN SOURCE EDUCATIONAL BOOKS - Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Oceanography, Psychology, Geology, Sociology