Free Life Sciences Textbooks

Life science is sort of an umbrella term for those fields of science that study living organisms – plants, animals and people.

Biology and medical science are the primary fields of study within the life sciences. They are also the most well-represented here on The Free Textbook List.

Traditionally, science textbooks have been the most expensive to produce and conversely the most expensive to buy. In some fields, printed texts are obsolete before they even hit the shelves.

Life Science textbooks are probably some of the best to turn into ‘living texts’ where changes can be made in minutes or hours rather than through the publication of errata or revised editions.

Students in the life sciences can finally get some relief from high textbook prices thanks to the Internet and open textbook initiatives.


  • Agriculture (3)
  • Biology (7)
  • Botany (5)
  • Geography (6)
  • Medicine (15)
  • Oceanography (2)

  • List of Free Life Sciences Textbooks

    A History of Immunology

    Written by: Arthur M. Silverstein

    A History of Immunology by Arthur M. Silverstein explores the field of study from both a scientific and sociological perspective.

    Biological Integrated Pest Control & Insect Identification

    Written by: Dr. E. Fred Legner (University of California)

    Over 40 years of research fueled this website and database of information and beautiful photos. Created by Dr. E. Fred Legner and the University of California.

    Cranes: Their Biology, Husbandry, and Conservation

    Online textbook offered by the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Wonderfully illustrated text written by experts in the field of crane husbandry.

    Human Nutrition Open Textbook

    Written by: University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Food Science and Human Nutrition Program

    Students, staff and faculty worked together to create their own Human Nutrition open textbook. The complete text is freely available to all students.

    Integrated Pest Management

    Written by: University of Minnesota

    Entomology textbook on integrated pest management created by Edward B. Radcliffe and William D. Hutchinson with contributions from experts around the world.

    Life on Earth

    Written by: Edward O. Wilson

    Life on Earth is full of glorious images, video and interactive exercises for biology students. Freely available on iTunes. Best resource on topic, from a visual perspective, IMHO.

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