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2020 Natural Sciences Degree Guide

Students who love all types of science may consider a major in Natural Sciences. This involves the study of biology, chemistry, environmental studies, and physics. You will become scientifically literate and will participate in innovative research.

This is a challenging major. Be prepared to take classes in advanced mathematics and learn complex scientific formulas. This major involves learning a broad range of material; students will need to connect information from a variety of subjects.

Courses in Natural Sciences will include: chemistry, biology, environmental studies, physics, astronomy, botany, geology, ecology, microbiology, and zoology.

A Recent Jump in Natural Sciences Degrees

#194 Most Popular Major
2.4k Degrees Awarded
8.5% Increase in Graduates

In 2017-2018, natural sciences was the 194th most popular major nationwide with 2,445 degrees awarded. This represents a 8.5% increase in natural sciences degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 2,237.

The United States has 57 different schools where you can get a degree in natural sciences. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of natural sciences programs later in this article.

Natural Sciences Degree Requirements

This major allows you to dive deeply into the topic of natural sciences. Students will be required to juggle labs, readings, research, and attending lectures. Classes will require self-motivation as well as the ability to work with others. Your math and computer skills will be used often as you work through difficult problems, record and interpret your data.

Your assignments will require you to apply different theories to real life situations. You will develop enhanced critical thinking and analytical skills in order to evaluate your work and results. Students are required to communicate findings in oral presentations and written reports. This will require logical reasoning as well as flexibility and creativity.

Prior Education for a Natural Sciences Program

natural sciences degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional natural sciences certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Natural Sciences Degree Types

There are various different levels of natural sciences degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in natural sciences to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. The type of natural sciences degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to natural sciences, with approximately 39.6% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to natural sciences tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 40.1%
Master’s Degree 32.1%
Doctoral Degree 16.8%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 6.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 4.6%

53.1% of natural sciences workers have at least a master's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in natural sciences careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the natural sciences career you are seeking.

Natural Sciences Careers

Below Average Number of Jobs
$30.3k Average Starting Salary
9% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree in Natural Sciences will prepare you for a career in a myriad of occupations. Graduates find work as a researcher, lab technician or consultant in the areas of science education, science journalism, or public health. A foundation in Natural Sciences will also allow you to go into pharmacy, medicine, law, dental, or nursing. Some of these career paths will require you to continue your education.

Solid Growth Projected for Natural Sciences Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your natural sciences degree? Natural Sciences careers are expected to grow 9.0% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to natural sciences.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Natural Sciences Managers 62,300 9.9%
Physical Scientists 25,100 6.8%
Life Scientists 9,700 9.0%

How Much Money Do Natural Sciences Grads Make?

Recently graduated natural sciences students earned an average of $30,257 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $23,300 to as high as $38,900. As you might expect, salaries for natural sciences graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Natural Sciences Majors

Salaries for natural sciences graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers natural sciences grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Natural Sciences Managers $139,680
Physical Scientists $110,090
Life Scientists $89,150

Getting Your Natural Sciences Degree

With over 159 different natural sciences degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased natural sciences school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Natural Sciences

One of 28 majors within the Multi / Interdisciplinary Studies area of study, Natural Sciences has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Natural Sciences

Related Major Annual Graduates
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 34,540
Biological & Physical Science 27,751
International Studies 8,097
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,179
Nutrition Science 4,990

View All Natural Sciences Related Majors >


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