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2021 Best Value Colleges for Physical Sciences

139 Colleges
32,633 Bachelor's Degrees
$26,369 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Value Physical Sciences School for You

Best Value Colleges for Physical SciencesPhysical Sciences is the #17 most popular major in the country with 32,633 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019.

For this year's Best Value Colleges for Physical Sciences ranking, we looked at 139 colleges that offer a bachelor's in physical sciences. Note that the phrase 'best value' does not mean the absolute lowest-priced. We are more focused on physical sciences schools that offer a high quality education at a price lower that other schools of similar academic excellence.

Average cost figures start with estimating tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other related expenses. We then subtract the average amount of financial aid that a student receives. You can use this as a gauge to estimate how much you may need to pay out of pocket to cover costs when financial aid isn't enough. Your cost may be different from the average one, depending on your income and other factors.

More Ways to Rank Physical Sciences Schools

The physical sciences school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best Value Physical Sciences Schools.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. When you have some time, check it out - you may want to bookmark the link so you don't forget it.

2021 Best Value Physical Sciences Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for the money for physical sciences majors.

Top 15% Best Value Physical Sciences Schools

#1

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University earned the #1 spot in our 2021 rankings. Florida State is a fairly large public school located in the city of Tallahassee.

It takes the average student at Florida State about 4.2 years to graduate, and it costs about $27,233 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Florida State is $115,196. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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University of South Florida - Main Campus landed the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value physical sciences schools. Located in the large city of Tampa, USF Tampa is a public college with a very large student population.

It takes the average student at USF Tampa about 4.3 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $23,095. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the USF Tampa is $99,308. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#3

University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY

The #3 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Wyoming. U of Wyoming is a large public school located in the remote town of Laramie.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at U of Wyoming is 4.6 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $20,323. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from U of Wyoming is $94,299. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#4

University of Houston

Houston, TX

University of Houston earned the #4 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large city of Houston, U of H is a public school with a very large student population.

At U of H, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.6 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $25,217. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from U of H is $116,503. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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The #5 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. UW - La Crosse is a fairly large public school located in the city of La Crosse.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at UW - La Crosse to complete their degree, and it costs about $19,185 per year to attend the school. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UW - La Crosse is $85,373. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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Northern Illinois University comes in at #6 in this year's ranking. NIU is a large public school located in the suburb of Dekalb.

At NIU, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.6 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $20,171. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from NIU is $92,181. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earned the #7 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public college with a very large student population. UNC Chapel Hill also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Physical Sciences list. It's in the top 20% of all schools in this category.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at UNC Chapel Hill to complete their degree, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $26,820. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UNC Chapel Hill is $109,694. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Appalachian State University earned the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings. Appalachian State is a large public school located in the town of Boone.

The average student at Appalachian State graduates in less than 4.3 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $22,137. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State is $95,410. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire landed the #9 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value physical sciences schools. Located in the city of Eau Claire, UW - Eau Claire is a public school with a large student population.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at UW - Eau Claire to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $22,070. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from UW - Eau Claire be around $99,536. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#10

Valparaiso University

Valparaiso, IN

Our rankings recognize Valparaiso University as the #10 school in this year's rankings. Valpo is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Valparaiso.

It takes about 4.1 years for the average student at Valpo to complete their degree, and it costs about $29,768 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Valpo is about $122,644. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#11

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Tech landed the #11 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value physical sciences schools. Virginia Tech is a fairly large public school located in the city of Blacksburg. On top of its placing in our value rankings, Virginia Tech also did well on our Best Colleges for Physical Sciences list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

It takes the average student at Virginia Tech about 4.3 years to graduate, and it costs about $33,298 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech is about $142,182. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#12

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

University of Florida landed the #12 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value physical sciences schools. Located in the city of Gainesville, U of F is a public school with a very large student population.

It takes about 4.3 years for the average student at U of F to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $28,230. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from U of F is about $120,542. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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Our rankings recognize Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as the #13 school in this year's rankings. SIUE is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Edwardsville.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at SIUE to complete their degree, and it costs about $17,498 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $79,091 to get a bachelor’s degree from SIUE. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#14

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY

University at Buffalo landed the #14 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value physical sciences schools. University at Buffalo is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Buffalo. In addition to its great value ranking, University at Buffalo is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Physical Sciences list.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at University at Buffalo to complete their degree, and it costs about $32,466 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $137,331 to get a bachelor’s degree from University at Buffalo. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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University of Minnesota - Twin Cities comes in at #15 in this year's ranking. UMN Twin Cities is a very large public school located in the large city of Minneapolis. In addition to its great value ranking, UMN Twin Cities is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Physical Sciences list.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UMN Twin Cities is 4.2 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $33,989. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from UMN Twin Cities is $143,094. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#16

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX

Our rankings recognize Texas Tech University as the #16 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Lubbock, Texas Tech is a public school with a fairly large student population.

The average student at Texas Tech graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $23,296. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech is $105,298. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#17

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY

Stony Brook University landed the #17 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value physical sciences schools. Located in the large suburb of Stony Brook, SUNY Stony Brook is a public school with a fairly large student population.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at SUNY Stony Brook is 4.3 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $30,701. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Stony Brook is $132,321. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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The #18 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Minnesota - Duluth. UMN Duluth is a fairly large public school located in the city of Duluth.

It takes the average student at UMN Duluth about 4.5 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $22,044. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the UMN Duluth is $98,537. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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University of Missouri - Columbia earned the #19 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Columbia, Mizzou is a public college with a very large student population. Mizzou excels when it comes to quality. It's ranked in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Physical Sciences list.

It takes the average student at Mizzou about 4.4 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $31,545. This means that the average student pays around $137,852 to get a bachelor’s degree from Mizzou. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#20

Xavier University of Louisiana

New Orleans, LA

Xavier University of Louisiana earned the #20 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large city of New Orleans, XULA is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at XULA is 4.3 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $23,083. This means that the average student pays around $99,949 to get a bachelor’s degree from XULA. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Value Colleges for Physical Sciences award.

Rank College Location
21 St Olaf College Northfield, MN
22 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
23 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
24 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
25 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, PA
26 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
27 Florida International University Miami, FL

Physical Sciences by Region

View the Best Value Colleges for Physical Sciences for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Physical Sciences Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Chemistry 15,395
Physics 8,457
Geological & Earth Sciences 6,574
Astronomy & Astrophysics 740
Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology 652

View All Physical Sciences Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Engineering 128,724
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 126,493
Computer & Information Sciences 92,596
Mathematics & Statistics 30,991
Agriculture & Agriculture Operations 21,156

View All Physical Sciences Related Majors >

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to NASA.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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