How Can I Study Natural Sciences?

Natural sciences include the fields of biology, physics, chemistry, and astronomy. Read on to learn more about natural sciences program requirements, common courses, and explore online options. Schools offering Science, Technology, and International Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Natural Science Programs Are There?

Natural science departments at most universities and colleges offer programs in a variety of science-based disciplines. These include, but aren't limited to, biology, geology, chemistry, physics and genetics. Other subjects or programs you might be able to study in the natural sciences include food science, neuroscience, astronomy, plant biology and zoology.

If you're seeking any kind of degree at any undergraduate level, you'll probably be required to complete some credits in the natural sciences. You can also major in a division of the natural sciences, and you may be able to find a bachelor's degree program in general natural sciences; however, it's more likely that you'll have to choose a specific area of study. You can also earn master's and doctoral degrees in most areas of the natural sciences.

Natural Science Program AreasBiology, geology, chemistry, physics, genetics
Program RequirementsAssociate's degree in two years, bachelor's degree in four years, master's and doctoral degrees are researched based
CourseworkLaboratory work, field work, research
Online OptionsOnline programs are rare
Median Salary (2018)$61,340 (Conservation Scientists and Foresters)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)6% growth (Conservation Scientists and Foresters)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Do the Degree Programs Require?

Associate's degree programs typically take about two years to complete. They're usually geared towards preparing you to enroll in a 4-year program, so you'll take basic courses and fulfill some general education requirements. Bachelor's degree programs take four years of full-time study to complete. You'll take a number of courses in your chosen area of natural sciences, and complete other general education requirements. There are often opportunities for internships, research and other hands-on work at the bachelor's degree level.

Graduate work, including master's and doctoral degrees, is often research-oriented. If you pursue a master's degree in the natural sciences, you'll have to perform research and present a thesis. Natural science doctoral students typically must present new research that advances their field and present and publish a dissertation.

What Are Courses Like?

Many courses in the natural sciences require at least some laboratory work, though most classes have lecture components, too. You'll experiment and research topics and theories in many courses. Basic courses in the natural sciences often serve as a jumping-off point for many branches. For example, introductory chemistry courses are usually required for biology majors. You might find that studying the natural sciences can serve as a basis for professional programs, graduate work or employment in fields like computer science or pharmaceuticals, among others.

If you find a natural sciences major, you'll be required to study a variety of topics. You might also take some courses that discuss current scientific issues. You'll also have to take a certain number of credits in a specific scientific field and complete some field work.

Can I Study Online?

There are some online learning opportunities to study the natural sciences, though degree programs in the field are rare. The required lab work and hands-on components make it difficult to learn the natural sciences through the Internet, but you might be able to complete some of the degree requirements online. There are many online resources for most areas of the natural sciences, and you can find journals, articles, academic papers and more.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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  • University of Wyoming

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