Physical Science Courses and Degree Programs

Physical science is a broad field that involves the study of non-living things like rocks, stars or physical compounds. Continue reading for more information on undergraduate and graduate physical science courses and degree programs available to you. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

You can find physical science courses covering a range of disciplines such as geology, astronomy, physics and chemistry. These classes are offered at all degree levels, depending on your level of experience. While some classes and labs are offered for distance learners, online courses are not common.

Degrees Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees are available
Courses Geochemical processes, quantum mechanics, chemical equations, the Big Bang theory, fluid dynamics, geophysics or analytical chemistry, interstellar matter, structural geology, condensed matter physics
Online Uncommon, though some courses are offered online for all degree levels

What Kinds of Physical Science Programs Are Available?

You may find programs on the study of the effects of water and air on the earth, the motion of solids, liquids and gases, the formation of celestial objects and chemical reactions. The depth of instruction in each course depends on your degree program level.

What Courses Will I Find in Undergraduate Programs?

Associate's degree programs typically offer a broad introduction to several areas of physical science. These programs often serve as a foundation for transfer to a 4-year college or university. Bachelor's degree programs in the physical sciences offer a specific program of study within your particular field of interest. Your curriculum may consist of both lecture and laboratory classes and also include hands-on learning opportunities. Some programs require a senior thesis or research project. In addition to degree programs in areas like physics, chemistry and astronomy, you can find options like a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a physical science concentration. At the undergraduate level, you may take classes similar to the following:

  • General chemistry
  • Weather/planetary astronomy
  • Geochemical processes
  • Quantum mechanics
  • Chemical equations
  • Big Bang theory

What Will I Study in Graduate Programs?

Graduate programs typically lead to a Master of Science, and they offer in-depth study in your chosen physical science field that builds upon your undergraduate studies. As a master's-level student, you may participate in student teaching and research culminating in a thesis or dissertation. A Ph.D. program is typically designed for those wanting a university faculty position or research-based career, and earning the doctorate involves researching, writing and defending a dissertation. A graduate program curriculum may include course topics such as the following:

  • Fluid dynamics
  • Geophysics
  • Analytical chemistry
  • Interstellar matter
  • Structural geology
  • Condensed matter physics

Can I Take Courses or Earn My Degree Online?

Physical science courses have limited availability online, but a few can be found at all degree levels. For example, online undergraduate chemistry courses and labs may include topics such as chemical reactivity, atomic structure and chemical equations. Online graduate-level geology courses may include plate tectonics, remote sensing and hydrogeology.

These courses may consist of online interactive group discussions, lectures and coursework combined with lab work just as in on-campus programs. Depending on your program, you may complete lab assignments in an online virtual lab and view simulated demonstrations. Some schools may require on-campus labs, which may be conducted during an intensive weekend format.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Penn Foster High School

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    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

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  • Towson University

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Towson
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia