Online Physical Science
Degree Programs & Majors

Search ONLINE Programs

The physical sciences encompass a broad array of subjects, from physics to geology. For prospective students considering a degree in the field, developing an understanding of the various educational options is important. The following guide serves as an introduction to the different types of online degrees in the physical sciences, the types of classes offered at each degree level, and how earning a degree can position a student for success in a diverse number of professional fields.

Online Physical Science School Degrees

While a number of colleges and universities offer online courses in the physical sciences, due to the need for in-the-lab hands-on training, distance learning postsecondary degree programs in the physical science fields are almost non-existent (with the exception of a very few programs in physics and geology). Many of these online programs are presented in a hybrid format that requires some level of in-person on-site attendance in combination with online classes.

Best Online Physical Science Schools: 2017

Those interested in physical sciences enjoy the study of chemistry, physics, astronomy and other non-living systems and then go on to careers with a wide range of opportunities. Earning a degree online can can help graduates get a foot in the door in their career of choice because they have added knowledge and possibly work experience to give them a leg up on the competition. To help in the search for the best possible program, we’ve done some research on classes available, services offered and student to teacher ratio so aspiring scientists can make a good choice.

RankSchool Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratioRanking ScoreSchool DescriptionAdditional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1East Mississippi Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 99.80
Read more

East Mississippi Community College, founded in 1927, today serves 4,000 students with more than 3,000 at the college’s Golden Triangle location and 1,000 residential students at its Scooba campus. The Mathematics and Science Division offers nearly 30 associate degrees, with select concentrations in the physical sciences. Majors include studies in architecture, physics, chemistry, meteorology, engineering, chemistry, and mathematics. The 33-35 credit hours of the core curriculum make up the foundation of the 60-credit associate degree. Basic course requirements in the physical sciences are designed to prepare students for transfer to accredited four-year institutions.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
2Allen County Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
68%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 98.45
Read more

Allen County Community College was established in 1923 and today serves 2,500 undergraduate students online or through campuses in Iola and Burlingame. Associate in arts and science degree options are available in 15 subject tracks, with nine degree tracks available for the associate of applied science degree. Physical science tracks are offered in subjects including chemistry, information technology, pre-engineering, mathematics, physics, and general studies. Online students have access to the Online Student Resource Center (OSRC), ACCC Library, and Allen Writing Center. Students can receive financial support in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and student employment programs.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
3Palo Alto College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
20%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
14
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.88
Read more

A member of the Alamo College District, Palo Alto College has served students in the San Antonio and Bexar County areas for more than 30 years. The U.S. Department of Education has recognized Palo Alto College as a Hispanic-Serving Institution. Associate of science or applied science degree programs offer students a broad foundation in the physical sciences through courses or majors in computer science, industrial technology, aviation, cybersecurity, biology, chemistry, geology, engineering, mathematics and agriculture. Associate degrees are comprised of 60 undergraduate credits and 17 elective credits in fields including calculus, linear algebra, and statistical methods.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
4Tulsa Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
39%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
11
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.25
Read more

Since 1970, Tulsa Community College has served students in northeastern Oklahoma. As the state’s largest community college, TCC is home to 27,000 students at its Metro, Northeast, Southeast and West Tulsa campuses. It is accredited by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission. Associate and university transfer degree programs span the physical sciences, with two-year majors including aviation sciences technology, biology, chemistry, computer information systems, electronics technology, engineering, geography, information technology, mathematics, and physics. Financial aid is available through loans, grants, scholarships and work study.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
5Pamlico Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
11%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.75
Read more

Pamlico Community College began in 1962 as the Bayboro branch of the Lenoir County Industrial Education Center. Today, PCC offers fully accredited undergraduate academic programs, continuing education courses, and programs for cultural enrichment. Students can choose among 60-61 semester-hour associate degree programs in sciences that include 16 hours of studies in mathematics and natural sciences. Foundation and science courses are designed for students who intend to transfer to a four-year institution. Natural science studies are required in biology, chemistry, college physics, pre-calculus algebra, descriptive astronomy, calculus, and environmental biology.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
6Holmes Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
37%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.48
Read more

Founded as Holmes County Agricultural High School in 1911, Holmes Community College today serves students that hail from Mississippi counties of Attala, Carroll, Choctaw, Grenada, Holmes, Madison, Montgomery, Webster, and Yazoo. It offers programs leading to an Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degree, along with technical and career certificates. Two-year degree students can select from 21 majors at HCC. The Department of Natural Sciences offers four-credit science courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, and physics. The courses are comprised of theoretical lectures and student labs, mock job interviews, and educational tours.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
7Crowder College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
18%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 94.43
Read more

In 1963 voters in Newton and McDonald counties voted to create Crowder College, which opened a year later to 378 students. Today, the public community college has an enrollment of 5,500 students attending classes for college credit. The Neosho campus extends over 608 acres. Crowder offers physical science courses in astronomy, chemistry, physics, and geology as a foundation for students planning to transfer to four-year institutions. Degree programs can be completed in four semesters unless the incoming student needs to complete additional prerequisite coursework in mathematics and precalculus. Students may earn an associate in arts degree by completing 65 hours in communications, humanities, mathematics, physical science and social/behavioral sciences.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
8Three Rivers Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
17%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 93.71
Read more

Three Rivers Community College was established in Poplar Bluff in 1966 to serve residents of Butler, Carter, Ripley, and Wayne counties. Today, 3,700 students pursue college transfer and career development programs at TRCC’s main campus and nine service centers. Associate degree programs are designed for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The two-year associate physical sciences degree program is built around concentrations in chemistry, biology, analytic geometry and calculus, general physics, and environmental geology. Some physical science courses may be available at Poplar Bluff, Dexter, Sikeston, Malden, Kennett, Cape Girardeau and Piedmont locations.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
9Ozarks Technical Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
4%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 93.42
Read more

Ozarks Technical Community College was established in 1990 and charged with offering one-year certificates, two-year associate of applied science degrees (AAS) and two-year associate of arts degrees (AA). OTCC today has grown to encompass three campus locations, two southwest Missouri educational centers, and a center for online undergraduate programs. AAS degree programs are designed for students planning to complete a transfer four-year degree in chemical laboratory technology or environmental science technology. Associate of Science (AS) degree programs are offered with majors in biological clinical science, biology, chemistry, engineering (mechanical, civil, or electrical), and mathematics.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
10Eastern Iowa Community College District Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
17%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
9
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 92.45
Read more

The Eastern Iowa Community College District, established in 1965, includes Clinton Junior College, Muscatine Junior College, and Scott Community College. The district and the colleges are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Two year undergraduate programs are designed for students entering the workforce or those transferring to four-year degree programs within Iowa. Associate degrees are offered in biology, chemistry, mathematics, physical science, physics, and pre-engineering. Associate in Applied Science degrees are available in the fields including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), information technology, renewable energy systems, and engineering technology.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
11Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
5%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
20
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 90.50
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
12Allegany College of Maryland Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
15%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 90.08
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
13Amarillo College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
17%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
8
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 89.75
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
14Diablo Valley College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
N/A
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
8
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 89.22
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
15College of Western Idaho Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
36%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 88.44
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
16Oxnard College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
N/A
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 86.73
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
RankSchool Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratioGrad RateRanking ScoreSchool DescriptionAdditional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1University of Southern California Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
59%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
61
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
90%
Ranking SCORE 99.83
Read more

University of Southern California first opened its doors to students in Los Angeles in 1880. From offering degree programs to those initial 53 students, USC has grown to serve today’s enrollment of 19,000 undergraduates. More than ten percent of today’s students are the first children in their families to attend college. The university’s Bachelor of Science in Physical Sciences is directed under the aegis of the Physics Department. A total of 64 units is required to complete the degree, including upper division electives in the fields of astronomy, physics, chemistry, or earth science. Graduate students can enroll in the Master’s Program in Medical Biophysics (MBPH). Applicants must undertake a research-based, thesis track.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
2North Carolina State University at Raleigh Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
50%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
48
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
71%
Ranking SCORE 99.63
Read more

Founded in 1887, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, with an enrollment of 34,000 students, is located in the heart of the state’s heralded Research Triangle. Students in the sciences have the opportunity to work with over 70 public and private partners in the region. Physical science students at the undergraduate level can pursue four-year degrees in biochemistry natural resources: marine & coastal resources, chemistry, meteorology, chemical engineering, physics, geology, marine science, and polymer & color chemistry. The university offers a dual major in paper science engineering & chemical engineering. Graduate students can choose from a master’s degree in chemistry, marine science, or physics.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
3Missouri University of Science and Technology Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
81%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
52
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
65%
Ranking SCORE 98.08
Read more

Missouri University of Science and Technology became one of the first technological institutions in the Midwest when it was founded in 1870. Serving 8,800 students, Missouri S&T currently offers 97 undergraduate and graduate degrees in the physical sciences. These include 18 undergraduate programs in engineering and computing leading to BA or BS degree. There are seven undergraduate sciences and computing degrees, along with 15 majors in the Freshman Engineering program. On-campus programs lead to 27 master’s degrees in the physical sciences with more than 15 master’s degree programs in the physical sciences offered entirely online.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
4Columbia University in the City of New York Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
46%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
64
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
95%
Ranking SCORE 97.63
Read more

The oldest university in the state, Columbia University in the City of New York was founded as King's College in 1754. The institution took its current name following the War of Independence in 1784. Its School of Engineering is currently home to 1,619 students. There are degree programs offered in applied physics, applied mathematics, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer engineering, computer science, electrical, environmental, financial engineering, industrial engineering, materials, mechanical and mining engineering. Graduate enrollment is three times the number of engineering undergrads. One of the university’s greatest academic and social aspects is its unique location in New York, making it accessible by walking, mass transit, or taxi service.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
5University of Idaho Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
52
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
56%
Ranking SCORE 97.21
Read more

Established in 1889, the University of Idaho currently serves 11,780 students with 85 undergraduate majors and 93 graduate degree programs. Programs are supported in part by a $100M annual research fund. The College of Science hosts undergraduate and graduate degree programs in biology, mathematics, chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, statistics, geography, geology biochemistry, and physics. One of its newest academic/research science programs is the forensic chemistry option that meshes science with criminal justice professions. Popular emerging fields include the study of mathematical biology and bioinformatics. Hill Undergraduate Research Fellowships support the work of four-year students conducting their own laboratory investigations.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
6Clarkson University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
25
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
70%
Ranking SCORE 97.19
Read more

Clarkson University was founded in 1896 as the Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology, serving an initial coeducational class of 17 students. It currently is home to 50 degree programs in engineering, sciences, arts, education, business, and healthcare. Undergraduate physical science degree programs foster hands-on learning and students are encouraged to join SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design). Programs culminating in master’s degrees are offered at both the Potsdam and Capital Region campuses. Graduate students may also pursue selected Master of Engineering (ME) or Master of Science (MS) degree programs online.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
7Case Western Reserve University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
84%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
38
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
78%
Ranking SCORE 97.06
Read more

Established in 1826 in Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University currently offers degree programs to more than 5,000 undergraduates and 6,000 graduate students. For over 125 years, the Case School of Engineering has offered research-intensive degree programs. Today’s undergraduates can choose a bachelor of science in engineering in aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, engineering physics, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, polymer science and engineering, and systems and control engineering. The newest offering is the undergraduate major and minor in data science. Students can apply for the Case Bachelor/Master of Science degree program in their senior year.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
8Oklahoma State University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
73%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
39
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
62%
Ranking SCORE 96.23
Read more

Founded in Stillwater as a land-grant university in 1890, Oklahoma State University began by offering students classes in area churches until the campus could be built. There are more than 200,000 alumni worldwide. The College of Arts and Sciences contains 24 academic departments, with 13 departments making up the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology. Key departments for undergraduate and graduate studies in physical sciences include aerospace studies, computer sciences, geology, mathematics, microbiology, physics and statistics. The academic focus is on problem-solving, inquiry based learning, critical thinking, and independent research.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
9University of South Carolina-Columbia Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
47%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
36
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
72%
Ranking SCORE 96.01
Read more

Established in 1801, the University of South Carolina-Columbia is one of the eight campuses in the University of South Carolina system. It is host to 25,254 undergraduate and 8,518 graduate students with nearly 100 bachelor and master’s programs. In 2016 the university received $250 million in sponsored research awards. For graduate students, the College of Arts and Sciences offers master’s degree programs in biotechnology and bioinformatics. The newest offering at the Department of Physics and Astronomy is BS degree in engineering physics, joining other popular USC programs in nanotechnology and computational physics.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
10Michigan Technological University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
49
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
66%
Ranking SCORE 95.91
Read more

Michigan Technological University was established in 1885 on 925 acres on Lake Superior. Over 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs currently offer majors in engineering, mathematics science, and technology. Programs were buoyed last year by $72 million in research funding, including undergraduate paid research support totaling 126,000 hours. BS degrees from the Department of Natural Science provide students a choice among concentrations in 15 major fields, including actuarial science, bioinformatics, biochemistry,discrete mathematics, applied physics, statistics, and cheminformatics. In computing, students can pursue an undergraduate degree in applications, computer systems, applied/computational mathematics, and software engineering.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
11Southern Methodist University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
72%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
30
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
80%
Ranking SCORE 95.70
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
12Villanova University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
53%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
25
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
88%
Ranking SCORE 95.26
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
13Mississippi State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
68%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
26
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
58%
Ranking SCORE 95.19
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
14Purdue University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
47%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
49
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
70%
Ranking SCORE 94.89
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
15Auburn University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
65%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
34
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
68%
Ranking SCORE 94.74
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
16Arizona State University-Tempe Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
86%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
51
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
58%
Ranking SCORE 94.69
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
17Kansas State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
65%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
32
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
58%
Ranking SCORE 94.58
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
18Harvard University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
56%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
33
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
97%
Ranking SCORE 94.57
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
19Colorado State University-Fort Collins Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
48%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
31
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
63%
Ranking SCORE 94.57
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
20Texas A & M University-College Station Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
54%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
57
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
80%
Ranking SCORE 94.38
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
21University of North Dakota Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
30%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
29
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 94.10
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
22Iowa State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
75%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
46
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
71%
Ranking SCORE 94.09
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
23University of Alabama in Huntsville Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
23
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
47%
Ranking SCORE 94.02
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
24Park University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
80%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 93.88
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
25Stanford University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
51%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
52
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
95%
Ranking SCORE 93.86
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
26Salem College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
63%
Ranking SCORE 93.79
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
27The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
53%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
50
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
66%
Ranking SCORE 93.52
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
28Lehigh University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
49%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
43
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
88%
Ranking SCORE 93.50
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
29Ohio University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
68%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
30
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
63%
Ranking SCORE 93.42
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
30Northern Arizona University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
30
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 93.41
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
31University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
42%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
54
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
84%
Ranking SCORE 93.37
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
32University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
54%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
64
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
73%
Ranking SCORE 93.36
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
33University of Central Arkansas Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
85%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 93.30
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
34Siena Heights University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 93.29
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
35The University of Alabama Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
53%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
32
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
67%
Ranking SCORE 93.26
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
36Clemson University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
59%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
38
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
82%
Ranking SCORE 93.19
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
37Worcester Polytechnic Institute Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
32
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
84%
Ranking SCORE 93.17
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
38University of Hartford Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
15
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 93.16
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
39University of Illinois at Springfield Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
93%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
47%
Ranking SCORE 93.10
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
40University of Massachusetts-Lowell Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
59%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
39
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
54%
Ranking SCORE 93.00
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
41Indiana State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
75%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
10
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 92.95
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
42University of Louisville Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
56%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
22
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 92.86
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
43Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
37%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
58
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
86%
Ranking SCORE 92.68
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
44University of Alaska Fairbanks Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
43%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
43
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
33%
Ranking SCORE 92.67
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
45Johns Hopkins University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
48%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
50
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
92%
Ranking SCORE 92.67
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
46University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
38%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
44
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
79%
Ranking SCORE 92.65
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
47University of Alabama at Birmingham Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
20
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
48%
Ranking SCORE 92.64
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
48University of Colorado Boulder Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
45%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
41
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
68%
Ranking SCORE 92.63
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
49Norwich University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
7
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
53%
Ranking SCORE 92.59
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
50The University of Findlay Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 92.58
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes

Physical Science School Degrees

Given the scientific nature of the fields of study that fall under the physical sciences heading, it is no surprise that a strong commitment to higher education is a prerequisite to a career in the field. Major areas of study in the physical sciences include astronomy, geology, physics, chemistry, and more. The level of postsecondary education necessary for employment depends on both the specific field of study and the specific job sought. For example, entry-level positions for geologists (such as geological or petroleum technician) are available to graduates with as little as an associate degree. However, astronomers and physicists seeking employment as researchers will have to earn their doctoral degrees to land entry-level positions.

Program Highlight:
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Sciences

Currently, many postsecondary institutions offer individual online courses in physical science. A few schools offer online bachelor’s degrees in science with a specialization in physics for those interested in becoming middle or high school physics teachers. This degree typically runs between 120 and 124 credit hours. Some online programs may require a full-time student teaching component for graduation. Students learn the basics of general science, advanced physics, and teaching methodologies to become qualified teachers in the field. Courses usually cover topics such as calculus, fundamentals of educational psychology, and modern physics. Graduates of an degree programs in the physical sciences should meet qualifications for single subject teaching at secondary schools. However, some school districts or states may have additional teacher requirements for employment.

Online Associate in Physical Science Degrees

An associate degree is a two-year program offered almost exclusively in the United States at junior and community colleges. Associate degrees in the physical sciences provide a basic foundation of knowledge in the given subjects. Anyone considering a career in the physical sciences would do well to forego an associate degree program and seek out an appropriate bachelor’s degree. Along with general education classes, students working on an online physical science associate degree will be required to complete general subject-related courses such as:

COURSE NAME overview
Conceptual Physics Introduction to important phenomena in physics through description with experimental demonstrations.
General Chemistry Detailed study of basic principles of atomic and molecular structure and bonding, chemical reactions, solutions, gas laws, and more.
Introduction to Astronomy General survey of astronomy that includes the sun, planets, moons, stars, black holes, dark matter, cosmology, and more.
Survey of Geology Introduction to the principles of geology including plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, and earth structure.

Online Bachelor’s in Physical Science Degrees

Bachelor’s degree programs in the physical sciences, like most other subject areas, can be successfully completed within four to five years. Online coursework will include a foundational general education requirement, a core set of classes in the chosen subject field, and a group of elective courses. The following table provides a sample of the types of courses physical science bachelor’s degree students will be taking:

COURSE NAME overview
Introductory Astrophysics [Astronomy] Topics include the development of astronomy, electromagnetic radiation, and the origin of the solar system.
Observational Astronomy [Astronomy] Introduction to current optical observation including, infrared, ultraviolet and x-ray techniques.
Foundations of Chemical Principles [Chemistry] Basic chemical principles, with topics that include the structure of the atom, periodic table and trends, covalent and ionic bonding, and others.
Principles of Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics [Chemistry] Focuses on the macroscopic properties of chemical systems.
Earthquakes and Natural Disasters [Geology] Addresses issues regarding earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, global warming and more.
Stratigraphy [Geology] Study of the principles of lithostatigraphy, biostratigraphy, and sequence stratigraphy.
Electricity and Magnetism [Physics] Magnetic properties of materials, electrodynamics, currents, magnetostatics, and more.
Optics [Physics] Covers geometrical and physical optics, waves, reflection, optical instrumentation, and several other topics.

Online Master’s in Physical Science Degrees

Master’s degree programs are typically offered for each physical science field (e.g., Master of Science in Physics or Master of Science in Chemistry), or under the generalized title of Master of Science in Physical Science, with a stated emphasis in one of the specific disciplines. A growing trend at many colleges and universities is to allow students to design (under supervision) their own courses of study, combining aspects of two or more physical science fields together, or even combining one or more physical science subjects with an engineering, technology, natural science, or social science discipline. In almost all cases, completing a master’s degree program in the physical sciences will require a time commitment of eighteen to twenty-four months or longer, during which students will encounter courses similar to those on the following list:

MASTER’S PROGRAM CORE COURSES overview
Chemistry and the Atmosphere [General] Focuses on chemistry as it applies to the Earth’s atmosphere, with topics such as the interaction of solar radiation and atmospheric gases.
Environmental History of the Earth [General] Emphasis on how geologic history has determined the physical and biological environments on Earth today.
Diffuse Matter in Space [Astronomy] Basic equations of fluid dynamics, fundamentals of magnetohydrodynamics and more.
Quantum Mechanics for Astrophysics [Astronomy] Quantum mechanical topics in areas of interest for astrophysics applications.
Advanced Analytical Chemistry [Chemistry] Emphasis on chemical information and modern analytical methods to chemical problems.
Medicinal Chemistry [Chemistry] Study of the chemistry and biological activity of hormones, vitamins, drugs, and other agents.
Earthquake Seismology [Geology] Topics include seismic waves, their recording and management, and the estimation of earthquake source strength, location and mechanism.
Environmental Geology and Planning [Geology] Geologic processes, hazards, minerals and energy resources, and their interaction with planning and regulations.
Lattice Gauge Theory [Physics] Introduction to Lattice Gauge Theory, building on the Wilsonian approach to Quantum Field Theory.
Topics in String Theory [Physics] Modern string theory topics, including aspects of 2d conformal field theory, mirror symmetry, and moonshine.

Online Doctoral Degrees in Physical Sciences

As one might expect, a PhD in the physical sciences represents the highest level of academic achievement one can earn in each of the respective fields. Physical science doctorate programs are often offered in highly specialized sub-fields (such as nanoscience, nuclear chemistry, or analytical chemistry) or in an interdisciplinary format, combining two or more specializations. The time commitment to complete a PhD degree program in the physical sciences can vary substantially by specific field and other degree requirements, but individuals can expect to commit between four and ten years or more to their academic pursuit.

What Can You Do With a Physical Science Degree?

Careers in the physical sciences encompass a wide variety of professions and occupations, with employment in teaching and academia, and by government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private firms and businesses.

Career choices vary greatly among the various physical science subjects. The following list offers a brief glimpse at the types of occupations one might expect to find within each of the physical science fields:

  • Astronomers

    Astronomers study how matter and energy interact in space. They use telescopes and other equipment to study planets, stars, galaxies and other solar bodies. Their research helps to further scientific knowledge of our galaxy and distant galaxies, stars and phenomena. The work of astronomers helps to pave the way for advances in communications, energy, navigation and more.

    Median Salary: $96,460

    Median Hourly: $46.37

    Est. Growth: 10%

    No. Employed: 2,150

    Minimum Education: Doctoral/Professional

  • Biological Technicians

    Biological technicians ensure that laboratories are clean and the equipment is ready for scientists when needed. They gather samples, conduct tests and experiments, analyze results, and report findings back to their team. Depending on their specialty, a biological technician may work in the field or in a sterile lab and may do everything from develop new medications to grow cultures in a Petri dish.

    Median Salary: $39,750

    Median Hourly: $19.11

    Est. Growth: 10%

    No. Employed 72,740

    Minimum Education: Bachelor’s

  • Chemical Technicians

    Working in a team, a chemical technician works in a laboratory or manufacturing facility to develop or test chemical processes to ensure they meet certain criteria. They prep laboratory equipment, conduct experiments and analyze, interpret and present their results. Their place of work can vary, depending on their specialty.

    Median Salary: $42,920

    Median Hourly: $20.64

    Est. Growth: 9.4%

    No. Employed: 61,300

    Minimum Education: Associate’s

  • Chemists

    Chemists study the ways certain substances react to one another and then use this knowledge to develop new and improved products for the benefit of others. They oversee technicians and other staff members as they research and test products such as drugs, plastics, cleaners and other manufactured goods. Most chemists work as part of a team and also work cross functionally with other scientists such as biologists, computer specialists, and engineers.

    Median Salary: $71,770

    Median Hourly: $34.5

    Est. Growth: 5.6%

    No. Employed: 84,950

    Minimum Education: Bachelor’s

  • Environmental Scientists/Specialists

    Environmental scientists and specialists work to help protect the environment, which in turn helps to improve the health of those nearby. They test and analyze the air, soil, water, food and other environmental elements and find ways to improve the quality of these elements. These experts are instrumental in helping the government and businesses assess environmental hazards and health risks.

    Median Salary: $63,570

    Median Hourly: $30.56

    Est. Growth: 14.6%

    No. Employed: 84,240

    Minimum Education: Bachelor’s

  • Hydrologists

    Hydrologists study water and how it moves over and through Earth—from the clouds to below the surface of land. They are concerned with the quality and quantity of water and study the impact that water has on erosion, sedimentation and pollution. Their expertise allows them to study and resolve issues with water quality.

    Median Salary: $75,530

    Median Hourly: $36.31

    Est. Growth: 10.4%

    No. Employed: 6,880

    Minimum Education: Master’s

  • Materials Scientists

    Materials scientists research the structures and chemical properties of different materials in an effort to improve upon existing products or develop new ones. They work in a team to experiment with a variety of materials, such as ceramics, semiconductors, composite materials and metallic alloys, and apply scientific and chemical knowledge as they work.

    Median Salary: $88,990

    Median Hourly: $42.78

    Est. Growth: 5.2%

    No. Employed: 7,970

    Minimum Education: Bachelor’s

  • Nuclear Technicians

    Steeped in research and safety, nuclear technicians monitor radiation levels in the air, water and soil. Using specialized instruments, they measure radiation produced by nuclear experiments, power generation and other activities and make sure that they are operating safely. While some nuclear technicians work in a laboratory, many others work directly in the field.

    Median Salary: $69,060

    Median Hourly: $33.2

    Est. Growth: 14.9%

    No. Employed: 8,040

    Minimum Education: Associate’s

  • Physicists

    Physicists help to identify and develop new sources of energy and new military technology through their study of the property and laws that govern space, time, energy and matter. While some try to explain the forces of nature, others work in more practical areas, such as developing new materials and medical equipment. In either aspect, the job of a physicist is embedded heavily in research.

    Median Salary: $106,840

    Median Hourly: $51.37

    Est. Growth: 10.4%

    No. Employed: 17,820

    Minimum Education: Doctoral/Professional

  • Survey Researchers

    Survey researchers design, conduct and analyze the results of surveys in an effort to answer a variety of questions about health, political and social issues, culture, education, the economy or general public interest. These surveys can be used for a variety of things, including business plans, government research, product lines, or to determine the products and services the public desires. Survey researchers are highly analytical and use a variety of statistical techniques to collect and analyze data.

    Median Salary: $45,050

    Median Hourly: $21.66

    Est. Growth: 17.6%

    No. Employed: 17,370

    Minimum Education: Master’s