Top 10 Best Career Options for Science Students: Which Should You Select in 2024

Top 10 Best Career Options for Science Students: Which Should You Select in 2024

Choosing a career stream or science line job is one of the most path-breaking moments of an individual’s life. It defines the future course of their professional and personal journey and is a stepping stone to the millions of dreams they have harboured. Career options for science students are abundant.

The study of the three streams of science, namely physics, chemistry, and biology opens up a whole new world of opportunities ranging from the study of space and nuclear particles to the study of the sand and soil. 

Studying science, especially physics, chemistry, and biology, is incredibly important for understanding how the world around us functions. Physics explains the movement of objects, while chemistry shows how things are built, and biology teaches us about living organisms. Pursuing any field of science also equips us with problem-solving skills crucial for finding solutions to real-life challenges. It can involve developing new medicines, sustainable energy sources, technological advancements, and life-upgrading innovations. 

A solid foundation in these sciences opens up diverse science stream jobs and opportunities in medicine, research, engineering, and more. They are vital for understanding nature and the environment, paving the way for practical applications, meaningful careers, and sustainable world development.

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Read on to learn about the importance of science.

The importance of Science

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Almost all human activities and things we take for granted today have been made possible by scientific knowledge in some way or the other.  

Human progress has relied on the collective scientific knowledge of man across generations and spaces from the get-go. From discovering fire to making commercial space travel possible, man’s scientific pursuit has come a long way. Whether answering the greatest mysteries of the world to problem-solving our most fundamental problems, science has been at the forefront of all human endeavors.

At every historical juncture when humanity has encountered challenges, whether inventing life-saving medicines or creating resilient crop varieties, science has made it all possible. Science has not only helped us overcome challenges but has greatly benefited us. Although we take all this for granted, these advancements would have appeared fantastical for our generation without scientific know-how. 

The importance of science makes it very important that students opt for careers in science . Professional courses for science students give them the technical and analytical skills to be valuable to humanity. If you were to look up the “ best careers in science,” you would know that a career in science can be very lucrative. Read on to learn more about the top 10 science jobs in 2024.

Gone are the days when becoming a doctor or engineering were the only career options for science students to pursue. Even today, in common parlance, one only hears the mention of the conventional professions to pursue. New age professions are often shadowed or considered economically unreliable. Thus, pushing a large number of aspirants into the same rut of the mad rat race. 

To resolve this issue for you, we have listed down ten exciting and unconventional career options for science students and science stream jobs. To help you in your decision making further, we have also provided some trustworthy resources where you can learn more about these professions.

Read: 6 Best Career Options after BSC: What to do After B.Sc?

How to Choose the Right Course After 12th Science?

Choosing the career for science students after completing 12th grade with a science background is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your future career and personal growth. With numerous options available, carefully considering your interests, strengths, and long-term goals is important. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

Assess Your Interests and Passions

Start by evaluating your interests and passions. What subjects in Science do you enjoy the most? Do you lean towards mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry, or a combination of these? Identifying your interests can guide you toward a field that resonates with your natural inclinations.

Try joining clubs, science fairs, or online courses focusing on the subjects that excite you the most. Talking to experts or professionals in these fields can also give you practical insights into what working in those areas is like. Exploring these interests further helps you figure out what you love and what might be a good fit, especially when looking for science career options in the future.

Identify Your Strengths

Reflect on your strengths and aptitudes. Are you drawn to problem-solving, creativity, logical thinking, communication, or hands-on practical work? Matching your strengths with a suitable course can enhance your learning experience and potential for success.

Consider what you’re good at. If you’re great at solving problems, fields like physics or engineering might be a good match because they involve a lot of analytical thinking. If you’re a good communicator, you might enjoy careers in scientific communication or healthcare where you can use those skills daily. Recognizing what you’re good at will help you find the ideal science stream jobs suited for you.

Research Available Courses

Research the various courses available after 12th Science. Consider both traditional options like engineering, medicine, and pure sciences, as well as emerging fields like data science, biotechnology, environmental Science, and artificial intelligence. Explore each course’s curriculum, career prospects, and job opportunities.

Additionally, look into science stream career options , growth potential, and industry demand. This research will give you a clearer understanding of the pathways available and help you align your interests and aspirations with the courses that match them.

Set Long-Term Goals

Think about your long-term goals. Where do you see yourself five or ten years down the line? Do you envision a research, industry, academia, healthcare, or entrepreneurship career? Choosing a course that aligns with your goals can provide a clear sense of purpose and direction.

Deciding the best science career options for your future helps you narrow down your choices and pick a course that fits your goals. If you want to be a researcher, choose a course with the scope to discover new things. If you dream of starting a business, look for courses focusing on innovation and business skills. 

Consider Personal Values

Your values, such as work-life balance, societal impact, ethical considerations, and the environment, should also play a role in your decision-making. Choose a course that resonates with your values and allows you to contribute positively to the world.

Also, if caring for the environment is crucial, look for career options in science that focus on sustainability or environmental sciences. Choosing a course that aligns with your values gives you a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

Evaluate Career Prospects

While passion is important, consider the practicality of your chosen field. Research the current and projected job market for the course you’re interested in. Are there ample job opportunities, growth potential, and a stable professional demand?

Assessing these factors can give you insight into whether the science student jobs you opt for offer stability and potential for career advancement. It ensures that you’re making an informed decision based not only on passion but also on the field’s potential for long-term growth and professional development.

Talk to Professionals

Reach out to professionals already working in the fields you’re considering. They can provide valuable insights into their careers’ day-to-day tasks, challenges, and rewards. Networking with professionals can also help you make informed decisions.

By talking to them, you gain practical knowledge about their day-to-day work life, the challenges they encounter, and the rewards they experience in their careers. This interaction can help you understand if the reality of the job aligns with your expectations. Additionally, connecting with professionals can open doors to mentorship opportunities, guidance on career paths, and valuable advice for entering and succeeding in any science student job .

Consider Further Education

Some courses, such as postgraduate degrees or specialized certifications, might require or benefit from further education. If you’re open to pursuing higher education, factor this into your decision-making process.

Additionally, some industries continually evolve, demanding professionals with higher qualifications. If you aspire to take up advanced studies or if your choice in career options for science students requires you to have higher qualifications, selecting an undergraduate course that aligns with future educational needs is the ideal path to take. Ensure the undergraduate program provides a solid foundation and prerequisites for further education in the field of your choice.

Explore Cross-Disciplinary Options

Don’t be afraid to explore interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary courses. Combining your science background with management, design, or communication courses can open up unique career paths and broaden your skill set.

Combining science with other areas helps you learn different things and opens up new science students’ career options . For example, mixing science with business could help you start a science-related business or manage a scientific company. These combined courses give you more skills and let you explore different job paths.

Evaluate Course Structure

Look into the curriculum and course structure of the programs you’re interested in. Are the subjects and projects engaging? Does the program offer practical exposure through internships, labs, or industry collaborations?

Check how the course is set up. Make sure the subjects match your interests and what you want to do in your career. Look for courses that let you do hands-on things like internships or labs. These practical parts help you learn through practical experiences.

Internships let you try out what you’ve learned in a real job. Labs help you understand your course by doing experiments. Also, courses that work with companies or industries give you an idea of how things work in the real world and offer the best job for science students.

Consider Financial Implications

Assess the financial aspects of your chosen course. What are the tuition fees, living expenses, and potential return on investment? If the course requires a substantial investment, weigh it against the potential benefits.

Some courses might be expensive, so it’s essential to evaluate if the knowledge, skills, and future prospects gained from the course justify the investment. Consider the potential return on investment and whether the course will lead to a satisfying and high-paying job for science students.

Visit Campuses and Attend Workshops

If possible, visit the campuses of the institutions offering the courses you’re considering. Attend workshops, seminars, or open-house events to get a feel for the environment and interact with faculty and students.

This firsthand experience allows you to immerse yourself in the campus atmosphere and gauge if it resonates with you. Interacting with faculty and current students and attending sample lectures or workshops helps you understand the teaching style, facilities, and overall learning environment. It also enables you to ask questions and gather insights that aid in making an informed decision about the suitability of the college and course for which job is best for science students like you.

Trust Your Intuition

While research and analysis are important, trust your intuition as well. If a particular course excites you and aligns with your aspirations, it might be the right choice, even if it doesn’t follow conventional wisdom.

If you’re genuinely excited and passionate about a course, even if it doesn’t seem like the most obvious choice, it could still be the perfect fit. Your intuition often aligns with your genuine interests and aspirations, guiding you toward a fulfilling and personally rewarding path.

Keep Alternatives in Mind

Having a backup plan or alternative options is important if your first choice doesn’t work out. Flexibility and adaptability are key in navigating your educational and career journey.

Being open to different options allows you to navigate changes more effectively and helps you determine in science which field is best. It also helps you align with your interests and goals, ensuring you can adjust if your initial plan doesn’t go as planned.

Career Options for Science Students

1. artificial intelligence and machine learning.

With rapid digitization creeping into almost every function of modern living, professionals who can understand this are going to be priceless. AI and machine learning are not only innovative and exhilarating but also greatly in demand. Moreover, large corporations are also investing huge amounts of money in people who have expertise in these processes. Thus, making it an extremely commercially viable profession as well. A lot of universities in India are offering these courses as a degree program. 

Some of the best reasons why AI and ML are among the top science background career options in India are:

  • High Demand: Booming demand for AI/ML experts in almost every industry.
  • Cutting-edge Innovation: Involves exciting work at the forefront of technological advancement.
  • Financially Lucrative: Companies heavily invest in AI/ML, making it a financially rewarding field.
  • Versatility: Opportunities exist across diverse sectors due to digital integration.
  • Career Growth: Potential for advancement and exploration of various job roles and industries.
  • Problem-solving: Involves solving complex challenges using cutting-edge technology.
  • Global Appeal: AI/ML skills are globally sought-after and transferable across borders.
  • Future-proof: Promising prospects due to AI/ML’s increasing integration in society.

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To pursue practical AI and machine learning as a career, a degree in computer science with additional courses in AI and ML can suffice. You can also pursue a Master’s program in AI/ ML post your undergraduate degree. Though, if you are someone who has already crossed the degree program stage, you can refer to courses like the machine learning program offered by IIIT Bangalore and other management institutes that are brought to your doorsteps by upGrad.  

You can also check our Machine Learning Program from IIT Delhi . IIT Delhi is one the most prestigious institutions in India. With more the 500+ In-house faculty members which are the best in the subject matters.

An approximate salary that an AI/ Machine Learning professional can make in India ranges from 6 lakh to 8 lakhs at a fresher level. Experienced professionals can take home quite a higher package. Up to approximately 16- 18 lakhs an annum. 

Read: Career options in science after graduation

2. Data Science

Data Science simply is the study of different kinds of data by the application of scientific methods, processes, and algorithms. As AI and machine learning, this is also one of the new-age career options available for science students to practice. In today’s time, data is considered the most important thing in an organization. Companies are relying on mining and decoding of high-quality data to implement in their operations.

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It has become a benchmark for driving growth for investors and corporates alike. A mixture of computer science, math, and analytics, data science helps a professional to forecast future business numbers and other technical data. This can be very helpful for companies in planning future operations. 

Some industries where data science has key significance are risk management, farming, and forensics, and fraud management. 

You can become a data science professional by simply pursuing a degree in computer science at the undergraduate level and then pursuing a short term course or post-graduation in data science for additional expertise. If you are keen on studying data science but want to avoid going to a physical college, there are various online courses also that can help you achieve your goal. Courses on data science offered by IIIT Bangalore through upGrad are especially good in this domain. 

The top reason why data science roles rank at the top of any science subject jobs list is their widespread applicability and impact across industries, making them highly sought-after professions. It also has a constant and increasing demand for data scientists across industries.

Speaking about salary, in India an entry-level data scientist can cash in up to INR 6-7 lakh rupees an annum, rising steeply with the accumulation of year on year experience and skill development. 

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3. business analytics.

Though used alternatively in various contexts, data science and business analytics are not the same. While business analytics and data analytics, both are the study of data, the nature of data studied varies. Data Science is the application of algorithms and mathematical formulas to study data later used in devising mechanical processes whereas business analytics is the study of business data used to make key decisions of the company. 

Data science involves the study of structured and unstructured data, while business analytics studies highly structured data to bring in important changes in business decisions. 

A profession in business analytics is highly technical and intellectual in nature. It involves dealing with the top rung of a company’s management and is hence, considered highly rewarding. 

If you are wondering which career has more scope in future for science students, you can choose data analytics for the following reasons:

  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Vital for businesses aiming to optimize strategies and operations.
  • Profitability: Helps companies enhance profitability through data-driven insights.
  • Competitive Advantage: Provides an edge by extracting valuable insights from data.
  • Career Growth: Offers diverse career paths and opportunities for advancement.
  • Global Relevance: Applicable to businesses worldwide, ensuring broader job prospects.

You can pursue a career in business analytics by obtaining a specializing in business analytics as part of your undergraduate or postgraduate degree. 

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Top companies in India, hiring business analytics professionals to reward them handsomely. With salary ranges from INR 7 Lakhs to 17 Lakhs depending on the level of experience and market conditions. Some big corporates where business changes are more frequent and radical are also known to go beyond the 17 Lakh figure in compensation. 

To conclude, MBA in Business Analytics is an up and coming area of expertise that is gaining increasing traction in all sectors of the industry. The specialization shows a positive and promising outlook, and for those of you who have long been skeptical about choosing this career path, you can go ahead and start your MBA journey in Business Analytics!

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Also read, Career options in medical

4. Blockchain Developer

After the bitcoin revolution in the late 2010s, blockchain and professions associated with it gained great prominence. Blockchain is something that has enticed every young individual in the country with blockchain developing becoming a sought after profession. 

To the unintended, blockchain is simply an offshoot of Data Science, where the data is organized in blocks. These blocks are then connected with each other using cryptography.  This is a very complex and new-age technology, famous for creating cryptocurrencies and other important statistical documents. 

With the increasing awareness in cryptocurrencies and its trading, the demand for blockchain developers has grown exponentially. An interesting field, blockchain development requires a high level of understanding of complex computer software, mathematics, statistics, and algorithms. 

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Since this is also a tech-based profession like the ones mentioned above, to become a blockchain developer you need to possess a degree in computer science and software with an advanced specialization in blockchain and its development. These courses are offered by sophisticated universities as part of their post-graduation programs and by online platforms like upGrad.  

One of the main reasons why blockchain is one of the best science stream career options is its transformative potential and the numerous opportunities it presents. Blockchain is an innovative technology with the potential to revolutionize various industries. Its decentralized nature ensures data transparency, security, and immutability, disrupting traditional centralized systems.

The average salary that a blockchain developer in India can expect has a wide range. With more and more corporates using this technology to streamline their processes, a profession in this field can expect anything between INR 5 Lakh per annum to INR 50 Lakh per annum. Depending on prevailing market conditions, level of experience, and complexity of tasks performed.  

Additionally, if entrepreneurship is your dream, you might also be able to follow in the footsteps of Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum) and create your own cryptocurrency using this technology. 

Read: Top 7 Highest Paid Science Jobs in India for Freshers & Experienced

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5. software designing.

If your interest lies in making innovative programs, software, and apps that make life and processes easier for people. Then this one’s for you. Similar to the professions mentioned above, software designing and development also involves advanced knowledge of computer programs and languages. 

A highly creative field, software designing can enable you to let your imagination flow freely to create useful software for individuals and companies. Through this vocation can be pursued by graduates from other fields as well, a degree in science is preferred. 

The key reason why software designing is considered one of the best science stream jobs is its integral role in driving technological innovation and shaping the digital landscape. As a software designer, you will be pivotal in creating innovative solutions that power various technological advancements. You will also be tasked with catering to diverse industries such as healthcare, finance, entertainment, and more, applying their expertise in creating tailored solutions.

Software designing is very easy to study and practice. You can pursue it even while you are studying for your undergraduate degree. However, for a more substantial and profitable career, you may want to do a specialized course in the field. 

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Since the volume of software designers is very high and this profession requires a lesser amount of specialization like the others, the returns are considered average. However, software designers with an enviable portfolio and good experience can easily rake into a few lakhs a month. 

Also, Check out online degree programs at upGrad.

6. Spacetech

While being a doctor, engineer, biologist, pharmacist, are some undisputed career options for science students, the interest in the sciences of space is also slowly rising in young adults. Nevertheless, now with technology becoming integrated with almost every field of study, space tech is surely gaining momentum. 

Space tech basically is the application of digitization and technology to create tools and machines that can be used in operations related to outer space and the solar system. Space technicians create vehicles, machines, and other tools that help scientists research outer space better. 

Spacetech is also regarded as one of the top-paying science career options because of its unique blend of high-level technical expertise and specialized skills and its significant impact on innovation and exploration beyond Earth’s boundaries. Working in spacetech requires a deep understanding of intricate scientific principles and engineering concepts due to the complexity of space missions and technologies. Due to the critical nature of space missions, precision and accuracy are paramount, leading to high demands for top-quality work.

A highly specialized field, to practice in the space tech industry you would ideally need a degree in space sciences and mechanical engineering. Though however, this is an interesting career option for individuals interested in decoding the mysteries of outer space. 

Individuals practicing space tech and space sciences can earn anything in the range of a few thousand per month to a few lakhs. The scope in this field is still growing, hence making the opportunities for growth endless. 

If rocks, earth, soil, and land are your area of interest, then Geology is for you. Geologists are scientists who specialize in the study of the earth and soil. These specialists study an area and forecast any potential threats like earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. Based on this study they draw up plans for builders and construction companies to create structures. 

Geology is an important but underrated and unconventional field of science. To become a geologist, one can pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree in geology along with a master or doctorate for further specialization. 

As mentioned above, since it is a very underrated and unconventional field of study, the salary is not as high as the professions mentioned above. However, this is a passion-driven profession, and earning does rise as one gains more expenses. Starting salary can be in the range of INR 3.5 lakh to 5 lakh per annum. 

Top Data Science Skills to Learn

8. forensic pathologist.

Forensic pathologists are doctors specializing in dead bodies and their secrets. Their role is to basically help the lawmakers in finding criminals by decoding clues from a dead body. Forensic pathologists spend hours doing the post mortem of a dead body to identify the causes of death and any other clues. Interesting isn’t it? A simple MBBS with a specialization in forensics can take you here. 

Forensic pathologists usually work with government agencies and are very well paid. An average forensic pathologist can make an approximate amount of up to INR 25 – 30 Lakh an annum. 

Also Read: Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in India

9. Technical writer

With content slowly becoming the king for consumers, technical writing has grown more than ever. Technical writers are authors who have specialized knowledge in a field and create content and opinion pieces around that field. 

The barriers to entry in this field are typically negligent. You can sign up as a writer for a specialized science-based magazine or create your own independent content through Youtube or Instagram.

As regards salary, technical writers are paid for their knowledge on a per word basis. This amount can be anything from INR 5 to 10 per word. For more experienced and proficient writers, this can be even more. 

10. Astrophysicist

This one’s for all the astronomers, stargazers, and The Big Bang Theory fans. Astrophysics is a field of science where principles of chemistry and physics are employed to study matters in outer space. 

Ring a bell? These scholars deeply study the birth and death of stars and cosmic matter and base their research on them. 

These scientists usually have a doctorate degree in Astrophysics and are paid anything between INR 15- INR 50 Lakh per annum by leading corporates and research institutes in India. 

Now that you know the top 10 science student jobs for you in 2024, here are a few tips to choose the best career in science for you.

How to choose the best career options in Science?

After completing the professional courses for science students, you may be confused about which option to choose. There are infinite careers in science, but not all of them may be the right fit for you. Here are a few things you should consider when thinking about the jobs for science students.

  • Answer the question: “What am I passionate about?” It will be the first step toward deciding which careers in science interest you. As the saying goes, do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life. So, instead of simply looking up the top 10 science jobs , see if any of them interest you. 
  • Research the career options that interest you. There is enough information available, so read up till you are sure that you know enough to make a decision. Seek counseling from professionals if you think that will help.
  • Look at the prospects and growth potential for the careers you have narrowed down to. Speak to people in the field and ask them for guidance. See if they align with your aims and goals in life. And then make a well-informed choice.  

Listed above are some of the best career options for science students to pursue after their 12 th grade. Based on factors like innovation, level of study and average pay, students can prioritize these as per their interests. These options are not exhaustive. There is a whole wide universe of other career options for science students that are related/ unrelated to science.

These are in no way lesser or less valuable to a career in science. Thus, a student and other stakeholders associated with them should focus on their interests as the one and only thing while choosing a career stream. This will help them excel at whatever they pursue and make them step in the revolutionary and specialized courses of the future.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When you are standing at the crossroads of your career, a very common debate is what to choose between Science and Arts streams. But to decide between these two streams, you need to understand and evaluate certain things carefully. Firstly, you need to understand which one you are genuinely interested in and not look at what others say or do. There are endless opportunities in both career streams, but you need to understand what you are most comfortable with to make the most of them. Once you know what interests you the most, you will find your inclination and make the right choice.

It is impossible to compare two educational streams that are diametrically opposite to each other. But there are varied benefits of studying either. Studying Arts or Humanities can help you develop your potential for expression and analysis. On the other hand, having a sound understanding of basic commerce can be of great help to any career prospect. From economics to financial markets and the latest management practices, knowledge of commerce is valuable everywhere. If you are comfortable with numbers and mathematics to some extent, you can be satisfied even if you choose commerce. However, if you do not want to deal with numbers but want to become a more creative person, choosing Arts will be better.

People often tend to associate science students with smartness. That is how our society is wired to view – the stereotypical idea about non-scientists and scientists. But fact says that just because one is a scientist does not necessarily mean that the person is smarter than another non-scientist individual. We tend to frame genius as an intrinsic trait instead of considering it situational. And in this way, subconsciously deny the potential for achievements to a major portion of society who are non-scientists. Nobody is born a scientist, and it is not true that science is meant only for geniuses.

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A Guide to STEM Majors

Science, technology, engineering and math fields have many degree options and can lead to promising careers.

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STEM majors include health sciences, physics, engineering and information technology.

For career-minded students, few fields offer better job prospects than science, technology, engineering and math, known collectively as STEM.

With strong industry growth predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and STEM majors procuring the highest starting salaries and the best return on investment according to PayScale data, studying STEM is a promising endeavor.

"STEM is about innovation and changing the world," says Juan Gilbert, a professor and chair of the computer and information science and engineering department at the University of Florida . "You have the ability to have a nice income, a nice standard of living and to have an impact on society and the world. That's an easy sell."

"The STEM fields continue to be in high demand, leading to strong, positive outcomes," says Wendy Winter-Searcy, director of the career center at Colorado School of Mines .

STEM disciplines span many academic departments, meaning a wide range of available majors for students. Listed below are a few examples of STEM programs available at many colleges .

STEM Majors List

  • Computer science
  • Engineering
  • Earth sciences
  • Health sciences
  • Information technology
  • Mathematics

Contained within these individual disciplines are numerous branches of study leading to various career paths.

For example, a broad field such as biology splinters off into many subfields, including marine biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, ecology and more. Similarly, the field of engineering includes specialties that give students the chance to explore aeronautics, chemistry, electronics and other disciplines.

As technology has advanced, new fields such as data science have emerged, preparing students for in-demand jobs.

"STEM majors have changed dramatically in the last two decades – both the variety of what's available, the way that we teach and the way students learn the use of technology," says Bob Kolvoord, a professor and dean of the College of Integrated Science and Engineering at James Madison University in Virginia.

JMU, for example, has developed an integrated science and technology major that Kolvoord says "provides students a strong core of STEM knowledge and then applies it to key technology areas" like biotechnology, energy, environment and modern manufacturing.

"More and more schools are seeing strong student interest in more applied programs," he wrote in an email.

STEM Majors Are Interdisciplinary

With so many options, it may be difficult to decide on a STEM major. But with STEM extending across numerous fields, experts say that students won't be limited in their professional pursuits.

For example, careers in public health draw on skills from across STEM disciplines. "I tell my students that it's good you want to make a difference in (the) lives of people with public health, but remember you cannot do it without math and statistics," says Jagdish Khubchandani, a public health professor at New Mexico State University . "It's a basic skill. Unless you know how to measure a problem, how do you solve it?"

While a STEM degree is inherently focused on math and science, Kolvoord says the humanities cannot be ignored. For example, he cites the important ethical and philosophical considerations that arise when designing self-driving cars. Engineers must take into account how artificial intelligence will make instantaneous decisions that involve matters of life and death. These kinds of judgments must be informed by the humanities and can't be left to engineering concepts alone, he says.

It will also be imperative for health professionals to master artificial intelligence, Khubchandani says.

"Health care will have a greater interface with technology, AI and electronic management," he says. "Our generation of health graduates still does not get much training and may lag in skills and experiences by the time they get in the market."

Teachers at the high school level are working to train their STEM-focused students for the interdisciplinary world they hope to enter, says Shannon Hughes, a college counselor and STEM department head at Signature School in Evansville, Indiana.

"With COVID there’s a whole new emphasis on research, so students today are more interested in STEM than ever, I think," she says.

In fact, applications to medical school rose by nearly 18% for the 2021-22 school year, according to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges. That number was led by "historical increases among underrepresented minorities," according to the AAMC. While the overall number of applications dipped some for the 2022-23 school year and returned closer to pre-pandemic levels, it remained relatively high compared to historical numbers.

Students Who Should Consider STEM Degrees

Students should consider numerous factors when deciding if a STEM degree is the right path, but Khubchandani says it helps to have a natural curiosity in a particular field. An interest in analytical writing and critical evaluation is also a strong indicator that a STEM field might be a good fit, he says.

Kolvoord says that, ideally, a student should have strong analytical and problem-solving skills and be interested in how the world functions, how technology works and how it can develop and affect human life, health and well-being. He also emphasizes solid math skills.

High school students seeking a STEM education in college should keep their grades up, says Winter-Searcy. She also recommends that students participate in outside activities to develop leadership and communication skills.

While students can get a head start on a STEM degree in high school, experts suggest they explore their options before settling on a college major.

"The best thing to do would be to take some basic classes in the different disciplines, some introductory classes and see what suits them, what appeals to them intellectually," Kolvoord says.

Once an initial interest is developed, experts suggest students enroll in higher-level high school courses to see if the material and course work is truly a good fit.

Signature School, for instance, offers a range of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses for students with an emphasis on project-based learning. The goal is to get students thinking like scientists.

"We’re just making sure that our students have the fundamentals to be able to be successful in those STEM fields that they want to go into,” Hughes says. "There’s nothing worse than hitting your first science class in college and feeling like you’re not cutting it."

While it can be difficult to predict industry cycles, STEM professionals say they have reason to believe that job prospects for current students will continue to increase over the next decade. The computer science and data science fields are soaring, experts say, and they intersect with many industries.

Graduate programs, like MBAs, are becoming more STEM-focused to keep pace with growing market trends, experts say. For example, the Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University in California launched the James Silberrad Brown Center for Artificial Intelligence in 2023. Dan Moshavi, Fowler's dean, says that will allow the school to prepare students "for jobs that may not exist right now."

More B-schools are likely to incorporate a STEM focus in the coming years, especially as the use of AI grows. And MBA experts say they've seen an increased interest in specializations like data analytics and tech product management.

If a four-year or graduate degree isn't feasible for some STEM-minded students, an associate degree may still lead to a high-paying job. Many of the highest-paying jobs for associated degree holders are in STEM-related fields and pay between $60,000 and $130,000 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"There's no end in sight," Gilbert says. "There's plenty of opportunities out there and, again, it crosses so many different sectors. It's a skill set that can transfer to different sectors easily."

With a wealth of options available, experts urge students to think through their decisions to find the right major.

"I think parents and students should think critically about the return on investment," Winter-Searcy says.

There's also more to consider than just the money, Khubchandani says. Some fields require many years of additional schooling while others might require long hours away from loved ones.

"You have to see how you can maintain a balance of life, be healthy and happy," he says. "That's a big factor. Think of how much time you want to be in school, what your family priorities are, how much money you want to make and then start reverse plotting."

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The Undergraduate Major in Biology

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The major begins with a variety of introductory courses related to the different fields of Biology. Students will begin taking these courses, exploratory lab courses, and a selection of additional breadth courses in Chemistry, Math, Physics, and Statistics during their first two years. Advanced elective courses will be taken in the remaining two years. Although not required for any field of study, most Biology undergraduates choose to engage in at least one quarter of research in a lab on campus. Many go on to complete independent research that culminates in an Honors thesis and presentation. More information about the requirements for the B.S. Biology are included here.

In the next step of the curriculum, students engage with fundamental areas of Biology through Bio Foundations courses, which cover key foundational disciplines of Biology. Students will take anywhere from 2-4 Bio Foundations courses depending on their subplan within the major. These courses will delve into these fundamental areas of Biology and further build students’ skills in critical scientific thinking, reading the literature, and scientific communication.

Each Bio Foundations course is offered for 4 units:

  • BIO 81 – Ecology 
  • BIO 82 – Genetics
  • BIO 83 – Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • BIO 84 – Physiology
  • BIO 85 – Evolutionary Biology
  • BIO 86 – Cell Biology

The general Biology major allows students to choose any four out of the six Bio Foundation courses. Specialized fields of study will require specific Bio Foundations courses, please review each subplan for the specific number and 80-series courses required. 

The 80-level Bio Foundations courses must be taken for a letter grade. 

These courses provide hands-on exposure to scientific methodology and experimental design. They are inquiry-based and allow students to hone their scientific thinking and lab skills by conducting real biology research. Lab courses are designed to give a grounding in both lab research and field research. Please review each subplan for the specific number and list of required lab requirements.

Some lab courses include:

  • BIO 43,  Introduction to Laboratory Research in Neuronal Cell Biology
  • BIO 45, Introduction to Laboratory Research in Cell and Molecular Biology
  • BIO 46: Introduction to Research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (WIM course)
  • BIO 47: Introduction to Research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (WIM course)

Courses in Chemistry, Math, Physics, and Statistics will be required. Although specific requirements will vary by subplan , students can expect to take the following courses:

  • 1-6 courses in Chemistry
  • 1-3 courses in Math
  • 2-4 courses in Physics
  • 1 course in Statistics

Only one course from Chemistry, Math, Physics, and Statistics requirement may be taken credit/no credit.

Upper-level courses are offered in more specialized areas of Biology, many of them are seminar-style courses that provide opportunities to explore in depth the scientific literature and develop ideas for novel areas of research. Students have the option of pursuing a General Biology major or fulfilling specific requirements to pursue a specialized field of study. The specific number of elective requirements will vary by subplan.

General Biology and students who choose a subplan will take a unique combination of course requirements as outlined in their specific area. The fields of study are:

  • General Biology
  • Biochemistry/Biophysics
  • Cellular, Molecular, and Organismal Biology
  • Computational and Systems Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Environment
  • Microbial Sciences
  • Neurosciences

All students may take one elective course credit/no credit. 

Elective courses can include additional Biofoundations, foundational lab, and 100-level Bio courses. Also included are out-of-department STEM courses from an approved out-of-department electives list , which will include most 100-level courses in STEM subjects as well as some lower-level courses. Capstone units : a maximum of 7 units of BIO 196-199/X may be counted towards the electives.

Important note: All undergraduates matriculating as first-year students in 2021-22 or later and graduating in AY 2024-25 or later must complete a capstone. Transfer students who enter AY 2022-23 or AY 2023-24 and plan to graduate in AY 2024-2025 or later will also be required to complete a capstone.  

The capstone requirement in Biology may be fulfilled via one of four options. 

Option #1 - Honors in Biology

To pursue honors, students must submit an honors petition in the fall of senior year, complete at least 10 units of BIO 199/X or BIOHOPK 199H(Undergraduate Research), have a GPA of 3.0 or higher at the time of graduation, and present their honors thesis at the departmental Achauer Honors Research Symposium and through the Biology Virtual Showcase website.

Option #2 -  The Senior Reflection in Biology

Students interested in expressing their personal interests in biology via creative or artistic forms (such as writing, music, fine arts, performing arts, photography, film, or new media) may enroll in The Senior Reflection (BIO 196A, B, and C; all three courses are required for this track). A written proposal on the creative process and scientific significance of the selected topic is generated in the fall (BIO 196A). During the winter quarter in Bio 196B, weekly workshops support the development, production, and refinement of each project. In spring (BIO 196C), projects are finalized and curated for an exhibition, which is held at the end of the quarter. Students are also required to write a final reflection essay.

Option #3 - Independent Capstone in Biology

Students who wish to conduct an independent, individually-designed capstone project may enroll in the Senior Synthesis. Such individually-designed projects might involve research internships, business internships, travel-based study, teaching, or other forms of community service. Examples of possible products of these individually-designed capstones include the production of a teaching or business plan, a film or podcast, or a public education campaign. Students in this track will take three courses: BIO 199A, BIO 199B, and BIO 199C.

Option #4 - Approved Out-of-Department Capstone

Students may also fulfill their capstone requirement via other approved capstone programs or honors programs, provided that the student’s specific program or project contains a substantial amount of biological relevance or content. Students who wish to use this track must submit a petition to the Biology Undergraduate Studies Committee prior to the spring quarter of their junior year.

Students are required to take one of the  Biology university-approved WIM courses . WIM courses can overlap with other requirements.

Students can choose from the following options:

2023-2024- Checklist of Requirements by Subplan

  • Biochemistry & Biophysics
  • Computational and Systems Biology

2022-2023-Checklist of Requirements by Subplan

  • General Major
  • Computational Biology
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Marine Biology
  • Microbes and Immunity
  • Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Approved Out of Department Electives  (applies to the general major and all fields of study)

Older Catalog Degree Requirements

2021-2022 checklist of requirements.

  • All 2021-2022 Checklist folder

2020-2021 Checklist Requirements

  • All 2020-2021 Checklist folder

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Yale University

undergraduate courses for science students

Additional Navigation

Undergraduate study.

At Yale, we view college as a time for students to explore, exercise curiosity, and discover new interests and abilities.

We provide students with an immersive, collaborative, and inspiring environment where they can develop a broadly informed, highly disciplined intellect that will help them be successful in whatever work they finally choose.    

Our students graduate with the values and knowledge they need to pursue meaningful work, find passion in life-long learning, and lead successful and purposeful lives.

Yale College

All undergraduates attend Yale College, an intimate learning environment offering instruction in the liberal arts and sciences.  

undergraduate courses for science students

Programs of Study

Browse available majors, academic requirements, and other key info about our undergraduate curriculum.

Undergraduate Research

With access to Yale’s extensive collections and resources, our undergraduates have discovered new species, patented products, and co-authored original research.

International Experiences

There are a variety of global learning opportunities available, from studying abroad to international internships to directed research.

Special Programs

Writing and science programs, directed studies, seminars, and more … students can choose from a number of special academic offerings during their time at Yale.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS)

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is composed of the departments and academic programs that provide instruction in Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Choosing Your Courses in First Year Science

undergraduate courses for science students

Having trouble deciding what courses to take in first year? This guide is here to help.

Step 1: determine your areas of interest, what is a specialization.

A specialization is also known as a major. By the end of first year, every UBC Science undergraduate student must choose a specific area of study. Throughout the rest of your time at UBC, you’ll complete courses within that area of study. As a first-year student planning your timetable, consider areas of interest (potential specializations) and build your timetable based on pre-requisites needed for your intended specialization. Be sure to read the related and important information on the UBC Academic Calendar. We’ve included a link on the right.

It’s okay to change your specialization later on

Many specializations have the same—or almost the same—first-year requirements. Knowing what you want to study in second year will help you choose your courses for first year, but don’t worry if you haven’t narrowed your choice down quite yet.

UBC Academic Calendar (BSc)

Step 2: consider timetable options.

undergraduate courses for science students

Design Your Own Timetable

  • Science One

This is the typical choice for first-year UBC Science students, and offers the most flexibility. You select both the courses and the particular sections of courses you attend according to the requirements of the degree specialization (major) you want to enter in second year. You take only one section of a course—one that fits your needs and schedule. Most of your lectures will be in large rooms but labs and tutorials will be in smaller groups.

Science One: Immersive. Interdisciplinary.

Immerse yourself in Science One , an innovative course for 75 students in which eight professors teach the traditional disciplines of biology, chemistry, maths and physics in a unified, integrated format. This interdisciplinary, 29-credit program has a dedicated study space, and incorporates lectures, tutorials and labs. Enhance your scientific skillset with workshops, guest lecturers, extra instruction in science literacy and programming, mentored research projects, student conferences, and field trips. Separate application required.

Step 3: Consider Other Courses and Pre-requisites for Second Year

Each program specialization has requirements for admission. Make sure you are clear on what you plan to complete in first year. Look at areas of interest (potential specializations) and the courses that must be taken for admission. See the specialization admission requirements.

To be promoted to second year, students must complete 24 credits total, including 15 credits in 100-level Science subjects.

All UBC Science students need coursework focusing on communicating skills. In first year, you can choose to take SCIE 113 , the First Year Seminar in Science. Some 100-level courses in English (ENGL) and Writing Research and Discourse Studies (WRDS) can also count towards the Communication Requirement .

When should I take my communications credits? It is not mandatory to take your communications credits in first year, but you are encouraged to complete your Communication Requirement early in your degree so that you can apply the skills in your other courses.

Electives are courses that allow you to gain knowledge and skills that complement your interests in particular areas of science. During your degree, you must complete at least 12 Arts credits (in addition to any English courses used to fulfill the Communication Requirement). Bachelor of Science (BSc) students may take courses offered in any Faculty or School. A maximum of 24 credits outside of Science and Arts may be taken throughout your whole degree.

When should I take my electives? Get advice, but ultimately, the decision is up to you. Balance your required courses with one or two electives each term, or stay focused on your intended path.

What electives should I take? Browse the Course Schedule to see what courses are available and might be of interest. Popular electives include earth and ocean sciences, economics, psychology, philosophy, music, anthropology.

A pre-requisite is a course that must be completed prior to taking the selected course.

Step 4: Course Planning

When you’re admitted to UBC, your high school courses are assigned a grade-level based on the typical curriculum of a student from a British Columbia school. If you did not complete high school in BC, the grade-level your courses are assigned (Grade 11 or Grade 12) is recorded in the Student Service Centre under Grades and Records. Check it now.

Then use the following chart to determine the specific courses you need to take, based on the high school courses you completed.

Step 5: Decide On Your Optimum Course Load

How many courses should i take each term.

A full course load is 30 credits or more over the two terms of winter session (September to April) - that's about five courses per term. If you commute, have family responsibilities, work, or volunteer more than five hours a week, do not attempt a full course load. Allow time for fun! Sports, recreation and social time give you balance. Many students choose to take fewer courses in first term and add another course in second term once they become accustomed to the work load and academic expectations. You can always take some courses over the summer session.

UBC Vancouver Campus

To live in student housing, you need at least 9 credits per term, which means 18 credits per winter session. Please consult with UBC Student Housing about the specifics of your contract. 

UBC Vancouver Campus

Student Loans and Scholarships

To be eligible for student loans , you need at least 9 credits per term, which means 18 credits per winter session.

To hold a UBC award, you need at least 24 credits in the winter session. To be considered for an award after first year, you need at least 27 credits in the winter session of your first year.

UBC Vancouver Campus

International Students

International students are considered by UBC to be full time for immigration purposes based on definitions outlined in the International Student Guide . Please consult with UBC International Student Advising  about the specifics of your immigration documents.

UBC Vancouver Campus

Honours Program

To qualify for an honours option in second year, you must complete 27 credits in the winter session of your first year, with no failed courses.

What about advance credit?

Advance credit (from AP, IB, or A-level courses) does not count toward your winter session course load because you earned it before starting studies at UBC. It does count for promotion and towards your total BSc credits.

Step 6: Advance or Transfer Credits

undergraduate courses for science students

If the course is core to your area of study, it may be worthwhile to take the UBC course. Sure, you are likely to do well, but it also ensures you learn the material as it is taught at UBC. If the course is an elective, then why not accept the advance credit and give yourself more flexibility in planning your first year?

If you're coming from high school and have received a large amount of advance credit, consider taking more electives. If you’re deeply passionate about the subject, ask Science Advising about more challenging honours-level first-year courses. Or take a second-year course in the subject—but don’t overestimate your readiness for second year.

Unless it’s an elective, we recommend you register for the course on your registration day. This ensures you have the course if you don’t get the advanced or transfer credit. If you receive the advance credit and decide to keep it, you can drop the UBC course later and find an elective. To find out what credit you may be receiving, see how UBC recognizes A-Levels, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate .

Tips to Remember

  • Create multiple worklists. Spots fill up quickly and you may have to quickly switch to a plan B if an important course is filled.
  • Allow for time when planning back-to-back classes , especially if they're in different buildings. Use UBC Wayfinding to see the distance you’ll need to travel between buildings.
  • Laboratory/Tutorial Component : Some first-year Science courses require you to also register for a laboratory/tutorial section. Make sure you register for those in addition to the main lecture.
  • Some courses are only offered in one term.
  • Some courses have restrictions.  Check the section details - some courses might be for you. If you have issues, learn more in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
  • Need additional academic planning support?  We recognize that each student's situation is unique and that first year course selections can be overwhelming. Please know our knowledgeable and friendly Science academic advisors are here to support you.
  • Need More Support?
  • Registration issues or questions? Visit the FAQ
  • Learn more through a webinar
  • Contact Science Advising

Register for Courses

undergraduate courses for science students

Follow Admissions on Social Media

  • Columbia on Instagram
  • Columbia Admissions on Twitter
  • Facebook Group
  • Columbia on YouTube

Two students in lab coats and gloves work together in a research lab

Science in Columbia College

It is an exciting time to study science at Columbia. Our faculty work at the frontiers of science and have been responsible for many of the most significant scientific discoveries in all branches of the biological, natural and physical sciences. They are internationally recognized for their contributions, with seven Nobel Laureates among the current faculty and 86 total Nobel Laureates including past Columbia professors and alumni. Faculty have received other prestigious recognitions such as The Kavli Prize, The Crafoord Prize and the National Medal of Science.

Science Research at Columbia

Science undergraduates at Columbia have direct access to some of the greatest scientific minds in the world. They have an almost unlimited range of opportunities to  undertake cutting-edge research  in research facilities both at the Morningside Heights campus and at the  University’s Medical Center , as well as at Columbia-affiliated research centers including:

  • The Zuckerman Mind, Brain, & Behavior Institute
  • The Earth Institute
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Nevis Laboratories
  • Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center

Opportunities to engage with research also exist across undergraduate departments, New York City and even globally. Examples include the Biology department's  Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship , internship opportunities at the  American Museum of Natural History  and the opportunity to study psychology in the UK with the  Global Behavioral Science (GLOBES)  program.

Learn more about science research directly from our students!

I got involved with biology research during the summer following my first year at Columbia. I worked in the Kelley Lab on frog behavior and vocalizations, and I had the chance to present my research at an undergraduate research symposium the following winter. I learned so much from my peers and supervisors in the lab.

Science Departments

Columbia College has 10 science and mathematics departments that offer 30 programs of study, including 12 interdisciplinary programs:

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Biological Sciences
  • Computer Science
  • Earth and Environmental Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology
  • Mathematics

Aerial shot of the New York City skyline featuring the Empire State Building

Science and the Core

Science students at Columbia benefit from the Core Curriculum. Every first-year Columbia College student takes "Frontiers of Science," which introduces students to ideas at the forefront of scientific research. Additionally, the centrality of the Core Curriculum is emphasized by the recognition that scientific and technical knowledge must be supported and directed by ideas and values. The Core teaches students to think about complexity and ambiguity in a way that is conscious of these values, and in a world where science and technology continually deliver innovation, no individual is better prepared to take a leadership role in science than one who has spent time weighing the great humanistic questions that have shaped our civilization.

scientific habits of mind taught in Frontiers of Science

inventions generated by Columbia research annually

research centers, institutes and labs at Columbia

active patents based on Columbia research

Legacy of Science at Columbia

Pupin Hall was built in 1927 and has housed famous physicists such as Enrico Fermi, Wallace Eckert and I.I. Rabi. The tradition of science at Columbia is rich with discoveries and innovations that have changed history and our understanding of the world. Home of the science behind the X-ray, MRI, modern genetics, plate tectonics and modern robotics, Columbia has been educating students in "the liberal arts and sciences" since our original charter in 1754. This legacy is the foundation to the continued leadership in all of the science disciplines.

Headshot of Martin Chalfie from the shoulders up

University Professor Martin Chalfie, Winner of Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008

Undergraduate Contacts

Student Services Specialist

Director Undergraduate Studies

choosingphysics [at] stanford.edu (Pre-Major Advising)

Undergraduate Courses

Introductory physics courses.

Stanford offers four introductory physics sequences for a full range of interests, from non-science students to prospective majors.  These are:

  • the "teen" series:  for the humanities or social science student who wishes to become familiar with the content and methodology of modern physics
  • the "20" series: a non-calculus-based sequence that satisfies the requirements for life science, and pre-medical students
  • the "40" series:  a calculus-based sequence for most physical science and engineering students
  • 61/71/81 :  for students with significant preparation in physics and calculus

ADDITIONAL COURSE RESOURCES

There are several resources to help you decide which starting point in which sequence is most appropriate for your preparation and interests:

  • The introductory sequences are described in the  Physics section of the Bulletin.
  • Detailed course listings can be found in the  Physics section of ExploreCourses.
  • An online  Placement Diagnostic is offered in late summer and during the academic year to assist students in determining where to start in the PHYSICS 40 series or the PHYSICS 61/71/81 courses.  Note that, beginning in Autumn 2022, students majoring in Physics or  Engineering Physics must complete PHYSICS 61/71/81, possibly after taking PHYSICS 41 and 43, or only 43; the Physics Placement Diagnostic will provide guidance on where to begin.
  • The STEM Roadmap to the First Year is a personalized tool that illustrates some common plans to start a number of different STEM majors. The Roadmap supports all the majors in the School of Engineering as well as many STEM majors from the School of Humanities and Sciences and the School of Sustainability. 
  • Online Degree Explore Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
  • MasterTrack™ Earn credit towards a Master’s degree
  • University Certificates Advance your career with graduate-level learning
  • Top Courses
  • Join for Free

Learn Science Online

Whether you're just starting out or already have some experience, we offer various Science courses designed to fit your needs. Curated from top educational institutions and industry leaders, our selection of Science courses aims to provide quality training for everyone—from individual learners seeking personal growth to corporate teams looking to upskill. For those pursuing professional advancement, skill acquisition, or even a new career path, these Science courses can be a valuable resource. Take the next step in your professional journey and enroll in a Science course today!

Browse Science Courses

undergraduate courses for science students

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Introduction to Forensic Science

Skills you'll gain : Critical Thinking

(2.3K reviews)

Mixed · Course · 1 - 3 Months

undergraduate courses for science students

Duke University

Introduction to Chemistry: Reactions and Ratios

Skills you'll gain : Problem Solving

(1.2K reviews)

Beginner · Course · 1 - 3 Months

undergraduate courses for science students

University of Arizona

Astronomy: Exploring Time and Space

(3.6K reviews)

undergraduate courses for science students

University of Pennsylvania

Philosophy of Science

(208 reviews)

Intermediate · Course · 1 - 4 Weeks

undergraduate courses for science students

American Museum of Natural History

The Science of Stem Cells

(2.8K reviews)

Intermediate · Course · 1 - 3 Months

undergraduate courses for science students

Yale University

The Science of Well-Being

(37K reviews)

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The World Bank Group

From Climate Science to Action

(401 reviews)

Beginner · Course · 1 - 4 Weeks

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Introduction to Genetics and Evolution

(1.5K reviews)

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The University of Chicago

Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change

(420 reviews)

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The University of Edinburgh

Philosophy, Science and Religion: Philosophy and Religion

(475 reviews)

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Dartmouth College

Introduction to Environmental Science

Skills you'll gain : Leadership and Management

(80 reviews)

Beginner · Specialization · 1 - 3 Months

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Introductory Human Physiology

Skills you'll gain : Health

(4.7K reviews)

Searches related to science

In summary, here are 10 of our most popular science courses.

  • Introduction to Forensic Science :   Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Introduction to Chemistry: Reactions and Ratios :   Duke University
  • Astronomy: Exploring Time and Space :   University of Arizona
  • Philosophy of Science :   University of Pennsylvania
  • The Science of Stem Cells :   American Museum of Natural History
  • The Science of Well-Being :   Yale University
  • From Climate Science to Action :   The World Bank Group
  • Introduction to Genetics and Evolution :   Duke University
  • Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change :   The University of Chicago
  • Philosophy, Science and Religion: Philosophy and Religion :   The University of Edinburgh

Frequently Asked Questions about Science

What is science, and why is it important to learn about ‎.

Science is the pursuit of knowledge through a systematic, evidence-based methodology. The scientific method begins with observation and measurement of a phenomenon, proceeds to the formulation of a hypothesis that attempts to explain it, and then the testing of this hypothesis through replicable experiments, followed by confirmation or modification of the hypothesis based on the resulting evidence. Understanding the power and promise of science is enormously important to understanding our world today - and how it might change in the future.

The importance of science is often experienced most directly in the world of medicine and public health. Progress in epidemiology and biotechnology made it possible to develop our understanding of COVID-19’s spread and enabled vaccine development far more quickly than in the past, and advances in genetics and biology are offering important clues for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Science is also critical to our comprehension of the natural world, from the biology, zoology, and botany that underlie our understanding of plants and animals to the chemistry and atmospheric science that have made it possible to understand the systems governing the Earth’s climate - and how human activity is impacting it. On an even broader scale, physics and astronomy have steadily broadened the horizons of humanity, allowing us to explore space and deepening our contemplations of the nature of the universe and time itself.

The scientific method can be applied to human society as well, with insights from psychology, economics, political science, and other social science fields yielding important insights into the way humans live and work together as well as how we can make the world a better place. Underlying many of these advances, as well as advances in the natural sciences, is the information revolution enabled by computer science and data science, which has allowed scientific researchers in all fields to gather and use unprecedented amounts of data to inform their work. ‎

What kinds of careers can I have with a background in science? ‎

A background in science can be a gateway to an incredibly wide range of exciting careers, limited only by the frontiers of science itself. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers data on nearly 30 different jobs in scientific fields , including biochemists and wildlife biologists in the life sciences, geoscientists and materials scientists in the physical sciences, economists and sociologists in the social sciences, and many more. As we come to increasingly depend on the insights and applications delivered by various scientific fields in our daily lives, BLS also projects these jobs in science to grow faster than average across the rest of the economy, and they paid a median annual wage of $68,160 in 2019. ‎

Can I learn about science by taking online courses on Coursera? ‎

Certainly. As the world’s leading online education platform, Coursera brings together fantastic opportunities to learn about almost any scientific field from astronomy to zoology and everything in-between. You can take individual courses and Specializations spanning multiple courses from top-ranked universities from around the globe, including Stanford University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Arizona, Tel Aviv University, and University of Tokyo.

And, because you can view course materials and complete assignments on a flexible schedule, learning on Coursera is a great choice whether you’re a science student who wants to expand your curriculum, a working professional looking to add new knowledge and skills, or simply someone hoping to deepen their appreciation and understanding of the world in their spare time. ‎

What kind of people are best suited for roles in science? ‎

The kind of people best suited for roles in science have a desire to understand how the world around them works. They tend to be curious people who enjoy asking questions, searching for answers, and finding the evidence to prove or disprove their ideas. People who work in a science field usually have strong critical thinking skills, are creative thinkers, and have an insatiable curiosity about the natural world. ‎

What are common career paths for someone in science? ‎

Someone with a background in science may start their career as a technician in a laboratory where they have a chance to practice examining evidence and analyzing data. They may advance to roles as laboratory supervisors, scientists, or researchers before moving on to senior-level positions as directors or officers within an organization. Others may decide to teach in a K-12 school, college, or university. A teaching job may give them the flexibility to continue their research on the side. ‎

What topics can I study that are related to science? ‎

Other topics related to science that you may want to study include research methods, learning theories, experimental design, and statistics. Science is a broad term that covers a range of disciplines, each with its own list of related topics. For example, if you’re interested in forensic science, you may want to explore biology, criminal justice, or behavioral psychology. If you like learning about anatomy, you may take a closer look at exercise physiology, kinesiology, nutrition, or medicine. Topics related to chemistry include pharmaceuticals and chemical engineering. ‎

What types of places hire people with a background in science? ‎

The types of places that hire people with a background in science include laboratories, corporations, hospitals, schools, and government agencies. In some cases, they may need employees who have a specific type of education or work experience, such as identifying pathogens, analyzing blood work, or teaching a course. Others may look for consultants who can observe and evaluate their organizations to improve the performance of their teams or systems or offer their expertise to a particular project. ‎

What are the benefits of taking an online Science course? ‎

Online Science courses offer a convenient and flexible way to enhance your knowledge or learn new Science skills. Choose from a wide range of Science courses offered by top universities and industry leaders tailored to various skill levels. ‎

What Science courses are best for training and upskilling employees or the workforce? ‎

When looking to enhance your workforce's skills in Science, it's crucial to select a course that aligns with their current abilities and learning objectives. Our Skills Dashboard is an invaluable tool for identifying skill gaps and choosing the most appropriate course for effective upskilling. For a comprehensive understanding of how our courses can benefit your employees, explore the enterprise solutions we offer. Discover more about our tailored programs at Coursera for Business here . ‎

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Learner Opportunities

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​Below you will find programs and scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students, internships for high school and college students, post-doctoral fellowships, special programs for early career researchers, faculty members, and senior scientists. Some of these programs occur only at NASA centers, but others support students or scientists at universities. Some are funded through NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, but many are sponsored either by other directorates within NASA, the NASA Office of STEM Engagement, or non-NASA organizations. Some programs are open to more than one group as indicated (postdoctoral, graduate, undergraduate or high school).

High School

SEES High School Summer Intern High School Opportunities A nationally competitive STEM program for high school students. The program provides selected students with exposure to Earth and space research. Interns will learn how to interpret NASA satellite data while working with scientists and engineers in their chosen area of work.

GL4HS: GeneLab for High School Students High School Opportunities GeneLab for High Schools (GL4HS) is a four-week intensive training program for rising high school juniors and seniors sponsored by NASA's Ames Research Center (near Mountain View, California). GL4HS provides students an opportunity to immerse themselves in space life sciences with a specific focus on omics-based bioinformatics research, the science of collecting and analyzing complex biological data such as genetic codes, and computational biology.

Undergraduate

Blue Marble Undergraduate Opportunities The BMSIS Young Scientist Program (YSP) provides opportunities for students and eligible early career scientists to participate in basic research, learn about effective science communication, and develop critical thinking skills in ethics, policy, and more. Successful applicants join BMSIS as Research Associates (RAs) for the duration of the program. The Program focuses on undergraduate students and those who have completed undergraduate studies but have not yet enrolled in graduate school.

The National Space Grant College and Fellowship Project Graduate and Undergraduate Opportunities NASA initiated the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Project, also known as Space Grant, in 1989. Space Grant is a national network of colleges and universities. These institutions are working to expand opportunities for Americans to understand and participate in NASA's aeronautics and space projects by supporting and enhancing science and engineering education, research and public outreach efforts. The Space Grant national network includes over 850 affiliates from universities, colleges, industry, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies. These affiliates belong to one of 52 consortia in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The 52 consortia fund fellowships and scholarships for students pursuing careers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology, or STEM, as well as curriculum enhancement and faculty development. Member colleges and universities also administer pre-college and public service education projects in their states.

NASA Internships Graduate, Undergraduate and High School Opportunities Being an astronaut isn’t the only cool thing about space. Interns use their creativity and innovation to work on projects impacting NASA’s mission, such as returning to the Moon by 2024. As a NASA intern, you will be part of an amazing team that is dedicated to space exploration. You will work with leading experts and gain valuable experience as you participate in research and mission projects.

NASA International Internships Graduate and Undergraduate Opportunities Internship opportunities at a NASA field center university offered for students from participating countries competitive. During the internship, students work with U.S. and other foreign interns under the guidance of NASA mentors.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/CalTech Postdoctoral, Graduate, Undergraduate and High School Opportunities An internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a chance to do the impossible. Our internships put you right in the action with the scientists and engineers who’ve helped make JPL the leading center for robotic exploration of the solar system. Our programs are as varied as the places we explore, with opportunities across the STEM spectrum for undergrads, graduate students, postdocs and faculty.

The Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP) Undergraduate Opportunities The Space Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP) provides undergraduate students entering their junior or senior years, and entering graduate students, with professional experience in space life science disciplines. This challenging ten-week summer program is hosted by NASA’s Ames Research Center in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. The primary goal of the program is to train the next generation of scientists and engineers, enabling NASA to meet future research and development challenges in the space life sciences. Please note: SLSTP study opportunities are available to US citizens, only.

Pathways Program Graduate and Undergraduate Opportunities At NASA, you have the opportunity to work and explore careers while still in school. The Pathways Program provides currents students with paid work experience and recent graduates with a dynamic career development program at the beginning of their careers.

L'Space Academy Undergraduate Opportunities The L'SPACE Program offers two unique, hands-on learning experiences for students: The Mission Concept Academy (MCA) and the NASA Proposal Writing & Evaluation Experience Academy (NPWEE). Students may choose one Academy to apply for each semester.

USRA Scholarship Awards Undergraduate Opportunities USRA provides college scholarship awards to students who have shown a career interest in science or engineering with an emphasis on space research or space science education, and aeronautics-related sciences. Applicants must be full-time undergraduate students attending a four-year accredited college or university that offers courses leading to a degree in science or engineering. Applicants must be within two (2) years of earning a B.S. or a B.A. in a field of science and engineering, including life science and science education by the time the award is received. Scholarship awards are made in the fall, with applications accepted during the summer. Deadline details are available at the website.

The NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP) Undergraduate Opportunities SARP is an eight-week summer program for rising senior undergraduate students to acquire hands-on research experience in all aspects of a scientific campaign using one or more NASA Airborne Science Program flying science laboratories (aircraft used for SARP include the DC-8, P-3B, Sherpa and ER-2). Research areas include atmospheric chemistry, air quality, forest ecology, and ocean biology. Along with airborne data collection, students will participate in taking measurements at field sites. The program culminates with formal presentations of research results and conclusions.

Summer Undergraduate Program for Planetary Research (SUPPR) Undergraduate Opportunities The Summer Undergraduate Program for Planetary Research, or SUPPR, is an eight-week summer internship providing undergraduates majoring in geology and related sciences with an opportunity to participate in NASA planetary geosciences research.

Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program Undergraduate Opportunities A competitively selected program designed to support current sophomore and junior undergraduate students to work with scientists at the SETI Institute and at the nearby NASA Ames Research Center on projects spanning the field of astrobiology from microbiology to planetary geology to observational astronomy.

The Lunar and Planetary Science Summer Intern Program Undergraduate Opportunities The LPI Summer Intern Program in Planetary Science provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to perform cutting-edge research, learn from widely respected planetary scientists, and discover exciting careers in planetary science. During the 10-week internship, students have opportunities to participate in enrichment activities, including lectures and career development workshops.

The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) Graduate Opportunities NASA supports some graduate students every year to attend the International Astronautical Congress (IAC). Read the call for abstracts for complete details.

Future Investigators in Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) Graduate Opportunities Through Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST), the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) solicits proposals from accredited U.S. universities and other eligible organizations for graduate student-designed and performed research projects that contribute to SMD's science, technology, and exploration goals. Review the latest FINESST solicitation for details by visiting https://nspires.nasaprs.com/ and search using keyword “FINESST”.

NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities Graduate Opportunities Through this fellowship opportunity, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) seeks to sponsor U.S. citizen, U.S. national, and permanent resident graduate student research that has significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating innovative new space technologies for our Nation’s science, exploration, and economic future. Review the latest solicitation for details by visiting https://nspires.nasaprs.com/ and search using keyword “Space Technology Graduate Research”.

NASA Fellowship Activity Graduate Opportunities Each year, the NASA Fellowship Activity awards training grants to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) using Minority University Research Education Project (MUREP) funds. The NASA Fellowship Activity is designed to support NASA STEM Engagement objectives and to provide academic institutions the ability to enhance graduate-level learning and development.

NASA International Internships Graduate and Undergraduate Opportunities Internship opportunities at a NASA field center offered for students from participating countries through a competitive process. During the internship, students work with U.S. and other foreign interns under the guidance of NASA mentors.

NASA Science Mission Design Schools Postdoctoral, Graduate, Early Career Opportunities NASA Science Mission Design Schools are 3-month-long career development experiences for doctoral students, recent Ph.D.s, postdocs and junior faculty who have a strong interest in science-driven robotic space exploration missions. Participants learn the process of developing a hypothesis-driven robotic space mission in a concurrent engineering environment while getting an in-depth, first-hand look at mission design, life cycle, costs, schedule and the trade-offs inherent in each.

Postdoctoral

The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Postdoctoral Opportunities The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) provides early-career and more senior scientists the opportunity to share in NASA's mission, to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind. NASA Postdoctoral Fellows work on 1 to 3 year assignments with NASA scientists and engineers at NASA centers and institutes to advance NASA's missions in Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics, engineering, human exploration and space operations, astrobiology, and science management. NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellows contribute to our national scientific exploration, confirm NASA's leadership in fundamental research, and complement the efforts of NASA's partners in the national science community.

NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP) Postdoctoral Opportunities This program supports promising postdoctoral scientists to pursue independent research which contributes to NASA Astrophysics , using theory, observation, experimentation, or instrumental development. The NHFP preserves the legacy of NASA’s previous postdoctoral fellowship programs. Once selected, fellows are named to one of three sub-categories corresponding to NASA’s “big questions": How does the Universe work? – Einstein Fellows; How did we get here? – Hubble Fellows; Are we alone? – Sagan Fellows.

NHFP fellowships are tenable at U.S. host institutions of the fellows' choice, subject to a maximum of two new fellows per host institution per year, and no more than five fellows at any single host institution, except for short periods of overlap. The duration of the fellowship is up to three years: an initial one-year appointment, and two annual renewals, contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of NASA funds.

Roman Technology Fellowship in Astrophysics (RTF) Postdoctoral Opportunities This fellowship provides early career researchers the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to lead astrophysics flight instrumentation development projects and become principal investigators (PIs) of future astrophysics missions; to develop innovative technologies that have the potential to enable major scientific breakthroughs; and to foster new talent by putting early-career instrument builders on a trajectory towards long-term positions.

Jack Eddy Postdoctoral Fellowships Postdoctoral Opportunities Established by NASA’s Living With a Star program and UCAR/CPAESS in 2009, this prestigious fellowship program is named after pioneering solar researcher John A. “Jack” Eddy. The two-year fellowship is designed to train the next generation of heliophysics researchers. It matches early-career PhDs with experienced scientists at U.S. host research institutions.

Several new appointments are made annually.

Space Radiation Studies Postdoctoral and Graduate Opportunities Modern astronauts are spending ever greater amounts of time in space, exposed to the little-understood effects of cosmic radiation. NASA and Brookhaven National Lab have established a joint lab—the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL)—on the Brookhaven campus to study the possible effects of this exposure.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/CalTech Postdoctoral Opportunities An internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a chance to do the impossible. Here, you won’t be going on coffee runs -- unless that coffee needs to be harvested from the moon and you’re on the team that’s building the probe to do it. Our internships put you right in the action with the scientists and engineers who’ve helped make JPL the leading center for robotic exploration of the solar system.

Continuing Opportunities

NASA JPL/CalTech Explore current openings at JPL through the jpl.jobs website.

NASA Job Opportunities Explore current openings across NASA through the USAJOBS portal.

Presidential Management Fellows A flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates. The Program is designed to develop a cadre of potential government leaders. It provides some sustenance during the first years of employment and encourages development of leadership capabilities. The PMF Program inculcates a lasting bond as well as a spirit of public service, ultimately encouraging and leading to a career in the government.

NASA’s STAR Program Learn to Design Biology Experiments for Space. Spaceflight Technologies, Application and Research (STAR) is a virtual NASA program for space biosciences training. The annual course targets principal investigators (PIs), senior research scientists, and postdoctoral scholars and aims to facilitate their entry to space biology and preparation for conducting spaceflight experiments using NASA and commercial platforms.

NASA DEVELOP Program DEVELOP, part of NASA’s Applied Sciences Program, addresses environmental and public policy issues through interdisciplinary research projects that apply the lens of NASA Earth observations to community concerns around the globe. Bridging the gap between NASA Earth Science and society, DEVELOP builds capacity in both participants and partner organizations to better prepare them to address the challenges that face our society and future generations. With the competitive nature and growing societal role of science and technology in today’s global workplace, DEVELOP is fostering an adept corps of tomorrow’s scientists and leaders.

NASA Citizen Science NASA’s citizen science projects are collaborations between scientists and interested members of the public. Through these collaborations, volunteers (known as citizen scientists) have helped make thousands of important scientific discoveries. Want to work on some real NASA science? View the latest list of projects and choose one that interests you.

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Bachelor of Science degree

Students in the Bachelor of Science degree program talk in bright hallway while wearing lab coats at the University of Waterloo.

If your biology, chemistry, and physics classes were what excited you in high school, then a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree may be the right university program for you!

Science drives so many innovations. From exploring the deepest part of the oceans to taking pictures of black holes , a Bachelor of Science degree opens up the world for you to explore.

At university, the range of science courses is amazing... well beyond what you're taught in high school. It branches into so many fascinating and challenging avenues – and you'll be able to customize your BSc degree so that it uniquely fits you and your goals.

Majors in a BSc can range from astronomy to zoology, depending on the university. At Waterloo, there are nearly 20 majors leading to a Bachelor of Science degree.

  • Biochemistry
  • Biological and Medical Physics
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Biotechnology/Chartered Professional Accounting
  • Climate and Environmental Change
  • Earth Sciences
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Health Sciences
  • Honours Science
  • Kinesiology
  • Materials and Nanosciences
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Science and Aviation
  • Science and Business
At university, the range of science courses is amazing... well beyond what you're taught in high school. It branches into so many fascinating and challenging avenues...

What can you do with a science degree?

That's the question, isn't it? Studying at college or university is one of the biggest investments of your life. You'll invest a significant of time, money, and energy into your degree, so you want to know you're picking the one's that's best for you; one you can use in the future. If your passion for science – whether it be biology, chemistry, physics, or life sciences – has gotten you here, then you've definitely already invested some time into considering it.

Pick a skill, any skill

The anatomy-observing, formula-wielding, and deductive-reasoning skills in your repertoire will work alongside the numerous other skills you’ll gain. These skills – perfectly suited for careers such as medical practitioner, chemist, astrophysicist, veterinarian, or environmental consultant – are also transferable to careers in other fields, such as business or education.

Technical skills, like data analysis, experimentation, and project management that you learn in class and the lab will perfectly suit you for careers in research, academia, and government.

Soft skills, like communications, time management, and adaptability, are vital in any career.

What you learn in a science degree can be applied to a lot more of life than just the kind that fits under a microscope.

A career path that's unique to you

Science drives – and is driven by – human curiosity as we attempt to understand everything from our bodies to our environment.

We look to the stars and deep within ourselves – developing new ideas, disrupting industries, and revolutionizing daily life with new technology and methods that will impact lives for generations.

And no path is set in stone. A graduate of biology, for instance, may conduct research in a hospital while another becomes a fisheries technician for the government.

Learn about the future of careers in the natural, physical, and life sciences .

So, what can you do with a Bachelor of Science? Well, that's up to you.

What we can promise you is you'll start a reaction, one that propels you forward towards your dreams. With this solid yet diverse degree, you've got the perfect foundation to discover that new chemical, conduct that life-changing research, get that medical school admission, create that essential business, or consult in that innovating lab.

A Bachelor of Science is more than just learning in lectures – it's all about discovery and research through experimentation.

Is a Bachelor of Science a good degree?

Considering some of the most influential and intelligent people on the planet hold (or have held) a BSc degree, we can say with confidence it is a "good" degree. The skills you obtain prepare you for some of the most respected positions in our society, such as doctors, nurses, and scientists.

However, a degree is what you make of it. Simply graduating doesn't facilitate a successful future. Your degree will open doors, but you need to take the steps to get through them – and this often means boosting your resume with volunteer or job experience in the area you are seeking.

What do you do in a BSc?

A Science program is more than just learning in lectures – it's all about discovery and research through experimentation.

A BSc can be more hands-on than many other degrees, giving you access to lots of labs, field work, exchanges, and opportunities to complete your own research project – providing even more depth to your degree.

Student working with plants in a greenhouse at the University of Waterloo.

At Waterloo, many of our programs include a term- or year-long research project that you get to design and control – from the topic to the execution – which prepares you for a career in the sciences or for further studies in graduate school.

What is first year like?

Your first year in a science program is a bit different from university to university. Some programs have a general first year where everyone takes the same required classes, using elective courses to explore possible majors for second year. Other programs will have you start your major in first year, giving you maximum exposure to the science you want to learn most. Both types of programs have pros and cons and you have to decide which works best for you.

At Waterloo, you can also expect to take five courses with one or two associated labs in each term of your two terms. Labs can definitely add to the complexity of your time in university, but students who graduate with a Bachelor of Science note how much more prepared they are for the work force considering they have developed strong time management skills and have had more opportunities to participate in hands-on learning.

Common questions

What is an honours bachelor of science.

An honours degree requires more courses (typically five courses per term, with two terms per year, for four years) and a higher grade point average (GPA) than a general degree, which takes about three years to complete. However, a general degree may be your goal if you intend to leave your undergraduate university early to attend a professional school, such as medical school.

What science programs does Waterloo offer?

At Waterloo, we offer 20 science majors (within the Faculty of Science , the Faculty of Health , and the Faculty of Environment ) and two professional programs: Doctor of Optometry (OD) and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD).

What high school classes are needed?

You'll usually need high school courses in math, English, and at least one of the core sciences, although requirements vary from university to university. At Waterloo, admission requirements differ from major to major so be sure to review them well before you apply.

How long is a BSc program?

Most bachelor's degrees take three or four years to complete as a full-time student, based upon on whether you earn a general degree or an honours degree.

It's possible, depending on the institution you attend, to earn your degree online while working, which can take longer if you take only one or two courses a term.

What is a Bachelor of Applied Science?

At Waterloo, students graduating from the Faculty of Engineering receive a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in their major, e.g., Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, etc.

Students graduating from the Faculty of Science receive a Bachelor of Science degree.

Is psychology a Bachelor of Arts or Science?

It can be either. Many universities offer a Bachelor of Arts and a BSc in psychology. Many of the required psychology courses will be the same. Your electives would tend to be either in the sciences or the humanities and social sciences.

Is computer science a science?

Some universities offer a Bachelor of Arts or a BSc in Computer Science. At Waterloo, you can earn either a Bachelor of Mathematics (BMath) in Computer Science or a Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS).

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  • v.19(2); 2018

How Undergraduate Science Students Use Learning Objectives to Study †

Associated data.

Learning objectives communicate the knowledge and skills that instructors intend for students to acquire in a course. Student performance can be enhanced when learning objectives align with instruction and assessment. We understand how instructors should use learning objectives, but we know less about how students should use them. We investigated students’ use and perceptions of learning objectives in an undergraduate science course at a public research university. In this exploratory study, students ( n = 185) completed two open-ended assignments regarding learning objectives and we analyzed the content of their answers. We found that students used learning objectives in ways that reflected the recommendations of past and present instructors, suggesting that students are receptive to instruction on how to use learning objectives. Students generally found learning objectives to be useful because the objectives helped them to narrow their focus and organize their studying, suggesting that students may need additional help from instructors in order to self-direct their learning. Students who chose not to use learning objectives often found other resources, such as case studies covered in class, to be more helpful for their learning. Some of these students recognized that the concepts included in case studies and learning objectives overlapped, pointing to a benefit of alignment between instructional activities and learning objectives. These qualitative results provide the data necessary for designing a quantitative instrument to test the extent to which students’ use of learning objectives affects their performance.

INTRODUCTION

Many students come to college with a limited set of study strategies, which hinders their ability to be successful in undergraduate science courses in which they are expected to direct their own learning ( 1 – 3 ). When faculty provide learning objectives, students can use these tools to help guide their own studying. Learning objectives are statements that communicate the knowledge and skills that instructors intend for students to acquire ( 4 , 5 ). While learning objectives have the potential to enhance student knowledge and skills, they could be more effective if faculty provided instructions to students on how to use them. To do this in an evidence-based way, researchers first need to explore how students currently use learning objectives and what instructions, if any, students receive in their courses about how to use them.

Learning objectives state what students should know and be able to do following a period of instruction ( 6 ). Unlike a list of topics, learning objectives usually describe actions students can take if they have successfully learned something. For example, the learning objective “predict the effect of mutations in the carbonic anhydrase protein on its function and blood pH” is distinct from the topic “carbonic anhydrase.” Learning objectives also differ slightly from learning outcomes. Learning objectives can be described as the anticipated knowledge and skills that students should obtain, while learning outcomes can be described as the observable knowledge and skills that students have obtained. Learning outcomes state what students will achieve, whereas learning objectives state what the instructors intend for students to achieve ( 5 ).

The best practices for writing learning objectives have been outlined for instructors ( 7 , 8 ). Learning objectives should describe measurable goals that can be observed if met ( 4 ). These goals should focus on specific student actions or behaviors that can demonstrate success ( 4 , 7 ). Instructors should use Bloom’s Taxonomy to create learning objectives that go beyond “lower-order” cognitive skills such as knowledge and comprehension, and instead focus on “higher-order” cognitive skills such as analysis and evaluation ( 9 – 11 ). For example, students can be encouraged to differentiate between related concepts or appraise claims made from data rather than just describe a pathway or explain an idea ( 8 ). Once written, learning objectives should be used by instructors as a framework to organize course assessments and instructional activities ( 12 ).

Aligning learning objectives with instructional activities and course assessments can result in significant learning experiences ( Fig. 1 ) ( 13 ). Alignment can be achieved through “backward design” in which instructors first write learning objectives, then determine how they will assess whether students have met the objectives, and lastly create instructional activities that address the objectives ( 14 , 15 ). This process helps ensure that class time is used effectively ( 13 ). Additionally, by sharing learning objectives, instructors can make their intentions transparent so that students know what is expected of them ( 16 ).

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Alignment of course components. Students can benefit when the learning objectives, instructional activities, and assessments in their courses align. The examples of each component given here are from an introductory biochemistry course.

Some studies have provided insight into undergraduate students’ perceptions of learning objectives. Students in an upper-division microbiology course valued learning objectives for highlighting what they needed to know ( 17 ). Undergraduates studying biology, English, and medicine in the United Kingdom found learning objectives helpful, but they were unsure about the level of detail required to satisfy each objective ( 18 ). While these studies provide a sense of how students view learning objectives, less is known about how students are actually using learning objectives and what instructors are telling students about how to use them.

Given the potential for learning objectives to enhance performance, instructors should try to help students use them effectively. As an initial step toward assisting students, we asked three main research questions in this exploratory study:

What instructions have undergraduate science students been given about using learning objectives?

How do students use learning objectives to study, why do students find learning objectives helpful.

In addition to these main questions, we also asked three related questions:

  • How do students perceive the alignment between learning objectives and summative assessment?

Why don’t students use learning objectives to study?

  • What do students think the purpose of learning objectives is?

The data from our exploratory study provide insights into how students perceive and use learning objectives in an upper-division science course without instructional intervention. These qualitative results provide data needed for designing a quantitative instrument to measure students’ use and perception of learning objectives ( 19 , 20 ). A quantitative instrument would allow researchers to determine the extent to which students’ use and perception of learning objectives affects their performance in science courses.

Participants and context

Participants ( n = 185) were undergraduates taking a 300-level science course at a public doctoral university. Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BCMB3100) is a lecture-only course focused on topics such as enzymology, bioenergetics, and metabolism. BCMB3100 serves 16 majors, such as biology, environmental chemistry, and nutrition science, and many of the students who enroll in the course plan to pursue careers in the health sciences. Students generally take the course during their sophomore or junior year. We collected data from a BCMB3100 section co-taught by two instructors who teach exclusively through the use of case studies ( 21 , 22 ). In this approach, students work with peers on real-world problems that require them to analyze information and apply it to new situations ( 23 ). Both instructors provided learning objectives to students at the start of each of the four units in the course by posting a file in an online learning management system. For each day of the unit, four to seven learning objectives were given. Using backward design, the instructors then wrote formative assessments (quizzes on textbook readings, clicker questions, and case studies) and summative assessments (exams) that aligned with their learning objectives ( Fig. 1 ).

The instructors addressed learning objectives in their syllabus as follows: “ Focus on the learning objectives. The exams will assess your accomplishment of the learning objectives. Use the learning objectives as a guide for what to focus on when you are completing assignments and studying for exams.” They also repeated these instructions in class on the first day. Because this was a descriptive qualitative study to learn how students currently use learning objectives without intervention, we did not observe or record the way instructors talked about learning objectives in class.

Data collection

Students completed two homework assignments regarding their use of learning objectives after the first and second exams in the course (see Appendices 1 and 2 ). The assignments were distributed on paper in class and collected from students a week later in class. The first assignment (LOA1) was given after Exam 1 and focused on undergraduate students’ perceptions and use of learning objectives. LOA1 had three questions for all students ( n = 185), five questions that were specific to students who used the learning objectives ( n = 133), and three questions that were specific to students who did not use the learning objectives ( n = 52). The second assignment (LOA2) was given after Exam 2 and was completed by 157 students. LOA2 focused on instructions students received about using learning objectives and asked for their advice to other students on using learning objectives. Students earned three extra-credit points (the equivalent of two exam questions) for each assignment. Only students who were 18 years or older and gave informed consent were included in our study. The University of Georgia Institutional Review Board approved this research (STUDY00001740).

Qualitative data analysis

First, we sought to identify pieces of data related to our research questions and label these data with meaningful codes. We began by reading all of the data with an openness to the participants’ ideas for the purpose of understanding the scope of the data before coding it ( 24 ). Next, we used content analysis to develop codes that could represent the data that corresponded to our research questions. We tested these potential codes on a subset of the data (approximately 25% of the assignments) and modified the codes as needed. We developed a codebook through a repetitive process of testing the codes on additional subsets of data and revising the codebook as needed. Using our fully revised codebook, we coded the entire data set in 20% increments, meeting to discuss our codes after each increment was finished. We repeated this process until all the data were analyzed. All three authors (BO, BM, and JDS) coded all 185 first assignments. Two authors (BO and BM) coded all 157 second assignments, with the remaining author (JDS) checking a subset of the second assignment data using the fully revised codebook. We coded to consensus rather than using interrater reliability because we did not want to overlook nuanced details ( 25 – 27 ) (see also Appendix 3 ).

Second, we sought to identify categories of codes that could lead us to possible themes in the data. We used pattern coding to group related codes that corresponded to each of our research questions ( 24 ). Two authors (BM and JDS) applied pattern coding methods to the codes corresponding to all research questions. They analyzed the codes individually and then met to discuss their code groups and resulting categories. After revisions based on discussion, the remaining author (BO) checked the revised code groups and categories to ensure they aligned with her analysis of the LOA1 and LOA2 data. We used consensus coding to ensure rigor (see also Appendix 3 ).

Students in this study reported the instructions they had been given in college about how to use learning objectives in any of their courses. Several students wrote that they did not recall receiving informal or formal instruction on how to use learning objectives, although some of these students had a sense of how to use learning objectives. This idea is exemplified by the following statement: “I have never really received any formal instructions but it is implied that we should be able to fully understand and answer questions on the learning objectives.”

Some students wrote about receiving detailed instructions on how to use learning objectives in the introductory biochemistry course where our data collection took place. A student wrote: “ We have been told to read over the learning objectives before beginning to study. Then after reviewing our notes, we are to go back and talk ourselves through each learning objective or type up a response for each learning objective.”

Students reported receiving instructions on learning objectives that fit into four major categories. They were told to 1) complete them (38.2%); 2) use them to inform studying (33.8%); 3) use them passively, e.g., just “look over” the learning objectives (9.6%); and 4) use them to self-assess understanding (6.4%).

Most commonly, instructors told students to complete the learning objectives (38.2%), either by answering them or understanding them. Many students (31.8%) reported being told to answer the learning objectives as if they were questions. Other students wrote that instructors told them to simply understand (4.5%) or explain (1.9%) the learning objectives.

Many students (33.8%) reported being instructed to use learning objectives to inform their studying. Students reported being told to use the learning objectives as a study guide (14.7%), to organize studying (5.1%), to narrow focus (8.3%), and to connect resources (5.7%). In contrast, some students (9.6%) reported being told to use the learning objectives in a passive way. For example, students reported being told to just “look over” the learning objectives.

Finally, a few students (6.4%) reported that they were instructed to use learning objectives to self-assess their knowledge. They wrote about using the learning objectives to monitor understanding and to test themselves. For example, one student wrote that they were told to “ use the learning objectives as a guide to gauge the level of understanding. ”

Students’ use of learning objectives in preparation for the first exam fit into four major categories ( Table 1 ):

How did students use learning objectives to study?

One hundred thirty-three students reported that they used learning objectives to study for the first exam. These students were asked how they used learning objectives using an open-ended question, and their responses were coded using content analysis. In cases where more than one use was reported, the use most emphasized by the participant was recorded. The number and percentage of students who gave each response are shown ( n = 133).

  • As questions to answer (47.4%)
  • As a resource for studying (24.1%)
  • As a self-assessment tool (14.3%)
  • Passive use (13.5%)

In general, students’ use of learning objectives mirrored the recommendations they reported receiving. For example, the most common way students reported using learning objectives (47.4%) was to answer them as if they were questions. This idea is exemplified by the following statement: “I compiled [the learning objectives] all into a Word doc one week prior to the exam and answered all the learning objectives.”

Many students (24.1%) used the learning objectives as a resource when studying. They reported using them as a study guide, as a checklist for topics to cover, and as a way to compare information from different resources. For example, one student explained that learning objectives helped them connect the concepts in the case studies and the lecture slides.

Some students (14.3%) used the learning objectives to self-assess their knowledge of the concepts. They wrote about monitoring understanding and testing themselves on the material. For example, a student wrote about using the learning objectives to identify areas of confusion so they could allocate their time accordingly: “I used the learning objectives to help determine what areas I should study and then to quiz myself on the information to see what I need to spend more time on.”

Some students (13.5%) reported using the learning objectives in a passive way. These students used phrases such as “went over,” which suggested that they didn’t use the learning objectives actively. For example, one student wrote, “ I went over each [learning objective] in my head. ”

How do students perceive the alignment between the learning objectives and summative assessment?

If learning objectives do not align with assessment, students will be less likely to find them helpful ( 11 ). Nearly all of the students who used learning objectives felt they aligned very well (81.2%) or fairly well (15.0%) with questions on the first exam ( Table 2 ). Some of the students who reported that the learning objectives aligned “fairly well” noted that they did not realize they were responsible for being able to apply the learning objectives. Of the remaining students who used the learning objectives (3.8%), four students did not answer this question and one student could not recall whether or not the learning objectives aligned with the exam. None of the students who used learning objectives reported that the learning objectives did not align with the exam questions.

How well did the learning objectives align with the exam?

The 133 students who used learning objectives to study for the first exam were asked how well the learning objectives aligned with the exam questions. The number and percentage of students who reported each level of alignment are shown ( n = 133).

Students who used the learning objectives to prepare for the first exam reported that these tools helped them to do the following:

  • Narrow down the information (57.1%)
  • Organize their studying (23.3%)
  • Communicate information (5.3%)
  • Monitor their understanding (4.5%)
  • Forced them to study (1.5%)

More than half of the students (57.1%) reported that that learning objectives helped them narrow down the information they needed to study. There were two areas in which students appreciated help narrowing their focus: 1) for topics to be learned in the course and 2) for topics to be studied for exams. One student explained how the learning objectives helped focus their studying: “The book is dense and the cases are detailed. The learning objectives serve to direct my studying so as not to waste time. It helped emphasize what’s important.”

Other students reported that learning objectives provided organization for studying (23.3%). Within this category, students also wrote about learning objectives serving as study guides and providing the big picture. This idea is exemplified by the following statement: “ [Learning objectives] helped me work from general theme to important details. Usually learning for this class works from details to general theme. This reversal was helpful.” Not only did students perceive learning objectives as helpful for organizing their studying, they also perceived this help with organization as the purpose of learning objectives ( Appendix 3 ).

Some students (5.3%) reported that learning objectives served as a means of communication from their instructor. In particular, the students viewed learning objectives as a way their instructors could share their expectations. For example, a student wrote, “ [Learning objectives] told me what I was expected to know. ” The opportunity for professors to communicate with students was also perceived by students as an important purpose of learning objectives ( Appendix 3 ).

Some students (4.5%) explained that the learning objectives allowed them to monitor their understanding of the concepts. A student explained, “[Learning objectives] helped me identify all the gaps in my knowledge from the case studies.” Finally, two students in our study (1.5%) described the helpfulness of learning objectives in a unique way. They suggested that learning objectives forced or pushed them to study. Both students wrote about learning objectives as a strong imperative. This is exemplified by the following statement: “ [Learning objectives] forced me to study. Being able to understand them meant I finally understood the material.”

Several students (28.1%) opted not to use learning objectives to prepare for the first exam. Their reasons fit into four categories ( Table 3 ):

Why didn’t students use the learning objectives to study?

Fifty-two students reported that they did not use learning objectives to study for the first exam. These students were asked why they did not use learning objectives using an open-ended question, and their answers were coded using content analysis. The number and percentage of students who gave each response are shown ( n = 52).

  • Learning objectives were not necessary (42.3%)
  • Learning objectives were not a priority (28.8%)
  • Learning objectives were not helpful (13.5%)
  • Students were not aware of learning objectives (15.4%)

Many of the 42.3% of students who did not deem the learning objectives necessary wrote about viewing the case studies as more important than the learning objectives. For some of these students, alignment of case studies and learning objectives with the exams made these two tools redundant. A student explained: “Based on the old exam, it looked like the questions came directly from the case studies and the case studies emphasized the learning objectives.”

Some students (9.6%) reported that the learning objectives were not necessary because they felt well prepared for the exam without using them. One student wrote: “I thought I had a comprehensive understanding of the material that was presented and I thought I had enough on my plate studying the way I did.” Notably, this student reported that they would use the learning objectives for future exams because they had done poorly when studying without learning objectives.

Many students (28.8%) did not make the use of learning objectives a high priority, and thus they did not have time to use them. Similarly, some students (13.5%) chose not to use the learning objectives because they did not perceive them to be helpful. In a few cases, this perception was because students felt that the learning objectives were too general. Lastly, some students (15.4%) admitted to not being aware of the learning objectives’ existence.

Many of the students who did not use learning objectives for the first exam used them for the second exam ( n = 16, 30.8%). These students reported using learning objectives to guide their studying and to test themselves on concepts. Only one of these 16 students reported that they wished they had not used learning objectives for the second exam, because of their performance on that exam. Furthermore, only some of the students who used learning objectives for the first exam chose not use them again for the second exam ( n = 11, 8.3%). Their reasons varied, from lack of time to prioritizing the case studies. Interestingly, four of these 11 students reported that they wished they had continued using learning objectives for the second exam. One student wrote, “I would definitely study the learning objectives (in the future). I didn’t for the second exam because I got lazy and procrastinated too much and it was evident in my grade.”

Findings and explanations

Recommendations exist for how instructors should write and use learning objectives ( 4 , 7 , 8 ), but less is known about how students in undergraduate science courses should use learning objectives ( 17 ). Students in our study used learning objectives in ways that reflected what their past and present instructors had suggested. For example, answering the learning objectives as if they were questions was the most common use reported by students, and it was also the most common instructor recommendation students reported. This finding suggests that students are receptive to instruction regarding the use of learning objectives. Students’ receptiveness might be due to the fact that they generally did not use learning objectives to study in high school, making them more open to instruction on how to use this tool.

Most students in our study explained that learning objectives were useful because they helped them narrow their focus and organize their studying. This finding suggests that students at this level are still uncertain about what is important to learn from a science course like introductory biochemistry ( 17 ). As students move from a novice-like state to an expert-like state ( 28 ), they may need additional help identifying key concepts. One way instructors can help students do this is by sharing their learning objectives. Students can then use learning objectives to help self-direct their studying ( 29 ). Because studying is a goal-directed behavior ( 30 , 31 ), providing students with goals for what they should know and be able to do in the form of learning objectives can help ensure that their studying is more effective.

The data from our exploratory study provide a critical first step toward understanding the extent to which using learning objectives might affect student performance in a science course. In order to test a possible relationship, we need to collect data from numerous classrooms to control for the variability that exists across students, instructors, and instructional contexts. Our results provide categories on students’ use and perception of learning objectives that can be used to create a Likert-style instrument for surveying science students in a variety of settings ( 19 ). This approach would allow us to make conclusions about the effects of students’ use and perception of learning objectives on their performance in science courses. A future quantitative study would also allow us to determine the generalizability of the qualitative findings of this paper ( 20 , 32 ).

Limitations

We gained rich descriptions of students’ use and perceptions of learning objectives through two written assignments; however, there are limitations to self-report data. We attempted to address these limitations in our study. For example, as researchers we cannot know for certain whether or not students did what they reported on their assignments. We tried to decrease social desirability bias—the desire to provide favorable responses ( 33 )—by giving students full credit for their participation in the study, regardless of their answers. We also had students submit the assignments directly to us as researchers rather than to their instructors. Additionally, written data do not allow researchers the opportunity to clarify the meaning of participants’ words ( 34 ). We analyzed the data as a diverse team of faculty and student researchers so that we could carefully consider the interpretation of participants’ written statements. Finally, it should be noted that this study was done at one institution, in one course, which was taught in a case-study format. The results might have been different if the research had been conducted at a different institution or in a different course with a different format. Exploring students’ use and views of learning objectives in diverse settings could provide additional insights.

Implications for teaching

Our data suggest some ways instructors can help students use learning objectives. First, we recommend giving students explicit instructions on how to use learning objectives. For example, an instructor can demonstrate how to turn a few learning objectives into questions and how to go about answering them, and then ask students to do the same in class or as an assignment. Modeling these simple steps can be important for facilitating the use of learning objectives ( 35 , 36 ). Introductory students are often willing to try new approaches to learning, but they may not carry them out if they don’t know how to ( 34 ). Second, we recommend that instructors encourage students to use learning objectives for self-assessment. Some students in our study reported using learning objectives to test themselves or to monitor their understanding. When students identify what they do and do not understand, this can positively impact learning and memory ( 37 , 38 ); however, some students may avoid identifying areas of confusion because this causes them stress ( 39 ). These students could benefit from an instructor emphasizing the value of using learning objectives to self-assess their learning. Third, if instructors want students to use learning objectives, these should be aligned with other parts of the course, including class activities and exams ( 13 ). In our study, over 70% of students used the learning objectives for Exam 1, and nearly all of these students said the learning objectives aligned with the exam. For Exam 2, nearly 75% of the students reported using the learning objectives to study. Thus, instructors should aim to align the objectives they have for their students with the way they assess whether or not students have met those objectives.

By following the suggestions derived from our data, instructors may be able to help students use learning objectives more effectively. In turn, more effective use of learning objectives could improve student learning and performance.

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS

Appendix 1: learning objectives assignment 1 (loa1), appendix 2: learning objectives assignment 2 (loa2), appendix 3: supplemental methods and supplemental results, acknowledgments.

This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1262715. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

† Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe

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Degree Courses After 12th Science

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  • Updated on  
  • May 6, 2023

Degree Courses after 12th Science

With the advancement in technology and an upshot in the area of research and development, the Science field has seen an expansion in the last few years. The majority of the students after passing senior secondary school opt for a career in the science stream . From healthcare and biotechnology to mathematics and chemistry, the students have ample programs to pursue at the undergraduate level. In this blog, we will shed light on some of the famous degree courses after 12th science. 

This Blog Includes:

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Here are some things candidates should do before enrolling in any course. Consider the following before choosing a course:

  • Understand Your Interests: You must choose a path based on your interests and abilities. If you wish to pursue a career in music or the arts, you should select the best courses after 12th grade that are relevant to your artistic goals.
  • Select the Appropriate Course: Before making a decision, extensively research the course specifics (curriculum and teaching methods). Contact recent grads or seniors who are presently enrolled to get a sense of how things are.
  • Recognise the Potential: Now that you’ve determined what your passions are and how you may train yourself to pursue them, it’s time to evaluate the potential of the job path you’ve chosen.

For those of you who want to build a career in the medical field, there is an array of Medical Science courses that you can study after the 12th. From Doctor and Public Health Worker to a Radiotherapist and Oncologist, a medical science degree opens up many opportunities to work in the healthcare sector. These degree programs range between 4 – 5. 5 years depending on the course you want to study. Here are some of the courses you can study in this field: 

  • MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery)
  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)
  • Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS)  
  • BSc in Radiology
  • BSc in Nursing
  • BSc in Nuclear Medical Technology
  • BSc in Medical Imaging Technology
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science 
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry 
  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy 
  • B.Sc . Dairy Technology
  • B.Sc. Home Science
  • Biotechnology
  • BOT (Occupational Therapy)
  • BMLT (Medical Lab Technology)
  • Bachelor in Pharmacy
  • Dietician 
  • Hospital Management 
  • Paramedical Courses
  • Clinical Psychology Courses
  • Naturopathy Courses
  • Integrated M.Sc

Here are some amazing and highly demanded degree courses that students can pursue right after their 12th if they have opted for PCM in their 10+2:

  • Engineering (B.E/ B.Tech)
  • Defence ( Navy , Army , Air Force )
  • B.Sc. Degree
  • LLB (Bachelor of Law)
  • Integrated LLB
  • Education/ Teaching
  • Travel & Tourism Courses
  • Environmental Science Courses
  • Fashion Technology Courses
  • Hotel Management
  • Designing Courses
  • Mass Communication Courses
  • Media/ Journalism Courses
  • Film / Television Courses
  • ICWA Program

Enlisted below are a list of top and trending diploma courses that students may pursue after 12th Science to gain core knowledge about a particular field of study in a short span of time.

  • Web Designing
  • Graphic Designing
  • Information Technology
  • Application Software Development
  • Textile Designing 
  • Hospital & Health Care Management
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Film Arts & A/V Editing
  • Animation and Multimedia
  • Film Making
  • Air Hostess
  • Event Management
  • HR Training
  • Computer Courses
  • Foreign Language Courses
  • Diploma in Beauty Culture & Hair Dressing
  • Hardware and Networking Courses
  • Fashion Designing
  • Dress Designing/ Costume Designing 
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Fine Arts Courses 
  • Cutting and Tailoring
  • Print Media , Journalism & Communications
  • Mass Communication
  • Mass Media and Creative Writing

Now Let’s explore some of the prominent options for degree courses after 12th Science under the above-mentioned categories :

The Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree courses after 12th Science run for 3-4 years depending on the university from where you are pursuing the program. The undergraduate degree program is available in the form of honours or general course that offers students a platform to specialize in one particular subject as a major. To hone your skills further, you can study a master’s course after completing the BSc degree in your choice of field.  Given below is a list of some of the BSc courses after 12th Science :

  • BSc Physics
  • BSc Mathematics
  • BSc Nautical Science
  • BSc Forensic Science
  • BSc Aeronautics
  • BSc Forestry  
  • BSc Anesthesia  
  • BSc Visual Communication
  • BSc Chemistry 
  • BSc Zoology  
  • BSc Geology
  • BSc Agriculture  
  • BSc Cardiology
  • BSc Aviation
  • BSc Fashion Designing
  • BSc Psychology
  • BSc Radiology  
  • BSc Physiotherapy
  • BSc Biotechnology
  • BSc Microbiology
  • BSc Nursing
  • B.Sc. Computer Science

Explore more such programs at BSc Courses !

Following are a few other undergraduate courses which can be taken up after studying science in class 12th: BE/B. Tech- Bachelor of Technology

  • B.Arch- (Bachelor of Architecture )
  • BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications )
  • B.Sc. Information Technology
  • B.Sc Nursing
  • BPharma (Bachelor of Pharmacy )
  • B.Sc Interior Design
  • BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery )
  • Animation , Graphics and Multimedia
  • B.Sc. Nutrition & Dietetics
  • BPT (Bachelor of Physiotherapy )
  • B.Sc Applied Geology
  • BA/B.Sc. Liberal Arts
  • B.Sc. Physics
  • B.Sc. Chemistry
  • B.Sc. Mathematics

Check out the following list of popular universities offering BSc Courses:

  • London Metropolitan University
  • University of Suffolk
  • University of Kent
  • University of Groningen
  • VHL University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Dundee
  • Warwick Medical School
  • University of Derby
  • IUBH University of Applied Sciences
  • Bath Spa University

Do you have a knack for planning, designing, and building structures? Can you design an edifice that is not only functional but is aesthetically pleasing? Then you can consider pursuing Architecture. Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) is one of the most studied degree courses after 12th science. If you want to pursue this course at an undergraduate level, then there are ample majors in which you can specialize. Some of these have been listed below: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Architecture (BSA)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Technology and Construction Management 
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Architectural Engineering 
  • Bachelor in Construction Management 

Read more about Top Architecture Courses !

Here is a list of the best universities offering Bachelor’s degree courses in Architecture after 12th Science:

  • University College London
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • University of Salford
  • University of West London
  • University of East London
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Liverpool-John Moores University
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Leeds

One of the most pursued degree courses after 12th science, Engineering is a Science and Technology discipline that imparts knowledge in various areas and also equips students with industry-relevant skills. These traits are further used to like design, test, develop, modify, install and maintain a huge array of products. Completing 12th Science, students can explore BTech and BE courses in different Engineering branches such as:

  • Marine Engineering  
  • Aerospace Engineering 
  • Acoustical and Audio Engineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Computer Science Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Robotics Engineering
  • Electrical & Electronics Engineering
  • Automobile Engineering
  • Sound Engineering Courses
  • Automotive Design Courses  
  • Textile Design Courses  
  • Highway Engineering Courses  
  • Robotics Courses  
  • Agriculture & Food Engineering
  • Biotechnology Engineering
  • Ceramic Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Cyber Security
  • Data Analytics
  • Food Technology
  • Electronics and Communication Engineering
  • Engineering Physics
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Game Design Engineering
  • Production Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Information Technology Engineering
  • Instrumentation Engineering
  • Marine Engineering
  • Mechatronics Engineering
  • Metallurgical Engineering
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Telecommunication Engineering

Glance through the list of best Engineering colleges and universities you must consider for pursuing degree courses after 12th Science:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Imperial College London
  • Stanford University
  • Tsinghua University
  • University of Oxford

If you are someone intrigued by urban settlement, planning and modern construction then a Bachelor of Planning is the right programme for you after 12th Science. Students of Bachelor of Planning study design the layout, plan and construction of smaller cities, towns, large-scale settlements and villages to make them more efficient and consumer-friendly. Here are the popular degree courses after 12th science for planning:

  • BSc in Planning
  • BSc in Urban and Regional Planning 
  • BSc in Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science
  • BSc in Human Geography and Planning
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
  • Delft University of Technology , Netherlands
  • University College London , UK
  • The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • The University of Birmingham, UK 
  • University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Cardiff University, UK

Commerce and Business courses are other great options for science students to pursue after 12th boards. Students with a knack for management, business and data can opt for a range of courses like finance, administration, economics, business, commerce, and accountancy and kick-start their careers. Here are some famous commerce degree courses after 12th science for students interested in commerce:

  • BA/BSc in Business Administration
  • BSc in International Business Administration
  • BBA – Bachelor of Business Administration 
  • BBA in Airport Management
  • Bachelor of Management Studies
  • BBA+MBA integrated courses
  • BBA in Hotel Management 
  • Bachelor of Hotel Management 
  • BSc in Hotel Management
  • BA in Travel and Tourism Management
  • CA- Chartered Accountancy
  • CS- Company Secretary
  • Commerce Diploma Courses
  • Certificate Courses
  • University of Pennsylvania 
  • University of Chicago

Another major stream of courses available to science students is arts programmes. From Anthropology to English to Sociology, science students can opt for degree courses in arts streams from a variety of colleges and in a variety of areas. If you are someone interested in exploring a creative, artistic and philosophical area of study, then humanities and art courses are a great idea. Here are some popular courses after 12th science:

  • BA in English
  • BA in Sociology
  • BA in Psychology
  • BA in Economics
  • BA in Mathematics
  • BA in Statistics
  • BA in Political Science
  • BA in Visual Art Studies
  • BA in Fine Arts
  • BA Foreign Language
  • Harvard University
  • Yale University
  • New York University 
  • Columbia University
  • University of Edinburgh

Ans. Here is a list of the best degree courses after 12th science: Bachelor of Science. Bachelor of Commerce. Bachelor of Arts. Bachelor of Engineering. Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. Bachelor of Computer Applications. Chartered Accountancy. Bachelor of Business Management.

Ans. Top High Salary Courses after 12th Science PCM Engineering: BTech/BE. BSc Computer Science. BSc Information Technology. Commercial Pilot Training. Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA) Bachelor of Pharmacy. Bachelor of Architecture. Other BSc Courses such as BSc Statistics, BSc Maths, BSc Physics, BSc Chemistry, etc.

Ans. Here is a list of the best courses for science students: Nursing/Nursing science. Computer Science. Dentistry. Microbiology. Radiography. Medical Laboratory Science. Medical rehabilitation. Agriculture.

Thus, there is an array of degree courses after 12th science to choose from. However, if you are confused about which course to pursue then you can contact our team of experts at Leverage Edu who will choose the perfect degree and university combination that caters to your professional goals using our AI Course Finder . You can also book a free 30-minute career counselling session with our mentors. Hurry up, book your slot now! 

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Education is very much essential to build a good career. There are lot of students who are puzzled regarding their career after schooling . Many students search a lot related to career after 12th in the field of science stream/ commerce/ arts stream . Medical streams are not limited for science streams students but there are lot many choices for them , they can opt for BBA, BCA,BA LLB , and BBA LLB .

Agreed! Education is fundamental for a good future and choosing the correct course is extremely important.

Students have various career options after 12th like BA , BA LLB , BCA , Bsc and many more etc, depending on the stream they choose .

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Facts & figures

  • Top 20 university globally (QS World University Rankings 2024)
  • 1st in Australia and 23rd globally for veterinary science (QS Rankings by Subject 2023)
  • 2nd in Australia and 25th globally for life sciences and medicine (QS Rankings by Subject 2023)
  • 3rd in Australia and 32nd globally for agricultural sciences (US News and World Report 2023)
  • 3rd in Australia and 21st globally for geography (QS Rankings by Subject 2023)
  • 3rd in Australia and 27th globally for psychology (QS Rankings by Subject 2023)

Undergraduate courses

Flexible science courses, bachelor of science, bachelor of liberal arts and science, bachelor of science/bachelor of advanced studies, bachelor of science/bachelor of advanced studies (advanced), bachelor of science (advanced), bachelor of liberal arts and science (advanced), specialist science courses, bachelor of agricultural science, bachelor of science/bachelor of advanced studies (animal and veterinary bioscience), bachelor of science/bachelor of advanced studies (taronga wildlife conservation), bachelor of science (health), bachelor of science/bachelor of advanced studies (health), bachelor of science (medical science), bachelor of science/bachelor of advanced studies (medical science), bachelor of science/bachelor of advanced studies (dayell scholars including mathematical sciences), bachelor of science/master of mathematical sciences, professionally accredited courses, bachelor of psychology, bachelor of science/master of nutrition and dietetics, bachelor of veterinary biology/doctor of veterinary medicine, science majors, minors and programs, majors and minors.

A major is a specialisation in a chosen area of study and is designed to develop your knowledge and skills in a particular area. Subjects marked with a *indicate that the completion of additional units can lead to a program (see below). 

  • Anatomy and Histology
  • Animal Health, Disease and Welfare
  • Animal Production *
  • Animal and Veterinary Bioscience
  • Applied Medical Science
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Data Science
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Science*
  • Financial Mathematics and Statistics *
  • Food Science
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Geology and Geophysics
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Human Movement
  • Immunology (minor only)
  • Immunology and Pathology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Information Systems
  • Marine Science
  • Mathematics *
  • Medical Science
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Neuroscience*
  • Nutrition Science
  • Pharmacology
  • Plant Production *
  • Psychological Science
  • Software Development
  • Soil Science and Hydrology *
  • Statistics*
  • Virology (minor only)

Programs are combinations of units of study that develop expertise in a multi-disciplinary domain or professional or specialist field and includes at least one recognised major. They include some embedded major and additional units of study.

Within the Bachelor of Science, you can complete the following programs:

  • Medical Science  (only available in Medical Science stream)
  • Embedded major is: Environmental Science
  • Embedded major is: Neuroscience
  • Embedded major is: Psychological Science
  • Embedded major options: Financial Mathematics and Statistics, Mathematics, Statistics

Within the Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies, you can complete the following programs:

  • Embedded major: Animal Veterinary Bioscience.
  • Embedded major options: Chemistry, Physics

Why study undergraduate science with us?

  • We have internship partnerships with food and agribusiness organisations, and practical classes run within Westmead Hospital and our veterinary teaching hospitals, plus much more.
  • High achieving students may be invited to take part in the  Dalyell Scholars  program which enables you to cultivate the leadership and professional expertise to become a part of our global network of leaders.
  • You can study in state-of-the-art research facilities, including the Sydney Nanoscience Hub , the Charles Perkins Centre , the Brain and Mind Centre , and our food science laboratories.
  • Our research-led teaching means you’ll be taught by renowned scientists who will share the latest findings with you.

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Which Bachelor of Science degree should I choose?

Hsc subjects and science majors.

Unsure of the difference between a major and a minor? Want to know how your HSC subjects connect to Science subjects? Use our guide to decide what to study at University.

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Penn Engineering launches first Ivy League undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence

The new degree will push the limits on ai’s potential and prepare students to lead the use of this world-changing technology..

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The University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science today announced the launch of a  Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Artificial Intelligence (AI) degree, the first undergraduate major of its kind among Ivy League universities and one of the very first AI undergraduate engineering programs in the U.S.

The rapid rise of generative AI is transforming virtually every aspect of life: health, energy, transportation, robotics, computer vision, commerce, learning, and even national security. This produces an urgent need for innovative, leading-edge AI engineers who understand the principles of AI and how to apply them in a responsible and ethical way.

“Inventive at its core, Penn excels at the cutting edge,” says Interim President J. Larry Jameson . “Data, including AI, is a critical area of focus for our strategic framework, In Principle and Practice, and this new degree program represents a leap forward for the Penn engineers who will lead in developing and deploying these powerful technologies in service to humanity. We are deeply grateful to Raj and Neera Singh, whose leadership helps make this possible.”

The Raj and Neera Singh Program in Artificial Intelligence equips students to unlock AI’s potential to benefit our society. Students in the program will be empowered to develop responsible AI tools that can harness the full knowledge available on the internet, provide superhuman attention to detail, and augment humans in making transformative scientific discoveries, researching materials for chips of the future, creating breakthroughs in health care through new antibiotics, applying lifesaving treatments, and accelerating knowledge and creativity.

Raj and Neera Singh are visionaries in technology and a constant force for innovation through their philanthropy. Their generosity graciously provides funding to support leadership, faculty, and infrastructure for the new program.

Photograph of Raj and Neera Singh

“Penn Engineering has long been a pioneer in computing and education, with ENIAC, the first digital computer, and the first Ph.D. in computer science,” says Raj Singh, who together with his wife Neera, have established the first undergraduate degree program in artificial intelligence within the Ivy League. “This proud legacy of innovation continues with Penn Engineering’s AI program, which will produce engineers that can leverage this powerful technology in a way that benefits all humankind.”

“We are thrilled to continue investing in Penn Engineering and the students who can best shape the future of this field,” says Neera Singh.

Preparing the next generation of AI engineers

The curriculum offers high-level coursework in topics including machine learning, computing algorithms, data analytics, and advanced robotics.

“The timing of this new undergraduate program comes as AI poses one of the most promising yet challenging opportunities the world currently faces,” says Vijay Kumar , Nemirovsky Family Dean of Penn Engineering. “Thanks to the generosity of Raj and Neera Singh to Penn Engineering’s B.S.E. in Artificial Intelligence program, we are preparing the next generation of engineers to create a society where AI isn’t just a tool, but a fundamental force for good to advance society in ways previously unimaginable.”

Leading the program will be George J. Pappas , UPS Foundation Professor of Transportation at Penn Engineering. “Realizing the potential of AI for positive social impact stands as one of the paramount challenges confronting engineering,” says Pappas, a 2024 National Academy of Engineering inductee. “We are excited to introduce a cutting-edge curriculum poised to train our students as leaders and innovators in the ongoing AI revolution.”

Ivy League coursework equipping students for the future

The new program’s courses will be taught by world-renowned faculty in the setting of Amy Gutmann Hall, Penn Engineering’s newest building. A hub for data science on campus and for the Philadelphia community when it officially opens this year, the state-of-the-art facilities in Amy Gutmann Hall will further transform the University’s capabilities in engineering education, research, and innovation as Penn Engineering advances the development of artificial intelligence.

“We are training students for jobs that don’t yet exist in fields that may be completely new or revolutionized by the time they graduate,” says Robert Ghrist , associate dean of Undergraduate Education in Penn Engineering and the Andrea Mitchell University Professor. “In my decades of teaching, this is one of the most exciting educational opportunities I’ve ever seen, and I can’t wait to work with these amazing students.”

More details about the AI curriculum and a full list of courses available within the program can be reviewed at Penn Engineering’s new artificial intelligence website .

“Our carefully selected curriculum reflects the reality that AI has come into its own as an academic discipline, not only because of the many amazing things it can do, but also because we think it’s important to address fundamental questions about the nature of intelligence and learning, how to align AI with our social values, and how to build trustworthy AI systems,” says Zachary Ives , Adani President’s Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer and Information Science in Penn Engineering.

The new B.S.E in Artificial Intelligence program will begin in fall 2024, with applications for existing University of Pennsylvania students who would like to transfer into the 2024 cohort available this fall. Fall 2025 applications for all prospective students will be made available in fall 2024.

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Undergraduate Science Education at Harvard

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Research FAQs

How do i get started.

Many Harvard undergraduates participate in life sciences research at one of Harvard’s campuses.

If you are a Harvard undergraduate interested in research, Undergraduate Science Research Advisor Kate Penner  can help you navigate the process of finding a research group. She can help you:

  • define your research interests
  • navigate research group websites
  • create and edit a science resume and cover letter
  • identify and contact research groups
  • apply for fellowships and funding
  • integrate effectively into your research group & make the most of your research experiences

Before your meeting, think about what kinds of research interest you. What science courses did you enjoy the most? Did you read an article or hear a speaker discuss a topic that made you want to learn more?

How do I know what interests me if I have never done research before?

Even if you have not yet done independent research, you have been introduced to various topics in the life sciences. One strategy for choosing a research area is to recall particular class topics that captivated your interest and made you want to read more. Perhaps you completed a special project in high school or read a compelling science article. Maybe you even did research during high school. Because of the multitude of research opportunities available at Harvard, college is a great time for you to explore new research options and directions.

Begin by browsing the various department and research center web pages .

Invest time to read about faculty research ; you may find a project that grabs your attention in a research area that you weren’t aware of previously. In this broad-based search process, you also learn about the wide range of research projects at Harvard and its affiliated hospitals.

Once you identify a few labs whose research interests you (5 or 6 is usually sufficient), read 1-2 publications from each lab to learn about the group’s research focus, model systems, techniques, and overall goals. If you consider the amount of time that you will spend working in the lab or the field, whether it is full-time during the summer or part-time during the academic year, it makes sense to take the time to investigate a number of research options and identify the ones that will likely be a good fit for you and your interests and career goals.

For more detailed advice, please contact the Undergraduate Research Advisor, Kate Penner .

How do I contact and interview in the labs that I am interested in?

Once you have narrowed down your list of labs, send an introductory email inquiry directly to the faculty member who heads the research group (the Principal Investigator or P.I.). Tailor each email specifically for each lab; do not write a generic letter.

Opening few sentences: Start by introducing yourself and the purpose of your inquiry (i.e. you’d like to speak about summer research opportunities in their lab). Next, because you will have already done background reading, mention specific aspects of their research (citing the lab’s papers you have read) and state why they interest you . Your application will be stronger if you convey not only some knowledge of the lab’s scientific goals, but also a genuine interest in their research area and technical approaches.

Next paragraph: Tell them about yourself, what your goals are and why you want to do research with their group.  Describe any previous research experience (as described below, attach your science resume). Previous experience may be helpful, but is not required for joining many research groups. Many undergraduates have not had much, if any, previous experience; professors are looking for students who are highly motivated to learn and dependable.

A brief closing:  Give a timeline of your expected start date, how many hours per week you can devote during the academic term, and what your plans are for the summer.

Attach a copy of your science resume , which differs from a typical resume in its focus and concision. List the science courses you have taken and in which you are currently enrolled (if you are applying to labs outside of the Harvard FAS, list the course title in addition to the course number). Condense your high school information : list only the top 2-3 science experiences or accomplishments, and selected academic awards. A one-page science resume will convey key information and be easy to read.

Most faculty will respond to your email if it is clear that you are genuinely interested in their research and have not simply sent out a generic email. If you don’t receive a response with a week or ten days, you can follow up with an email asking if they have had a chance to consider your request. (Include you original correspondence at the end of your follow-up email.) Often faculty are traveling and don't have regular access to email, so you may have to be patient. It's also helpful to be aware of busy times of year (such as weeks at the start of the academic term for faculty who also teach).

If you get a response inviting you to an interview, make sure that you have a broad understanding of the major areas of the faculty's research program. Also be sure to read 1-2 published papers from the lab so you can ask specific questions about their research. If there are other undergraduates working in the lab already, you can contact them and ask about their experiences. For more detailed advise on interview preparation and making decision on which lab to choose from all your offers please contact the  Undergraduate Research Advisor .

Each fall Science Education Office brings together Harvard scientists from various departments, institutes and hospitals together for the Harvard Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Science (HUROS) fair. HUROS is a great way to meet dozens of scientists in one day and explore multiple research areas before narrowing down your interest. Please register for the event at HUROS page of this site.

Do I have to stay in the same lab all 4 years or can I try different labs?

The short answer is no, you are not required to remain in the same lab for your entire undergraduate career. There are many reasons for changing a lab:

  • your academic interests or concentration may have changed and thus the lab project is no longer appropriate
  • you would like to study abroad  (note that there is no additional cost in tuition for the term-time study abroad and Harvard has many fellowships for summer study abroad programs)
  • your mentor may have moved on and there is no one in the lab to direct your project (it is not unusual for a postdoctoral fellow who is co-mentoring student to move as they secure a faculty position elsewhere)
  • the project may not be working and the lab hasn’t offered an alternative
  • or there may be personal reasons for leaving.  It is acceptable to move on

If you do encounter difficulties, but you strongly prefer to remain in the lab, get help.  Talk to your PI or mentor, or reach out to   Undergraduate Research Advisor   for advice. The PI may not be aware of the problem and bringing it to their attention may be all that is necessary to resolve it.

For students who are satisfied with their research experience, remaining in one lab for the duration of their undergraduate careers can have significant benefits. Students who spend two or three years in the same lab often find that they have become fully integrated members of the research group. In addition, the continuity of spending several years in one lab group often allows students to develop a high level of technical expertise that permits them to work on more sophisticated projects and perhaps produce more significant results. 

Students may volunteer, receive a  course credit or apply for Harvard Research Fellowships . Students who are on Financial Aid Work-Study may apply it towards their research stipend.  Please contact  Undergraduate Research Advisor  for advise on your specific situation.

Student Responsibilities in the Lab: Lab citizenship and effort

Accepting an undergraduate into a research group and providing training for them is a very resource-intensive proposition for a lab, both in terms of the time commitment required from the lab mentors as well as the cost of laboratory supplies and reagents. It is incumbent upon students to recognize and respect this investment.

  • One way for you to acknowledge the lab’s investment is to show that you appreciate the time that your mentors set aside from their own experiments to teach you. For example, try to be meticulous about letting your mentor know well in advance when you are unable to come to the lab as scheduled.   
  • On the other hand, showing up in the lab at a time that is not on your regular schedule and expecting that your mentor will be available to work with you is unrealistic because they may be in the middle of an experiment that cannot be interrupted for several hours.   
  • In addition to adhering to your lab schedule, show you respect the time that your mentor is devoting to you by putting forth a sincere effort when you are in the lab.  This includes turning off your phone, ignoring text messages, avoiding surfing the web and chatting with your friends in the lab etc. You will derive more benefit from a good relationship with your lab both in terms of your achievements in research and future interactions with the PI if you demonstrate a sincere commitment to them. We have heard reports from some PIs who were unhappy with their undergraduates because they did not appear to appreciate the time that their mentors spent working with them.  
  • There will be “crunch” times, maybe even whole weeks, when you will be unable to work in the lab as many hours as you normally would because of midterms, finals, paper deadlines, illness or school vacations. This is fine and not unusual for students, but remember to let your mentor know in advance when you anticipate absences. Disappearing from the lab for days without communicating with your mentor is not acceptable. Your lab mentor and PI are much more likely to be understanding about schedule changes if you keep the lines of communication open but they may be less charitable if you simply disappear for days or weeks at a time. From our conversations with students, we have learned that maintaining good communication and a strong relationship with the lab mentor and/or PI correlates well with an undergraduate’s satisfaction and success in the laboratory.  
  • Perhaps the best way for you to demonstrate your appreciation of the lab’s commitment is to approach your project with genuine interest and intellectual curiosity. Regardless of how limited your time in the lab may be, especially for freshmen and sophomores, it is crucial to convey a sincere sense of engagement with your project and the lab’s research goals. You want to avoid giving the impression that you are there merely to fulfill a degree requirement or as prerequisite for a post-graduate program.

Funding Support

Students conducting research during the fall or spring terms typically either volunteer or earn course credit.  For term time financial support, students may also apply for funding through the   Harvard College Research Program  (HCRP). Students may not simultaneously receive funding and also earn academic credit for a research project.

There are a number of fellowships available for Harvard undergraduates to support summer research projects. Students can also view numerous undergraduate programs and scholarships, including summer research, portable scholarships, and short-term opportunities on the Pathways to Science website .

For specific advise on fellowship selection and tips for writing research proposal please contact Undergraduate Research Advisor .

Research Blog Posts

  • Undergraduate Researcher Profile: Jasmine Kung
  • Undergraduate Researcher Profile: Tanisha Martheswaran
  • Undergraduate Researcher Profile: Esther Yu
  • Undergraduate Researcher Profile: Ellen Zhang
  • Undergraduate Researcher Profile: Indu Prakash
  • Harvard-affiliated Labs
  • Research Opportunities and Funding
  • Transportation for Researchers
  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities (HUROS) Fair
  • Undergraduate Research Spotlight
  • Resume Template & Proposal Tips
  • Lab Citizenship
  • Research Ethics and Lab Safety
  • Conference Presentation Grants
  • Research Advising - Contact Us!

Student Digital Handbook

Student Handbook 2018

Read the Student Digital Handbook (see bookmarks).

Post-bac Jobs & Resources

Are you a graduating senior who wants to work in a lab for a few years before starting a graduate school or medical school? See  Post-Bac Positions Listings  and Post-Bac Resources .

UCL logo

Economics and Statistics BSc (Econ)

London, Bloomsbury Economics and Statistics BSc (Econ) (2025)

This programme, run jointly with UCL Economics, combines an in-depth study of economics and econometrics with a solid grounding in mathematical and statistical methods. The programme is suitable for students of high mathematical ability who are considering a career in finance, business or industry.

UK tuition fees (2024/25)

Overseas tuition fees (2024/25), programme starts, application deadline, ucas course code.

  • Entry requirements

Contextual offer information

Contextual offer, uk applicants qualifications.

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units. Please note, where subject specific requirements are stipulated at A level we may review your Access to HE syllabus to ensure you meet the subject specific requirements prior to a final decision being communicated.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction to include Distinction in Engineering Principles and Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems.

D2,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Mathematics at D2 required. Further Mathematics is preferred. If you are studying both subjects then D2 can be in either subject.

A1,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A1,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher), including A1 in Mathematics at Advanced Higher.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*AA, including A* in Mathematics. Further Mathematics is preferred. If you are studying both subjects then A* can be in either subject.

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website .

This programme does not accept resits. A resit is a second or subsequent attempt to improve a qualification outcome, for which you already hold an award. For further information on what UCL considers a resit, please see UCAS explained .

Access and widening participation

Undergraduate preparatory certificates.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc .

  • English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education .

Course overview

This BSc is a joint degree programme taught in conjunction with UCL Economics. A first-year combination of statistics, economics and mathematics is followed by a roughly equal mix of statistics and economics modules (including econometrics) over years two and three. In the third year in particular, there is considerable flexibility in the range of options available in both economics and statistics.

What this course will give you

London is the financial capital of Europe and a leading global financial centre. UCL is located close to the financial institutions in the City.

Teaching is enhanced by the varied research interests of our academic staff; from the foundations of the subject to applications of statistics in science, medicine, industry, economics and finance.

The department offers a friendly and supportive atmosphere, where small-group teaching and personal attention are available for all students.

Ranked in the top 5 in the UK by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022 for Statistics and Operational Research, we offer you an excellent education with high standards of teaching.

Our graduates are highly sought after in areas such as finance, commerce, industry, research, education and government, while many go on to successfully complete a Master’s or PhD programme.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Econ) (Hons) in Economics and Statistics.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

The programme does not assume any previous exposure to statistics or economics: the first year is designed to provide all students with a firm foundation in these subjects, while deepening the knowledge and understanding of those students with some previous exposure to the subject areas. The second and third years build on this foundation through further compulsory modules on core topics in probability theory and statistical inference, and in quantitative economics and econometrics. Specialist areas of application, such as in public health, finance and the natural environment are mostly introduced as third year options.

During the course of your degree, theoretical studies are balanced with an emphasis on practical work, including the use of specialist software, and realistic illustration of theoretical concepts. A first year combination of statistics, economics and mathematics is followed by a roughly equal mix of statistics and economics modules (including econometrics) over years two and three. In the third year in particular, there is considerable flexibility in the range of options available in both economics and statistics.

Compulsory modules

Optional modules, your learning.

We employ a variety of teaching methods including lectures, small-group tutorials, problem classes and computer workshops and e-learning. Lecturers have regular 'office hours' during which you are welcome to come and ask questions about the course material.

Contact time will vary according to options chosen, but students will typically be expected to undertake 35-40 hours of study per week, of which they are expected to spend around 20-30% of their time in lectures, 10-20% of their time in tutorials, workshops or computer practicals, and the remainder in independent study.

Most modules are examined at the end of the academic year in which they are taken using a combination of end-of-year examinations and in-course assessment. Prizes may be awarded to the most outstanding students in the first, second and third year.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble . Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team .

The foundation of your career

The demand for graduates with training in statistical science is now a permanent feature in both advanced and developing countries for jobs in finance, commerce, industry, research, education and government. Graduates from this department are well-represented in all these fields, in this country and overseas, and recent graduates have continued to be successful in obtaining a wide variety of jobs.

Popular career choices of previous graduates include the financial sector, training in the actuarial or accountancy professions, data science, and jobs in industry and commerce. Postgraduate study, for example in advanced statistics, medical statistics, data science, actuarial science, finance or economics, provides further options.

Employability

Together with subject-specific knowledge, the programme is designed to equip you with skills valued by employers including: advanced numeracy and quantitative skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, and computing skills.

Accreditation

  • Fees and funding

Fees for this course

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website .

Additional costs

This programme does not have any additional costs outside of purchasing books or stationery, printing, thesis binding or photocopying.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages . If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

  • Funding your studies

The department offers an undergraduate scholarship, the EJ Gumbel Scholarship .

Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme and 2024/25 entry.

Statistical Science E. J. Gumbel Scholarship

Deadline: 31 August 2024 Value: £3,100/yr (Duration of programme) Criteria Based on academic merit Eligibility: UK

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

  • How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application .

Got questions? Get in touch

Statistical Science

Statistical Science

[email protected]

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students .

Prospective Students Undergraduate

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  • Download the prospectus

APS

Scientists Propose Upgrades to Research-Methods Education for Psychology Students 

  • Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science
  • Open Practices
  • Research Practice - Observer

undergraduate courses for science students

Many undergraduate psychology courses fail to ensure students fully understand research design and analysis. An international team of psychological scientists have recommended some systemic steps to remedy that shortcoming.  

Researchers from the United Kingdom and Canada outline these recommendations in an article published in Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science ( AMPPS ). Their recommendations are based on a survey of stakeholders, including instructors, undergraduate and graduate students, and nonacademic psychologists. The scientists, led by Robert Thibault of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford University, embarked on the study to help the British Psychological Society update its standards for accrediting psychology programs. But other accrediting bodies, as well as program directors and instructors, can draw on the findings to set standards for teaching research methods, they wrote.  

“Such initiatives could foster cohorts of graduates with an established set of competencies tuned for the contemporary world,” they concluded.  

The effort to upgrade instruction standards for research methods emanates from the rising focus on rigor and the adoption of open science practices. These advances are poorly reflected in psychology curricula, which have seen few updates over the past 2–3 decades, research has shown. One study , for example, found that few courses focus on effect sizes, confidence intervals, and alternatives to null-hypothesis significance testing, which has shortcomings that many scientists blame for the replication problems in psychological science. 

“Taken together, the time is ripe to modernize the teaching of quantitative and qualitative research methods in psychology programs,” the authors said.  

For the project, Thibault and his collaborators used the Delphi technique—a structured method of eliciting and aggregating opinions. They collected anonymous responses from more than 100 stakeholders to determine the level of consensus around methods instruction. The participants, including individuals from more than 50 universities in the United Kingdom, were asked their opinions about specific content to teach as well as approaches to teaching it. The aim was to address the knowledge and skills gaps that lead to irreproducible research and to ensure graduates develop data skills that are useful in nonacademic careers. 

The recommendations for methods instruction are as follows: 

  • Require a strong understanding of data and quantitative data skills. 
  • Emphasize general skills in research design. 
  • Prioritize a foundation in descriptive statistics. 
  • Provide students with a framework for critically assessing research claims. 
  • Raise the prominence of qualitative methods in accreditation standards. 
  • Require that parameter-estimation techniques, such as confidence intervals and effect sizes, be taught alongside significance testing. 
  • Prioritize the teaching of foundational skills in research methods.  
  • Promote content that shows how research-methods skills can transfer beyond academia. 
  • Focus on fewer skills in greater depth and offer optional models for advanced methods skills.  

Thibault and his team cited limitations with their work, including sparse participation by students, nonacademic psychologists, and those who use qualitative methods. But they noted that their use of the Delphi technique allowed them to garner a robust understanding of participants’ opinions about instruction in research methods.  

Feedback on this article? Email  [email protected]  or login to comment .

Reference  

Thibault, R. T., Bailey-Rodriguez, D., Bartlett, J. E., Blazey, P., Green, R. J., Pownall, M., & Munafo, M. R. (2024). A Delphi study to strengthen research-methods training in undergraduate psychology programs.  Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science , 7 (1). https://doi.org/10.1177/25152459231213808  

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines .

Please login with your APS account to comment.

undergraduate courses for science students

Practical Protections

In the era of open science, researchers encounter the challenges of preserving participant privacy when sharing data from qualitative interviews. Learn how you can balance transparency and confidentiality.

undergraduate courses for science students

Multilab Replication Challenges Long-held Theories on Cognitive Dissonance

One of the foremost models that scientists use to measure the effects of cognitive dissonance may have some deficiencies, a new multilab registered replication indicates.

undergraduate courses for science students

When Things Don’t Go According to Plan

Methodologists have embraced preregistration as a way to prevent questionable research practices and add transparency to scientific studies. But many researchers end up deviating from those preregistered plans, and those deviations aren’t reported systematically, if at all.

Privacy Overview

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