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Biological & Physical Science Major

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Biological & Physical Science

2,177 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
466 Master's Degrees Annually
#127 in Popularity
$139,680 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Biological & Physical Science Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many biological and physical science graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 26,242
Bachelor’s Degree 2,177
Master’s Degree 466
Basic Certificate 224
Graduate Certificate 76
Doctor’s Degree 69
Undergraduate Certificate 24

What Biological & Physical Science Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, biological science majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Biological Science Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in biological science should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Skills for Biological Science Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to biological science:

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  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Biological Science Majors

As you progress with your biological science degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Biological & Physical Science Major?

People with a biological science degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Clinical Research Coordinators 9.9% $123,860
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological & Physical Science?

2,177 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
61% Percent Women
31% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,177 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biological and physical science in 2019, making it rank #127 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 61% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of biological science majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Biological Science Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 211
Black or African American 150
Hispanic or Latino 204
White 1,337
International Students 64
Other Races/Ethnicities 211

Geographic Diversity

Biological Science appeals to people across the globe. About 2.9% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Canada

How Much Do Biological & Physical Science Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in biological science was $30,600 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,150 (25th percentile) and $30,600 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a biological science degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Biological Science majors often go into careers with median salaries of $139,680. This median refers to all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Biological & Physical Science Major  139,680
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some degrees associated with biological science may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for biological science careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 4.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 4.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 49.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 3.3%
Master’s Degree 14.2%
Doctoral Degree 11.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.1%

Online Biological & Physical Science Programs

In 2018-2019, 377 schools offered a biological science program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 6 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 4 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 192 12
Bachelor’s Degree 11 1
Post-Baccalaureate 6 0
Master’s Degree 47 2
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 16 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Biological & Physical Science Worth It?

The median salary for a biological science grad is $139,680 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 250% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,995,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to biological science.

Major Number of Grads
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 37,392
International Studies 7,967
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,609
Nutrition Science 4,794
Behavioral Science 3,731
Natural Sciences 2,571
Cognitive Science 2,275
Sustainability Science 2,194
Human Biology 1,460
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 1,310
Gerontology 1,281
Human Computer Interaction 1,272
Science, Technology & Society 1,171
Mathematics & Computer Science 1,105
Computational Science 927
Systems Theory 917
Museum Studies 801
Dispute Resolution 668
Historic Preservation 433
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 424
Classical & Ancient Studies 303
Marine Science 275
Cultural Studies & Analysis 227
Biopsychology 165
Medieval Studies 108
Accounting & Computer Science 71
Maritime Studies 45
Holocaust Studies 40

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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