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Biological & Physical Science Major

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Biological & Physical Science

466 Master's Degrees Annually
69 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#156 in Popularity (Master's)
$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
Master’s Degree 466
Graduate Certificate 76
Doctor’s Degree 69

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

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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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

A major in biological science prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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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

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a biological science student include the following:

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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 Master’s Degree in Biological & Physical Science?

466 Master's Degrees Annually
54% Percent Women
38% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Roughly 54% of the graduates are women, and 46% are men.

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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 83
Black or African American 42
Hispanic or Latino 39
White 213
International Students 67
Other Races/Ethnicities 22

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Biological Science. About 14.4% 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?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of biological and physical science students with a master’s degree is $64,300 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $40,075 (25th percentile) and $64,300 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in biological science, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

The median salary for someone in a career related to biological science is $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.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to biological science have obtained the following education levels.

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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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 377 schools offered some type of biological and physical science program. 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 2,661
Nutrition Science 1,439
Sustainability Science 1,184
International Studies 1,182
Computational Science 763
Behavioral Science 724
Museum Studies 710
Gerontology 645
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 630
Human Computer Interaction 562
Dispute Resolution 522
Systems Theory 460
Historic Preservation 292
Interdisciplinary Studies 213
Mathematics & Computer Science 189
Science, Technology & Society 187
Cognitive Science 152
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 131
Natural Sciences 94
Marine Science 92
Cultural Studies & Analysis 69
Medieval Studies 49
Classical & Ancient Studies 30
Holocaust Studies 30
Maritime Studies 20
Accounting & Computer Science 10
Human Biology 8
Biopsychology 1

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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