A major in General Physical Sciences provides a solid background in the physical sciences, often with a focus in chemistry or physics. This is an interdisciplinary major that is great preparation for a career as a science teacher, or other science related jobs.
General Physical Sciences is different from other majors in that its focus is on a broad education, rather than a specific area. Some of the classes students will take include chemistry, physics, biology, astronomy, thermodynamics, earth science and others. A bachelor's degree is usually not enough education for a career specific to the various science fields. However, it is excellent preparation for teaching, work as a lab technician or graduate studies.
This year's Best General Physical Sciences Schools ranking compares 25 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom physical science rankings further below.
This major is focused on the study of the physical elements of our world. Students should not be afraid of advanced science or math classes. They should have a scientific, objective mind and enjoy observing elements, performing experiments and making discoveries.
Your classes will involve time spent in the lecture halls as well as plenty of lab work. You will usually work in pairs or groups performing experiments and writing lab reports documenting your findings. Students should be detail oriented and creative when performing research and writing papers. Good communication and teamwork skills will help you when preparing group presentations, as well as in a future career.
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most physical science degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Specific physical science careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.
Physical Science degree levels vary. You can get anything from a in general physical sciences to the highest physical science degree, a . Depending on the general physical sciences degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.
|Degree||Credit Requirements||Typical Program Length|
|Associate Degree||60-70 credits||2 years|
|Bachelor’s Degree||120 credits||4 years|
|Master’s Degree||50-70 credits||1-3 years|
|Doctorate||Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation||At least 4 years|
A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to physical science, with approximately 47.4% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for physical science workers below.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
The education level required is different depending on the physical science career you are seeking.
Most students who pursue a major in General Physical Sciences are interested in teaching at the secondary level. They can become physics, chemistry or general science teachers. Some choose to continue their education with a graduate degree in the same field or in a specialized area. For those not interested in teaching, graduates can obtain jobs as lab technicians, conservationists, forestry technicians, wildlife management and other science-related work. Salary will depend on your career choice and education level.
Want a job when you graduate with your physical science degree? General Physical Sciences careers are expected to grow 7.7% between 2016 and 2026.
The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to general physical sciences.
|Occupation Name||Projected Jobs||Expected Growth|
|High School Teachers||1,095,500||7.5%|
|Natural Sciences Managers||62,300||9.9%|
Recently graduated general physical sciences students earned an average of $26,561 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $7,081 to as high as $74,681. As you might expect, salaries for physical science graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.
Salaries for general physical sciences graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers physical science grads often go into.
|Occupation Name||Median Average Salary|
|Natural Sciences Managers||$139,680|
|High School Teachers||$64,340|
With over 234 different physical science degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased physical science school rankings to help you with this.
General Physical Sciences is one of 8 different types of Physical Sciences programs to choose from.
|Related Major||Annual Graduates|
|Geological & Earth Sciences||7,821|
|Astronomy & Astrophysics||1,375|
|Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology||1,140|
More about our data sources and methodologies.