Best Value Colleges For Science Careers

Science careers are a great choice for students who prefer a lab coat to a suit and tie.

Science jobs encompass more than working in a lab though -- a science career can mean you work in any field from anthropology to zoology.  Read More

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1University of Wisconsin (UW) - Stevens Point Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$327,000
Total 4 Year Cost$68,000
Grad Rate60%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,000
2University of Wisconsin (UWW) - Whitewater(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$326,000
Total 4 Year Cost$69,000
Grad Rate58%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,700
3Northwest Missouri State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$325,000
Total 4 Year Cost$70,400
Grad Rate50%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,600
4University of Wisconsin (UW) - Oshkosh Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$324,000
Total 4 Year Cost$71,600
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,800
5 (tie)Tarleton State University (TSU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$323,000
Total 4 Year Cost$72,000
Grad Rate45%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$38,500
5 (tie)University of Wisconsin (UW) - La Crosse Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$323,000
Total 4 Year Cost$72,100
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,900
5 (tie)University of Wisconsin (UW) - River Falls Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$323,000
Total 4 Year Cost$72,400
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,200
5 (tie)Utah State University - Regional Campuses and Distance Education(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$323,000
Total 4 Year Cost$72,800
Grad Rate50%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,900
9 (tie)Minnesota State University - Mankato Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$322,000
Total 4 Year Cost$73,400
Grad Rate50%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,500
9 (tie)University of Wyoming (UW)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$322,000
Total 4 Year Cost$73,700
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,700
11 (tie)Appalachian State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$321,000
Total 4 Year Cost$74,700
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,200
11 (tie)University of Montana(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$321,000
Total 4 Year Cost$74,800
Grad Rate48%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,500
13 (tie)Louisiana Tech University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$320,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,100
Grad Rate52%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,000
13 (tie)University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$320,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,200
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,200
13 (tie)University of Wisconsin (UWEC) - Eau Claire(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$320,000
Total 4 Year Cost$75,700
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$27,100

*NOTE: Unranked schools on this list don’t have on-campus living options, so on-campus costs are not available.

PayScale's list of Best College ROIs for Science Jobs calculates the return on investment for schools based on alumni who work in science jobs. Job titles in this category are varied and includes workers who work in the physical science jobs like geology, chemistry, environmental science and geography; life science jobs like biology, animal science and microbiology, and social science jobs like counseling, sociology and economics.

Before we look at the best value colleges for students who want to work in a science career, we should note that PayScale's College ROI figures are calculated based on college graduates who only earned a bachelor's degree. We do not include individuals who go on to earn advanced degrees because we can't accurately calculate the cost of graduate school. And since many of the highest-paying science jobs require advanced degrees, you may not see as high of numbers as you would expect. The truth is, if salary is your highest priority and you want to work in science, you'll most likely have to go to grad school. But the schools that rank well on PayScale's College ROI Report for science jobs provide a good return on investment for individuals who go on to work in the science field even if they only have a bachelor's degree.

UC Berkeley, home of the Golden Bears, is a great choice if a science career is in your future. Furthermore, Cal students graduate in an average of four years, and Cal has a 91 percent graduation rate. This wonder school once again ranks near the top of the list in this category.

The University of Massachusetts (UMass) is a good investment if you plan to pursue a career in the sciences , as is the University of Texas at Austin. It joins a host of other state schools that offer a good value of education, in terms of salary and ROI. In fact, many of the schools on our list of best value colleges for science jobs are public. This doesn't mean that you can't get a good return on your investment if you attend a private school and want to work in sciences, it just means that it may be less common.