Best Value Colleges for Science Careers

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

Find out exactly what you should be paid
RankSchool Name20 Year Net ROI
Total 4 Year Cost
Graduation Rate
Typical Years to Graduate
Average Loan Amount
Rank:1School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$733,000Total 4 Year Cost:$126,000Graduation Rate:77%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$26,700
Rank:2School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$665,000Total 4 Year Cost:$195,000Graduation Rate:77%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$26,700
Rank:3School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$574,000Total 4 Year Cost:$101,000Graduation Rate:86%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$33,500
Rank:4School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$529,000Total 4 Year Cost:$139,000Graduation Rate:92%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$23,900
Rank:5School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$523,000Total 4 Year Cost:$116,000Graduation Rate:66%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$17,300
Rank:6School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$511,000Total 4 Year Cost:$102,000Graduation Rate:62%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$22,600
Rank:7School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$509,000Total 4 Year Cost:$108,000Graduation Rate:56%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$28,900
Rank:8School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$496,000Total 4 Year Cost:$144,000Graduation Rate:66%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$17,300
Rank:9School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$495,000Total 4 Year Cost:$180,000Graduation Rate:86%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$33,500
Rank:10School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$478,000Total 4 Year Cost:$97,900Graduation Rate:53%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$21,800

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