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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196 (tie)University of Illinois at Chicago(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$278,000
Total 4 Year Cost$117,000
Grad Rate60%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,900
196 (tie)University of North Texas (UNT)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$278,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate50%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$23,200
196 (tie)Western Illinois University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$278,000
Total 4 Year Cost$117,000
Grad Rate54%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,800
199 (tie)University of Colorado - Boulder (CU)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$277,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate70%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$34,900
199 (tie)University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$277,000
Total 4 Year Cost$119,000
Grad Rate81%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,100
199 (tie)University of Northern Iowa(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$277,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate64%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,700
199 (tie)University of Vermont (UVM)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$277,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate76%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$33,100
203 (tie)Miami University - Oxford, OH(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$276,000
Total 4 Year Cost$119,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$30,800
203 (tie)Utah State University - Regional Campuses and Distance Education(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$276,000
Total 4 Year Cost$119,000
Grad Rate50%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$22,900
205 (tie)North Dakota State University (NDSU)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$274,000
Total 4 Year Cost$122,000
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$34,400
205 (tie)Temple University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$274,000
Total 4 Year Cost$122,000
Grad Rate69%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$34,000
205 (tie)Texas State University - San Marcos Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$274,000
Total 4 Year Cost$121,000
Grad Rate55%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,400
208 (tie)Colorado School of Mines(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$272,000
Total 4 Year Cost$123,000
Grad Rate76%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$33,400
208 (tie)Texas Tech University(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$272,000
Total 4 Year Cost$123,000
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,000
208 (tie)University of California - San Diego (UCSD), Warren College(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$272,000
Total 4 Year Cost$123,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$22,600

*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.