Best Value Colleges for Science

If you’re interested in the sciences, from astronomy to zoology, Payscale’s College ROI Report can help you find the best value college for science majors by calculating the best college returns on investment based on how much science majors from a particular college earn.

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:$1,094,000Total 4 Year Cost:$293,000Graduation Rate:96%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,900
Rank:2School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$1,091,000Total 4 Year Cost:$318,000Graduation Rate:94%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$23,300
Rank:3School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$1,039,000Total 4 Year Cost:$299,000Graduation Rate:97%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$35,200
Rank:4School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$970,000Total 4 Year Cost:$313,000Graduation Rate:94%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$25,800
Rank:5School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$964,000Total 4 Year Cost:$303,000Graduation Rate:96%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$35,500
Rank:6School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$906,000Total 4 Year Cost:$0Graduation Rate:91%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:-
Rank:7School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$869,000Total 4 Year Cost:$160,000Graduation Rate:93%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,800
Rank:8School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$864,000Total 4 Year Cost:$148,000Graduation Rate:83%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$40,000
Rank:9School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$862,000Total 4 Year Cost:$292,000Graduation Rate:98%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,900
Rank:10School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$776,000Total 4 Year Cost:$109,000Graduation Rate:54%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$20,400

Physical Science is the study of organic, non-living materials, and includes chemistry, physics, meteorology and more. Life science is the study of living organisms and the physical, particularly their processes and interrelationships. Physical science disciplines include geology, chemistry, meteorology, and many more. Disciplines that fall under life science include ecology, neurology, and biology, to name a few. See which schools top the College ROI Report for best value colleges for students who major in life science and physical science.

Several schools in California rank very high in terms of college ROI for science majors. San Jose State University, San Francisco State University, University of California at Berkeley and University of California San Diego all have perennially excellent college ROIs. Each of these colleges are located in areas with strong economies and favorable geography. Life science majors have access to research and fieldwork in a variety of environments, and physical science majors benefit from proximity to job opportunities from big employers in technology, biotechnology, pharmacology and chemical manufacturing.

It’s no surprise that science majors provide good ROI for students; after all, you can’t spell “STEM” without science. Life sciences and physical sciences set students up for excellent career prospects, ranging from medical careers to research and development. However, some science disciplines lead to higher-paying careers than others, so don’t expect the same high demand that engineering and computer science majors enjoy. Also, keep in mind that these figures don’t include alumni who go on to earn a graduate degree. Life science majors often see bigger pay bumps when they have a master’s degree.