Best Value Colleges For Science Majors

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.

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Rank
School Name
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
Annual ROI
20 Year ROI annualized to represent the % of expected ROI received each year after graduation.
20 Year Net ROI
 
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
20 Year Net ROI
Difference between 20 Year Median Pay for a bachelor’s grad and 24 Year Median Pay for a high school grad minus Total 4 Year Cost.
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Total 4 Year Cost
Full cost, including tuition & fees, room & board, and books & supplies. Actual net cost may vary based on a student’s academic success and family income. Source: IPEDS
Graduation Rate
% of full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students who began their studies at the given school and graduate within 6 years. Source: IPEDS
Typical Years to Graduate
# of years it takes for at least 65 percent of graduates from a given school to receive their diplomas. Source: IPEDS
Average Loan Amount
Received by full-time, first-time degree seeking undergrad students, multiplied to represent amount over four years. Includes all Title IV loans and all institutionally- and privately-sponsored student loans. Source: IPEDS
% Grant Money Received
% of full-time, first-time undergrads who received local, state, federal, or institutional grant aid in the 2012-2013 academic year. Source: IPEDS
17.2%N/A10.9%N/A$814,000N/A$949,000N/A$272,000N/A93%4$25,50011%
1Harvey Mudd College(Private)
Annual ROI7.2%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI10.9%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$814,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$949,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$272,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$25,500
Grant Money Received11%
27.5%N/A13.6%N/A$799,000N/A$966,000N/A$249,000N/A93%4$30,20015%
2Massachusetts Institute of Technology(Private)
Annual ROI7.5%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI13.6%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$799,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$966,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$249,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate93%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$30,200
Grant Money Received15%
3N/AN/AN/AN/A$792,000N/A$792,000N/A$0N/A86%4N/AN/A
3United States Naval Academy(Service Academy)
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$792,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$792,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$0
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate4
Loan AmtN/A
Grant Money ReceivedN/A
47.4%N/A14.8%N/A$754,000N/A$931,000N/A$240,000N/A97%4$18,10017%
4Princeton University(Private)
Annual ROI7.4%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.8%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$754,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$931,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$240,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$18,100
Grant Money Received17%
56.8%N/A13.3%N/A$722,000N/A$905,000N/A$265,000N/A97%4$24,70015%
5Dartmouth College(Private)
Annual ROI6.8%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI13.3%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$722,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$905,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$265,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,700
Grant Money Received15%
66.8%N/A14.2%N/A$718,000N/A$911,000N/A$261,000N/A98%4$21,50017%
6Yale University(Private)
Annual ROI6.8%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.2%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$718,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$911,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$261,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate98%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$21,500
Grant Money Received17%
79.6%9.9%11.7%12.1%$668,000$673,000$708,000$713,000$126,000$121,00077%4$26,70010%
7Colorado School of Mines(In-State)
Annual ROI9.6%
Annual ROI9.9%
Annual ROI11.7%
Annual ROI12.1%
20 Year Net ROI$668,000
20 Year Net ROI$673,000
20 Year Net ROI$708,000
20 Year Net ROI$713,000
Total 4 Year Cost$126,000
Total 4 Year Cost$121,000
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$26,700
Grant Money Received10%
86.6%N/A14.5%N/A$664,000N/A$857,000N/A$254,000N/A97%4$27,40016%
8Harvard University(Private)
Annual ROI6.6%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.5%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$664,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$857,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$254,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate97%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$27,400
Grant Money Received16%
910.5%10.0%14.1%13.1%$649,000$640,000$697,000$687,000$101,000$111,00086%5$33,50011%
9Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus(In-State)
Annual ROI10.5%
Annual ROI10.0%
Annual ROI14.1%
Annual ROI13.1%
20 Year Net ROI$649,000
20 Year Net ROI$640,000
20 Year Net ROI$697,000
20 Year Net ROI$687,000
Total 4 Year Cost$101,000
Total 4 Year Cost$111,000
Grad Rate86%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$33,500
Grant Money Received11%
109.0%9.9%13.3%15.5%$648,000$669,000$722,000$743,000$139,000$118,00092%4$23,90023%
10University of California-Berkeley(In-State)
Annual ROI9.0%
Annual ROI9.9%
Annual ROI13.3%
Annual ROI15.5%
20 Year Net ROI$648,000
20 Year Net ROI$669,000
20 Year Net ROI$722,000
20 Year Net ROI$743,000
Total 4 Year Cost$139,000
Total 4 Year Cost$118,000
Grad Rate92%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$23,900
Grant Money Received23%
116.4%N/A14.0%N/A$621,000N/A$812,000N/A$255,000N/A94%4$32,20013%
11Stanford University(Private)
Annual ROI6.4%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI14.0%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$621,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$812,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$255,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$32,200
Grant Money Received13%
127.3%7.4%8.5%8.7%$599,000$604,000$639,000$644,000$195,000$190,00077%4$26,70010%
12Colorado School of Mines(Out-of-State)
Annual ROI7.3%
Annual ROI7.4%
Annual ROI8.5%
Annual ROI8.7%
20 Year Net ROI$599,000
20 Year Net ROI$604,000
20 Year Net ROI$639,000
20 Year Net ROI$644,000
Total 4 Year Cost$195,000
Total 4 Year Cost$190,000
Grad Rate77%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$26,700
Grant Money Received10%
136.1%N/A13.1%N/A$596,000N/A$784,000N/A$262,000N/A95%4$24,70012%
13Duke University(Private)
Annual ROI6.1%
Annual ROIN/A
Annual ROI13.1%
Annual ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$596,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
20 Year Net ROI$784,000
20 Year Net ROIN/A
Total 4 Year Cost$262,000
Total 4 Year CostN/A
Grad Rate95%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$24,700
Grant Money Received12%
1410.3%10.3%12.7%12.7%$592,000$592,000$628,000$628,000$97,900$97,90053%5$21,80048%
14San Francisco State University(In-State)
Annual ROI10.3%
Annual ROI10.3%
Annual ROI12.7%
Annual ROI12.7%
20 Year Net ROI$592,000
20 Year Net ROI$592,000
20 Year Net ROI$628,000
20 Year Net ROI$628,000
Total 4 Year Cost$97,900
Total 4 Year Cost$97,900
Grad Rate53%
Time to Graduate5
Loan Amt$21,800
Grant Money Received48%
156.0%6.0%10.7%10.7%$590,000$590,000$744,000$744,000$267,000$267,00094%4$25,20015%
15Northwestern University(Private)
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI6.0%
Annual ROI10.7%
Annual ROI10.7%
20 Year Net ROI$590,000
20 Year Net ROI$590,000
20 Year Net ROI$744,000
20 Year Net ROI$744,000
Total 4 Year Cost$267,000
Total 4 Year Cost$267,000
Grad Rate94%
Time to Graduate4
Loan Amt$25,200
Grant Money Received15%

* N/A indicates school does not have an on campus living option.

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.


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