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.

Physical Science is the study of organic, non-living materials, and includes chemistry, physics, meteorology and more.  Read More

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106University of Rhode Island (URI)(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$336,000
Total 4 Year Cost$109,000
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$24,600
107University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$335,000
Total 4 Year Cost$190,000
Grad Rate90%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,600
108 (tie)Springfield College in Illinois(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$334,000
Total 4 Year Cost$153,000
Grad Rate51%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,300
108 (tie)Villanova University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$334,000
Total 4 Year Cost$239,000
Grad Rate89%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$32,400
110 (tie)Bridgewater State College(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$332,000
Total 4 Year Cost$92,800
Grad Rate59%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$31,200
110 (tie)California State University - Fullerton (CSUF)(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$332,000
Total 4 Year Cost$142,000
Grad Rate56%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$21,800
110 (tie)SUNY - College at Plattsburgh(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$332,000
Total 4 Year Cost$87,200
Grad Rate61%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$26,100
113Northwest Missouri State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$331,000
Total 4 Year Cost$70,400
Grad Rate50%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,600
114 (tie)Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$330,000
Total 4 Year Cost$130,000
Grad Rate65%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,100
114 (tie)Illinois State University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$330,000
Total 4 Year Cost$106,000
Grad Rate72%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$30,200
114 (tie)Texas A&M University - Main Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$330,000
Total 4 Year Cost$158,000
Grad Rate79%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$24,100
117 (tie)Christopher Newport University(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$327,000
Total 4 Year Cost$105,000
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,500
117 (tie)Northeastern University(Private)
20 Year Net ROI$327,000
Total 4 Year Cost$237,000
Grad Rate82%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$25,400
117 (tie)University of Massachusetts (UMass) - Amherst Campus(In-State)
20 Year Net ROI$327,000
Total 4 Year Cost$107,000
Grad Rate75%
Time to Graduate4 Years
Loan Amt$29,200
117 (tie)University of Wisconsin (UW) - La Crosse Campus(Out-of-State)
20 Year Net ROI$327,000
Total 4 Year Cost$103,000
Grad Rate68%
Time to Graduate5 Years
Loan Amt$26,900

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

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.

The University of Rhode Island has among the best college ROIs for science majors in the country. More than 16,000 students attend the University of Rhode Island, and they are well-known for their nursing programs, as well as agricultural and marine natural economics. URI is located in Kingston, Rhode Island, and famous alumni include Lamar Odom and Dawan Robinson.

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.