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Physical Sciences, General


General physical sciences programs teach people about the physical sciences, including physics, chemistry, and math.

This broad-based program is a good foundation for many career possibilities. It prepares students for teaching elementary or secondary school science. Many students take this as a second major.


Many community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in physical sciences. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. Students may work as a lab technician with an associate degree, or transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer interdisciplinary bachelor's degrees in physical sciences. Interdisciplinary programs combine courses from several college departments. In physical sciences it may be physics, chemistry, and geology. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Very few universities offer graduate degrees in physical sciences. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers to Consider

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

No matter where you go to school, you're likely to take a set of "core" courses similar to the list above. In addition to these courses, you are usually required to take additional courses in one science as a concentration. If your goal is science teacher certification, you need to complete required education courses.

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate programs in natural sciences are usually for elementary and secondary science teachers. Typical courses vary by specialty. A list of common graduate requirements is below:

Things to Know

If you plan to become an elementary or secondary school science teacher, you also need to take education courses and complete a practicum in student teaching.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Washington State University - Pullman

Wenatchee Valley College (Omak Campus)

King-Snohomish Area

Cascadia College

Central Washington University - Des Moines

North Seattle College

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

West Side Area

Evergreen State College, The

Western Washington University