Science and Engineering Degree Programs

 

Science and Engineering Degrees: Career Outlook

The outlook for those interested in pursuing a career in science and engineering is promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the field of life, physical and social sciences is projected to grow by 10% in the decade between 2016 and 2026, adding approximately 124,800 new jobs. This is faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth in engineering during this same timeframe is projected to be slower, but still steady at about 7%. Because this field is so large, however, even more jobs will be available—close to 200,000 new positions will open up in the field.

Associate's Degrees in Science and Engineering

Associate's degrees in science and engineering represent the first tier of formal education that one can acquire in the field. Associate's degree programs typically take two years to complete, though accelerated options may be available for those who want to take on a larger course load and finish their degrees in less time. These programs are usually completed at local community colleges or online. Associate's degrees are versatile in that they prepare students for both entry-level careers in their respective fields and for further academic study in a bachelor's degree program. Below are some of the employment opportunities a graduate of an associate's degree in science and engineering can expect to have along with their mean annual wages, according to the BLS:

  • Agriculture and Food Science Technicians: $39,910
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians: $45,490
  • Chemical Technicians: $47,280
  • Geological and Petroleum Technicians: $54,190
  • Nuclear Technicians: $80,370

 

Types of Associate's Degrees in Science and Engineering

There are many different types of associate's degrees in science and engineering that prospective students can choose from. While each of these degree programs have merit, students should choose the one most closely aligned with their interests and career goals. Below are several examples of the kind of associate's degrees in science and engineering that are currently available:

  • Associate's in Engineering Science
  • Associate of Science in Environmental Studies
  • Associate's in Human Biology
  • AS in Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • Associate of Science in Chemistry
  • Associate of Science in Engineering Technology
  • Electronics Engineering Associate's Degree

 

Associate's Degrees in Science and Engineering: Curriculum

As there are different types of degrees in science and engineering, so too are there varying curricula for these academic offerings. Still, most associate's programs in the field include a similar general education requirement. These courses provide a foundation of knowledge that students will need in order to explore more complex and technical topics characteristic of college courses. Sample course titles required for this general education component are listed below.

Associate's Degree in Science and Engineering: General Education Classes

  • College Writing
  • Precalculus Mathematics
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Information Literacy
  • Arts, Humanities, and History
  • American National Government
  • College Physics
  • Public Speaking
  • Introduction to Psychological Science

 

Though general education classes for associate's degrees in science and engineering will be very similar despite which type of degree program a student chooses, core academic courses will vary significantly. These are technical courses specific to the types of careers and/or baccalaureate studies students intend to pursue after graduation. Here are some sample course titles taken from actual associate's degree programs in the field of science and engineering:

Associate's Degree in Science and Engineering: Core Academic Courses

  • Engineering Design and Graphics
  • Computer Aided Drafting
  • Environmental Politics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Introduction to Atmospheric Sciences
  • General Chemistry
  • Introduction to Biomedical Statistics
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology

 

Bachelor's Degrees in Science and Engineering

Bachelor's degrees in science and engineering are among the most popular types of credentials in the field. Typically, these kinds of programs are offered from established colleges and universities and take approximately four years to complete. Degree completion programs may also be available to those who already have an associate's degree in the field. These offerings allow students to complete their bachelor's degree requirements in about half the time. Most bachelor's programs in science and engineering will qualify graduates for both entry-level careers in the field as well as for further study in a master's program, although some programs may specify a specific track. Below are some of the positions students are prepared for upon graduation from a bachelor's degree in science and engineering program along with their respective mean annual wages, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics:

  • Biological Technicians: $43,800
  • Forensic Science Technicians: $57,850
  • Conservation Scientists and Foresters: $60,970
  • Agricultural and Field Sciences: $62,910
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists: $69,400
  • Microbiologists: $69,960
  • Agricultural Engineers: $74,780
  • Civil Engineers: $84,770
  • Environmental Engineers: $86,800
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineers: $97,970
  • Aerospace Engineers: $113,030
  • Computer Hardware Engineers: $115,120

 

Types of Bachelor's Degree Programs in Science and Engineering

There's no shortage of bachelor's degree programs in the fields of science and engineering for those individuals who wish to break into the field. Thus, it's important for prospective students to research these offerings to ensure that the degree program they choose to pursue is appropriate to the type of career and/or postbaccalaureate study they wish to enter into in the future. Below is a sampling of the different types of science and engineering bachelor's programs currently available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering
  • Bachelor's in Environmental Science
  • BS in Computer Science and Engineering
  • BS in Forensic Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • BS in Electrical Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management
  • BS in Engineering Physics

Bachelor's in Science and Engineering Degrees: Curriculum

The curriculum for bachelor's in science and engineering degrees will vary based on the specific type of program the student chooses to enroll in. Even so, all baccalaureate students will be required to meet similar general education requirements. These are similar to the types of general education classes one can expect to take in an associate's program, but they may be more academically rigorous and may cover more in-depth topics. Below is a sampling of bachelor's-level general education courses, taken from actual bachelor's degree programs in science and engineering.

 

Bachelor's in Science and Engineering: General Education Requirements

The general education requirements for a bachelor's degree in science and engineering provide students with a knowledge base upon which they will build as they progress to more advanced and in-depth courses. Here are some courses one will typically see on their class schedules during the first two years of a bachelor's in science or engineering program:

  • General Chemistry
  • English Composition
  • Macroeconomics
  • Business Statistics
  • Principles of Psychology
  • Fundamentals of Biology
  • Principles of Physics
  • Introduction to Public Speaking
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Writing in Academic and Public Contexts

 

Bachelor's Degree in Science and Engineering: Core Academic Courses

Below we provide a sampling of the types of courses one can expect to see as they progress into the core of their science and engineering bachelor's degrees. These course titles are taken from actual degree programs. Keep in mind that core classes will vary depending on the type of science and engineering bachelor's degree one chooses to pursue.

  • Applications of Engineering Technology
  • Ecological Principles and Field Methods
  • Chemical Instrumental Analysis
  • Digital Circuit Design Laboratory
  • Critical Analyses in Science
  • Energy Analytics
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Crime Scene Processing
  • Environmental Science Research Methods
  • Methods in Nucleic Acid and Protein Biochemistry
  • Advanced Topics in Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Fundamentals of Modern Quantum Theory
  • Theoretical Mechanics

Master's in Science and Engineering: Overview

Master's degree programs in science and engineering allow students to specialize in a specific area of the field and study it intensely. These offerings are typically two-year programs, though it is possible to find accelerated options that allow students to finish the degree in less time. Traditional master's programs featuring face-to-face classes are still the norm, though online programs in the field are becoming increasingly popular. The field of science and engineering is vast, and degree programs at the masters level will vary significantly. Still, in this section, we'll attempt to provide an overview of the most popular master's degrees in science and engineering and detail what you can expect from such programs.

Master's in Science and Engineering: Types of Degree Programs

As mentioned previously, there are many different types of science and engineering master's degrees. It's also important to note that within these different programs are often numerous concentrations, specializations, and/or focus areas. Thus, students have nearly infinite ways they can customize their postbaccalaureate degree programs to suit their academic interests and career goals. Here are some of the most popular options for master's degrees in science and engineering:

  • MS in Chemical Engineering
  • Master's of Petroleum Engineering
  • MS of Mechanical Engineering
  • MS in Biology
  • Master of Molecular and Cell Biology
  • MS in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
  • Master of Science in Data Science

 

Master's in Science and Engineering: Curriculum

It goes without saying that the curriculum for science and engineering degrees will vary depending on the type of program one chooses to pursue in this massive field. Even so, we're providing some course titles below for the purpose of illustrating the depth and breadth of the classes one can expect to take in a master's-level program in science/engineering.

  • Biology of Persistent Diseases
  • Advanced Microbiology
  • Introduction to Human Anatomy
  • Introduction to Pharmacology
  • Environmental Perspectives and Methods
  • Geospatial Information Management
  • Technology from a Global Perspective
  • Energy Management
  • Numerical Analysis and Computation
  • Internet of Things and Cybersecurity
  • Engineering Technology Statistics for Industry
  • Foundations of Artificial Intelligence
  • Information Integration on the Web
  • Advanced Big Data Analytics

 

Doctoral Degrees in Science and Engineering: Overview

Doctoral degrees in science and engineering are terminal degrees, meaning they're the highest level of certification one can earn in the field. Like bachelor's and master's degrees in science and engineering, doctoral degrees are available in many different sub-fields. In fact, doctorate programs tend to be highly specialized, allowing students to hone in on an exact area of science and engineering specific to their academic interests and career goals. In addition, doctoral programs, in general, are heavily research-based. Students can expect to spend a significant amount of time analyzing existing research in the discipline and even creating their own studies and experiments.

Doctoral Degrees in Science and Engineering: Types of Degree Programs

As with other degree tiers in this field, doctoral programs in science and engineering will vary. Here are some examples:

  • Doctor of Computer Science
  • PhD in Astrophysical Sciences and Technology
  • PhD in Marine Science
  • PhD in Electrical Engineering
  • PhD in Chemical, Physical, and Structural Biology
  • Doctor of Information and Computer Engineering
  • PhD in Biochemistry and Biotechnology
  • Doctor of Materials Science and Engineering

 

Doctoral Degrees in Science and Engineering: Curriculum

Courses comprising the curriculum for doctoral degrees in science and engineering tend to be among the most rigorous types of academic classes one can take. Not only do they delve deep into the theory and application of complex scientific concepts, but they're also heavily research-based. Of course, these classes will vary depending on the type of doctoral degree selected. Below, we list some examples.

  • Foundations of Programming Language
  • Cryptography and Network Security
  • Mechanisms of Organic Reactions
  • Biological Oceanography
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Nanomaterials: Engineering and Characterization

 

Science and Engineering Degrees: Online Programs

More and more colleges and universities across the country are offering their science and engineering degrees online. Today, one can complete an entire program of study at the associate's, bachelor's, master's, and even doctoral levels without ever stepping foot onto an actual campus. Other programs are hybrid in nature and allow students to combine face-to-face and distance education. Course delivery for these non-traditional programs also varies. While some online programs are synchronous, meaning lectures and class discussions happen in real-time, others are asynchronous, featuring pre-recorded lectures and online discussion forums. Students must weigh their desires for interactivity and flexibility when choosing from these two options. Some programs offer a blend of asynchronous and synchronous elements, which some students see as the best of both worlds, so to speak. With lots of options to choose from, it's important that prospective students consider many factors before deciding on an online degree in science and engineering. Our rankings take into account program features like tuition, accreditation, national accolades, scheduling options, and curriculum to help you find the ideal program for your life and your future.

Science and Engineering Rankings: