Physical Science Degree: Overview

In the realm of academic pursuits, we embark upon an exploration into the domain of physical science and its associated degree program, the Physical Science Major. This academic pathway serves as a portal to the profound intricacies of physics, chemistry, and biology.

If you want to learn more about the degree in Physical Science, I have gathered some of the most important facts and tidbits about this degree so that you can have an informed choice whether to take this degree for college or not.

What is Physical Science Major?

A Physical Science Major is an academic STEM program that immerses students in the realm of the physical sciences, which encompass three core branches: physics, chemistry, and biology. Within this major, students delve into the fundamental principles that govern our natural world.

Physics, as one facet of a Physical Science major, explores the laws that dictate the behavior of matter and energy. It delves into concepts like motion, gravity, electricity, and the structure of the universe. Physics allows us to understand everything from the movement of planets to the behavior of subatomic particles.

In essence, a physical science major is a holistic journey through these interconnected disciplines, equipping students with a profound understanding of the physical world and the scientific tools to explore and analyze it. It opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities, where graduates can contribute to advancements in science, technology, and our understanding of the natural universe.

Major Types of Physical Science Majors

When we examine the diverse landscape of physical science majors, we discover several distinct branches, each offering a unique lens through which to explore the world around us. Here, let’s delve into these major types:

Physics Major

This academic pathway delves deep into the fundamental laws governing the physical universe. Physics majors investigate the principles of motion, the nature of energy, and the mysterious forces that shape our reality. From the motion of celestial bodies to the behavior of subatomic particles, physics unravels the secrets of the cosmos.

Chemistry Major

Centered on the composition, properties, and transformations of matter, chemistry majors embark on a journey to understand the very essence of substances. They explore the intricacies of chemical reactions, uncover the hidden structures of molecules, and gain insight into the materials that constitute our everyday world.

Biology Major

In the realm of biology, students delve into the science of life itself. This major encompasses the study of living organisms at various scales, from the smallest cells to entire ecosystems. Biology majors explore the mechanisms of life processes, genetics, evolution, and the intricate web of interactions that define the living world.

Each of these physical science majors equips students with a distinct set of tools and knowledge, enabling them to make meaningful contributions to scientific discovery and technological advancements. Whether you’re drawn to the fundamental laws of physics, the intricate world of molecules, or the mysteries of life, there’s a physical science major suited to your passion and curiosity.

Types of Physical Science Degree

A Physical Science Major is an educational pathway that allows individuals to explore and understand the fundamental principles of the physical sciences, including physics, chemistry, and biology. Let’s take a closer look at the different levels of degrees available in this field:

Associate Degree

An Associate Degree in Physical Science offers foundational knowledge in the physical sciences and serves as a starting point for further education or entry-level positions. It typically requires two years of study at a community college or similar institution.

Bachelor’s Degree

A bachelor’s degree in physical science provides a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. It typically involves four years of study at a college or university and opens up a wide range of career opportunities in various scientific and technical fields.

Master’s Degree

A Master’s Degree in Physical Science allows individuals to specialize in a particular area of the physical sciences and engage in more advanced research and coursework. It often takes an additional two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree.


A Doctorate in Physical Science, commonly known as a Ph.D., is the highest level of academic achievement in this field. It involves in-depth research, often leading to the creation of new knowledge, and prepares individuals for careers in academia, research, or high-level positions in industry.

In essence, a Physical Science Major offers a structured path for individuals to gain expertise in the physical sciences, with each degree level offering its own unique advantages and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Jobs for Physical Science Majors

Here are the top 10 jobs you can pursue with a Physical Science major, each accompanied by a comprehensive definition, an exploration of their societal value, and a distinct salary emphasizing their worthiness:

Medical Doctor (Physician)

Definition: A medical doctor, or physician, is a highly-trained healthcare professional who utilizes their profound knowledge of biology and chemistry to diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses in patients. They employ an extensive understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and medical science to provide comprehensive and compassionate care.

Value to Society: Physicians are the cornerstone of public health. They not only save lives but also improve the quality of life for countless individuals. Their work contributes to healthier communities and medical advancements, enhancing the overall well-being of society.

  • Salary: “With an average annual salary of $238,795 per year, this vocation is an unequivocal pursuit of profound purpose and amazing pay.”


  • Definition: Pharmacists are dedicated healthcare professionals who specialize in the safe and effective use of medications. They are responsible for dispensing prescriptions, offering invaluable guidance on potential drug interactions, and providing essential healthcare advice to patients.
  • Value to Society: Pharmacists play a pivotal role in ensuring the well-being of individuals by ensuring they receive the correct medications and understand how to use them safely. Their expertise mitigates adverse drug reactions and promotes healthier lives for patients.
  • Salary: “With an annual income of $126,170, this profession offers both financial stability and the satisfaction of contributing to the health of society.”

Environmental Scientist

  • Definition: Environmental scientists are dedicated professionals who examine the natural world and its various ecosystems. They employ scientific methods to investigate pressing environmental concerns, such as climate change, pollution, and habitat degradation.
  • Value to Society: Environmental scientists serve as custodians of the Earth, working to safeguard our planet’s delicate balance. Their research informs policies and practices that mitigate environmental harm and promote sustainable living for present and future generations.
  • Salary: “With an approximate annual salary of $66,795, this career spearheads eco-friendliness and decent compensation packages.”

Biomedical Engineer

  • Definition: Biomedical engineers are innovative problem-solvers who apply principles from biology and physics to design medical equipment, devices, and technologies that enhance healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Value to Society: Biomedical engineers are pioneers in healthcare innovation. Their creations improve the accuracy of diagnoses, the effectiveness of treatments, and the overall quality of patient care.
  • Salary: “With an annual income potential of $87,485, this profession blends scientific expertise with profound societal impact.”

Chemical Engineer

  • Definition: Chemical engineers are the architects of the molecular world. They leverage their deep understanding of chemistry to design processes and products across a wide spectrum of industries, including pharmaceuticals, energy, and materials science.
  • Value to Society: Chemical engineers are catalysts for progress. They drive innovation by transforming raw materials into valuable products, contributing to advancements in pharmaceuticals, sustainable energy solutions, and countless other domains.
  • Salary: “With earning potential often soaring to $89,148, this field turns chemical reactions into financial prosperity.”


  • Definition: Geoscientists are the Earth’s detectives, using principles from the physical sciences to investigate Earth’s processes, including climate change, natural disasters, and geological formations.
  • Value to Society: Geoscientists play a pivotal role in understanding and addressing environmental challenges. Their work informs strategies for preserving ecosystems, safeguarding communities from natural disasters, and managing vital resources.
  • Salary: “With salaries averaging $118,387, this career harmoniously blends scientific exploration with the preservation of our planet.”


  • Definition: Astronomers are cosmic explorers who employ their physics and astronomy expertise to study celestial objects, galaxies, stars, and cosmic phenomena.
  • Value to Society: Astronomers expand our cosmic knowledge, answering profound questions about the universe’s origins, evolution, and potential habitability elsewhere. Their discoveries inspire wonder and provide insights into the nature of existence.
  • Salary: “With salaries that can reach $75,869 per year, this profession takes you on a celestial journey, both figuratively and financially.”

Materials Scientist

  • Definition: Materials scientists are the architects of the future, investigating and developing new materials with applications across diverse industries, from electronics to energy.
  • Value to Society: Materials scientists drive technological progress by creating materials with unique properties. Their contributions underpin the development of cutting-edge technologies that shape our world.
  • Salary: “With earning potential frequently around $99,537 per year, this specific physical science-related job molds the materials that shape our future.”

Nuclear Engineer

  • Definition: Nuclear engineers are guardians of atomic energy, using their physics expertise to work on nuclear power generation, radiation safety, and the responsible utilization of nuclear resources.
  • Value to Society: Nuclear engineers contribute to clean energy solutions, ensuring the safe and efficient operation of nuclear power plants. Their work balances energy needs with environmental concerns.
  • Salary: “With a salary potential that goes around $107,624,, this job melds nuclear expertise with financial security.”

These careers offer not only substantial financial rewards but also the profound satisfaction of making a significant impact on society, making them truly worthwhile pursuits for those with a physical science major.

If you want more information about the top jobs for bachelor of science degree graduates, check out my article about it!

Requirements for a Physical Science Major

To pursue a Physical Science Major, there are certain requirements you should be aware of: 

  • Educational Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent with a solid foundation in mathematics and science subjects.
  • Admission to a College or University: Choose an accredited institution offering a Physical Science major and meet their admission requirements.
  • Coursework: Complete core science classes in physics, chemistry, and biology, along with general education and electives.
  • Lab Work: Engage in hands-on experiments and practical work in laboratory settings.
  • Research: Conduct research projects to deepen your understanding of specific physical science areas.
  • Internships or Fieldwork: Participate in internships or fieldwork to gain practical exposure and build connections.
  • Bachelor’s Degree (Optional): Pursue a bachelor’s degree, typically a four-year program.
  • Master’s or Doctorate (Optional): Consider advanced degrees for specialization or research opportunities.
  • Academic Performance: Maintain a satisfactory GPA to remain in good academic standing.
  • Extracurricular Involvement: Participate in science-related clubs, organizations, or conferences to enhance your educational experience and network in the field.

These requirements can vary slightly depending on the institution and your specific career goals within the physical sciences.

Frequently Asked Questions About Physical Science

What is the main point of physical science?

The main point of physical science is to understand and explain the fundamental principles governing the natural world. Physical science encompasses three core disciplines: physics, chemistry, and biology.

Physics explores the fundamental laws that govern the behavior of matter and energy in the universe. It seeks to answer questions about how objects move, the forces that act upon them, and the fundamental structure of the universe.

Chemistry delves into the composition, properties, and transformations of matter. It investigates the nature of substances, chemical reactions, and the elements that make up the world around us.

Biology, on the other hand, focuses on the science of life itself. It examines living organisms, from the smallest cells to complex ecosystems, seeking to understand their structures, functions, and interactions.

The main point of physical science, therefore, is to gain a deeper understanding of the natural world through these three distinct but interconnected disciplines. It allows us to explore, explain, and appreciate the wonders of the universe, from the motion of planets to the intricate workings of living organisms.

Is a physical science degree hard to obtain?

Obtaining a physical science degree can be challenging, but the level of difficulty varies from person to person and depends on individual circumstances. Here are some key factors to consider:

Interest and Aptitude: Your level of interest and aptitude for the physical sciences will greatly influence the difficulty of obtaining a degree. If you have a genuine passion for physics, chemistry, or biology, you may find the coursework more engaging and manageable.

Academic Preparation: A strong foundation in mathematics and science from high school can make the transition to a physical science major smoother. It’s essential to have a good grasp of these fundamental subjects.

Workload: Physical science majors often involve rigorous coursework, including complex mathematical concepts and laboratory experiments. The workload can be demanding, requiring dedication and time management.

Persistence: Like any degree program, obtaining a physical science degree requires persistence and a commitment to learning. You may encounter challenges along the way, but perseverance can lead to success.

Support and Resources: Access to support resources, such as tutors, study groups, and professors, can significantly impact your ability to succeed in a physical science program. Seek out these resources when needed.

Career Goals: Consider your career goals. Some physical science careers may require advanced degrees, which can add to the time and effort needed to obtain the necessary qualifications.

In summary, while obtaining a physical science degree can be challenging, it is achievable with dedication and the right support. The difficulty level can vary based on individual factors, including your interest in the subject matter and your prior academic preparation.

What is the main focus of physical science?

Physical science focuses mainly on comprehending and elucidating the fundamental principles that underlie the natural world. It delves into the study of matter, energy, and their interactions, seeking to unravel the mysteries of how the physical universe operates. 

Whether exploring the motion of celestial bodies, the behavior of atoms and molecules, or the intricate web of life on Earth, physical science strives to provide a systematic and rational understanding of the phenomena that shape our reality. It is a discipline rooted in curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge, enabling us to decipher the intricacies of the world around us.

Are natural science and physical science the same?

Natural science and physical science are closely related but not the same. Natural science is a broader term encompassing several scientific disciplines, including physical science, life science (which includes biology), and earth science. Physical science, on the other hand, specifically focuses on the study of nonliving matter and energy.

It includes disciplines like physics and chemistry, which explore the fundamental principles governing the physical world. While both natural science and physical science share a common goal of understanding the natural world, physical science has a narrower scope, concentrating on the fundamental physical processes that underpin the universe.

Looking for more information about science degrees? Check out my science degree tier list video:

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