Natural and Applied Sciences Programs In America
Areas of Study
The broad term "science" is generally categorized into larger areas. Natural sciences include the discovery of new knowledge about humans, animals, plants, or the universe, while applied sciences include the application of knowledge from one or more natural scientific fields to solve practical problems.
Entrance to most university and 4-year college natural and applied science programs is either through direct entry from high school, or via a university transfer program from college after 1-2 years of study. Most universities have Colleges or Schools of Science and/or Applied Science with a cornucopia of departments that represent the specialty nature of the institution. During first year of a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, you usually take a variety of core courses in natural sciences. As you progress through the program, you can make a series of decisions that result in increasing specialization in the 3rd and 4th years, thus providing a wide range of flexibility to allow you to tailor the program around personal interests, aptitudes and objectives. Majors can be as diverse as pre-med, chemistry, molecular biology, mathematics, ecology, computer science, child development, nanotechnology and nutrition. Natural and applied science programs typically have excellent laboratory components to help develop practical skills and provide hands-on experience. Advanced courses are available at many institutions to provide insight into cutting edge areas of scientific research. These courses include genomics, bioinformatics, bioenergetics, developmental biology, signal transduction, immunology and more. Because there are so many options in natural and applied sciences, be sure to investigate whether the institution offers any combined or interdisciplinary programs. Double major, major and minor and honors programs are usually available, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program with a concentration in the natural sciences is another option.
Graduates with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) will have a fundamental knowledge suitable for entry into a wide range of graduate school programs, professional programs, government laboratory positions and industry employment in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, forensics, agri/aquaculture, and more. Universities may also offer pre-professional programs as well as associate's degrees such as the Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Arts and Science (AAS). Diploma and certificate programs are primarily "applied" programs with a cross-over to the health care field.
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