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What Are the Different Types of Science Degree Requirements?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Science degree requirements usually include a number of courses in general education as well as classes that focus on a particular scientific field. Most people receiving an undergraduate degree in science complete certain general courses such as writing and classes in social sciences. There are also usually a number of classes that focus on science, many of which on a particular field, that a student needs to complete before receiving a degree. Science degree requirements for a graduate degree, such as a master’s degree, usually require more focused study on a particular subject and completion of a thesis or dissertation.

For someone in an undergraduate program, science degree requirements usually involve a great deal of general study coursework. These classes are often required of most students, regardless of the particular degree they are pursuing. General studies can include a curriculum in writing and language, mathematics, and social subjects such as psychology or history. Additional courses can include some electives that can be filled by any subject a student prefers, and communications classes.

Some science degrees require a certain amount of lab work.
Some science degrees require a certain amount of lab work.

Many colleges have science degree requirements that can change depending on the particular program a student is in. A student receiving a degree in computer science, for example, may need to take additional courses in mathematics and computer programming. Science degree requirements at an undergraduate level are often based on particular fields of study, such as geology or physics, but often do not involve more specialized or specific subjects.

In graduate programs, such as those completed by someone to receive a master’s degree or doctorate, science degree requirements can be more specific and difficult. General studies are often not required in these types of programs, which focus more on the particular field of interest for a student. This means that someone studying computer science spends most of his or her time working with computers and learning about the conceptual and theoretical boundaries of computer development. Courses may be required that deal with research and writing, in order to ensure that students are prepared for the work necessary to complete a degree.

Science degree requirements at a graduate level can also be focused on even more precise subject areas. Rather than simply studying physics, for example, a student might study subatomic-particle physics or nuclear physics with a focus on concepts in applied plasma. Completion of a degree program, however, often requires that a student write a dissertation or thesis. This is a lengthy paper that is based on original research and ideas by a student, which must be thoroughly supported by scientific principles and concepts; it must then be presented and defended by the student prior to graduation.

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    • Some science degrees require a certain amount of lab work.
      By: Andres Rodriguez
      Some science degrees require a certain amount of lab work.