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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degrees in Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry

Majors Overview August 5, 2014

Receive information about bachelor’s degree programs in mathematics, biology, and chemistry and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Mathematics

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in mathematics are taught essential areas of statistics, algebra, geometry and calculus. A general mathematics track may be chosen by students to prepare them for graduate study and teaching. An applied mathematics track may instead be chosen by them, underscoring the application of mathematical concepts in a variety of scientific disciplines, including the natural sciences and engineering. They may also opt for other concentration areas such as economics, computer science and statistics. Schools offer math degree programs in conjunction with teacher education programs wherein graduates are allowed to teach mathematics in secondary or elementary schools.

Admission criteria within Bachelor’s degree programs in mathematics typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework varies by school and area of concentration. Teacher certification students augment mathematics requirements with curriculum and teaching courses. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Differential structures
•Linear algebra
•Applied analysis
•Discrete structures
•Advance calculus

Career Choices

Those who complete the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mathematics program may seek employment in business, computer technology, and engineering with research facilities, schools, or government agencies. They may choose from career options such as:

•Accountant
•Statistician
•Teacher
•Computer programmer

Job and Wage Outlook

Job growth for statisticians is expected to rise by 14%, over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $75,560 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may seek continued education by earning a master’s degree in mathematics with concentrations in numerous areas such as computer science, finance, mathematics education, and bioinformatics. Those who complete the master’s degree program may opt for continued education by obtaining a PhD in order to pursue careers in academia or research.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Biology

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in biology are taught about the biological processes of animal, plant and human life. Several concentration choices are available to students, such as microbiology and ecology, in addition to preparatory courses for pre-dental and pre-medical programs. Courses in general biology, physics and chemistry are taken by students in the early stages of the program before moving on at a later stage to major courses, such as laboratory studies, genetics and cellular biology. Students may choose a minor in geology or marine biology; alternatively, they may seek teacher certification at the secondary or elementary level.

Coursework

Coursework combines fundamental biology courses with laboratory experiences. Lab studies may involve dissections or study of microorganisms and cells. Core coursework may commonly include subject areas such as:

•Anatomy
•Microbiology
•Immunology
•Marine sciences
•Molecular biology

Career Choices

Those who complete the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology program may seek employment in research facilities, hospitals or schools. Many graduates prefer job opportunities in education as teachers or laboratories as technicians. They may choose from career options such as:

•Veterinary technician
•Research assistant
•Biology teacher
•Lab technician

Job and Wage Outlook

Job growth for high school teachers is expected to rise by 7%, over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics). In May 2012, secondary school teachers, including biology teachers, brought home an average annual wage of $57,770, while middle school teachers earned $56,280, on average, during that year (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may opt for continued educations by earning a graduate degree in biology, either a PhD or master’s. Completing a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), DDS (Doctor of Dental Science) or MD (Doctor of Medicine) degree program would benefit those who wish to pursue a career in medicine.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Programs in Chemistry

Students who seek a teaching career or wish to pursue professional occupations such as that of a veterinarian, dentist or doctor would benefit by enrolling in the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs in Chemistry. Such students have a plethora of choices in concentrations such as engineering, environmental chemistry, biochemistry or forensic science. They can choose from fundamental chemistry courses, including biochemistry, physical chemistry and organic chemistry all of which include laboratory experiences. Schools offer undergraduate chemistry degree programs in partnership with teacher certification programs, whereby students can prepare for teaching jobs in secondary schools.

Coursework

Calculus, physics and biology are available in the program coursework. Many courses include a laboratory component. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Quantitative analysis
•Polymers
•Thermodynamics
•Analytical chemistry
•Statistical mechanics

Career Choices

Those who complete the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry program may seek employment in medical and research facilities and laboratories. Graduates seeking careers may also prefer the field of forensic science or quality control.

They may choose from career options such as:

•Lab technician
•Environmental health specialist
•Teacher
•Crime scene analyst

Job and Wage Outlook

Job growth for crime scene analysts, also referred to as forensic science technicians, is expected to rise by 19%, over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $55,730 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may opt for continued education by earning a master’s degree in chemistry. Alternatively, they may choose to study towards a PhD or MD degree.

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