Top Science Colleges

Finding the top science colleges to attend can be a difficult task. Getting accepted can be even more difficult, because some of these schools are the top-rated colleges and universities in the nation in several disciplines. Because science is subdivided into several sub-disciplines, you must also consider which schools rate highest in each of those sub-disciplines.

Biological Sciences

Stanford University’s biology programs rank first in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report. Stanford offers a bachelor of science, master of science and Ph.D. program in the field. Stanford research is primarily focused on molecular, plant, evolutionary, population and marine biology, along with ecology. Its researchers and students are consistently recognized as some of the best in the world, as measured by the number of publications they produce and the number of awards they receive.


The California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech) is renowned for its proliferation of award-winning chemists and other famous graduates of the chemistry program. Nobel laureates Linus Pauling, Edwin McMillan and William Liscomb are all graduates of Cal Tech’s chemistry program. Since 1990, the program has produced three more Nobel Prize winners. U.S. News and World Report ranks Cal Tech as tied for the top program in the nation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. M.I.T. is also highly regarded for its scholarly research.


M.I.T is widely regarded to have the best physics program in the world. M.I.T. focuses largely on astrophysics; atomic, condensed matter and plasma physics; and nuclear and particle physics. Physics is such an integral part of the culture at M.I.T. that all students are required to take two semesters of foundational physics courses regardless of their major. Graduate students at M.I.T. make widely recognized contributions in the classroom and in applied physics. The school’s undergraduate department ranks third, behind Cal Tech and Harvey Mudd College, in the number of Ph.D. recipients that eventually emerge from the undergraduate program.

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Earth Sciences

The California Institute of Technology rates first among universities and colleges in contributions to the earth sciences. Its research is primarily focused on tectonics, petrology and geological hazards. Cal Tech is widely recognized for its cross-disciplinary approach. For instance, the Cal Tech Environmental Science initiative depends on the cooperation of the Geological and Planetary Sciences division to work with other divisions such as Engineering and Applied Science to study what impact human beings and natural processes have on the environment. Cal Tech’s faculty members are also some of the most distinguished researchers in their respective fields.