One of the most intellectually challenging professions in the world is a scientist. There are also many types of sciences that one could study, Earth Sciences, chemistry, biology, medicine, and more. To be a great scientist you will need to study a lot, have a lot of desire to discover new things, and of course have a great education while you are studying your undergrad, master's, and possibly even doctorate.
While careers in science fields may not be as financially secure as business, engineering, or psychology, and may not be as creative as art, it does have quite a bit of those things. Careers in science can be very financially secure as well as creative, and you ultimately work towards something that could be a new discovery or you will work to help people by making medicines and creating treatments.
So if you want to be a scientist, whether a biologist, chemist or another type of scientist, you should aim to go to the best science universities in the country.
Studying and working hard will take you really far if you can match that ambition from degrees from one of the best schools in the country many laboratories in the United States, and maybe even around the world.
There are many different career paths you can take and one university might be better for one type of science than another university, for example, one school might have a more prestigious chemistry program while another has a better biology program.
If you are really interested in science, on how to plan for what you will study, how to get admitted into these universities, and knowing which universities are the best for your future career, that is exactly what you will read in this blog.
How to prepare yourself to study science at a university
Towards the second half of your high school career, many students are already thinking about what college will be like.
You may be dreaming of going away to a really good college with a cool campus, meeting new people, and making your parents and yourself proud.
In your freshman and sophomore years in high school, you should already get or have gotten a head start on racking up some good grades to raise your GPA.
When you are in your junior and senior years you first need to do all you can to get admitted, and then prepare yourself for the long hours of studying and difficult course work. So firstly what are some of the best things you can do to have a better chance at getting admitted to a top science university in the United States?
How to get admitted into one of the schools of your choice
Get good grades, especially in science and math classes
To get into a top science program you will need as good of a GPA as possible. Top universities want their students to have stood out in high school so that they know they can make it at their university, as well as make the college look good later on.
Since you are applying to universities that are considered to be the top universities for a certain field of science such as chemistry or biology, you will need to look good in all of your courses but especially STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) courses.
So while you are in high school make sure you study extra hard in all of your science and math classes, as well as do well on the SAT exam, especially the math portion, and if you can take any computer science classes or engineering classes, it will go a long way.
Take advanced placement classes
When we talk about doing well in math and science classes, we can take that piece of advice and bring it a step further.
If you did well in math and science classes in your freshmen and sophomore years, then a great idea would be to take honors and/or AP (advanced placement) classes. Taking these classes will not only prepare you for the rigorous classes you will need to take once you get to college, but they will also of course make your high school resume look that much better.
If you can take AP classes, like AP calculus or AP Biology for example, and you do well enough during the course and on the AP exam, you could even earn college credits.
AP classes are designed to be a semester of college-level work, so if you can do it you will have a lot of confidence, be prepared for college, and make your high school resume look really good.
Finding the best university for you
Research all of your universities
As I have mentioned a few times already, some colleges may specialize in one type of science while another specializes in another. Many universities will appear to be a great fit for one reason or another, however, if you want to study biology some schools are better than others.
Some of the very top schools have excellent programs in each field of science, if your grades and high school resume are that good, you can choose a top school and not worry about specialties as each of these schools have great programs in every subject.
Another important thing you must research before you apply is the price.
If you can get a scholarship and/or grants then that would be an amazing way to get into a university for free or at a much lower cost.
However, if money turns out to be a factor then you should make sure that you know exactly how much the prices of the universities that you want to get into are.
Many of the top universities are expensive.
However, there are some that may be a bit cheaper than others and also could be cheaper for students who are residents of the state that the school resides in.
Make sure you talk with your family not only about the distance of the school and if it is academically the right fit, but if you and your family think it is worth it to potentially take on a financial burden.
Work with a private tutor
Making sure that you have excellent grades and taking those advanced courses is the best way of getting into a top university. School is more than just about studying you have a social life to worry about as well as other commitments like sports and school clubs to worry about.
Working with a private tutor can help you improve on topics you are struggling with, keep a step ahead, and make sure your studies are organized.
Private tutors can help you in your home or even online.
Superprof is an excellent website to use to find a tutor to help you with all of these things, and the tutors are reviewed and even offer a free trial class so you can get the idea of who can help you the best.
The best science universities in the United States
After you know what you should be doing when you take on the applying and admissions process, you should know which schools are considered the best universities and institutes in the field of science in the United States.
If you want to be a scientist, you should set your goals high and give yourself the best chance of success by trying to get into one of these schools.
California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology or Caltech is considered to be one of the top science schools around the country.
It is arguably the best school to get a Ph.D. at and excels in teaching a few scientific fields of study.
Caltech is considered to be one of the top 20 schools in natural sciences, biological sciences, chemistry, and material sciences.
For that reason Caltech is an amazing school to go to for a science major, it may not be top 3 in one of the sciences, however, it is extremely well rounded in the sciences and a degree from here will get you a job in a lab very quickly.
The world-famous Harvard University is also renowned for its scientific programs. It is of course one of the most exclusive universities to get into and very expensive, however, if you have what it takes you won't be disappointed in its science programs.
Harvard has world-class facilities, such as state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities.
Harvard doesn't need much more of an introduction.
It is considered the best university when it comes to biological science and life sciences as well as a top school for chemistry and natural sciences.
John Hopkins University
In Maryland, we can find John Hopkins University. It is the first research university in the United States and is famous for its medical school.
John Hopkins isn't placed as near to the top in most sciences like the previous two universities, however when it comes to medicine, probably no university has a more famous name.
So if biological and life sciences are what you are looking to study, John Hopkins may just be the place for you.
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