All about the stream: What does the Science stream comprise?
The Science stream is an academic field comprising multiple disciplines that involves the use of scientific principles and practical concepts to increase understanding of the workings of the universe and implement those concepts to produce useful products and commodities.
The science stream is broadly divided into two categories:
- Non-Medical Component, which comprises Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and their sub-components.
- Medical Component, which comprises all branches and specialisations of Biological/Medical subjects.
Undergraduate Science Degrees offered
Undergraduate degrees offered in the Science stream include the following-
- Bachelor of Science (BSc)- 3 years
- Bachelor of Computer Science (BCA)- 3 years
- Bachelor of Statistics (B Stat)
- Integrated Master of Science (MSc)- 4 years
- BS-MS Dual Degree
Specialisations in Science
- Actuarial Science- refers to the application of mathematical and statistical principles for risk calculation economic evaluations in financial organizations and industries.
- Agriculture- is the science of growth, development, sustenance, and cultivation of plants and livestock.
- Biochemistry- is an inter-disciplinary scientific stream concerned with the study and research of chemical processes and substances in living biological organisms.
- Bio-Chemistry | Bio-Chemistry Hons | Biochemistry and Biophysics | Biochemistry, Microbiology, Bioinformatics | Biochemistry, Microbiology, Medical Laboratory Technology
- Bioinformatics- is an interdisciplinary science specialisation employing computer technologies and tools for the aggregation, computation, and analysis of biological data.
- Bioinformatics, Statistics, Computer Science | Biochemistry, Microbiology, Bioinformatics
- Biology- is the scientific discipline concerned with the study of all living organisms and biological processes.
- Biological Science Hons | Biological Sciences | Bio-Medical Sciences | Biomedical Sciences | Biophysics Hons | Bio-sciences | Molecular Medicine and Stem Cell Technologies | Computational Biology | Plant Biology and Biotechnology | Nanotechnology, Chemistry, Computational Biology | Life Sciences Hons
- Biotechnology- is an interdisciplinary science stream integrating biological sciences with engineering and technology sciences to channel biological systems and processes towards the creation of useful products.
- Biotechnology Hons | Biotechnology, Biochemistry, and Genetics | Biotechnology, Chemistry and Botany | Biotechnology, Chemistry and Zoology | Biotechnology, Chemistry, and Microbiology | Biotechnology and Chemistry | Biotechnology and Microbiology | Molecular Biology and Biotechnology | Plant Biology and Biotechnology
- Botany- also known as plant biology, botany refers to the study and research of the structures, biological processes, properties, and classifications of all plant life.
- Chemistry, Botany and Zoology
- Chemistry- is the scientific discipline concerned with the study and research of the composition, behaviour, property, and applied uses of matter in all forms.
- Chemical Sciences | Analytical Chemistry | Chemistry Hons | Chemistry, Botany and Zoology
- Computer Science and Application- refers to the study, development, and practical application of computers, computational systems and automation technologies.
- Computer Science | Computer Science Hons | Computer Application | Computer Applications Hons | Computer Maintenance and Repair | Advanced Operating System | Communication and Networks | Computer Network and Cyber Security | Computer Networks and Cyber Secutity | Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics) | Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) | Computer Science & Communication Engineering | Computer Science & Systems Engineering | Computer Science and Business Systems | Computer Science and Coding Practices | Computer Science and Design | Computer Science and Engineering and Business Systems | Computer Science and Engineering (Artificial Learning and Machine Learning) | Computer Science and Engineering (Bioinformatics) | Computer Science and Engineering (Block Chain Technology) | Computer Science and Engineering (Information Security) | Computer Science and Engineering (Internet of Things) | Computer Science and Engineering with Telecom Informatics | Computer Science and Information Technology | Computer Science and Mathematics | Computer Science and Technology | Computer Science Cloud Computing | Computer Science Cyber Security | Computer Science Data Science | Computer Science Game Design and Development | Computer Science System & Network Administration | Computer Science Technology | Computer Science, Mathematics, Electronics | Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics | Computer Science, Statistics and Mathematics | Computer Science and Mathematics | Control and Automation | Cryptography & Network Security | Cyber-Physical Systems | Full Stack Development | Game Design & Development | Gaming Technology | System & Network Administration | Virtualization Technology | Computer science and Electronics
- Economics- is the discipline of social science concerned with the study and application of revenue systems and the production and distribution of wealth and resources in the economy.
- Family and Community Sciences- refers to the scientific study and analysis of health, welfare, and management in families and communities.
- Family and Community Sciences in Dietetics | Family and Community Sciences in Extension and Communication | Family and Community Sciences in Fashion Designing | Family and Community Sciences in Food Science and Public Health Nutrition | Family and Community Sciences in Food Science and Quality Control | Family and Community Sciences in Hospitality Management | Family and Community Sciences in Human Development and Family Studies
- Forestry- is the scientific discipline concerned with the study, management, planting, and conservation of forests.
- Geography- refers to the study of the earth and atmosphere’s physical /natural features, flora, fauna, and environmental phenomena.
- Information Technology (IT)- refers to the use of computational systems for the creation, storage, review, restoration, and exchange of information and data.
- Microbiology- is the discipline of biological sciences concerned with the study of microorganisms.
- Nanoscience and Nanotechnology- refer to the study and research of atomic and molecular matter and its application for the development of products in the industrial sector.
- Nanoscience Hons | Nanotechnology | Nanotechnology, Chemistry, Computational Biology
- Nutrition and Dietetics- refers to the science of the requirement and impact of food, proper nutrition and lifestyle choices on human health and well-being.
- Clinical Dietetics | Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics | Clinical Nutrition Hons | Nutrition | Nutrition and Dietetics | Nutrition and Dietetics Hons | Nutrition and Dietetics, Chemistry and Zoology | Nutrition Hons
- Physics- is the scientific discipline concerned with the study of the behaviour and properties of matter, energy, and motion.
- Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics | Physics Hons | Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science | Physics (Specialization in Electronics) | Physics, Mathematics, Electronics
- Psychology- refers to the research and study of the human mind, behavioural characteristics and emotional responses.
- Statistics- is the science of collecting, aggregating, analysing, interpreting, and presenting large quantities of empirical data.
- Econometrics | Statistics | Statistics and Accounting | Statistics and Data Science | Statistics Hons | Applied Statistics and Analytics
- Zoology- is the scientific and biological discipline concerned with the study of the animal kingdom and the characteristics, classifications, behaviours, and physiologies of animals.
- Zoology Hons | Zoology, Biology and Chemistry Hons | Chemistry, Botany and Zoology
Other specialisations include-
- Materials Science
- Neurosciences and Neurotechnology
Eligibility and Requirements for Science
The eligibility criteria for enrolling on science programmes and courses are as follows-
- Candidates enrolling must have passed their 10+2 (or equivalent) examinations from a recognised Indian board with a minimum aggregate of 50% marks.
- Candidates must have opted for the Science stream with English, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry (Biology if applicable) as compulsory subjects. Other compulsory subjects depend on the specialisation selected by the candidate.
Admission Procedure for Science Courses
- Colleges and universities across India admit candidates to science programmes either based on a centralised/university-specific entrance exam or a merit basis. Candidates can apply for admission into science courses by meeting the minimum eligibility requirements, registering in the online portal, and submitting the required documents and registration fees.
- After appearing for entrance exams (if applicable), candidates will be shortlisted based on their test scores, ranks and merit lists in counselling sessions for the respective colleges and entrances. In case of merit-based admission, candidates will be shortlisted based on their 10+2 scores. Some colleges also conduct additional Group Discussion (GD) and Private Interview (PI) rounds for further screening of candidates.
- After the allocation of seats, shortlisted candidates may then finalize their admission at the concerned colleges by paying the fees and submitting the required documents for verification.
Science Entrance Tests
Common Universities Entrance Test (CUET-UG)
Conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) offers admission to various undergraduate science and technology courses across 53 participating central universities in India.
The CUET-UG exam is a computer-based test (CBT) conducted in the online mode. CUET-UG is conducted over two hours. The entrance test paper contains a total of 175 questions divided into four sections:
- Section IA- comprises 13 languages.
- Section IB- comprises 19 languages.
There are 50 combined questions in sections IA and IB, out of which candidates must choose a maximum of three languages and answer 40 questions (at least one from each language). 45 minutes are allotted for each subject. Section I carries 200 marks.
- Section II- comprises 27 domain-specific subjects. There are 50 questions in section II from which candidates must attempt 40 questions in each, with 45 minutes allotted for each subject. Section II carries 200 marks.
Candidates must choose not more than six subjects from the list of domain-specific subjects offered. The 27 subjects offered include-
- Biology/ Biological Studies/ Biotechnology/Biochemistry
- Business Studies
- Computer Science/ Informatics Practices
- Economics/ Business Economics
- Engineering Graphics
- Home Science
- Knowledge Tradition and Practices of India
- Legal Studies
- Environmental Science
- Physical Education/ NCC /Yoga
- Political Science
- Teaching Aptitude
- Mass Media/ Mass Communication
- Fine Arts/ Visual Arts (Sculpture/ Painting)/Commercial Arts
- Performing Arts, which comprises three sub-categories-
- Dance- Bharatnatyam/Kathak/Kathakali/Oddisi/Manipuri/Kuchipudi)
- Drama- Theatre
- Music- Non-Percussion/Percussion/Hindustani/Rabindra Sangeet/Carnatic/)
- Section III- is the general test section. There are 50 questions in section III from which candidates must attempt 40 questions each. 60 minutes are allotted for completing section III. Section III carries 300 marks.
CUET-UG is conducted over two slots (dates depend upon the candidate’s choice of subjects).
- The first slot is conducted in the morning session. Candidates can attempt not more than four tests in the first slot which include one language from section IA, not more than two domain subjects from section II, and the general test from section III.
- The second slot is conducted in the afternoon session. Candidates can attempt not more than five tests in the second slot which include either one language from section IA and IB combined and not more than four domain subjects from section II, or two languages from section IA and IB and not more than three domain subjects from section II.
Every correct answer is awarded 5 marks, while there is a negative marking of 1 mark for every incorrect answer. Unanswered questions do not result in marks being added or deducted.
Some colleges and states in India have their respective institute/state-specific entrance examinations. Important entrances include-
- National Entrance Screening Test (NEST)
- Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Entrance Exam
- Presidency University Bachelor Degree Entrance Test (PUBDET)
- Gitam Insitute of Science-General Science Admission Test (Gitam-GSAT)
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s All India Entrance Examination for Admission (ICAR AIEEA-UG)
- Odhisa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) Entrance Exam
Top Science Colleges in the country
The leading colleges in India for studying science are as follows-
- Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune
- Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata
- St. Stephen`s College, Delhi
- Miranda House, Delhi
- Hindu College, Delhi
- Presidency College, Chennai
- Presidency University, Kolkata
- Loyola College, Chennai
- Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi
- Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali
- Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bhopal
- Madras Christian College, Chennai
- PSG College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore
- Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, Howrah
- Lady Irwin College, Delhi
- St. Xavier`s College, Kolkata
- University College, Thiruvananthapuram
- Fergusson College, Pune
- Kirori Mal College, Delhi
- Hans Raj College, Delhi
- Women`s Christian College, Chennai
- Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Delhi
- Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi
- Dyal Singh College, Delhi
- Ramanujan College, New Delhi
- Acharya Narendra Dev College, New Delhi
- St. Joseph`s College, Tiruchirappalli
- Rama Krishna Mission Vivekananda Centenary College, Rahara
- Stella Maris College for Women, Chennai
- Loreto College, Calcutta
Aptitude for Science
Candidates may verify their aptitude for science with the following requirements-
- Analytical skills
- Mathematical proficiency
- Problem-solving skills
- Spirit of Enquiry
- Clarity in thinking
- Innovative outlook
Top Science Specialisations for the Future
As scientific advancements propel the world towards progress, several science subjects and specialisations grow in importance for the future. Here are the top specialisations likely to be in demand in the future-
- Information Technology (IT)
- Computer Science
- Big Data
- Forensic Science
- Ethical Hacking
- Actuarial Science
- Biochemistry and Biophysics
- Health Information Technology
Science programmes in India span over three to four years and six to eight semesters respectively. Students are assessed on a percentage/grade-point average (GPA) basis through internal assessments and end-semester written exams.
The course content for BSc and other science programmes varies depending upon the specialisation as the course focuses on honours subjects. Assessments in colleges include internal and end-semester assessments which comprise both theoretical/written exams as well as lab tests, fieldwork, and other practical assessments.
The minimum percentage to pass a semester generally ranges between 40% and 50% (depending on the college and specialization).
Fees for Science Courses
The fee structure for colleges in India offering science courses ranges between INR 20,000 to 4 lakhs per annum for a three-year science degree. The fee structure may vary depending on the college and course/specialisation of the student’s choice.
Scholarships in Science
Fee structures for science programmes are often exorbitant and call for financial assistance. Central/state governments, private organisations, and several universities thus offer scholarships, fellowships, and financial aid to help support students from less-privileged sections of society to pursue a degree in science and research. Here are some of the popular scholarships offered for science programmes in India:
- National Talent Search Exam (NTSE)- funded by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Govt. of India
- Pre-matric Scholarship for Students with Disabilities- funded by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India
- Pre/Post-matric Scholarship for Students with Minorities- funded by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India.
- Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS)- funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India
- Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY)- funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India
- Dr A P J Abdul Kalam IGNITE Awards, NIF- funded by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India
- PG Indira Gandhi Scholarship for Single Girl Child- funded by the University Grants Commission (UGC), India
Internships/Industry Experience in Science
Gaining industry experience through internships is a vital and often mandatory requirement for science students. Most colleges have Training and Placement (T&P) cells to help students gain industry and research experience through professional training sessions and internships.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) mandated that undergraduate students studying in recognised Indian colleges and universities have to compulsorily do a research internship for eight to ten weeks.
Particularly applicable for applied science specialisations, internships are vital to get candidates job-ready in the industry and apply their theoretical learning in the professional world during their formative years.
Post-graduate Study/Research Opportunities in Science
After completing undergraduate science courses like BSc and BCA, students may opt for higher education with Master's/PhD degrees. Here are a few postgraduate study and research opportunities for science in India:
- Master of Science (MSc)- 2 years
- Master of Computer Application (MCA)- 2 years
- Post-graduate Diploma- 9 months to 2 years
- Master of Philosophy (M Phil) in science disciplines- 9 months to 2 years
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in science disciplines
Important entrance exams conducted for admission into postgraduate and research courses in science in India include-
- Common Universities Entrance Test for Postgraduate Courses (CUET-PG)
- Indian Institute of Technology's Joint Admission Test for Masters (IIT-JAM)
- Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai-Graduate School Entrance (TISR GS)
- Coimbatore Institute Of Technology (CIT) Integrated MSc CET
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s All India Entrance Examination for Admission (ICAR AIEEA-PG)
Study Abroad Opportunities in Science
Several universities and institutions abroad offer excellent science and technology programmes. Here are some of the best global institutions for students wishing to pursue a science degree abroad:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA
- Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
- University of Cambridge, UK
- University of Oxford, UK
- Stanford University, California, USA
- ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland
- California Institute of Technology, California, USA
- The University of California, Berkeley (UCB), USA
- Imperial College London, UK
- The University of Tokyo, Japan
Career prospects/Placements in Science
Students pursuing BSc/MSc degrees can find a large variety of jobs in the pure sciences/medical sector. Career prospects in the science stream include-
- Research Scientist
- Medical professional
- Data Scientist
- Computer Engineer
Starting Salaries in Science
The average starting salaries for science stream graduates range between INR 3 to 6 lakhs per annum and can go as high as 30 LPA for senior professionals.
Subjects Similar to Science
Candidates exhibiting an affinity for science subjects may also be interested in similar subjects like-
- Home Science
- Forensic Technology
- Environmental Sciences
- Data Analysis
What is the difference between a BSc degree and a B Tech degree?
A BSc degree is a theory-based academic course comprising the study of sciences. A B Tech degree is a more practical-oriented professional course comprising the study of engineering and technology.
Which are the most lucrative science stream specialisations?
Some of the most lucrative and high-paying science specialisations include biotechnology, computer science and IT, Physics, Applied Chemistry, Actuarial Science, and Materials Science.
What can I do after a BSc degree?
Career trajectories after a bachelor of science degree largely depend upon the specialisation and scientific discipline chosen by the student. In the case of applied sciences degrees, candidates can either choose to pursue a master's/higher education degree for increased educational learning and qualifications or pursue jobs in their discipline. Candidates may also choose to embark on research and fellowships to pursue a career as a scientist or research fellow.