In general, any systematic base of knowledge that intends to broaden human understanding of a particular subject can be considered as a science. In the academe, what sets a Bachelor of Science or a Master of Science degree from a Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts degree is the alignment of the course subjects with more rigorous objectives, evidenced by both deeper-reaching subject content and more extensive expected output from the students. Students who are enrolled in Science degrees may find their syllabi is various subjects to be significantly lengthier than those of parallel subjects meant for students studying Arts or Business degrees, and may be asked to accomplish projects that are not assigned to Arts or Business majors. The reason behind this is that a Science degree demands for the student to not simply know how to apply course concepts, but to understand precisely what such concepts mean in their entirety. Thus, requirements for Science course subjects require students to write various critical essays and accomplish serious research work that involve both reviewing scholarly literature from online and traditional library sources and conducting field and laboratory research in their respective environments of study.
Critical essays, or «critiques» are much more than just the typical essays that ask students to gather information from various sources and subsequently present and synthesize them in writing. Critiques do not dwell on general topics, but particularly identify areas of research or even specific research articles for the student to be limited with. This type of academic requirement which is a major requisite for passing Science course subjects necessitates for the student to have exceptional skills in reference gathering for very constricted topics, and excellent formal writing knowledge and ability. One common problem experienced by Science majors is that there is no actual training provided within course subjects on the rules of formal scientific writing, such that even if they know in principle what they wished to write, they would still end up unable to put together a decent critique that meets all the formal writing expectations of their professors. Another major requirement for Science courses are research papers, which include thesis writing at the undergraduate and graduate levels and dissertation writing at the postgraduate level. This requirement necessitates for the student to carry out an independent search for new knowledge using reviewed texts only as supportive material. These projects usually take the student to the field, observing scientific phenomena or conducting controlled experiments to record data which would n turn be statistically analyzed. Many Science majors fail to realize the value of course subjects in Mathematics and Statistics that are included in their prospectus until they are asked to apply the tools supposedly learned in these subjects to research papers for their core subjects.
The most common majors for Science degrees are those in the natural sciences, such as Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Biology, and Microbiology. However, applied sciences such as Nursing, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, and Engineering also have Science degrees. Science degrees also exist for majors on Economics and Accountancy, but are less prevalent as these majors more frequently fall under the Arts or Business degrees.