Natural science can be a broad and terrifying term, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By understanding what a natural science class is, you can start to figure out if this set of subjects is something that interests you and is something that you want to pursue moving forward with your schooling and your career.
If you have been wondering if natural science is the path for you or which of the many paths in natural science will be most straightforward and most engaging for you, then you have come to the right place! In this article, we’ll be discussing what exactly a natural science class is as well as discussing some of the most common categories of natural science that people choose to study. We’ll also be discussing the easiest and hardest classes that fall under the broad category of natural science.
What is a Natural Science Class?
Natural science refers to the way that the natural world works. This discipline includes subjects such as biology, chemistry, and physics. Some schools also include topics such as environmental science, while other schools teach it as more of a social science than a natural science. Some subjects, such as environmental science, can be a bit of a blurred line between the natural sciences and the social sciences, so it is worth looking up what your school counts as a natural science.
Natural science classes are known as being challenging classes because there is so much information to cover. These subjects are very frontloaded, meaning that the intro courses have a lot of ground to cover to prepare students to conduct their own research and to interpret current research happening in their field throughout the upper-level classes.
What are the Common Natural Science Classes?
The most common natural science classes fall into the categories of biology, chemistry, and physics. These tend to be the largest categories of classes in natural science, but there are plenty more courses depending on the school that you are going to.
Classes like geology and astronomy are both lesser taught but equally impressive natural sciences that some schools teach. Since these subjects are not as common, they are not usually included in lists of the most common natural science courses.
There is a fragile line between some natural science subjects and some social science subjects. Where the line actually falls will depend significantly on the school you are attending. Subjects like environmental science and geography tend to walk this line. Some schools will count these subjects as a natural science, while others will teach them more as a social science, so they will count them that way.
What are the Benefits of Studying Natural Science?
Studying the natural sciences has been an essential aspect of every major society throughout history. From the first hunter-gathers to the modern urban dwellers, every civilization relies on the natural world in many ways, so studying the natural world through the branches of natural science is incredibly important.
By studying a subject such as a biology, you open yourself up to a connection with the world around you as well as immense possibilities for future pathways to pursue. Biology can encompass everything from the animals and plants in the woods around us to the genetic diseases that ravage our society. This broad range means that lots of different people will find a home in biology.
Biology is not the only natural science with this massive range. Subjects such as physics and chemistry, among others, also offer substantial possible ranges of career paths and endless amounts of new discoveries. All of these subjects can be massively rewarding to study and offer many potential job pathways.
What is the Hardest Natural Science Class?
We’ll talk more about how to look for an easy natural science class in the next section, but here we’ll discuss the harder side of natural science. Some subjects within natural science tend to be quite challenging. These are heavily math-based or very competitive categories, as these tend to be things that people find challenging to handle.
Physics is a detail-oriented math-based major that can be pretty challenging. Even the introductory courses for physics are generally accepted as being demanding courses for students to take in college.
Since this is such a broad major, it sets students up nicely to go on to pursue grad school in a variety of highly competitive fields. Having a physics major or even just some physics classes can really open up your potential job prospects, but you will have to work hard for these options.
If you thought any subject was exact, it’s nothing compared to chemistry. Chemistry is a broad category but can be quite detailed and complicated. The research conducted under the umbrella of chemistry is daunting for many but can really help to push the world forward.
That being said, this subject tends to start off hard in college, so you should expect that even an introductory chemistry course will be challenging. Chemistry attracts students who really want to push themselves, so this field can also get quite competitive.
Biology is one of the most popular majors both inside and outside of the category of natural science. Although this might seem like the most approachable of the major courses of study within natural science, biology can be pretty competitive both in terms of getting into classes that you want and in terms of the expected outcomes of students.
This atmosphere is undoubtedly not for every student. Most students who are pre-med or pre-vet will be biology majors. These students tend to make up many lower-level biology classes, making these introductory classes large in size and highly competitive.
It is worth noting that many people refer to natural science classes themselves as the “hard sciences” and more social sciences, such as environmental studies, anthropology, and political science, among others, as soft sciences. This distinction is not what we are discussing here. Here we are simply discussing the classes in the natural science category that many students tend to find challenging.
The terms hard and soft science are being phased out, but it is still worth defining them, so you know what people mean if they refer to them. A soft science is a field of study using the scientific method where establishing agreed-upon measurable criteria may be debated and difficult. A hard science is a field of study also using the scientific method, but establishing quantifiable standards, such as temperature or distance, is more agreed upon and thus less debated.
Which Natural Science Class is Easiest?
Although each school is different, there are a number of natural science courses that are typically offered and are usually considered to be on the more accessible end of the natural sciences. These are by no means the only natural science classes that can be regarded as easy since each school is different and each student is different. Still, these are the courses that are generally accepted to be the most accessible natural science classes.
While geology as a subject can get quite specific and detailed in the upper-level classes, the introductory course is often considered to be one of the most accessible natural science classes you can take. In general, geology is considered to be a relatively easy natural science major as well but is one with good job prospects since geologists are needed for every aspect of our reliance on natural gases.
Geology is also a relatively fun introductory course since it tends to involve more hands-on learning, which can be quite refreshing after sitting through lectures. This subject also lends itself well to field trips or other out-of-class excursions, which many students really enjoy.
Environmental science as a major has been gaining popularity fast in recent years as the environmental movement has been growing in mainstream culture. This means that more and more colleges are offering a more comprehensive array of environmental science courses both for students within the major as well as those outside of the major.
This tends to be a relatively approachable and relatable subject, which means that many students find environmental science to be one of the easier natural science courses they can take in college. The course is generally engaging and constantly changing as we continue to find new advances in green technology in every field.
Astronomy as a field of study can get quite challenging in the upper-level courses, and doing research in the area is hard, but the introductory course is often delightful, even for students who are not majoring in astronomy. This course typically includes some of the more creative labs since they will usually be nighttime observation.
Stars are something that everyone has looked at and has likely been intrigued by at least once in their life, so an introductory astronomy course is often something that many students are excited about. This course is more often than not designed to get the students excited about astronomy and entice them to the major instead of pushing students away, as some intro courses tend to do.
Something to think about when you are trying to determine if a natural science class will be easy or hard is to think about the major that the course leads into. If the course leads into a large, popular, and competitive major, such as biology, the intro course is likely going to be complicated. These courses tend to be considered “weed-out courses” or courses that are designed to limit the number of students who pursue this very competitive field.
The intro class might be different if you are looking to take an introductory course that leads to a smaller and less competitive major, such as geology. These intro classes tend to be more geared towards attracting students to the major so they can grow their courses or keep being able to offer this smaller major to future students.
Wrapping Things Up: Which Natural Science Class is the Easiest?
There is no true answer to the question of which natural science class is the easiest, but we’ve given you some idea of where to start looking and how to look for an easy natural science class. The honest answer to this question is different for everyone. It is important to remember that since every person learns differently, what is easy for your friend might not be easy for you.