Skip Navigation

Natural Sciences

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science in Natural Sciences helps you to build a solid foundation in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and earth science. This entirely online science program gives you hands-on, at-home laboratory exercises to complement the concepts covered in the classroom. You’ll be taught the history and philosophy of science as well as the scientific method that is essential to research. This online bachelor’s degree helps you develop your skills in scientific analysis, research, communication, and documentation, and study the relationship between the human and the natural world. Knowledge gained from this program can be applied to careers as a scientist, biologist, laboratory technician, or manager, or to pursue higher-level graduate study in the natural science fields.

In addition, the B.S. in Natural Science meets all content standards of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) for secondary science education. Therefore, upon completion of this program, you will be eligible to pursue teaching certification through a post-baccalaureate program in education if your goal is to become a high school or middle school science teacher. (This is not a teacher-preparation program and does not lead to licensure. It only covers the needed science content.)

This program has specific transfer credit requirements, including time limits on previous courses completed.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this program follows industry trends to help ensure relevancy to today's marketplace. View all courses.

Some courses in this program have additional laboratory course materials that are not covered by our undergraduate book grant. View the Materials Cost information below for details.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and general education level learning objectives, the Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates:

  • Demonstrate a solid foundation in the theory and application of the natural sciences.
  • Apply the scientific method and appropriate tools to investigate and solve problems.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills in assessing and evaluating problems.
  • Formulate scientific models and apply them to solve problems or provide insights into complex issues.
  • Apply qualitative and quantitative methods from the scientific domains.
  • Use quantitative techniques to solve complex problems.
  • Effectively communicate scientific findings verbally and in writing, to both scientific and lay audiences.

View learning outcomes assessment results.


Concentrations are designed to help you group courses together so you can further specialize in your field and pursue a more focused path to degree completion. You will be asked to select a concentration when you enroll in this program.

Explore the concentrations available for this program.



In addition to the general biology courses required in this major, this concentration offers advanced courses to enable you to study biology at a deeper level across multiple scales. The concentration investigates the principles of genetics, heredity, and biological evolution, as well as the structure and function of organisms from the single cell to the complex mammals.


General Ecology


Elements of Biological Chemistry


Cell Biology


Evolutionary Biology


Molecular Biology


Principles of Genetics with Lab


Population Ecology


Introduction to Space Studies


Conservation Biology


Human Space Flight


Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems I


Introduction to Microbiology


Marine Biology


Fishery Biology




Plant Identification, Taxonomy, and Systematics






Earth Science

In this concentration, you will study the relationship between the physical, chemical, and biological processes operating in and on the Earth. You will learn about the history of the Earth and the evolution of systems such as the oceans and atmosphere, as well as detailed information about soils, streams, weather, and climate. The relationship between humans and the Earth is examined from multiple perspectives.


Introduction to Planetary Science with Lab


Introduction to Geology


Earth System History


Weather and Climate




Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics


Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems I


Air Quality Management


General Ecology


Introduction to Space Studies


Water Science


Soil Science


Planetary and Space Exploration


Space Weather 


Conservation of Natural Resources


Natural Hazards and Society


Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems II

Admission Requirements

  • All APU undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).
  • Please read all undergraduate admission requirements before applying to this program and be prepared to submit the required documentation.
  • There is no fee to complete the APU admission application. View steps to apply.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions representative at 877-755-2787 or

Material Costs

As an natural sciences student, you will be participating in hands-on, at-home lab exercises, which require you to purchase additional course materials. The estimated total cost of these materials is $1,077, plus shipping and taxes. These materials are not covered by our university undergraduate book grant.

Undergraduate Tuition Rates 

Per credit hour:

$270 through 12/31/2019
$250 with military grant*

$285 effective 1/1/2020
$250 with military grant**

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*U.S. active-duty servicemembers, their spouse/dependents, Guard members, Reservists, and veterans are eligible for a grant that currently caps tuition at $250 per credit hour .

**To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, U.S. active-duty servicemembers, their spouse/dependents, Guard members, and Reservists are eligible for a grant that will cap tuition at $250 per credit hour (military TA cap) . See all military student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Undergraduate Book Grant

Books are provided online at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit. The undergraduate book grant is estimated to save $600 per academic semester* if you are registered as a full-time student.

Transfer Credits

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

APU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.

*According to College Board Trends in College Pricing.

School of Science, Education and Math

School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

This program resides in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) where more than 57 degree and certificate programs are available for students to find their area of interest ranging from space studies to environmental studies to IT and cybersecurity. American Public University is one of the few online colleges where you can work fully online to earn science and math bachelor’s degrees. Two of our bachelor’s programs (Natural Science and BSEE) are set up with full lab kits that are mailed to you to use at home. You won’t sacrifice hands-on experience with our online science programs! In addition, many of our STEM professors work to innovate their classroom, including Danny Welsch who uses video for you to learn from his virtual field trips.

The APU STEM program directors work with industry advisory councils to ensure that our students are prepared for the real world. APU also works with industry certifying bodies to ensure that our courseware meets the requirements of agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA) Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation (IACE) and the DoD Directive 8570.1M Information Assurance Management (IAM).

At APU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners who balance school around work and other life commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with students and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly written assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can even work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect.

We encourage you to browse the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math webpage to learn more about the school and to find a program that’s right for you