Natural scientists primarily take care of basic research. Practice-oriented areas such as medicine, agriculture or technology build on this (see “Applied Natural Sciences”). The natural sciences that primarily deal with inanimate nature or matter include Physics, Chemistry, Geology and Astronomy. In contrast, the Biological natural sciences (Biology, Genetics, Anthropology, Physiology) investigate phenomena of living nature or matter.
The most important auxiliary discipline for the natural sciences is Mathematics. It deals with problems that can be represented by numbers and Geometric figures and with the formal structures and systems derived from them. Mathematics and Natural sciences form the basis for Engineering.
The methods of natural scientists are observing, describing, comparing, arranging, summarizing and measuring. They use the data obtained in this way to develop hypotheses, models and theories. The prerequisites for studying MINT (Mathematics, Computer Science, Natural Sciences and Technology) are logical thinking skills and the joy of exploring and investigating. Since the language of science is English, good knowledge is a prerequisite for successful studies and is even necessary for admission at some universities.
Some universities offer preliminary courses in Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science or Physics to give new students an insight into how they work during their studies and to close any gaps in their knowledge. The university's student advisory services provide information about these offers.
The chapter on teacher training in the federal states provides information on teacher training courses.