Two women examine a growing plant in a UCR greenhouse

College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences


Our office and phone lines are closed March 16–April 30. Email if you have any questions. Coronavirus (COVID-19) information and resources.

Make Discoveries That Save the World

Learn how insects impact our environment as an entomologist. Analyze meaningful data as a statistician. Prevent disruption to the Earth’s systems and species as an environmental scientist. And so much more. Our 16 majors — taught by world-renowned faculty at the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS)  — will help you to make a global impact!




Undergraduate Research


UCR offers research opportunities to all undergraduate students! This advantage catapults you to the “top of the list” for jobs and/or graduate school. Current CNAS research includes:

  • Creating a coating that allows paper to be reused 80+ times
  • Cracking the Zika Virus protein structure that will lead to a cure
  • Fighting killer diseases attacking the U.S. citrus industry — thanks to a $5.1 million USDA grant
Jasmin Tran, a Neuroscience Major, works in a lab.

“Here at UCR, there’s so many research opportunities for undergrads! My lab studies the effects of a class of indoor flame retardants called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) on behaviors such as anxiety, social recognition, sociability, and olfactory habituation to determine if PBDEs cause deficits in behavior by altering signals from the brain.”

Jasmin Tran (Neuroscience)


Research Programs

FR Freshman Students    TR Transfer Students


DNA Subway


Take part in DNA extraction, the Polymerase Chain Reaction and DNA sequencing.



Early Research Engagement


(For freshman students in the CNAS Scholars Program)
Take part in an early research engagement opportunity with the Dynamic Genome (BIOL 20) class.



Louis Stokes California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP)



(For STEM students from underrepresented populations)
Complete undergraduate degrees and pursue graduate/professional studies with CAMP.





(For underrepresented third- and fourth-year students in biomedical and behavioral sciences)
Prepare for graduate school with training in academic research.


Mentoring Summer Research Internship Program (MSRIP) 


(For rising third- and fourth-year students from underrepresented populations)
Take part in an 8-week summer research program with faculty members.



Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) 



Boost professional development and public speaking skills. Present results as a capstone project.



USDA Summer Scholars Program 


(For incoming transfer students)
Learn research methods for molecular biology and bioinformatics, and write proposals, with this summer scholars program.

Earning Potential With a CNAS Bachelor's Degree


  Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay
Applied Mathematics  $61,700 $113,000
Statistics  $62,000 $111,300
Physics $60,700 $110,000
Biochemistry $46,500 $92,300
Chemistry $47,900 $91,000
Microbiology $45,600 $86,600
Geology $46,300 $85,000
Biological Sciences  $45,200 $83,600

Based on national averages. Higher earning potential with advanced degrees. (, College Salary Report, 2019)


  CNAS Internships

CNAS offers paid internships, peer mentorships, and summer programs with stipends, professional development opportunities, and graduate school preparation.

Student Jorge Juarez Duarte (JJ) or

“UCR is really inclusive and respects you as a person. There’s always a place to go where someone will listen and understand your situation. Come here, where anything is possible. I know you will succeed.”

Jorge Juarez Duarte (Mathematics)

High-Profile Companies Hire CNAS Graduates

CNAS graduates go on to influence the pharmaceutical and plastics industries, manage space missions, track oil spills in the world’s oceans, and more.

The NASA logo
The logo for Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the California Institute of Technology
The logo for the Naval Surface Warfare Center
The logo for Dupont
The logo for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The logo for National Geographic


A UC Degree Is More Affordable Than You Might Think




of UCR undergraduate students received some form of financial aid.




of UCR transfer students received some form of financial aid.




of students' financial aid need was met with need-based aid. 

(Financial Aid Office, 2018–19)

Let us show you how:

CNAS Scholarships

Freshman and transfer students could qualify for a CNAS scholarship.

Prestigious Scholarships and Awards

Freshman and transfer UCR students can fund their education with prestigious scholarships, such as the Donald A. Strauss Scholarship and the Undergraduate Fulbright Scholars (Research and English Teaching Award). Support is offered throughout the application process. Also available are campus scholarships, and Financial Aid's Outside Agency Scholarship Search for regional and national scholarships.

M = Academic minors are also available for these majors.

T = Transfer Selecting major. If applying as a transfer student, specific pre-requisite courses must be completed.


Undecided? We Can Help!

CNAS helps students successfully transition 
into a major field of study that is consistent with their aptitudes, values, and goals.

Learn More


Take a Tour of CNAS

Tour groundbreaking laboratories and the world-renowned Citrus Variety Collection.

Notable Facts


A trophy with a star on the front

The UCR Biology Department was No. 73 of 235 ranked; the Chemistry Department ranked No. 59 of 154; and the Physics graduate program was No. 56 of 146.
(U.S. News & World Report, 2019)

A science beaker that is half full

Half of all CNAS undergraduates engage in research outside of coursework. Many co-author research papers!

A Nobel Prize drawing with the number 2 next to it

Nobel Laureates on Faculty

UCR Alumnus Richard R. Shrock (Chemistry, 2005) and Barry Barish (Physics, 2017)


Members of the
National Academy of Sciences

One of the highest honors given to American scientists for their contributions to science.

Award-Winning Faculty


Faculty member S. Hollis Woodard

Assistant Professor of Entomology

Studies how bees use their “buzz” to pollinate plants, and was featured in The New York Times video, “Why Do Bees Buzz?” (2017).

Faculty member Jing Shi

Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Makes topological insulators (TI) magnetic well above room temperatures, helping to create faster, smaller devices that operate with infinite battery life.


FR Freshman Students    TR Transfer Students

Success Programs


Every program is designed to help you succeed from the moment you first step on campus, to the day you graduate.

A graphic of an orange above the words Did you know?

Every orange, lemon, and lime on Earth has a genetic connection to the trees in CNAS’ Citrus Research Center and Agricultural Experiment Station! In fact, that’s how UCR got its start — as a Citrus Experiment Station in 1907.



CNAS Scholars  


Offers learning communities, research, and peer mentoring.



CNAS Science Ambassador Program 


Represent CNAS as a student ambassador at special events. Receive professional development mentoring from divisional deans.



Early Student Career Planning Expo (ESCAPE) 



Learn career strategies from CNAS alumni, peer mentors, and Career Center counselors.

Freshman Advising Seminar (FAS) 


Gain a faculty mentor, boost study skills, and access academic/career planning resources. Fall quarter only.



CNAS Undergraduate Academic Advising 



Meet with academic advisers every quarter to make sure you’re on track with coursework.



STEM Transfer Connections Program 


Peer mentoring, transfer transition workshops, faculty/student mixers, field trips, and paid undergraduate research opportunities.

Student Spotlight


The 11 winners of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program award smile for the camera


Eleven UCR students won the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award. Of those awardees, four were undergraduate students.

Each received a three-year stipend of $34,000, $12,000 for tuition/fees, and international research opportunities.

Back row from left to right: Alejandro Gallegos, Natalie Fischer, Win Cowger, Julia Adams, and Isis Frausto-Vicencio.

Front row from left to right: Shannon Sweitzer, Thien-Y Nguyen, Rosa McGuire, and Leticia Meza.

CNAS Alumni


Sonia Zarate

(Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology) 

  • Program Officer, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Executive Board Member, the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
Aaron Pomerantz


  • Creator/host, “The Next Gen Scientist”
  • National Geographic Grant recipient
  • Science Reporter, “Rainforest Expeditions” covering the Peruvian Amazon
A decorated dorm room. Stairs to one side suggest it is a loft style room.
On-Campus Housing for Freshman CNAS Students

Live, learn, and make memories in the Students in Math and Science (SiMS) Living-Learning Community. SiMS is designed exclusively for first-year CNAS students and features study sessions, social events, and CNAS-specific programming.

Learn More

Career Center


UCR’s Career Center — and Virtual Career Center — offers full-service counseling and resources, regardless of major or class level.


  • Career and graduate/professional school planning
  • Job/internship search strategies and database
  • Skill-building workshops, employer information sessions, and panel discussions
  • 15 fairs and special events, including the STEM Job Fair, and the Graduate and Professional School Information Day
An announcement for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Job Fair
An announcement for the Health Professions School Information Day Fair