The fall 2020 admissions application is now open! Apply Nov. 1–30.

Two women examine a growing plant in a UCR greenhouse

College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences


Explore CNAS. Save the World.

Learn how insects impact our environment (Entomology). Analyze meaningful data (Statistics). Prevent disruption to the Earth’s systems and species (Environmental Science). 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

We put research in your hands.


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 Major


Research Programs

FR Freshman Students    TR Transfer Students


California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) 



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



Computational Chemistry & Biology Summer Workshop 


Discover biomolecular recognition and binding kinetics.



DNA Subway 


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



Early Research Engagement Options 


(For freshman students in the CNAS FSLC program)
Choose an early research engagement option: Dynamic Genome or Adventures in Molecular Science.



Experience Physics Pathway 


Explore particle physics and/or observational astronomy.



(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 


(For incoming transfer students)
Learn research methods for molecular biology and bioinformatics, and write proposals.

Earning Potential with a CNAS Bachelor's Degree


  Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay
Applied Mathematics  $57,600 $113,200
Physics  $58,000 $108,000
Statistics $60,000 $104,600
Chemistry $45,700 $88,000
Biochemistry $44,500 $87,600
Biological Sciences $42,900 $82,100
Microbiology $42,900 $81,400
Environmental Science $43,800 $78,400

Based on national averages. Higher earning potential with advanced degrees. (PayScale, 2017–2018 College Salary Report)



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 (JJ)
Mathematics Major

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.

National Prestigious Scholarships and Awards (NPSA)

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. UCR regional and national scholarships are also available via Financial Aid's Outside Agency Scholarship Search.

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 stylized graphic of a trophy

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 stylized graphic of a beaker half-fill with liquid

1/2 of all CNAS undergraduates engage in research outside of coursework. Many co-author research papers!

A drawing of the Nobel Prize followed by X 2

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

You have big dreams. We'll help them come true!


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 Freshman Scholars Learning Communities (FSLC) 


Join other freshman CNAS students for reserved classes, peer mentoring and exclusive research opportunities.



CNAS Science Ambassador Program 


Represent CNAS 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.



Centralized Academic Advising 



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



STEM 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

Join us in making global impacts.


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

Get help with career success.


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
  • 11 fairs, 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