CNS Departments


Academic Highlights: The UMass Astronomy Department is the sole public institution in New England offering Astronomy at either the undergraduate or graduate level.

Research Areas: theoretical and computational astrophysics; millimeter wavelength radio astronomy and instrumentation, and observational astronomy at x-ray, ultraviolet, optical and infrared wavelengths. Facilities: Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT).

Degrees: BA, BS, PhD; Part of the Five-College Astronomy Program.

People: Tenure-track Faculty: 14; Undergraduate Majors: 56; Graduate Students: 21.

Research Awards: $4,564,043.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Academic Highlights: The department’s commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to elucidate the molecular mechanism of the machinery of the cell and to innovative instruction is reflected in the fact that nearly half of its undergraduate majors make the Dean’s List each semester.

Research Areas: organelle biogenesis and development; protein folding/trafficking and associated diseases; protein synthesis, structure, and function; RNA synthesis, structure, and function; plant and environmental interactions for food, fuel, and drugs; signal transduction.

Degrees: BA, BS, 5-year BS/MS, PhD

People: tenure-track faculty: 16; undergraduate majors: 425; graduate students: 23

Research Awards: $3,126,089.



Academic Highlights: The Howard Hughes Medical Institute-funded revitalization of Biology undergraduate curriculum includes academic & summer research internships, the annual Five College Undergraduate Science Research Symposium, and 4 new interdisciplinary laboratory project-based courses.

Research Areas: neuroscience and neurodevelopment; genetics and genomics in plants and animals; cell biology; physiology; systematics and evolution; ecology and behavior; and bioinformatics.

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD.

People: tenure-track faculty: 26; undergraduate majors: 1,037; graduate students: 60.

Research Awards: $5,366,300.



Academic Highlights: Widely regarded for its educational teaching innovations, including the ongoing development of computer-aided learning environments, used by over 100 universities, the department excels at teaching thousands of students in dozens of majors, and in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students engaged in laboratory research.

Research Areas: organic material and polymer synthesis; structural biochemistry; materials science; precise sample analysis; computational chemistry; renewable energy; and the chemical basis for disease.

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD.

People: Tenure-track faculty: 26; Undergraduate majors: 174; Graduate student: 142.

Research Awards: $10,184,800.


Computer Science

Computer Science is now the College of Information and Computer Sciences and no longer a part of the College of Natural Sciences.


Environmental Conservation

Academic Highlights: With a curriculum that integrates field and classroom study and applied and theoretical research, the department has been rated one of the top 10 departments for student satisfaction on campus.

Research Areas: ecology and conservation of fish and wildlife populations, forests, watersheds and landscapes; physical, social, and policy aspects of conservation involving urban forests, human habitat, and sustainable building; stewardship of healthy and sustainable ecosystems.

Degrees: BS, MS, PhD.

People: faculty: 34; undergraduate majors: 750+ (includes Environmental Science majors); graduate students: 130

Research awards: $5 million


Food Science

Academic Highlights: Offering the oldest Food Science program in the U.S., the department has been rated one of the top two departments for student satisfaction on campus for 4 years in a row.

Research Areas: food and environmental biotechnology; physical-chemical properties of food; food safety; foods for health and wellness.

Degrees: BS, MS, PhD; Concentration in Food Science Policy.

People: Tenure-track Faculty: 12; Undergraduate Majors: 78; Graduate Students: 53.

Research Awards: $3,201,871.



Academic Highlights: The department which emphasizing opportunities for field work across the globe, provides students the close faculty interaction characteristic of a small school and the extensive research facilities and projects characteristic of a large university.

Research Areas: geology; geography; earth systems; geochemistry; paleoclimatology; climate modeling; structural geology and tectonics; petrology; hydrology; biogeochemistry; paleoceanography; geomorphology; geophysics; political economy; and geography of livable cities, landscapes, and livelihoods.

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD in Geology; BA, BS, MS in Geography; BS in Earth Systems

People: tenure-track faculty: 17; undergraduate majors: 84; graduate students: 64

Research Awards: $2,250,248


Mathematics and Statistics

Academic Highlights: The department’s curriculum offers a complete spectrum, from introductory-level general education courses to research opportunities for undergraduates; from an innovative MS program in applied mathematics for careers in high-tech industry to doctoral direction and postdoctoral mentoring.

Research Areas: algebra and Lie theory; number theory; algebraic and differential geometry; topology; analysis; dynamical systems; partial differential equations; applied and computational mathematics; mathematical physics; probability; methodological and applied statistics.

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD in Mathematics; MS in Applied Mathematics.

People: Tenure-track Faculty: 41; Undergraduate Majors: 343; Graduate Students: 63.

Research Awards: $1,483,400.



Academic Highlights: The curriculum offers undergraduate a broad background in the sciences and focused training in Microbiology in a small classroom environment along with personalized academic advising. One third of the faculty members have received the University's Distinguished Faculty Award.

Research Areas: molecular and cellular biology; genomics and systems biology; medical microbiology; environmental microbiology; biofuels and bio-remediation.

Degrees: BS, 5-year BS/MS, PhD

People: tenure-track faculty: 12; undergraduate majors: 188; graduate students: 47

Research Awards: $1,655,286



Academic Highlights: The multi-track undergraduate program for majors includes many undergraduate research opportunities, and the comprehensive graduate program offers opportunities for doctoral studies in most forefront areas of physics research.

Research Areas: condensed matter physics; soft matter physics; low temperature physics; nanoscience; optics; computational and statistical physics; biological physics; high energy and nuclear physics; astroparticle physics; gravitation; cosmology; physics education research.

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD.

People: Tenure-track Faculty: 29; Undergraduate Majors: 145; Graduate Students: 87.

Research Expenditures: $4,995,900.


Polymer Science and Engineering

Academic Highlights: Rated the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, and second by the National Research Council, the department is one of the largest academic polymer research centers in the world. The curriculum covers all aspects of the evolving polymer field, from synthesis to engineering and physics, with a broad spectrum of courses in materials science.

Research Areas: nanotechnology; green technology; and biotechnology. Facilities: $30 million instrumentation faciliies, National Center for Polymer Research, 3 NSF centers for polymeric materials, collaborative industrial research program.

Degrees: MS, PhD

People: Tenure-track faculty: 18; graduate students: 131.

Research Awards: $15 million


Psychological and Brain Sciences

Academic Highlights: The undergraduate curriculum offers strong background in psychology with training in basic behavioral and biomedical research, and concentration in Neuroscience. The PhD Program in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological, and the Peace and Prevention of Violence Program offers a graduate certificate.

Research Areas: behavioral neuroscience; clinical psychology; cognitive psychology; developmental science; and social psychology.

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD; Concentration in Psychology of Peace and Violence.

People: Tenure-Track Faculty: 45; Undergraduate Majors: 1,710; Graduate Students: 95

Research Awards: $14,545,410.


Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Academic Highlights: The Stockbridge School of Agriculture, founded in 1918, is a part of the College of Natural Sciences. The School’s curriculum is unique in that all courses are part of an undergraduate curriculum and all of its faculty teach at the undergraduate and graduate level, participate in research, public service and are highly trained professionals. The Stockbridge School offers an Associate of Science degree in six majors, a Bachelor of Science degree in four majors, and graduate education. These majors integrate the scientific, business, and technical skills required of professionals within the equine, food crops, and green industries. The majors are centered around course work in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Department of Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning.

Degrees: AS, BS with 40% of graduates transferring into 4-year programs within the College of Natural Sciences.

People: tenure-track faculty: 21; undergraduate students: 250; graduate students: 37

Development Funding: $6,300,000


Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Academic Highlights: The department offers two undergraduate majors, Animal Science and Pre-Veterinary Science, with a student/faculty ratio of 18:1. Students work directly with large and small animals and engage in research in several campus farm and livestock facilities.

Research Areas: autoimmune diseases; breast cancer; developmental biology; environmental toxicology; fertility research; infection and immunity; lymphoid development; reproductive biology; stem cell biology; veterinary immunopathology.

Degrees: BS, MS, PhD in Animal Sciences; BS in Pre-Veterinary Science

People: tenure-track faculty: 16; undergraduate majors: 400; graduate students: 42

Research Awards: $7,154,794