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: Understanding the beginning of the universe, birth and life of galaxies through cosmic time, ecology of galaxies, the universe in x-rays, the lives of stars from nurseries to black holes, comets as probes of the early solar system, and interstellar chemistry and the origins of life.

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


  • Tenure-track faculty: 14
  • Research faculty: 3
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 2
  • Undergraduate majors: 92
  • Graduate students: 23

Research Awards: $2.44M


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: Protein folding/trafficking and associated diseases, mechanisms of cellular signal transduction, and plant and environmental interactions for food, fuel and drugs.

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


  • Tenure-track faculty: 14
  • Lecturers: 2
  • Research faculty: 3
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 14
  • Undergraduate majors: 620
  • Graduate students: 28

Research Awards: $4.9M



Academic Highlights: Spanning the breadth of life science, the Biology curriculum integrates the cellular and molecular investigation of living organisms, including humans, with the study of the evolution and ecology of organismal biology. Inquiry-based laboratory and field experiences provide rich opportunities for students to develop and hone the skills of practicing scientists. Our goal is to prepare our students for a variety of career paths and also provide them with the tools to be life-long learners in the rapidly evolving world of biological sciences.

Research Areas: Cell biology, neurobiology, evolutionary biology, ecology and behavior, genetics and genomics, physiology, plant genomics and physiology.

Degrees: BA, BS


Tenure-track faculty: 32

Lecturers: 10

Postdoctoral fellows: 9

Undergraduate majors: 1,321

Graduate students: 42

Research Awards: $4.93M



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.

Degrees: AS, BS, MS, PhD.


Tenure-track faculty: 23

Lecturers: 11

Adjunct research faculty: 52

Research fellows: 15

Postdoc research associates: 9

Undergraduate majors: 701

Graduate students: 153

Research awards: $8.25M


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, and foods for health and wellness.

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


  • Tenure-track faculty: 12
  • Postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars: 30
  • Undergraduate majors: 100
  • Graduate students: 70

Research Awards: $1.6M



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: Pure and applied mathematics and statistics

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD


Tenure-track faculty: 40

Lecturers: 8

Postdoctoral fellows: 10

Undergraduate majors: 583

Graduate students: 75

Research Awards: $1.08M



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: Bio-fuels and bio-remediation; environmental microbiology; genetics; environmental microbiology; genomics and systems biology; immunology; medical microbiology; microbial ecology; microbial physiology; molecular and cellular biology; parasitology; pathogenic bacteriology.

Degrees: BA/BS, 5-year BS/MS, MS/One-year MS in applied molecular biotechnology, Biotechnology Certificate Program, PhD.


  • Tenure-track faculty: 16
  • Lecturers: 5
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 6
  • Undergraduate majors: 193
  • Graduate students: 40

Research Awards: $2.26M



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: Cosmology, gravity, nuclear, and particle theory; astrophysics, gravity, nuclear, and particle; theoretical and experimental hard and soft condensed-­matter physics; MassNanoTech: Nanoscale Science and Engineering Institute; Center for Biological Physics: Biological Physics Theory and Experiment.

Degrees: BA, BS, MS, PhD.


Tenure-track faculty: 27

Lecturers: 5

Postdoctoral fellows: 11

Undergraduate majors: 200

Graduate students: 76

Research Expenditures: $5.7M


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


Tenure-track faculty: 45

Lecturers: 8

Postdoctoral fellows: 10

Undergraduate majors: 1,741

Graduate students: 95

Research Awards: $14.5M


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 and BS


Tenure-track faculty: 21

Lecturers: 5

Extension faculty: 3

Undergraduate majors: 350

Graduate students: 35

Postdoctoral fellows: 10

Research Awards: $3M


Veterinary and Animal Sciences

Academic Highlights: The department offers two undergraduate majors, animal science and pre-veterinary science, with a student/faculty ratio of 16:1. 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, and veterinary immunopathology.

Degrees: BS in animal science, BS in pre-veterinary science, MS in animal biotechnology and biomedical sciences, PhD in animal biotechnology and biomedical sciences


  • Tenure-track faculty: 15
  • Extension faculty: 1
  • Research faculty: 5
  • Lecturers: 5
  • Postdoctoral fellows: 7
  • Undergraduate majors: 385
  • Graduate students: 22

Research Awards: $9M