Opportunities for First-Year CNS Students

Are you a science major looking for ways to make your first year really count? The College of Natural Sciences has many great options for you. Plug into one of these unique opportunities and optimize your first year academic experience!

Do Real Research

The CNS First-Year Research Experience. First-year students have an invaluable opportunity to have an authentic research experience in their first year at UMass Amherst. Get placed with a faculty member's research group or similar appropriate practical research position and learn first-hand how science advances through the generation, dissemination, and in-depth analysis of new knowledge. CNS faculty from multiple departments participate in this two-credit independent study. For more information, please contact Heath Hatch in the Physics department at hhatch@physics.umass.edu. Previous research experience is not necessary.

Get Integrated

iCons: Integrated Concentration in Science. Today's global challenges require skills and training from a range of disciplines. The iCons curriculum integrates scientific expertise across departments (or fields) and gives students the opportunity to work on real-world problems from day one. This new four-year program—embedded with your major—will give you collaborative learning experiences, active scientific investigation, leadership development, and multi-disciplinary analytical skills. To learn more about this unique program, contact icons@cns.umass.edu or visit http://www.cns.umass.edu/icons-program.

Live and Learn

Residential Academic Programs (RAPs). RAPs offer unique living and learning opportunities designed to help first-year students transition to college. Once you've joined a RAP, you become part of a small community on a large campus, living in a designated residence hall with other students who share similar academic interests or majors and enrolling in specific classes together. You can chose from specific RAPs for Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Health Sciences, Physics, Psychology, and Sustainability or select a more general option. The Scientific Connections RAP is affiliated with the iCons program.

Be Prepared

BIOS: Biology Intensive Orientation Session. Jumpstart your first semester with BIOS! This pre-semester five-day intensive orientation session is designed to help first-year students enrolled in Biology 151 make a smooth transition to college and take the stress out of the first semester. Through BIOS you will gain important learning and study techniques, get a jump on course content, and meet faculty members, graduate students and college staff. For more information about enrollment procedures and costs for BIOS, contact bios@bio.umass.edu or visit http://www2.bio.umass.edu/biology/undergraduate/bios.

Start Early

UMass Amherst Summer Programs. UMass Amherst Summer College offers of two-, four- and six-week intensives all with optional college credit. All intensives offer a mix of content combined with hands-on experience in a laboratory or studio setting. Check out Environmental Design, The Arsenic Project, Exploring the Night Sky, Forensic Chemistry, Mathematics Triple, or Research Intensives.

Read more

Read the booklet Science Comes Naturally at UMass Amherst.