Prospective Students

Information for Prospective Undergraduate Students

Thanks for your interest in the College of Natural Sciences (CNS)! Applying to college can be overwhelming—here are some useful information and links.

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
All prospective students must apply through the UMass Amherst Office of Undergraduate Admissions, where you can also ask questions and request information.
Financial Aid
If you wish to apply for Financial Aid, you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The UMass code for the FAFSA is 002221. See Financial Aid Services for more detailed information.
Campus Visit
Many UMass Amherst students will advise you to take a campus tour for an inside look at academics, student life, and the campus. The student guides are happy to answer your questions, from the best study spot in the library to which activities to get involved in as a first-year student. Spend an afternoon taking a tour, mingling with student groups in the Campus Center, and experiencing what CNS and UMass Amherst have to offer.
New Student Orientation
New Student Orientation is an important event that helps prepare all new students to enter UMass Amherst. If you are admitted for the fall semester, you will be attending a summer NSO session. If you are entering UMass in the spring, sign up for a winter session.
CNS Departments and Majors
The College of Natural Sciences offers several undergraduate degree options in 14 different departments. You will find specific information about each undergraduate major and minor on the Degrees Offered page.
Introducing CNS publication
Flip through this on-line publication to learn more about the college, see what our students are working on, and discover why Science Comes Naturally at UMass Amherst.
CNS video
Hear what students have to say about their experiences and opportunities in the College of Natural Sciences: Watch award-winning CNS video.
The Stockbridge School of Agriculture
The Stockbridge School of Agriculture is a two-year school within CNS. Majors focus on Arboriculture and Park Management, Equine Industries, Fruit and Vegetable Crops, Horticulture, Landscape Contracting, and Turfgrass Management.
Advanced Placement Credits
Incoming students may receive advanced standing and/or credit for the College Board AP exams. Credits vary depending upon scores and subject matter. For more information, contact the Admissions Office.
Learning Commons at the W.E.B. Dubois Library
The W.E.B. Dubois Library is open 24 hours a day. Inside, you’ll find great resources, including the Learning Commons, with comfortable places to study, wireless internet and network ports, multiple print and computer workstations, and laptop rentals, and a popular café. You can also access library assistance, academic advising, and technical support. The Learning Resource Center offers talented peer advising in a comfortable environment to assist with academic challenges. The University Writing Center has tutors who provide free assistance to develop better writing skills.
Honors Program
Commonwealth Honors College offers a tightly knit community for students seeking more academic rigor in their field of study. All CNS students who meet the eligibility requirements can join Commonwealth Honors College, which offers a rewarding opportunity to meet students who share the same intellectual enthusiasm, work more closely with professors, and pursue independent research as part of a Capstone Experience.
Residential Academic Programs (RAP)
Residential Academic Programs (RAP) 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. There are specific RAPs for Animal Science, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geosciences, Health Sciences, Physics, Psychology, and Sustainability as well as more general options.
New England Regional Students Program (NERSP)
Through the New England Regional Students Program (NERSP), New England students who enroll in a major not offered by a public institution in their home state may pay tuition of only 50 percent above the Massachusetts resident rate. If you are eligible for this program check the NERSP box on the University application. No additional application is required.
CNS offers more than 100 scholarships for students majoring in CNS disciplines. Please see our Scholarships page for information about the individual awards and how to apply.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
To find out more about opportunities to do research during the semester or the summer, check out the CNS Undergraduate Research Opportunities page.
The Student Employment Office
A great resource for all students, the Student Employment Office posts job listings for both on- and off-campus employment, including work-study opportunities.
Career Services
Mary Ellen Liseno (meliseno [at] acad [dot] umass [dot] edu) is the career contact for CNS majors, and will help you with resumes, interviewing, internships, and your plans post-UMass. The Career Services Center is located at 512 Goddell; 545-2224.
Five College Interchange
Through the Five College Interchange, every UMass Amherst student has the opportunity to take courses at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges as well as access the facilities, libraries, cultural, and social events on the campuses, for no extra cost. The colleges are all linked by a free bus system.
First year experience
Learn more about the range of cross-campus academic programs and opportunities created especially for a successful first year experience.
Dean of Students Office
The Dean of Students Office provides students with the individual support, resources and referrals needed to succeed at the university.
Campus Directory
Use People Finder to access the UMass Amhest directory for faculty, staff, and student contact information.