Jeffrey S. Thompson, Dean
Katherine McCall, Associate Dean
Regina Tempel, Associate Dean
411 Davidson Mathematics and Science Center
The College of Science unites disciplines in the pure and applied physical sciences, earth sciences, life sciences, and mathematics around the central tenets of the scientific method and logic to provide students with a solid framework of education and research.
About the College
The college embodies the belief that science and mathematics are the primary sources of the technological revolution transforming society in the 21st century. The College of Science has a nucleus of specific strengths and strives for excellence in all programs. The college houses nine major units, four in the natural sciences and mathematics and five within the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering.
Department of Biology
Department of Chemistry
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Department of Physics
Mackay School of Earth Sciences & Engineering
Department of Geography
Department of Geological Sciences & Engineering
Department of Mining & Metallurgical Engineering
Nevada Bureau of Mines & Geology
Nevada Seismological Laboratory
Degree Programs in the College of Science
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degrees
- Atmospheric Sciences, B.S.
- Biology, B.S.
- Chemistry (Environmental Chemistry Emphasis), B.S. in Chem.
- Chemistry (General Emphasis), B.S. in Chem.
- Chemistry (Pre-Medical Emphasis), B.S. in Chem.
- Chemistry (Professional Chemistry Emphasis), B.S. in Chem.
- Geography (General), B.A.
- Geography, B.S.
- Geography (Climate, Water, and Ecosystems Specialization), B.A.
- Geography (Climate, Water, and Ecosystems Specialization), B.S.
- Geography (Environmental Policy and Management Specialization), B.A. (pending)
- Geography (Environmental Policy and Management Specialization), B.S.
- Geography (Geotechnologies Specialization), B.S.
- Geography (Globalization, Politics and Place Specialization), B.A.
- Geological Engineering, B.S. in Geol. Eng.
- Geology, B.S. in Geology
- Geophysics, B.S. in Geophysics
- Hydrogeology, B.S. in Hydrogeology
- Mathematics (Applied Mathematics Specialization), B.A.
- Mathematics (Applied Mathematics Specialization), B.S.
- Mathematics (Discrete Mathematics/Operations Research Specialization), B.A.
- Mathematics (Discrete Mathematics/Operations Research Specialization), B.S.
- Mathematics (General Mathematics Specialization), B.A.
- Mathematics (General Mathematics Specialization), B.S.
- Mathematics (Statistics Specialization), B.A.
- Mathematics (Statistics Specialization), B.S.
- Metallurgical Engineering, B.S. in Met. E.
- Mining Engineering, B.S. in Mining Engineering
- Mining Engineering (Process Metallurgy Emphasis), B.S. in Mining Engineering
- Mining Engineering (Quarry Engineering Emphasis), B.S. in Mining Engineering
- Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, B.S.
- Neuroscience, B.S. (with College of Liberal Arts)
- Nevada Teach Secondary Education and Atmospheric Science, B.S./B.S. in Ed. (with College of Education) (pending)
- Nevada Teach Secondary Education and Biology, B.S./B.S. in Ed. (with College of Education)
- Nevada Teach Secondary Education and Chemistry, B.S./B.S. in Ed. (with College of Education)
- Nevada Teach Secondary Education and Mathematics, B.S./B.S. in Ed. (with College of Education)
- Nevada Teach Secondary Education and Physics, B.S./B.S. in Ed. (with College of Education)
- Physics, B.S.
- Astronomy, Minor
- Atmospheric Sciences, Minor
- Biology, Minor
- Chemistry, Analytical–Organic Option, Minor
- Chemistry, Biophysical–Organic Option, Minor
- Geography, Minor
- Geography Climate Studies Minor
- Geography Globalization, Politics and Place Minor
- Geology, Minor
- Geophysics, Minor
- Geotechnologies, Minor
- Hydrogeology, Minor
- Mathematics, Minor
- Metallurgical Engineering, Minor
- Mining Engineering, Minor
- Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Minor
- Nevada Teach, Minor (with College of Education)
- Physics, Minor
- Statistics, Minor
Other Undergraduate Degree Opportunities
• BS/DMD, College of Science (with the UNLV School of Dental Medicine)
• BS/MD, School of Medicine (with the School of Medicine)
Master of Science Degrees involving College of Science programs
(see the Graduate School section of this catalog for more information)
- Atmospheric Sciences, M.S.
- Biology, M.S. Plan A (Thesis)
- Biology, M.S. Plan B (Non Thesis)
- Cellular and Molecular Biology, M.S.
- Chemistry, M.S.
- Geography, M.S.
- Geological Engineering, M.S.
- Geology, M.S.
- Geophysics, M.S.
- Hydrogeology, M.S.
- Hydrology, M.S.
- Land Use Planning Policy, M.S.
- Mathematics, M.S.
- Metallurgical Engineering, M.S., Advanced Degree
- Mining Engineering, M.S., Advanced Degree
- Neuroscience, M.S.
- Physics, M.S.
Doctor of Philosophy Degrees involving College of Science programs
(see the Graduate School section of this catalog for more information)
- Atmospheric Sciences, Ph.D.
- Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ph.D. (Interdisciplinary)
- Chemistry, Ph.D.
- Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology, Ph.D.
- Geo-Engineering, Ph.D., Advanced Degree
- Geography, Ph.D.
- Geology, Ph.D.
- Geophysics, Ph.D.
- Hydrogeology, Ph.D.
- Hydrology, Ph.D.
- Mathematics, Ph.D.
- Neuroscience, Ph.D.
- Physics, Ph.D.
- Statistics and Data Science, Ph.D.
The College of Science offers students the knowledge and discipline gained from a strong education in mathematics and science. This education teaches students to think logically and quantitatively, develop intellectual curiosity and appreciate the scientific method of inquiry.
Degree requirements are designed to assure a well-balanced curriculum while also allowing students freedom in selecting individual courses. Major and minor programs equip students with a deeper understanding in a field of knowledge, help prepare students to meet their professional goals, and help provide entry into advanced study at the graduate or professional level.
BS-DMD - As part of partnership with UNLV’s School of Dental Medicine, the College of Science offers a program for students to pursue a degree in dental medicine in seven years. Applicants must be first-time freshmen applicants at UNR. For more information, visit www.unr.edu/science/dental.
BS-MD - As part of a partnership with the School of Medicine, the College of Science offers a program for students to pursue a medical degree in seven years. For more information, visit: www.unr.edu/science/medical.
Rx Explorer Program (PharmD Program) – As part of a partnership with California Northstate University’s College of Pharmacy, the Rx Explorer Program provides opportunities for mentorship, shadowing experiences, professional conferences and research. Priority admission will be given to Rx Explorer participants who successfully meet the requirements for pharmacy school. For more information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students who wish to pursue secondary teacher licensure in science or mathematics should enroll in the NevadaTeach program. NevadaTeach is a collaborative, dual degree program offered jointly by the College of Science and the College of Education. This innovative program combines BS degree curricula in STEM disciplines with pedagogy courses and field experiences required for secondary teacher licensure- in a four-year program.
For more information, visit http://www.unr.edu/nevadateach or send an email to NevadaTeach@unr.edu.
The academic programs leading to the Bachelor of Science degrees in Geological Engineering and Mining Engineering are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the agency accrediting engineering curricula throughout the United States.
The Chemistry Department’s Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree with a professional chemistry or environmental chemistry specialization is certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS) as satisfying vigorous standards. To obtain certification, students must follow the plans outlined in this catalog.
Multiple Undergraduate Degrees
Students may earn multiple degrees by completing the requirements for multiple major programs leading to different degrees–for example, one major leading to a bachelor of arts degree and another major leading to a bachelor of science degree or one leading to one named degree such as a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and another leading to a degree such as a Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology. College of Science students who earn multiple degrees are required to fulfill all of the college’s general requirements for a bachelor’s degree.
Multiple Undergraduate Majors
Students may earn multiple majors by completing the requirements for multiple major programs leading to the same degree name–for example, majors leading to a bachelor of science degree. A student may not have multiple majors within a named degree such as a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Students who earn multiple majors with at least one major in the College of Science are required to fulfill all of the college’s general requirements for a bachelor’s degree.
General College Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree
Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in the College of Science must successfully complete the following requirements:
- Earn a minimum of 120 units at the baccalaureate-level, at least 40 units of which must be numbered 300 or above. (Two additional university unit requirements are that at least 60 units must be earned from regionally accredited, four-year educational institutions and that 30 upper-division units must be earned at the University of Nevada, Reno, in residency. Students should review the Academic Requirements/AAR section in this catalog for additional information).
- Complete all University Core Curriculum requirements.
- Complete all major and minor requirements for the degree program. Specific requirements for each major and minor may be found under the appropriate program description in this catalog.
- Complete any remaining elective units necessary to meet minimum unit requirements. General elective course units may be taken from any department at the university.
Academic advising in the College of Science teaches and empowers students to take responsibility for learning and for their own academic success. Students are expected to proactively plan and consult with their academic and/or faculty advisor on their academic program in order to achieve their educational and professional goals.
All new freshmen and new transfer students are required to participate in the academic advising process and will have an Advising hold placed on their MyNEVADA account by the Office of Admissions & Records. Per University policy, all new freshmen are mandated to participate in academic advising for at least 2 consecutive semesters. New freshmen starting in the Fall term should consult www.unr.edu/science/advising for details on how to complete the academic advising process and have their Advising hold removed.
NOTE: All students with declared majors in the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering with 60 credits or fewer are required to meet with their academic advisor prior to enrollment. Geological Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, and Mining Engineering majors have mandatory advising every semester until graduation.
New students (freshmen and transfers), continuing freshmen and sophomores, students who are declaring or changing their major to one offered by the College of Science, and students on academic probation are advised by their academic advisor.
Juniors and seniors with declared majors in the College of Science AND in good academic standing (UNR cumulative GPA 2.0 or higher) are advised by their faculty advisor.
Professional School Advising
The Professional School Advisor in the College of Science, provides the following services for College of Science students:
- Personalized assistance from the early stages of professional school preparation through the application process.
- Individualized advisement to assist students with course selection, test preparation, and obtaining clinical and research experiences as students prepare for professional school.
- Development of the best timeline and application strategy for student applications to professional school.
- Seminars to assist students with the application process; seminars include writing the personal statement and resume, the professional school interview, getting letters of recommendation, and the professional school application process and timeline.
- Critiques of student resumes and personal statements; mock interviews.
To schedule an advising appointment, visit www.unr.edu/science/advising.
Application for Graduation
Candidates for graduation must submit a graduation application in MyNEVADA by March 1st for Spring, June 1st for Summer, and October 1st for Fall. Candidates are strongly encouraged to review their Academic Advising Report (AAR) with their academic advisor prior to submitting an application. At the end of the graduation term, all requirements on the AAR must be complete before a degree may be posted on the student’s transcript.
Undergraduate Academic Standards
Except as otherwise specified, all students must maintain the following academic standards in order to receive a bachelor’s degree from the College of Science.
Grade-point average requirements
In addition to the university’s requirement that students have a grade-point average (GPA) of at least 2.0, the College of Science requires that students earn a GPA of at least 2.0 in both their major and minor fields. Some college departments have higher GPA requirements for their degree programs (refer to the appropriate program description in this catalog for more information.)
Students seeking a bachelor’s degree in the College of Science may apply a maximum of 30 units earned with satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) grades. Courses taken for S/U units do not count toward requirements for majors and minors, unless the course is offered for S/U credit only. The college’s policy for courses graded S/U otherwise conforms to the university policy. This restriction on major and minor requirements can be waived if S/U grading for the course is recommended by the student’s academic advisor; the advisor’s recommendation must be approved by the department chair and submitted to the dean’s office for final approval.
Acceptance of transfer students
Students must have a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or higher in courses at the bachelor’s degree level to transfer into a degree program, major or minor in the College of Science. Some college departments have higher GPA requirements for acceptance. These requirements do not apply to new freshmen applicants.
Academic Probation and Dismissal
Undergraduate students in the College of Science who do not make satisfactory progress toward their degree may be placed on academic probation or dismissal as defined in the Undergraduate Academic Standards section of this catalog. The same policies which govern academic probation and dismissal for the university apply in the college.