The following is a listing of the areas of graduate study in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences as well as some graduate focus areas. You can obtain information on each program, its requirements, and faculty research interests by clicking on the program of interest.


Biochemistry Li Fan, laboratory, (c) UCR

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (M.S., Ph.D.)

The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program offers both the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology . The goal of the graduate program in biochemistry is to prepare you for a future career in science by expanding your knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology, and by developing your ability for critical thought and creativity. The academic program emphasizes an in-depth study of the field of biochemistry with considerable flexibility to tailor your course selection to your own particular needs and special interests. A diverse collection of research programs is available from which to choose your area of thesis research. Areas of research specialization represented within the Graduate Program include molecular biology, physical biochemistry, molecular endocrinology, plant biochemistry and molecular biology, signal transduction, and biomedical research. Each program prepares you well for either a research and teaching career in academia, or for a career in biochemical research at both the pure and applied levels in private, governmental or industrial laboratories.


preparing a petri dish (c) UCR

Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology (M.S./Ph.D.) 

Faculty sponsor research programs in basic, applied, medical, and agriculture sciences. Our research group includes more than 70 faculty and is distinctive in offering opportunities to work with microbial, plant, insect, and animal model systems.


Chemistry Graduate Program

Chemistry (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. program at UCR is designed to provide students with the academic background, research experience, and professional development to make them successful and independent scientists. Emphasis is placed on creating a base of chemical knowledge that can serve as the foundation for fostering high-level critical and creative problem-solving skills. Areas of research specialization represented within the Graduate Program include Analytical, Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry. UCR Chemistry also specializes in developing cross-cutting, interdisciplinary research opportunities in Bioanalytical and Environmental Chemistry, Material Science, and Biophysics. Pushing beyond science and academia, graduate education in our department also focuses on professional development, including training in ethics, safety, teaching, and how to succeed in industry. All of this is provided within an inclusive, diverse, and family-friendly atmosphere.



Insect Collection in Entomology Department (c) UCR

Entomology (M.S./Ph.D.) 

Offers advanced degree programs with specialization in, but not restricted to, the following areas of study: arthropod vectors of plant pathogens, biological control, behavior, biochemistry and physiology, chemical ecology, ecology and evolution, pathology, integrated pest management, insect-plant interactions, systematics, pesticide toxicology, medical and veterinary entomology, molecular entomology, nematology, neuroscience, and urban entomology.

Environmental Science students in the desert (c) UCR / CNAS

Environmental Sciences (M.S./Ph.D)

The Environmental Sciences Graduate Program offers the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Sciences. Advanced training in Environmental Sciences is becoming increasingly necessary to address complex problems involving natural resources and environmental quality. Although this task frequently requires specialized knowledge in various fields of science, it also requires understanding and integration of a wide variety of interacting physical, chemical, biological, and societal influences. This interaction makes graduate study in environmental sciences distinct from many other scientific fields. We have designed our program to offer graduate training in a number of specialized focus areas within environmental sciences, operating within a single graduate degree program administered by the Department of Environmental Sciences. Students trained in the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program can fill many areas of expertise needed in the state and nation. Potential career opportunities exist at regulatory agencies, consulting firms, government and academic research institutions, and industrial research facilities.


test tubes (c) Louis Reed 747388 unsplash

Environmental Toxicology (M.S./Ph.D.) 

Research and teaching in the program focus on the molecular, biochemical and genetic mechanisms of toxicity; the formation, movement and remediation of toxics in soil, water and air; and the development of procedures to evaluate the effects of toxic agents on humans as well as other living organisms.


Anna's Hummingbird Firs Mohican (c) unsplash

Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology (M.S./Ph.D.)

Specializations for graduate studies are Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Physiology. The Department's research in Evolutionary Biology encompasses evolutionary ecology and population genetics, behavioral ecology, molecular systematics, physiological ecology, and evolutionary physiology. We are also concerned with the application of knowledge from these disciplines to problems in biological control and conservation biology. Our Physiologists work in the following areas: physiological ecology (physiological adaptations of animals to their environments), comparative and evolutionary physiology (evolutionary changes in physiological traits), and regulatory physiology (especially mechanisms of water balance and thermoregulation).


in the lab (c) UCR / CNAS

Genetics, Genomics, & Bioinformatics (Ph.D.) 

The Graduate Program in Genetics, Genomics & Bioinformatics (GGB) at UC Riverside is a multidisciplinary Ph.D. program. It offers modern integrative training across genetics, genomics and bioinformatics with opportunities to specialize in one or more experimental or computational disciplines.  Research conducted in our program leads to cures for human diseases, improvements to crop quality and yield, creation of new technologies with applications to medicine and industry. More than 75 faculty from the departments of Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, Botany and Plant Sciences, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Chemistry, Computer Science, Environmental Sciences, Entomology, Nematology, Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Statistics, and the Division of Biomedical Sciences participate in the GGB program. Our faculty are not only leaders in their fields, but also exceptional mentors to graduate students. This combination makes for a vibrant and productive graduate program.


in the Earth Sciences lab (c) UCR / CNAS

Geological Sciences (M.S./Ph.D.)

The Department of Earth Sciences offers the M.S. and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences. Graduate education in the Geological Sciences emphasizes general geology combined with specialization in fields such as evolutionary paleobiology, invertebrate paleontologyactive tectonics, applied geophysics, earthquake processes and geophysics, deep crustal and mantle processes, organic geochemistry, geohydrology, mineral deposits, stratigraphy, sedimentology, sedimentary geochemistry, basin analysis, landscape ecology, fire ecology, and natural resource conservation. Feel free to contact faculty members with specific questions. Their phone numbers and E-mail addresses are in their Faculty Profiles.

Motte Rimrock with mountains in background (c) UCR / Stan Lim

UCR, SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Evolutionary Biology (Ph.D.)

San Diego State University (SDSU) offers a Doctoral Degree Program in Evolutionary Biology in collaboration with the UC Riverside Graduate Program in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology. This joint program involves research training under the supervision of participating SDSU Faculty in areas within the Department of Biology, and one academic year of residence at UCR under the supervision of UCR Faculty in the Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology graduate program. Research within this degree address a wide range of topics, including molecular evolution, genomics, paleontology, population biology, and systematics, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of evolutionary biology. Prospective graduate students are encouraged to visit the SDSU Graduate Access Page (MyGAP) to apply; once accepted through the SDSU portal then an application to the JDEB Program at UCR may be submitted.

Math Graduate Program

Math (M.S., Ph.D.)

The Department of Mathematics offers programs leading to the M.A., M.S. or Ph.D. degree in Mathematics, with research specializations in the following areas: Algebra, Analysis, Applied Mathematics, Geometry, Partial Differential Equations, and Topology.
Our Applied Mathematics program involves interdisciplinary study in physics, engineering, and biological sciences. We provide sophisticated and critical training at both undergraduate and graduate levels focusing on scientific computing and mathematical modeling with applications in mathematical biology, fluid mechanics, and medical imaging analysis. To learn more visit our Interdisciplinary Center for Quantitative Modeling in Biology here.


student in Plant Pathology lab (c) UCR / CNAS

Microbiology (M.S./Ph.D.)

Research in Microbiology focuses on four areas: microbial pathogenesis; environmental microbiology and ecology; microbial evolution, genomics and metagenomics; and cellular and molecular microbiology. Our research group includes participating faculty from the departments of Biology, Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Chemistry, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Entomology, Environmental Sciences, Plant Pathology and Microbiology, and the Division of Biomedical Sciences.


Nematology student with plants (c) UCR / CNAS


A comprehensive area of graduate studies in Nematology is offered within a broader biological context. Students interested in Nematology must apply and enroll in one of the graduate programs in the Biological Sciences, which provide core graduate courses. Dissertation research opportunities, major research professor, curriculum advisor, and specific courses are provided by the Department of Nematology to complement requirements of the graduate degree programs, such as Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Plant Biology, Entomology, Plant Pathology; interdepartmental graduate programs include Environmental Toxicology, Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics, or Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology.


David Chen in the lab (c) UCR / Stan Lim

Neuroscience (Ph.D.)

A multi-disciplinary approach to understanding nervous systems at levels ranging from the molecular and cellular to the cognitive. The program aims to provide high quality graduate training for students who come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds but share a commitment to and an intense interest in research on nervous systems. Our goal is to prepare students for high impact careers in research and teaching, as well as in scientific administration.

Physics Graduate Program

Physics (Ph.D.)

 The Department of Physics has a very active research program with 44 faculty and 132 graduate students. They have theoretical and experimental research programs in Astrophysics, Biophysics, Condensed Matter Physics, Cosmology, Fundamental Precision Measurements, High Energy Physics, Relativistic Heavy Ion and Nucleon Spin Physics, and Surface Physics. The integration of astrophysics and astronomy with physics is increasingly important in their discipline, particularly the physics of the Early Universe from both astronomical cosmology and particle physics. The Department offers several graduate tracks leading to Ph.D.'s in Physics with emphasis in Nuclear and Particle Physics, Condensed Matter, Surface, Optical Physics and Biophysics, Astrophysics, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, and Environmental Physics.


student in the Botany lab (c) Bailey Serres

Plant Biology (M.S./Ph.D. , M.S. Concentrations in  Botany or Plant Science) 

Offers graduate training in the following basic and applied research areas: bioinformatics, biotechnology, cell, molecular and developmental biology, conservation, crop management, ecology, evolution, gene regulation, genetics, genomics, horticulture, natural resources, plant breeding, plant physiology, plant stress, signal transduction, and systematics. The new Institute for Integrative Genome Biology contains a center in Plant Cell Biology (CEPCEB)



student looking through microscope (c) UCR / CNAS

Plant Pathology (M.S./Ph.D.) 

Covers a comprehensive range of topics ranging from basic to applied biology. The faculty are nationally recognized and have a unique combined expertise in genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, organic chemistry, physiology, systematics, evolution, and plant protection. Consequently, students can develop areas of specialization that will provide an intellectually stimulating graduate experience and that will also lead to varied and exciting career opportunities.


statistics class (c) UCR / CNAS

Statistics (M.S. Statistics/Ph.D Applied Statistics)

The Department of Statistics has a reputation for outstanding teaching, research, and consulting services. The undergraduate program offers B.A. and B.S. degrees with two options in Statistical Computing and Quantitative Management, while the graduate program offers both a M.S. in Statistics and a Ph.D. in Applied Statistics. The program offers students unusually free access to the faculty, many of whom have received national and international recognition for their professional work. In addition, the degree programs offer students opportunities to diversify their study to include research areas in a variety of academic disciplines. The Statistical Consulting Collaboratory provides faculty and students a rich environment for collaboration in research and instruction, emphasizing statistical/quantitative approaches. The faculty serves the academic community in many roles-as editors of major academic publications, as authors of major text books and research monographs, and as consultants to business, government and international organizations.

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