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What are my degree options in CNS?

We offer two different degrees, a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree and the Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA). The BS is a like a specialist degree, where students take a majority of science/math course work. Students may generally use their electives to take more science coursework. The BSA is an interdisciplinary degree that provides students with a solid core in math and science and allows students to explore other disciplines. A certificate or minor is built into the BSA degree. Students pursuing a BS can also have a minor or certificate, but they will work very closely with their advisor to map out their coursework to fit everything in. Students typically do not need to make a decision about their degree until they are close to completing their entry-level requirements. The exception to this is involvements in one of our Honors Programs, as they follow a specific curriculum. Here is more information about the degree options

How many majors are in CNS?

We offer 15 majors in CNS, so lots of options!

I want to study Astrophysics and go to graduate school, but I don’t see that as an option. How can I major in this?

Our Astronomy major contains sufficient physics for graduate school. Physics majors take two or three additional physics courses. Many of our Astronomy majors are able to complete both degrees in four years with careful planning with their Advisor.  

How can I be an Environmental Science Major?

Environmental Science (EVS) is a very competitive major, both as an incoming first year student, internal transfer, and external transfer. EVS is also housed within three Colleges – CNS (Biological Sciences), Jackson School of Geosciences (Geological Sciences), and the College of Liberal Arts (Geographical Sciences). If you are interested in studying Applicants must meet calculus readiness requirements for EVS. Here are the prerequisites for first year students and transfer students in EVS and our College. You are also able to see the prerequisites of the other Colleges on that site as well.


What score do I need on my AP exam to claim credit?

You will need to check the Student Testing Services (STS) website for more information on the exams and scores.

Before claiming any credits, students will need to speak with their advisor at orientation to determine what their best options are moving forward and determine whether to claim credit or not. The reason for this is that depending upon what you are hoping to study, your degree, your future plans all make a difference in what you decide to do with your credits and it is a very unique from person to person.


I want to double major when I attend UT. How does that work?

Incoming first year students are able to double major in Plan II (which is an Honors program within the College of Liberal Arts) and a major within CNS. Otherwise, if a student is interested in a major in another College/School, the student will need to follow the internal transfer process for the other College/School and be admitted for the other major to be added.

Do I need to be a Biology major if I want to go to medical school?

No. If you are enrolled within CNS and are interested in a pre-medical pathway, please choose a major you are excited about and interested in. Plans can change, so it is important that you choose a major you will be content with upon graduation. Please speak with the Health Professions Office for more information. 

I am interested in Pre-Pharmacy. What does that mean for me?

In the College of Natural Sciences, our students will be considered Undeclared/Pre-Pharmacy with the understanding that the student will select a major by the end of their first year. The growing trend is that students are completing a 4-year degree and then attending Pharmacy school. Plans can change, so it is important to choose a major that will resonate with your interests and goals. You can still apply for Pharmacy school prior during your second year at UT and you will work with Health Professions Office (HPO).

UT is a huge place and CNS is a large College. Will I ever meet anyone?

Yes! We take great lengths in CNS to make UT an intimate experience. We accomplish this through our Cornerstones Communities. These are small cohorts/communities of students with similar majors and/or interests. Our students take linked introductory courses together which is helpful when entering a large introductory course because our students already know each other and can study together. These communities are led by faculty or staff and provide students with opportunities to explore, think outside of the box, learn about research, industries, other majors, and much more.

I’m interested in pursuing research. What are my options?

We offer different pathways for our students to be involved in research. For our incoming first-year students, we offer our nationally recognized Freshman Research Initiative (FRI). Students have the opportunity to begin working in a lab their second semester of their first year.

We also offer the  Accelerated Research Initiative (ARI) for students who are CNS sophomores and juniors who did not participate in FRI, as well as transfer students.

Additionally, students are welcome to connect with faculty on their own. The Eureka database allows students to search for faculty who are involved in research that matches the students’ interests The School of Undergraduate Studies hosts information sessions to guide students through the process.