CNAS Freshman Scholars Program

CNAS Scholars Learning Communities


Our first-year learning communities compose the flagship program for CNAS Scholars. This year-long program is designed to promote academic success and retention for incoming CNAS students.  Each learning community is comprised of up to 24 students grouped by major and math placement. As part of our program each community is given reserved seating in their science and math courses, and will take these courses together throughout their first year. 

Participating students receive additional support to aid in their success in CNAS's rigorous science and math courses. Specifically, Supplemental Instruction (SI) and the CNAS Scholars Advising Seminar (NASC 093). At completion of our program, students will have the opportunity to apply for a paid research position with a UCR CNAS faculty member for Summer. 

Core Math and Science Courses: Fall, Winter and Spring.

Students will receive reserved seating in the appropriate Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology courses in Fall, Winter and Spring, depending on their placement on UCR's Mathematics Advisory Exam and their Major requirements.

Supplemental Instruction (SI)

SI provides students with course-specific academic support through informal and interactive sessions facilitated by upper-division CNAS students who have achieved top grades in that subject and work closely with the professor to develop the material presented in the SI sessions. These valuable workshops are led by trained peer mentors and meet twice every week in a classroom setting.

NASC 093 (First-Year Advising Seminar) - Fall quarter only

During fall quarter, each student participates in a first-year advising seminar. The first component of the seminar, led by an esteemed CNAS faculty member, allows students to explore potential career options by learning about an engaging area of scientific research from an expert in that field. The second portion of the seminar is led by a CNAS Professional Academic Advisor and covers important topics pertaining to the college transition, such as study skills, information about UCR resources and other educational enrichment opportunities available to students. The course will introduce students to academic values and expectations, academic and career planning, and give them an opportunity to select a faculty mentor and to get to know their professional academic advisor.

Early Research Engagement Options

Students who join a CNAS Learning Community may also choose one of the early research engagement options. This is a great opportunity to get a unique class experience exclusive to the CNAS Scholars program.

  • The Dynamic Genome (Genomics): This lab course offers students the opportunity to engage in advanced research projects that satisfy a Biology lab requirement, all while using state of the art research equipment and methods.
  • Explorations in Molecular Science (Molecular): This supplemental lab course involves a combination of computational and environmental chemistry.
  • Sustainability-themed Learning Community: The Chemistry discussions will supplement course material with case studies of global impact, with an additional faculty-based research discussion in the spring. 

Research in Science and Engineering (RISE) Program

Upon completion of the Learning Community program, students may apply to conduct research under faculty guidance, in a full-time, 10-week summer program. This program includes a $5,000 stipend, professional development, graduate school preparation and enhancement of research skills.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Career OpportunitiesUCR Libraries
Campus StatusDirections to UCR

Department Information

CNAS Freshman Scholars Program
1223 Pierce Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5326
Fax: (951) 827-2243
E-mail: cnasscholars@ucr.edu