Jun 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 

College of Sciences

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Purpose and Focus

Science and technology influence every aspect of our lives. We live in a period marked by astonishing changes in communications, information processing, genetic engineering, materials sciences, medicine, transportation, and our understanding of the universe. The College of Sciences offers courses that equip students to function in this dynamic age, whether as informed citizens or as practicing professionals. Course offerings cover broad areas and enhance one’s general understanding of nature, mathematics and technology. Undergraduate majors are introduced to the fundamentals of the natural and mathematical sciences that serve as the foundation for a host of professional careers.


Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
American Chemical Society (B.S. in Chemistry)

Departments, Majors, and Undergraduate Degrees

College of Sciences
General Science - Bachelor of Science

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Biochemistry — Bachelor of Science
Chemistry — Bachelor of Arts
Chemistry — Bachelor of Science

Department of Geoscience
Earth and Environmental Science — Bachelor of Science
Geology — Bachelor of Science

Department of Mathematical Sciences
Mathematics — Bachelor of Arts
Mathematics — Bachelor of Science
Mathematics — Bachelor of Science, Actuarial Science Concentration

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Physics — Bachelor of Science, Physics Concentration
Physics — Bachelor of Science, Applied Physics Concentration
Physics — Bachelor of Science, Computational Physics Concentration

School of Life Sciences
Biological Sciences - Bachelor of Science:

Biology — Bachelor of Science, Cell and Molecular Biology Concentration
Biology — Bachelor of Science, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Concentration
Biology — Bachelor of Science, Integrative Physiology Concentration
Biology — Bachelor of Science, Microbiology Concentration
Biology — Bachelor of Science, Pre-Professional Concentration

Graduate Degree Programs

For information on graduate degrees and programs refer to the Graduate Catalog.


Actuarial Science
Biological Sciences
Earth and Environmental Science
Physical Geography

Degree sheets outlining the requirements for majors and example 4/5 year plans are available in the UNLV Degrees Directory (https://www.unlv.edu/academics/degrees).

Please see advising information from the UNLV College of Science Advising Center at unlv.edu/sciences/advising.

Admission to the College

Minimum GPA: 2.50

Students must also satisfy department GPA requirements before being admitted to a major within the College.

Admission Policies

A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.50 is required to declare a major in the College of Sciences.

The College of Sciences at UNLV requires incoming freshmen students to meet or exceed Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) requirements for placement into a college-level gateway course in Mathematics (e.g., MATH 124, 126, or higher) in order to declare a major in one of the disciplines offered by the College of Sciences.

To declare a major in the College of Sciences, students must satisfy one of the following NSHE and UNLV requirements for placement into a college-level gateway course in Mathematics:

  • ACT mathematics score of 23 or better.
  • SAT mathematics score of 550 or better.
  • Smarter Balanced result of 2628 (Achievement Level 3).
  • PARCC result of 4.
  • UNLV Mathematics placement test score (online or written) into MATH 126 Precalculus I .
  • ALEKS score of 61 or better.

Students who do not meet these the minimum mathematics requirements will be a declared major in the UNLV “Exploring Majors” Program. Centralized in the Academic Success Center, exploring majors work with advisors outside the College of Sciences, enroll in a suitable mathematics course, and enroll in SCI 101   (or equivalent) to meet the First Year Seminar requirement. Students who are exploring majors may change their major to the College of Sciences if they complete MATH 126E   with a C or better, as well as successful completion of SCI 101   (or equivalent).

See additional admission policies of individual departments.

Transfer Policies

The College of Sciences adheres to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas policies for transfer students found elsewhere in this catalog. The college urges all transfer students to meet an advisor without delay after admission in order to evaluate the applicability of previous course work to department majors and graduation requirements.

College Policies


The university will place a student on probation if the UNLV GPA falls below a 2.00 (GPB – 0 or lower). Students placed on University Probation will receive communication from the College of Sciences Advising Center providing guidance on next steps and academic support.


The university will place a student on suspension for one catalog year when a student already warned by probation falls to -15 GPA or below. An email from the university will be delivered to the student’s official UNLV (Rebel) email address, as well as a communication from the College of Sciences Advising Center providing guidance on next steps and academic support.


A suspended student may apply for readmission to the college after a full calendar year has elapsed. Students may also appeal Faculty Senate for early reinstatement. Please see the College of Sciences Advising Center for information on this process. 

Course Expiration Policy

College of Sciences courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Geology, Geography, Statistics, and Math) expire after 10 years, and can be appealed through a petition process with the departments within the College of Sciences. Consult with your major advisor to identify how this may impact your degree program and information on the appropriate petition process.

Major and Minor Policy

Some major and minor combinations are ineligible due to excessive curriculum overlap. Please check with the College of Sciences Advising Center for eligible major/minor combinations. Examples of ineligible major/minor combinations include the following:

  • Biochemistry majors are not permitted to have a double major in Biology or Chemistry BA/BS, or minor in Chemistry or Biology;
  • Mathematics majors are not permitted to declare a math or statistics minor;
  • Geology and Earth and Environmental Science majors are not permitted to declare a minor within the Geoscience department


Students interested in majoring in any curricular area of the college should consult an advisor in the appropriate department or in the office of the College of Sciences Advising Center for further information concerning scheduling of courses, and curricular revisions too recent to appear in this catalog. It is required that all incoming transfer students obtain advising from the College of Sciences Advising Center prior to the first semester of classes. Freshmen are required to obtain advising before enrolling in their first semester classes at UNLV. As well, those students with any questions regarding degree requirements and graduation applications should contact the Advising Center.

Upperclassmen are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor regarding career information and graduate/professional schools. Information pertaining to graduate degree programs, including instructions for undergraduate enrollment in graduate courses, is found in the UNLV Graduate Catalog.

Degree Requirements

The graduation requirements outlined below apply to all majors in the College of Sciences.

  1. The General Education Core requirements of the university (see Academic Policies section).
  2. A total of at least 120 credits with at least 40 credits in courses numbered 300 or higher.
  3. The specific requirements for the degree being sought (see departmental listings).
  4. A cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 for all courses in the major field.

Health-Related Pre-Professional Students

In addition to pursuing a degree program, many students plan to seek admission to health-related professional schools that provide advanced degrees in specialties such as medicine, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, podiatry, or chiropractic. The College of Sciences provides a complete array of courses that are required by professional schools for admittance. Students interested in health-related professional schools are strongly encouraged to contact the PreProfessional Advising Center (https://www.unlv.edu/advising/ppac, 702-895-2959) to receive detailed advising on applications, experiential hours, and next steps.

Certification for Teaching Science or Mathematics in Secondary Schools

Students wanting to prepare themselves to teach science or mathematics at the secondary school level should be aware of the special requirements for teacher certification. It is recommended that these students major in one of the degree programs in the College of Sciences, make their interest in teaching known to their advisor, and consult the College of Education section of this catalog to become aware of specific teacher certification requirements and the availability of the minor in Secondary Education.

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