Choosing Your CNR Major

If you are a freshman, you are not required to be in a major program  during your first two years in CNR. You must declare a major by the end of your fourth semester of enrollment at UC Berkeley. Failure to declare a major by the time you reach junior status will result in your registration being blocked, and you will not be able to enroll in any courses until you declare.

Your major should reflect your interests and your career goals. Both may change during your first years of college, and you need not feel locked into your initial choice of major. Many major programs have similar lower-division requirements, and changing majors within CNR during the first two years generally creates no difficulties.
    
Information on the undergraduate majors offered in CNR is available in the Student Resource Center  and on the CNR website . You can also make an appointment with any of our academic advisors  to find out more about a particular major.

Declaring a Major for CNR Students

Please study the minimum requirements needed to declare a major in CNR, as outlined in the following tables.

Students are also expected to follow these guidelines:

  • Undeclared students must declare a major by the end of their fourth semester. Failure to declare a major by junior standing will result in a registration block, and you will not be able to enroll in any courses until you are declared. 
  • Current UC Berkeley students who entered as freshmen are expected to be able to graduate in a total of 8 semesters (summers excluded). Exceptions are rarely granted. Students should be progressing in major requirements each semester.
  • All major requirements must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Both halves of the Reading and Composition requirement must be completed by the end of the fourth semester.
  • Transfer students are declared into a major upon admission. Students wishing to change majors and/or colleges must meet with the major advisor for specific guidelines. Students must meet all lower-division requirements and be on track to graduate in a total of four semesters at Berkeley. Transfer students may not apply to transfer colleges or change majors during their first semester, but are strongly encouraged to consult their intended major advisor while planning their schedule for the first semester. 

Once all requirements have been satisfied, you must complete the  Change of College, Major, or Curriculum petition , print a copy of your unofficial transcripts, and meet with the appropriate major advisor.  

Minimum Requirements Needed for CNR Students to Declare a Major, by Major

  • All courses required for the major must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Both halves of Reading and Composition (R1A & R1B) must be completed by the end of the fourth semester.
  • Transfer students are declared into a major upon admission. Students wishing to change majors and/or colleges must meet with the major advisor for specific guidelines. Such requests are rarely granted, as students must meet all lower-division requirements and be on track to graduate in a total of four semesters at UC Berkeley. Students cannot apply to transfer or change major during their first semester. 

Requirements to Declare, by Major

R = Required P = Preferred

For CNR Students

R1A R1B Math
16A or 1A
Math
16B or 1B  
Stats Econ ESPM
Social
Science
Core
ESPM
Env
Science
Core
Breadth
Physical
Science
Breadth
Biology
Other
Conservation &
Resource Studies

R

P

R

or Stats

 

R

or Calculus

 

R

R

P

R

ESPM 90

Environmental
Economics & Policy

R

P

R

R

R

R

         
Forestry & Natural Resources
(FNR Concentration)

R

P

R

P

R

P

P

R

P

R

Chem 1A/1AL Required
ESPM 72 Preferred

Forestry and Natural Resources
(HDNR Concentration)

R

P

R

 

R

P

P

R

P

R

ESPM 72 Preferred

Society & Environment

R

P

P

 

P

P

R

P

P

P

Math or Stats

For CNR Students

R1A R1B Math
16A or 1A
Math
 16B or 1B 
Chem
1A
Chem
3A/3AL
Chem
3B/3BL
Bio
1A/1AL
Bio 1B Physics
7A
Other
Environmental
Sciences
(Biological Science)

R

P

R

R

R

R

 

R**

R**

 

ESPM 15 preferred
**One semester of Biology
required to declare

Environmental
Sciences
(Physical Science)

R

P

R

R

R

R

 

R**

R**

R

ESPM 15 preferred
**One semester of Biology
required to declare

Environmental
Sciences
(Social Science)

R

P

R

R

R

R

 

R**

R**

 

ESPM 15 preferred
**One semester of Biology
irequired to declare

Genetics & Plant
Biology

R

P

R

R

R

R

P

R**

R**

 

**One semester of Biology
required to declare

Math 10 series preferred

Microbial Biology

R

P

R

R

R

R

P

R**

R**

 

**One semester of Biology
required to declare

Math 10 series preferred

Molecular
Environmental
Biology

R

P

R

R

R

R

P

R**

R**

 

ESPM Env Science Core Preferred
**One semester of Biology
required to declare

Nutritional Sciences
(Dietetics)

R

P

R

R

R

R

R

R

   

NST 10 (offered every semester)
3.0 GPA & seperate
application required

Nutritional Sciences
(Toxicology)

R

P

R

R

R

R

P

P

   

NST 11 (offered spring
semester only)

Nutritional Sciences
(Physiology &
Metabolism)

R

P

R

R

R

R

P

P

   

NST 10 (offered every
semester)

Change of College and Declaring a Major for Non-CNR Students

Current UC Berkeley students interested in transferring to the College of Natural Resources from another college (Letters & Science, Engineering, Environmental Design, or Chemistry) may petition to do so if change of college requirements are met. CNR does not permit students to transfer in undeclared. Students must be eligible to declare a CNR major to change colleges.

In addition, students must:

  • Have a minimum 3.0 overall UC GPA. Students seeking an exception to the 3.0 GPA minimum should first consult with the CNR major advisor. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis. Supporting evidence such as improved gpa in major coursework, changes to one's personal situation, and supporting information such as letters of recommendation from faculty, GSIs, and/or research mentors are all taken into consideration.
  • Have completed at least one semester at UC Berkeley.
  • Have satisfied the Reading & Composition (R1A and R1B) requirement.
  • Be able to complete the major within the semester limit. Students who entered as freshmen are expected to graduate in a total of 8 semesters (summers excluded). Participation in the Fall Program for Freshmen (FPF) is considered a Berkeley semester under CNR policy. Transfer students are expected to graduate in a total of 4 semesters (summers excluded). Exceptions to this policy are rarely granted.

Students pursuing a change of college should:

  • Review the requirements for their intended major. Requirements needed to declare will vary by major.
  • Meet with the advisor for the major they wish to declare. Please note that CNR advisors are primarily meeting with declared students for Tele-Bears advising during the months of April and October, and are typically unavailable to meet with students seeking to declare during this time.
  • Consider meeting with a peer advisor for a student perspective on their intended major.

Once all requirements needed to declare have been satisfied, students must complete the Change of College, Major, or Curriculum petition and meet with their intended major advisor.  

Students may not submit a change of college petition during their last semester before graduation.  For example, a student graduating in Spring 2017 must submit their petition to change colleges no later than Fall 2016. Other declaration restrictions may apply by major.

Requirements to Declare, by Major

R = Required P = Preferred

For Non-CNR Students

R1A R1B Math
16A or
1A
Math
16B or
1B
Stats
(selection
program
specific)
Econ
EEP C1/
Econ C3
or Econ1
ESPM
Social
Science
Core
ESPM
Env
Science
Core
Breadth
Physical
Science
Breadth
Biology
Other
Conservation &
Resource Studies

R

R

R

or Stats

 

R

or Calculus

 

R

R

R

R

ESPM 90 completed

by end of

5th semester

Environmental
Economics & Policy

R

R

R

R

R

R

       

EEP 100 or

equivalent

Forestry & Natural Resources
(FNR Concentration)

R

R

R

P

R

R

R

R

P

R

Chem 1A/1AL
Preferred

Forestry and Natural Resources
(HDNR Concentration)

R

R

R

 

R

R

R

R

P

R

 
Society & Environment

R

R

R

 

R

R

R

R

P

P

Math or Stats

For Non-CNR Students

R1A R1B Math
16A or
1A
Math
16B or
1B
Chem
1A/1AL
Chem
3A/3AL
Chem
3B/3BL
Bio
1A/1AL
Bio 1B Physics
7A
Other
Environmental
Sciences
(Biological Science)

R

R

R

R

R

R

 

R**

R**

 

ESPM 15 preferred
**One semester of Biology
required to declare

Environmental
Sciences
(Physical Science)

R

R

R

R

R

R

 

R**

R**

R

ESPM 15 preferred
**One semester of Biology
required to declare

Environmental
Sciences
(Social Science)

R

R

R

R

R

R

 

R**

R**

 

ESPM 15 preferred
**One semester of Biology
is required to declare

Genetics & Plant
Biology

R

R

R

R

R

R

P

R**

R**

 

**One semester of Biology
required to declare.

Math 10 series preferred

Microbial Biology

R

R

R

R

R

R

P

R**

R**

 

**One semester of Biology
required to declare.

Math 10 series preferred

Molecular
Environmental
Biology

R

R

R

R

R

R

P

R**

R**

 

ESPM Env Science Core
is preferred
**One semester of Biology
required to declare

Nutritional Sciences
(Dietetics)

R

R

R

 

R

R

R

R

   

NST 10 (offered every
semester)

Nutritional Sciences
(Toxicology)

R

R

R

R

R

R

P

P

   

NST 11 (offered spring
semester only)
Math 16A/16B or 1A
required

Nutritional Sciences
(Physiology &
Metabolism)

R

R

R

R

R

R

P

P

   

NST 10 (offered every
semester)

Changing Majors

You can change majors by obtaining approval from your major advisor and the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs. Should you decide to declare a major in a college other than CNR, visit the website for the other college or school to find out how to consult an advisor for that program. In all cases, it is important to maintain good academic standing, which means that your grade point average is 2.0 or higher and you are taking courses that will enable you to complete a major in the College of Natural Resources within the normal time frame.

Double Majoring and Simultaneous Degrees

Double majoring is when you pursue two majors in CNR; obtaining simultaneous degrees is when you pursue one major in CNR and one major in another UC Berkeley college or school. To declare either course of study, fill out a

 and obtain the appropriate signatures. Students pursuing a double major or simultaneous degree are granted one additional semester to complete all degree requirements.

To declare simultaneous degrees, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Completion of at least one semester at UC Berkeley.
  • Students whose home college is not CNR must meet all criteria for a Change of College (please note: students pursuing a simultaneous degree are allotted nine total semesters as incoming freshmen and five total semesters as incoming transfers).
  • Students must obtain all necessary signatures from undergraduate advisors for each major on the Program Planning form. In planning simultaneous degrees, you will need to adhere to all unit and residence requirements for each college or school.
  • No more than two upper-division courses count toward the requirements of both majors. 
  • Students may not submit a Simultaneous Degree petition during their last semester before graduation (i.e., if a student plans to graduate in Spring 2014, he or she must submit and have approved a Change of College petition no later than Fall 2013). Students who take a reduced study list might need to submit paperwork sooner in order to meet the Senior Residency requirement.
  • A simultaneous degrees request will be approved only if the proposed program demonstrates that all degree requirements can be finished within nine semesters if student entered as a freshman, or five semesters if a transfer student.
  • To confirm simultaneous degrees, students can check Bear Facts  periodically after submitting their application. If there is a problem with the application, notification will be made by email.