Welcome to the Department of Natural Sciences

The Department of Natural Sciences (DNS) provides undergraduate programs  in BIOCHEMISTRYBIOLOGYCHEMISTRY, and ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES. DNS provides foundational support for study in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, and other allied health fields, as well as to programs in toxicology, forensic science, law, and business.

DNS is home to graduate programs in CHEMISTRY, MARINE, ESTUARINE, AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, and TOXICOLOGY. Graduate faculty research focuses on environmental chemistry and toxicology, coastal ecosystem and fisheries health, natural secondary metabolite chemistry, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration, and the functional properties of nanostructures

Many DNS majors participate in the RICHARD HENSON HONORS PROGRAM, enjoying its student-centered learning experiences that promote intellectual growth, cultural appreciation, professional focus, leadership development, and civic participation.

Build a solid foundation in scientific and clinical research in the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore

From medicine and pharmacy to environmental protection and toxicology, the interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore are your path to an exciting career making an impact on the world around you.

When you join the Department of Natural Sciences, you’ll learn from faculty who are experts in their fields with decades of experience performing research and fieldwork. Whether you’re a biology major or a Toxicology graduate student, each of our natural science degree programs integrates hands-on learning and collaboration with your peers to prepare you for the career of your dreams. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is an ideal place to earn a natural science degree—thanks to the many beautiful natural ecosystems around campus, throughout Maryland, and across the East Coast. Immerse yourself in the study of science at UMES.

Department of Natural Sciences Chair’s Welcome

Dear Prospective Students and Families:

Welcome to the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore! Our programs are the centerpiece of the university’s science and technology focus areas.

Our undergraduate Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Biology degree programs provide the foundations for future professional and academic careers. We offer Premedical and Pre-allied Health tracks for students interested in going on to serve their communities as doctors, physician assistants, and physical therapists. We have a cooperative program with the School of Pharmacy that provides an accelerated path to careers in the pharmaceutical sciences. Our General Biology and Chemistry tracks support those interested in broader careers in the sciences. Being on the Eastern Shore provides us access to outstanding resources to study oceans, bays, and estuaries.

We also have graduate programs in the specialty areas of Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Sciences, as well as Toxicology. These fields are critical for investigating the impacts of humans on ecosystems and the effects of climate change on coastal areas.

Our goal is to provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to pursue your career aspirations. Join us on your voyage of discovery and let us help you prepare for your future.

Jonathan Cumming, Chair Ph.D., Cornell University

Explore Programs in the Department of Natural Sciences at UMES

Do you see yourself working in a lab alongside other dedicated researchers? Maybe you want to dive below the surface of the ocean to study the complex ecosystems at the ocean floor? Or perhaps you want to practice medicine and help improve the lives of those in your community who most need your help? Wherever you see yourself working within the natural sciences, get there as a student in the Department of Natural Sciences.

If you’re an undergraduate student and want to explore opportunities in allied health, our Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, and Biology degree programs provide the fundamental skill sets and training to help you stand out among other job and graduate program candidates.

Graduate students interested in working in environmental sciences or academia will acquire the skills to succeed in the laboratory or out in the field with our programs in Chemistry, Toxicology, and Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Sciences.

Undergraduate programs:

Graduate programs:

Student Life in the Department of Natural Sciences at UMES

Collaboration and community are at the core of our natural science degree programs. In addition to the experiential projects and research you’ll participate in when on campus, you’ll have many chances to take advantage of the vast, rich ecosystems around Maryland and along the East Coast.

We offer valuable summer programs that give you many opportunities to attend seminars, participate in workshops, take field trips to learn from professional researchers, and work alongside your peers and professors. All of these summer programs offer a stipend to help you earn money while you further your education and build a resume rich in real-world experiences. Whether you’re earning a biology degree or studying marine sciences, we have an exciting program for you to step beyond the classroom and apply your knowledge to practical research.

Learn More about Paying for UMES

Our mission is to make our natural science degree programs as affordable and accessible as possible, to provide quality education to more students, and to foster diversity within the STEM fields. We believe that nothing—especially not the cost of college—should stop you from becoming a successful Toxicology, Chemistry, or Biology major at UMES.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore School of Agriculture and Natural Sciences offers natural science degree undergraduates the opportunity to enroll in the UMES Land-Grant Scholarship Program. These scholarships are funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and are intended to help our students succeed academically at UMES. Learn more about tuition costs and financial aid opportunities at UMES.

Available Careers in the Department of Natural Sciences

From our Chemistry graduate students to our undergraduate Biology majors, we ensure that every student receives the expert guidance and resources to excel in their chosen career or graduate program. Many of our programs include concentrations within their fields to help you further tailor your natural science degree to your interests.

Students interested in going into healthcare can look forward to exceptional career growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in healthcare are expected to grow by 13 percent by 2031—that’s more than double the national average for all other occupational fields.

If you want a career studying and protecting the environment, you can expect job growth of 5 percent by 2031, thanks to the heightened awareness around the world of major environmental issues impacting the health and lives of humans.

Students earning a Chemistry or Biology degree with a concentration in Education can expect a 7 percent growth in job opportunities, thanks to about 930,000 job openings predicted each year.

Some of the career fields or graduate programs you could pursue after graduation include:

  • Medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Forensic science
  • Law
  • Business
  • Dentistry
  • Physical therapy
  • Environmental protection

Take the Next Step

Whether you want to earn a biology degree to prepare for a career in medicine or graduate degree in Toxicology to study diseases and harmful chemicals, the Department of Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is the ideal place for you to start your journey.

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