John Kirby, Dean
Richard C. Rhodes III, Associate Dean
Anne I. Veeger, Associate Dean
Kimberly M. Anderson, Assistant Dean


In the College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS), we strive for excellence in teaching, research, and service. Our mission is to provide our students with the skills, knowledge, and insight needed to meet the challenges of today’s world; address contemporary problems through innovative, relevant scholarly research; and, in the tradition of our Land Grant and Sea Grant heritage, extend our research-based knowledge to the local, state, and global community. While the interests and expertise of the faculty, students, and professional staff of the College are diverse, ranging from the most basic aspects of the biological systems that make up life on earth to the complexity of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, the CELS community is united in its concern for and dedication to the enhancement of human health and well-being, environmental sustainability, and stewardship of the earth’s resources.

Our Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences and the URI Coastal Research Institute house state-of-the-art teaching facilities, high-tech research labs, a genomics center, and an aquarium facility, all designed to meet the needs of the College’s programs in biotechnology and the environmental, life, and health sciences.

The College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) offers undergraduate majors leading to three degrees: the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), and the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.). The following majors are offered within the B.S. degree program: animal science and technology, aquaculture and fishery technology, biological sciences, cell and molecular biology, environmental and natural resource economics,  environmental science and management, geology and geological oceanography, marine affairs, marine biology, medical laboratory science, nutrition and dietetics, plant sciences, and wildlife and conservation biology. Students may also obtain a B.A. in biology or marine affairs, or a B.L.A. in landscape architecture.

Options have been developed within most majors to help students prepare for graduate study, professional training, or specialized careers. Entering freshmen and transfer students with fewer than 24 credits are admitted to University College and may choose a major in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences at that time.

Undergraduate students from any college may develop a minor from one of the majors offered by the College of the Environment and Life Sciences. See details later in this section, as well as “Interdepartmental Minors”. Details can be worked out with an appropriate faculty advisor. In addition, most departments have an internship program for combining hands-on professional experience with academic credit.

CELS encourages students in all majors to pursue opportunities such as undergraduate research fellowships, internships, apprenticeships, and field studies that will complement their formal classroom learning.