The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, and indeed the University as a whole, can trace its roots to 1907 and the founding of the Citrus Experiment Station at Riverside.
A branch of the statewide Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of California, the Citrus Experiment Station began as two small cottages and a stable on 23 acres of land on Mt. Rubidoux, on the west side of Riverside. In 1917 the experiment station moved to a larger site on the lower slopes of the Box Springs Mountains. In 1961 the name was changed to the Citrus Research Center--Agricultural Experiment Station (CRC-AES).
UC Riverside was created in 1954 with the establishment of the College of Letters and Science. The College of Agriculture was formed in 1960.
The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences took its current name and structure in 1974. CNAS is a unique entity among land-grant institutions, combining the physical, biological, and agricultural sciences under one administrative umbrella. Today, it oversees the CRC-AES, Cooperative Extension research, and 13 academic departments that offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees to nearly 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students a year.