The College of Natural and Applied Sciences was created in 2003 by combining the former College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with the Mathematical Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Preprofessional programs from the former College of Arts and Sciences and the Military Science program from the former College of Business and Public Administration. The College of Natural and Applied Sciences administers courses in military science and agriculture as part of the federal land grant mandate.
The mission of a land-grant institution is threefold: 1) research, 2) extension, and 3) teaching. Programs include: 1) the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center (WPTRC), 2) the Cooperative Extension Service (CES), and 3) Resident Instruction (RI). All courses offered for university credit are part of the Resident Instruction mission and are administered through the College of Natural and Applied Sciences. Non-credit university courses are part of the Extension mission and administered through the Cooperative Extension Service. Faculty from WPTRC and CES serve as CNAS teaching faculty for the Agriculture, and Consumer and Family Sciences programs.