Mar 04, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

The Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS) is dedicated to delivering a high quality education in Applied Geology (GEL), Environmental Science (ENV), Geography (GEG), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Meteorology (MTR). EAS also houses the introductory integrated science courses (SCI). With Colorado’s diverse geography, geology, environments, and weather patterns, students are in an ideal place to study such fascinating subjects. The department educates the students of MSU Denver in a way that promotes science literacy, inspires lifelong learning and appreciation of the Earth system. Students who graduate with a degree from EAS are highly skilled and knowledgeable in their field.

Applied Geology

The mission of the Applied Geology program is to prepare students for entry into geoscience careers or graduate programs by providing access to critical content knowledge, applicable skills, and modes of thought. The objective of the program is to integrate a strong background in geology with applicable hands-on training through laboratory and fieldwork and interpretive data assessment. Geologists play an important role in identifying problems and finding solutions to an increased demand for energy and mineral resources, expansion of human activities into geologically hazardous areas, and other impacts to land, water, and air. Intimately involved in understanding geological processes of Earth, geologists are trained to investigate mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, oceans, minerals, water, ancient life, oil, gas, precious metals, or even space. The Applied Geology degree (B.S.) combines coursework from multiple departments with a core of geology courses. This degree offers opportunities for national and international fieldwork, meaningful undergraduate research projects, and industry related internships.

Environmental Science

Environmental Science is a discipline that will prepare students to understand –and help solve– some of the most pressing challenges facing the world today.  From sustainable growth and pollution control to learning about water problems and ecosystem degradation, students learn to analyze environmental challenges and find possible solutions.  The Environmental Science degree explores ecological resiliency through a wide range of field, laboratory, and classroom courses on topics including, but not limited to, soil science, water resources and management, mountain environments, waste remediation, and geospatial sciences. Students tackle these environmental problems from the perspective of timely global challenges such as climate change and human population growth. This interdisciplinary major allows students to choose from a variety of courses to tailor a degree plan to their interests and keep them diversified in a constantly growing and changing field. 


Geographers are among the government officials, community leaders, activists, researchers, and business people who use data-driven research to develop solutions to complex environmental, social, economic, and political problems. Geography is unique in bridging the social sciences and the natural sciences, and in providing geospatial analyses of environmental and socio-economic problems. The program provides a foundation for understanding problems and implementing equitable solutions to improve the quality of human-environment dynamics. Engagement in environmental, social justice and ethical issues is facilitated through applied research and learning in the Denver Metropolitan Area. The Geography curriculum combines fundamental courses in natural and social systems and geospatial science with specialized electives within four disciplinary sub-fields - Political Economy Approaches to Sustainability, Geographic Information Science, Physical Geography, and Planning. Students have flexibility in choosing courses and pursuing their areas of interest. The major prepares students for professional careers in both the private and public sectors as well as for graduate studies. 

Geographic Information Systems

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) emphasis in the Geography Program at MSU Denver provides students with the theoretical knowledge and technical training to become proficient in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), mapmaking and data management in order to define and solve problems in the real world. We offer a minor and certificate in GIS. Our Program includes a dedicated GIS open computer laboratory in addition to a GIS teaching lab, the latest software and devices for working with spatial data, and offers a wide range of classes to enable students to develop mastery in the discipline.


The mission of the meteorology program is to provide students with an understanding of the chaotic atmosphere. Meteorology is an applied science that combines the fields of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and computer science into an application of understanding the atmosphere. The program exposes students to all these disciplines, while in parallel applying these hard science concepts to mesoscale, synoptic, and global scale phenomena. Students will be prepared for careers in a wide range of atmospheric science vocations, as well as further studies in graduate school. Students will be prepared to communicate forecasts verbally and in written form using their own imagery, explain the reasoning for the forecast as well as the uncertainty and the reasons for uncertainty involved to a wide range of audiences. Students may pick from two concentrations. The Professional Meteorology concentration prepares students for careers with the National Weather Service or other government jobs by fulfilling their requirements. This concentration requires a math minor, needed for graduate studies in atmospheric science and related physical sciences. The Applied Meteorology concentration prepares students for a variety of other less math-intensive careers in meteorology, including some private industry, broadcasting, or other science-related careers. An advisor can help students choose the best concentration to fit their goals.