Master of Science in Environmental Sciences

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Application Deadline: February 1, 2024

February 1st is the priority deadline, but applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through August 1st.

For more information, contact

Program Director: Rafael Moreno

Associate Program Director: Thomas Duster​

Environmental Sciences is a multidisciplinary study of the natural/physical environment. Academic fields involved in environmental sciences include chemistry, biology and ecology, physics, geology, geography, anthropology, engineering, political science, law, economics, and health sciences. Students planning to pursue the MS in Environmental Sciences must either have earned a bachelor’s degree or have taken significant course work in natural/physical sciences or engineering and completed several other prerequisites.

Environmental careers encompass a broad range of professions, from those with a strong foundation in the natural/physical sciences or engineering to those based in the social sciences and/or humanities. Students interested in environmental issues and careers should investigate the whole field before deciding which path to follow. At CU Denver, the MS in Environmental Sciences emphasizes the natural/physical sciences and engineering with the addition of social sciences and humanities.

The MS in Environmental Sciences degree is designed to provide training in engineering, natural/physical sciences, and social sciences. The goals of the program are:

  1. To enhance the interdisciplinary communication and analytical skills of the student, and
  2. To provide a multidisciplinary approach for more intensive study of a particular environmental issue.

Students will receive instruction in the physical and biological dynamics of various ecosystems, environmental engineering, and socioeconomic issues associated with environmental analysis.

Graduates of the MS in Environmental Sciences program are involved in many different areas, such as reviewing environmental impact statements, monitoring groundwater quality, and communicating with the public. Many students have found employment in various agencies (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado State Department of Public Health and Environment) and private sector environmental and engineering firms.

GES is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), which allows our graduate applicants who are residents of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) member states* to pay Colorado in-state tuition. All graduate students applying for our MA or MS programs in 2019 and later are eligible!

*WICHE member states and U.S. territories include:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Colorado (CO)
  • Guam (GU)
  • Hawaii (HI)
  • Idaho (ID)
  • Montana (MT)
  • Nevada (NV)
  • New Mexico (NM)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)
  • Oregon (OR)
  • South Dakota (SD)
  • Utah (UT)
  • Washington (WA)
  • Wyoming (WY)


Am I Eligible?

You are eligible to apply for in-state tuition through WRGP if you:

  • Reside in eligible state prior to starting first academic term of WRGP acceptance.
  • Are admitted into a qualifying program.

How Does It Work?

Each program differs in number of WRGP slots available, selection criteria, and WRGP application process. Please contact us for additional details.

Do I Need To Reapply Every Year?

No. Once you are admitted through WRGP, you are eligible as long as you:

  • Maintain current residency of WRGP state.
  • Maintain good academic standing.

Can I Establish Residency In Colorado?

No, not while you are paying in-state tuition through WRGP. If you want to build time towards establishing residency, you will need to pay the full out-of-state tuition.

Want more FAQs and information about WRGP? Visit their website.