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It’s hard to imagine a conversation that doesn’t involve the environment. The Earth and its resources are critical topics in both the halls of government and science.

Environmental Science is a discipline that will prepare you to understand – and help solve – some of the most pressing problems facing Colorado and the world today. From sustainable growth and pollution control to learning about water problems and animal habitat issues, you will learn to analyze environmental challenges and find possible solutions.

With opportunities to explore Colorado’s wilderness and environmentally sensitive areas around the world, the MSU Denver Environmental Science degree will require the use of both your head and your hands. Not only will you study in small classes with professors who are experts in soil sciences, ecological restoration, water quality, environmental chemistry and other areas, you will also gain valuable skills through fieldwork experiences in the Rocky Mountains, the Front Range, Arizona, Alaska, and with internships with Colorado legislators, environmental contracting companies and public agencies.

Your Environmental Science program will prepare you for a career or graduate school as well as to make a difference in the health of our planet.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

Research will be an important component of your MSU Denver bachelor degree program in Environmental Science. Here are some recent projects completed by MSU Denver Environmental Science students:

  • Design, Construction and Implementation of a Low-Cost Zebrafish Housing System
  • Variations Between Urban and Rural Lake Water Quality
  • Correlating Metals in Brown Trout Tissue to Metals Measured in the Colorado Mountain Stream Waters They Live In
  • Water from Debris Rock Covered Glaciers Based on Amount of Snow Coverage
  • Mechanisms of Landslide: Analysis of the Sr-530 Landslide, Oso, WA
  • Effects of Atmospheric Deposition on Sulfate, Iron and Nitrate Levels in the Boulder Creek Watershed

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

Photos of Environmental Science Careers

Prepare for graduate study or a career in myriad areas such as the following:

  • Air quality specialist
  • Climate change analyst
  • Director of green building
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental compliance officer
  • Field scientist or technician
  • GIS analyst
  • Natural resource manager
  • Park ranger
  • Regulatory specialist
  • Renewable energy researcher
  • Secondary education teacher
  • Soil scientist
  • Water quality or resource specialist

Hear from our students:

“The MSU Denver Environmental Science faculty provide a top-tier, individualized learning experience for each of their students.” “I now work to create and enhance cutting-edge technology and share it with the community. Much more rewarding than what I was doing before!” “MSU has helped me transform my life. I am working with and helping some of the vulnerable indigenous people of Nepal. The education that I obtained at MSU Denver will be with me forever to enlighten people from around the world.”


Randi Brazeau, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Randi Brazeau is a water expert who studies the effectiveness of water de-contamination systems. This work has the potential to mitigate people’s exposure to harmful pollutants following disasters such as mine-waste spills.


Andrew Evans_Environmental ScienceAndrew Evans, Ph.D.

Professor Andrew Evans is a specialist in alpine tundra geochemistry and soils and is currently conducting long-term research in Rocky Mountain National Park on nitrogen biogeochemical cycles.



Shamim Ahsan

Shamim Ahsan, Ph.D.

Professor Shamim Ahsan has served in different national and international environmental organizations in various capacities. Dr. Ahsan has worked in several developing countries with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and UN –Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).  He has earned wide-ranging exposure and working experience on global environmental issues, which provides him advantage of disseminate real life know-how to students.  


Sarah Schliemann

Sarah Schliemann, Ph.D.

Dr. Sarah Schliemann, a teaching excellence award winner, investigates large-scale ecological processes including biogeochemistry, plant community dynamics, and plant-soil interactions. She is also interested in K-12 teacher education and pedagogy. A current research project of hers involves the investigation of carbon cycling in the alpine ecosystem in Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Learn more about MSU Denver Environmental Science faculty.

Featured Alumni

“I went to MSU Denver to pursue a degree so that I could become an environmental scientist. The faculty in the EAS department helped me achieve my ‘dream’ position!”

Jessica Deherrera, MSU Denver ’13, Project Manager at TestAmerica

"After graduate school I hope to travel internationally to work on water quality issues. I’ve got so many options due to the quality of my degree and the experience gained through my internship.”

Emelie Möllersten, MSU Denver ’16

Alumni at Work

MSU Denver Environmental Science graduates have been employed by these agencies and organizations:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Various city and state parks
  • Denver Health
  • Denver Water
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Park Service
  • National Renewable Energy Lab
  • Private environmental consulting firms
  • Colorado state government
  • U.S. Geologic Survey
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife
  • U.S. Forest Service

Other Environmental Science graduates have pursued graduate study at the following schools:

  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Colorado State University
  • Montana State University
  • Penn State University
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Sample Classes

Students standing in open mountainous terrain open area looking at map

Choose from a wide array of Environmental Science courses including those pertaining to Colorado’s own diverse ecosystems and environments.

  • Basic Water Sampling and Analysis
  • Environmental Field Studies
  • Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Geologic and Environmental Hazards – Denver
  • Global Environmental Challenges
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Limnology
  • Mountain Environments
  • Waste Management
  • Water Resources

Facilities and Resources

MSU Denver is a vibrant urban campus located at the confluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek on Colorado’s high plains. The campus is walking distance from Colorado’s state capitol and a short drive from the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, offering you first-hand opportunities to study both policy-making and pollution.

The Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department has several teaching labs, an integrated science lab, a prep room, map library, undergraduate research lab, and Geographic Information Systems classrooms equipped with ESRI and ENVI software.

You can also get involved on campus and learn about possible careers through MSU Denver’s Environmental Science Organization and Earth and Environmental Science Club.

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