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Undergraduate Programs

We offer undergraduate degree programs in both geography and environmental science. Students may tailor their coursework to their interests by selecting classes and labs that emphasize physical geography and the environment, human geography or geographic information science.

Undergraduates also participate in a capstone Field Quarter experience, which provides an opportunity for hands-on observation, data gathering and analysis in the field. 

Course Requirements

Visit DU's official 2019-2020 Bulletin to view lists of required courses for each of the program options listed below.

Environmental Science

Bachelor's degrees in environmental science are designed to give students a strong foundation in the natural and physical sciences in order to better understand the science behind environmental issues and problems. Both programs are designed to be completed in four years, and students are encouraged to participate in the Field Quarter as part of their curriculum. In addition to offering two degree programs in environmental science, an minor is also available for students looking to complement their major with an environmental component.

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental science is designed to provide students with a grounding in the natural sciences while allowing for increased breadth in environmental elective courses. The BA program is ideal for students interested in pursuing careers in environmental policy, sustainable practices, environmental planning as well as a variety of other opportunities.

  • BA Environmental Science Requirements

    Required courses:

    • GEOG 1201: Environmental Systems - Weather and Climate
    • GEOG 1202: Environmental Systems - Hydrology
    • GEOG 1203: Environmental Systems - Landforms
    • BIOL 1010/1020: Physiological Systems/Physiological Systems Lab
    • BIOL 1011/1021: Evolution Heredity & Biodiversity/Evolution Heredity & Biodiversity Lab
    • BIOL 2010/2011: General Ecology/General Ecology Lab
    • CHEM 1010/1240: General Chemistry I/General Chemistry I Lab
    • CHEM 1020/1250: General Chemistry II/General Chemistry II Lab 
    • CHEM 2240: Introduction to Environmental Chemistry 
    • Statistics (GEOG 2000, BIOL 2090 or PSYC 2300)
    • GEOG 2990: Prof. Development for Environmental Science Majors

    Environmental Science electives:

    A minimum of 32 quarter hours of approved environmental science courses, including at least 8 hours in BIOL AND 8 hours in GEOG, GEOL, or ENVI.  No more than 5 quarter hours taken as Independent Study or Independent Research will be counted toward the minimum hours required in the major.

    Details: BA Environmental Science major requirements.

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the natural sciences. The BS program is ideal for students interested in pursuing careers in environmental monitoring, air and water toxicity abatement, environmental restoration as well as a variety of other opportunities.

  • BS Environmental Science Requirements

    Required courses:

    • GEOG 1201: Environmental Systems - Weather and Climate
    • GEOG 1202: Environmental Systems - Hydrology
    • GEOG 1203: Environmental Systems - Landforms
    • BIOL 1010/1020: Physiological Systems/Physiological Systems Lab
    • BIOL 1011/1021: Evolution Heredity & Biodiversity/Evolution Heredity & Biodiversity Lab
    • BIOL 2010/2011: General Ecology/General Ecology Lab
    • CHEM 1010/1240: General Chemistry I/General Chemistry I Lab
    • CHEM 1020/1250: General Chemistry II/General Chemistry II Lab 
    • CHEM 2240: Introduction to Environmental Chemistry
    • PHYS 1111/1121: General Physics I/General Physics I Lab
    • PHYS 1112/1122: General Physics II/General Physics II Lab
    • PHYS 1113/1123: General Physics IIII/General Physics III Lab
    • Statistics (GEOG 2000, BIOL 2090 or PSYC 2300)
    • ENVI 3000: Environmental Law
    • GEOG 2700: Contemporary Environmental Issues or GEOG 2500 Sustainability and Human Society
    • GEOG 2990: Prof. Development for Environmental Science Majors

    Environmental Science electives:

    A minimum of 28 quarter hours of approved environmental science courses, including at least 8 hours in BIOL AND 8 hours in GEOG, GEOL, or ENVI.  No more than 5 quarter hours taken as Independent Study or Independent Research will be counted toward the minimum hours required in the major.

    Details: BS Environmental Science major requirements.

Minor

The minor in environmental science is designed to provide students with a firm foundation in earth science, ecology, and the scientific perspective of current issues concerning the environment or the management of natural resources. This minor is an excellent companion for students majoring in either the natural sciences or the social sciences. Students may customize their minor to suit their individual interests.

  • Environmental Science Minor Requirements

    Hours required: minimum 26 qtr hrs

    Required courses:

    • GEOG 1201: Environmental Systems - Weather and Climate
    • GEOG 1202: Environmental Systems - Hydrology
    • GEOG 1203: Environmental Systems - Landforms
    • GEOG 2700: Contemporary Environmental Issues or GEOG 2500 Sustainability and Human Society
    • BIOL 1011/1021: Evolution Heredity & Biodiversity/Evolution Heredity & Biodiversity Lab
    • BIOL 2010/2011: General Ecology/General Ecology Lab

    Students having completed any of the above courses as part of other degree requirements (Common Curriculum, major, etc.) will complete 26 hours by taking environmental science elective courses. 

    Details: Environmental Science minor requirements

Distinction in Environmental Science

Strongly motivated students are invited to pursue this program based on a strong academic record, and an interest in research in environmental science and professional development.  Students wishing to earn Distinction in Environmental Science must be sponsored by a faculty mentor, who will be the student’s thesis/project advisor.
Details: Distinction in Environmental Science

Geography

Geography is an academic discipline that focuses on the spatial distribution of human and physical features around the Earth and changes over time of those phenomena. Because geography bridges the boundary between the natural world and human societies, geographers often collaborate with colleagues in related disciplines in the natural and social sciences. Geographers are taught to think in spatial and chronological terms and to analyze landscapes for indications of physical and cultural features. The field is often subdivided into physical geography, human geography, human-environment interaction and geographic information science (GISc).

Bachelor of Arts

The objective of the undergraduate curriculum in geography is to produce students with a solid foundation in geographic principles and perspectives, and the professional skills to put them into practice.  The discipline of geography is, by nature, integrative and broadly based, so interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving are emphasized. Students are encouraged to participate in the Field Quarter as part of their curriculum.

 

  • BA Geography Requirements

    Required courses:

    • GEOG 1410: People, Places, and Landscapes*
    • One of the following physical geography sequences:
      • GEOG 1201, 1202, 1203: Environmental Systems*
      • GEOG 1216, 1217, 1218: Our Dynamic Earth*
      • GEOG 1264, 1265, 1266: Global Environmental Change*
    • GEOG 2000: Geographical Statistics
    • GEOG 2020: Computer Cartography
    • GEOG 2100: Introduction to GIS
    • GEOG 2990: Professional Development for Geography and Environmental Science

    *Courses may count toward the Common Curriculum.

    Geography Electives: A minimum of 17-quarter hours (2000 or 3000 level) of elective courses must be taken the approved list of courses, and must include one physical geography, one human geography, and one GIScience course.

    Details: Geography major requirements

Minor

The geography minor is an excellent companion to students majoring in international studies, sociology, environmental science and political science, or anyone interested in the physical or human aspects of the world in which we live. 

Requirements: 20 credits of geography at the 2000- or 3000-level.

Distinction in Geography

Strongly motivated students are invited to pursue this program based on a strong academic record, and an interest in research in geography and professional development.  Students wishing to earn Distinction in Geography must be sponsored by a faculty mentor, who will be the student’s thesis/project advisor.
Details: Distinction in Geography

 

Geographic Information Science

Minor

Students from other majors who are interested in geotechnology are encouraged to complete the minor in geographic information science. This program provides an overview of a variety of geo-technological skills including cartography, remote sensing, geographic information systems and global positioning systems.

  • Geographic Information Science Minor Requirements

    Hours required: minimum 20 qtr hrs.

    Required courses:

    • GEOG 2100: Introduction to GIS
    • GEOG 3200: Remote Sensing

     

    Elective courses (minimum of three):

    • GEOG 2000: Geographic Statistics
    • GEOG 2020: Computer Cartography
    • GEOG 3010: Geographic Information Analysis
    • GEOG 3120: Environmental and GIS Modeling
    • GEOG 3130: Advanced Geographic Information Systems
    • GEOG 3140: GIS Database Design
    • GEOG 3160: Web GIS
    • GEOG 3170: Geospatial Analysis Project
    • GEOG 3230: Advanced Remote Sensing
    • GEOG 3410: Urban Applications in GIS 
    • GEOG 3701: Topics in Geographic Information Science
    • GEOG 3920: Remote Sensing Seminar

    Completion of an introductory course in geography such as GEOG 1410: People, Places, Landscapes, GEOG 1201-1203: Environmental Systems, GEOG 1216-1218: Our Dynamic Earth or GEOG 1264-1266 Global Environmental Change is encouraged but not required.

    Note: As geography majors may emphasize GISc as part of their degree program, they are not eligible to complete the minor in GISc.

Geology

Minor

Students with interests in geology are encouraged to complete the geology minor. The geology minor is an excellent companion for students majoring in geography, environmental science, ecology, and other natural and physical sciences, or anyone with an interest in geology.

Minimum of 20 quarter hours of geology.

Sustainability

Minor

Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, and to do so while maintaining ecological processes, functions, biodiversity, and productivity into the future. An understanding of sustainability includes learning about the scientific basis for sustainable resource use as well as the social and economic implications and/or costs of sustainable practices. 

Students with interests in sustainability are encouraged to complete the sustainability minor. The sustainability minor is an excellent companion for students pursuing any major at the university. 

  • Sustainability Minor Requirements

    Hours required: 24 qtr hrs

    Required courses: 

    • GEOG 2500: Sustainability and Human Society
    • GEOG 2550: Current Issues in Sustainability

    Breadth electives: 16 qtr hrs. Elective classes approach sustainability from multiple lenses. Students must complete a minimum of 4 qtr hrs in each of three focus areas from an approved list of courses (see details below): Arts and Humanities, Natural and Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences. Additional courses, including topics courses, study abroad, independent study, and internships may be approved for the minor.

    Details: Sustainability minor requirements.

Dual Degrees

Dual degree programs offer undergraduate students the opportunity to complete both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in five years. Students normally complete the majority of their undergraduate work by the end of their junior year and begin working on the graduate degree during their senior year.

Dual degree programs require that students apply for admission to the graduate program during their junior year; students must meet all admission criteria for the respective graduate program.

Interested students should contact our department for additional information.

  • BA in Geography / MS in Geographic Information Science

    Requirements

    • A minimum of 228 qtr hrs is required for the completion of both degrees.
    • All requirements for the BA degree must be completed.
    • Students must make formal application to the MS program at the start of their junior year.
    • Formal acceptance into the MS program is required before students may begin MS course work.
    • Once accepted into the MS program, students may begin MS course work during their senior year.
  • BA in Environmental Science / MS in Geographic Information Science

    Requirements

    • A minimum of 228 qtr hrs is required for the completion of both degrees.
    • All requirements for the BA degree must be completed.
    • Students must make formal application to the MS program at the start of their junior year.
    • Formal acceptance into the MS program is required before students may begin MS course work.
    • Once accepted into the MS program, students may begin MS course work during their senior year.
  • BS in Environmental Science / MS in Geographic Information Science

    Requirements

    • A minimum of 228 qtr hrs is required for the completion of both degrees.
    • All requirements for the BS degree must be completed.
    • Students must make formal application to the MS program at the start of their junior year.
    • Formal acceptance into the MS program is required before students may begin MS course work.
    • Once accepted into the MS program, students may begin MS course work during their senior year.

Global Masters Scholars

We have partnered with the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science and the Department of Human Geography at Lund University in Sweden and the School of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Western Australia to offer the Global Masters Scholars Program for geography or environmental science majors.

In this program, students may earn a bachelor's degree from University of Denver and a master's degree from our international partner universities during the course of a five-year program. The first three years are spent in residence at DU, the final two years abroad. Both masters programs are ranked in the top 20 worldwide!

Learn more.

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