Skip to Content

Travel Courses & Field Quarter

At DU, students take advantage of learning by doing. Many of our courses include a field component, where students and their professors travel to a variety of sites in the Colorado mountains as well as throughout the western U.S. to learn first hand about environmental issues and socio-economic and geopolitical challenges. Each year, several courses travel internationally, providing students with an opportunity to experience different cultures and investigate unique environments. During the winter break or over the summer, a number of students take advantage of travel courses to such exotic places as Iceland, Costa Rica, and Peru.

Students who are in their junior or senior year are encouraged to participate in Field Quarter, in which they register for a block of academic credit and spend the entire quarter exploring off campus. Students travel as a cohort, with different professors joining the course as the group travels throughout the southwestern U.S., Mexico, Central America and Europe, learning about different physical and cultural environments and applying their knowledge in research projects. This program is funded by external agencies that cover the cost of transportation, food and logistical support. Much of the time is spent traveling by van and camping. The program is open to undergraduate students majoring in environmental science or geography as well as students with sufficient course work in earth sciences and ecology.

Advantages of Field Experiences

Redefining the Classroom

Denver is a gateway to the Rocky Mountains, the American Southwest and destinations north and south. DU geographers and environmental scientists find ample space to grow as individuals, as scientists and as scholars. 

  • mountain icon

    Rocky Mountain Ecosystems

    Our Mt. Evans field station acts as a base for students and faculty to gather data related to montane and subalpine ecosystems. Suitable for small groups, the station and its facilities can be rented out year-round. Learn more.

  • Binoculars icon

    Professional Field Research Training

    Students will discover how to collect sediment and tree-ring cores and how to use state-of-the-art GPS technology on the Colorado Western Slope in hands-on labs.

  • Hiker icon

    Outdoor Laboratories

    National parks such as Yellowstone, Glacier and Carlsbad Caverns are prime locations for students to learn about natural resource management and conservation.