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Professional Science Masters in Environmental Geosciences


The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) in Environmental Geosciences is a new and innovative interdisciplinary graduate degree certified by the Council of Graduate Schools through the Professional Science Master’s Association. The PSM allows you to pursue advanced scientific training while developing highly valued professional work-place skills. A three-credit internship with a STEM-related company or agency is required. PSM programs prepare students for high-level careers in science emphasizing on skill areas such as communication, management, policy and entrepreneurship. PSM graduates are expected to progress toward leadership roles.

You will receive specialized training in:

  • Graduate geosciences and related science courses
  • Applied sciences related to water, minerals, energy and environmental management
  • Communication skills, team building, field data gathering, laboratory analyses and entrepreneurship
  • Technical skills in fields such as statistics or Geographic Information Science (GIS)

Program Features

This program prepares you technically and professionally as a scientist for environmental and resource extraction industries and agencies. You’ll build skills to formulate and address scientific questions, develop geospatial skills and reasoning, communicate scientific findings in various ways, and develop proficiency and experience in field and laboratory work. Most of your classes will have fewer than 20 students, ensuring close attention from faculty. The PSM program includes an experiential component/capstone that integrates the practical application of scientific and professional knowledge.

Required courses include:

  • Seminars in earth sciences with professional scientists
  • Introduction to Earth Sciences Research
  • Internship with outside agency or company
  • Fourteen elective credit hours in geology, meteorology, earth science, and oceanography content courses
  • Three credit hours from other STEM content courses strongly related to environmental geoscience
  • Six credit hours from professional skills courses, three of which must be in communications
  • Looking for more details? The full set of requirements for the PSM can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Your Future

With a PSM degree, you’ll be prepared for a well-compensated science career with resource extraction companies (e.g. water, minerals, energy) environmental and biotechnology companies, regulatory agencies (federal, state, county, municipalities), consulting firms, non-profit agencies and other scientifically focused organizations.

The Learning Experience in Colorado

UNC is situated in Greeley, 25 miles from the Front Range and an hour from Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Cheyenne, Wyo., where there are many opportunities for field research and recreation. Weld County has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation over the last decade and is the center of Colorado’s energy production resources. Both fossil fuel extraction and alternative energy production have increased in Colorado, resulting in more industry, regulatory, and consulting jobs. Regional resources important to Colorado include water, which is vital to the agricultural and livestock industries. Federal laboratories in Denver include the U. S. Geological Survey, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Renewable Energy Lab.


Nine full-time and two adjunct faculty in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences bring strong geoscience specialties to their teaching responsibilities for this program. Each of the faculty are significantly involved in scholarly work and they undertake rigorous research projects in their field of expertise. There are opportunities for faculty-student scientific research, though it isn’t required for the PSM degree. The faculty are committed to the teacher-scholar model and several faculty have been recognized for excellence in teaching and research.

Admission to the Program

Potential students are expected to have an undergraduate degree in a STEM field with an overall 3.0 GPA and an interest in a high-level professional geoscience career.