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Geology Master's Degree Programs in Colorado

Colorado is a prime location for geology studies with a topography that lends itself naturally to research and study. This article provides geoscience master's program overviews at four schools within the state.

University of Colorado Boulder

Ranked as the #2 global university for geosciences in 2020 by U.S. News and World Report, the University of Colorado Boulder offers a Geological Science Master of Science and has research affiliate centers and institutes like the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and the Energy and Minerals Applied Research Center (EMARC). The research-oriented Master of Science geological sciences program at UC Boulder is specifically designed for students to tailor their own degree by offering concentrations in cosmochemistry & planetary geology, earth science education, geobiology & astrobiology, geochronology, thermochronology, geologic time, petrology & mineralogy, sedimentology & stratigraphy and more than a half dozen others with coursework and research to support each concentration.

Colorado State University

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, Colorado State University offers a Geoscience Master of Science with 18 concentrations, including geochronology, structural geology, tectonics, geodynamics, environmental geology, and igneous and metamorphic petrology. Positions for students to serve as graduate teaching assistants may be available, and the school boasts a strong placement record and a curriculum that can prepare graduates to excel in research, academic, and governmental careers.

Colorado School of Mines

Colorado School of Mines, founded in 1874 and located in Golden, Colorado, just outside of Denver, boasts collaborative research efforts with National Renewable Energy Laboratory and offers Master of Science in Geology, Master of Science in Geological Engineering, and Master of Engineering-Geological Engineer degrees, as well as professional, non-thesis master's degrees in petroleum reservoir systems and mineral exploration. Although certain prerequisite classes aren't required for program applicants, course background in areas such as structural geology, petrology, chemistry, calculus, physics, and stratigraphy may be recommended.

University of Northern Colorado

Located in the same region as the United States Geological Survey & National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Greeley, Colorado, is home to the University of Northern Colorado and its Professional Science Master's Degree in Environmental Geosciences. With a 3-credit non-profit, corporate, or government internship, field research, and coursework in geographic information science and global change this 30 credit hour program can be completed in 12-18 months and prepares graduates for careers in research and development, environmental regulation, or in managerial positions in energy or mining industries.

Admission Requirements for Colorado's Master's Degree Programs in Geology

  • Degree Requirement: An undergraduate bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university is required for admission into the graduate geoscience programs listed, as supported by official transcripts.
  • Test Scores: For most schools, GRE (graduate record exams) scores are required for potential admission into the listed graduate studies programs. International students should be prepared to provide proof of English language proficiency in the form of TOEFL scores or other approved language tests.
  • GPA Requirement: At some of the schools, a minimum GPA is required in order to be considered for admission.
  • Many schools also require all or some of the following: personal goal statement, letters of recommendation, resume, and curriculum vitae (CV).

School Name Programs Offered Average Graduate Tuition (2018-2019)*
University of Colorado Boulder Master of Science in Geology with 16 concentrations in-state $11,484
out-of-state $30,384
Colorado State University Master of Science in Geology with 18 concentrations in-state $10,214
out-of-state $25,040
Colorado School of Mines Master of Science in Geology
Master of Science in Geological Engineering
Master of Engineering-Geological Engineer
in-state $16,650
out-of-state $36,270
University of Northern Colorado Professional Science Master's in Environmental Geosciences in-state $10,476
out-of-state $19,551

Source: *NCES

Colorado colleges and universities offer research and field work driven programs with interdisciplinary coursework in focus areas such as sedimentology, hydrogeology, statistical analysis, geochemistry, physics, and hydrology, among many others, providing graduates with a broad skill-set preparing them for a range of careers in research, management, or environmental regulations work in the academic, government, and private sectors. Located in a state with diverse topography and geographic phenomena, and in close proximity to the Grand Canyon and other areas of great geologic study and mining opportunities, individuals exploring their graduate education within the state have several schools from which to choose.