Interdisciplinary Programs

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences +

The interdisciplinary Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) provides an educational and research environment to examine the dynamical, physical, and chemical processes that occur in the atmosphere and the ocean. A major theme is the establishment of a physical basis for understanding, observing, and modeling climate and global change.

Graduate students, research staff, and faculty work together on a wide range of research topics, such as large-scale dynamics of ocean and atmosphere, air-sea interaction, radiative transfer and remote sensing of ocean and atmosphere, sea ice and its role in climate, cloud-climate interactions, atmospheric chemistry and aerosols, atmospheric technology, extended weather and climate prediction, hydrological processes, and boundary-layer measurement and modeling.

In addition to doctoral and master’s degrees, ATOC offers graduate certificates in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC), and Oceanography. Students majoring in atmospheric and oceanic sciences or other associated departments may wish to consider obtaining one of these certificates to emphasize on their vita that they have specialized in that additional area. Students who are not enrolled in a graduate degree program, but have received a BA or BS degree and meet the course prerequisites may also enroll in courses to obtain the ATOC Certificate or the Oceanography Certificate through the ACCESS program of Continuing Education.

Students who wish to obtain the Graduate Certificate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC) must complete a total of four courses from the approved list of courses (below), each with a grade of B or better.

Courses for the ATOC Certificate +

ASEN 5215/ATOC 5215 Descriptive Physical Oceanography
ASEN/ATOC 5235 Introduction to Atmospheric Radiative Transfer and Remote Sensing
ASEN 5325 Small-Scale Processes in Geophysical Fluids
ASEN 5335 Aerospace Environment
ASTR/ATOC/GEOL 5810 Planetary Atmospheres
ATOC 5050 Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics
ATOC 5051 Introduction to Physical Oceanography
ATOC 5060 Dynamics of the Atmosphere
ATOC 5061 Dynamics of the Oceans
ATOC/CHEM 5151 Atmospheric Chemistry
ATOC/ASTR 5560 Radiative Processes in Planetary Atmospheres
ATOC 5600 Physics and Chemistry of Clouds and Aerosols
ATOC 5750 Desert Meteorology and Climate
ATOC 6100 Predicting Weather and Climate
GEOG 5231 Physical Climatology: Field Methods
GEOL 5060 Oceanography

Courses that may be taken if they are not in the student’s home department include:
ASEN 5051 Fluid Mechanics
ATOC/ASTR 5400 Introduction to Fluid Dynamics
ATOC/ASTR 5410 Fluid Instabilities, Waves, and Turbulence
ATOC/PHYS 5220 Nonlinear Dynamics
CHEM 5161 Analytical Spectroscopy
GEOG 5221 Synoptic and Dynamic Climatology
GEOG 5331 Mountain Climatology

Students who wish to obtain the Graduate Certificate in Oceanography must complete at least three oceanography core courses (see below) passed with a letter of B or better. In addition, students may take an independent study course to replace one of the core courses.

Courses for the Oceanography Certificate +

ATOC 5051 Introduction to Physical Oceanography
ATOC 5061 Dynamics of Oceans
ASEN/ATOC 5215/4215 Descriptive Physical Oceanography
ASEN 5307/4307 Engineering Data Analysis Methods
ASTR/ATOC 5400 Introduction to Fluid Dynamics
ASTR/ATOC 5410 Fluid Instabilities, Waves, and Turbulence
GEOL 5060 Oceanography
GEOL 5270 Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry
GEOL 5430 Paleoceangraphy and Paleoclimatology

For additional information about the ATOC Certificate or the Oceanography Certificate, contact the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, 311 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0311, 303-492-7167 or

Behavioral Genetics +

The Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG) offers a training program in behavioral genetics. The goal of the program is to train scientists in the study of genetic contributions to individual differences in behavior. This is accomplished by requiring students to obtain strong training in a primary academic discipline, by providing training in the interdisciplinary field of behavioral genetics, and by providing an atmosphere in which close interactions among scholars with different perspectives may be established.

The program features a core set of courses and continuous research training with one or more IBG faculty members, and furnishes valuable opportunities for interaction among scholars with widely varying academic backgrounds. A student wishing to specialize in behavioral genetics must be regularly enrolled as a graduate student in an academic department of the university.

The training program requires completion of four core courses (Genetics, Molecular and Behavioral Genetics, Statistics, and Scientific Integrity), one course from core quantitative electives (Quantitative Genetics, Biometrical Methods in Behavioral Genetics, and Statistical Genetics), one course from core basic science electives (Bioinformatics and Genomics, Neuropharmacology), and one “Concepts” or “Seminar” course in behavioral genetics. Students also must participate in a weekly journal club and monthly colloquia series.

Each trainee works as a teaching assistant for one semester in a course relevant to his or her professional specialty. An IBG trainee’s doctoral dissertation research must be conducted on a topic directly relevant to animal or human behavioral genetics.

A student in the interdisciplinary certificate program must have an IBG faculty member as an advisor and an advisory committee composed of faculty from both IBG and the academic department. The advisory committee evaluates the student’s progress and may impose additional requirements.

Information about the IBG interdisciplinary certificate program may be obtained at or by contacting the Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado at Boulder, 447 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0447; 303-492-7362; fax 303-492-8063.

Biotechnology +

The graduate certificate program in biotechnology provides integrated, interdisciplinary training that encompasses both modern biological sciences and biochemical engineering. The goal of the program is to help students acquire the skills and credentials to undertake crossdisciplinary research in modern industrial, academic, and government biotechnology research laboratories and the perspective to serve as leaders in the advancement of beneficial applications of modern biotechnology.

The graduate biotechnology program is offered cooperatively by the Departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. The program awards a certificate, not a separate degree; each student enrolls in a participating department and meets the degree requirements for that department.

A student must take 6 semester credit hours of graduate biotechnology courses, including CHEN 5830 Introduction to Modern Biotechnology and CHEN 5831 Biotechnology Case Studies. For the remaining credits, bioscience graduate students choose from bioengineering courses, and bioengineering students choose from bioscience courses.

During their first year, students take laboratory rotations in participating faculty laboratories. At least one laboratory rotation must be outside the student’s home department. Students receive up to 7 semester credit hours of independent study or laboratory-methods credit for these rotations.

All students are expected to undertake internships with local biotechnology companies. These internships usually take place during the summer after the first year of graduate study.

For more information on the biotechnology certificate program, contact Professor Ryan Gill, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, 424 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0424; 303-492-2627.

Chemical Physics +

The interdepartmental doctoral program in chemical physics prepares students for research in such interdisciplinary fields as atomic and molecular radiative processes, spectroscopy, laser chemistry and physics, atmospheric chemistry, molecular quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, kinetics, chemistry and physics of the surface and condensed phase, semiconductors, and nanoscale processes.

Students wishing to pursue the doctoral degree in chemical physics should apply for admission to either the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry or the Department of Physics.

Entering students take a qualifying examination in the area of their undergraduate major. The comprehensive examination tests their knowledge of both chemistry and physics. Certain requirements associated with the regular doctoral programs in the participating departments will be replaced by requirements in the complementary field; each student’s program of course work and research will be individually planned according to the student’s special needs.

The program is administered by an interdepartmental committee. For further information, contact the graduate program assistant in either the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry or the Department of Physics.

Cognitive Science +

The cognitive science academic program includes a combined PhD degree between cognitive science and a core discipline, as well as a combined PhD plan of study tailored for students interested in cognitive neuroscience. In addition, there are two certificates at the graduate level of study. The first of these is a certificate in general issues in cognitive science that can be tailored to the individual student’s area of interest. The cognitive science curriculum for this certificate is designed to provide broad as well as in-depth training in the cognitive sciences. The second graduate certificate is in Human Language Technology (HLT) and is specifically designed to provide interested graduate students with a rich and broad background in computational tools for human language processing. These programs are administered by the Institute of Cognitive Science (ICS) of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Graduate students in cognitive science are admitted to graduate programs in participating departments that have cognitive science faculty and must meet the requirements for admission and degree completion in their home department.

Students wishing to attain a degree or certificate in cognitive science must formally apply to the director of Academic Programs of ICS. To be admitted they must be a student affiliate of ICS, which requires being a graduate student in good standing in a member department, and they must be sponsored by an ICS faculty member. Students who enter the Graduate School without a master’s degree may be admitted to the program upon completion of their first year of study; students with a master’s degree may be admitted during their first year.

The degree and certificate programs in cognitive science require students to demonstrate acceptable performance in interdisciplinary course work and courses outside their home department. The courses must be offered by the departments of computer science; education; linguistics; philosophy; psychology; speech/language/hearing sciences; architecture, planning, and design; or another department in which there is an ICS faculty member. Details about requirements for the degree and certificate programs can be obtained through the Director of Academic Programs for ICS, or by contacting the ICS main office.

For further information contact the University of Colorado at Boulder, Institute of Cognitive Science, 344 UCB, Boulder CO 80309-0344; 303-492-5063.

Distance Learning and Professional Development Programs +

The Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education (CAETE) is the distance learning and professional studies arm of the College of Engineering and Applied Science. CAETE provides convenient and flexible education for working professionals. Courses are delivered in the campus classroom and via the Internet to students across the country and abroad.

Academic course sequences may lead to a graduate certificate or master’s degree in the following areas:

Certificates +

Computer and Network Security
Embedded Systems (classroom only)
Engineering Management
Engineering Entrepreneurship
Leadership and Ethical Decision Making
Managing Applied Research in Technology
Managing Research and Development
Performance Excellence in Technology Management
Power Electronics
Project Management
Quality Systems for Product and Process Engineering
Six Sigma
Software Engineering
Technology Ventures and Product Management
Wireless Networks and Technologiesa

Degrees +

Aerospace Engineering, ME and MS
Computer Science, ME
Electrical and Computer Engineering, ME and MS

Engineering Management, ME
Telecommunications, ME and MS

CAETE also provides access to over 100 pre-recorded courses via their virtual library. These courses are available for academic course work, or purchase by companies for in-house training.

For additional information refer to the engineering and applied science section or contact CAETE at 303-492-6331,, or

Engineering Management Program +

The Engineering Management Program at the College of Engineering and Applied Science offers a master of engineering degree in engineering management. The ME degree is designed for professionals who seek to develop in-depth managerial and entrepreneurial skills specific to engineering and the applied sciences. The curriculum provides in-depth engineering and management knowledge. Courses may be taken on campus or through our distance learning program.

The master of engineering degree in engineering mangement consists of 30 credit hours, six core courses, and four elective courses. The electives offer competency in the following areas:

Engineering Entrepreneurship
Engineering Management
Management of Research and Development
Managing Applied Research
Performance Excellence in Technology Management
Project Management
Quality Systems
Six Sigma (Green Belt, Black Belt, Master Black Belt)
Software Management

Graduate certificates are also available in many of the above core competency areas. Credits accrued toward a certificate can be applied toward a master’s degree.

Visit for more information.

Environment, Policy, and Society +

In order to understand contemporary environmental issues, today’s scholars must transcend historical academic disciplinary boundaries. Indeed, complex issues related to energy, climate change, species preservation, and air and water quality are best addressed by valuing insights from multiple perspectives. The Graduate Certificate Program in Environment, Policy, and Society allows students the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary exploration of these contemporary environmental problems by drawing from courses across a wide range of social science disciplines. The certificate curriculum incorporates courses from many departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, including anthropology, biology, economics, geography, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology. In addition, pertinent courses are available in the College of Architecture and Planning, the Leeds School of Business, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the School of Law. Tracks are available in:

Environment and Society
Environmental Policy
Energy and Society
Water and Society

Students will be expected to complete the interdisciplinary cornerstone course, an integrative capstone course, and 9–12 hours from the menu of courses available for each track.

Admission to the certificate program is open to students in any regular graduate degree program at the University of Colorado. A limited number of individuals already holding master’s or doctoral degrees from other institutions may be admitted, provided they meet the normal admission requirements of a participating department.

To receive the certificate, students must complete 18 hours of approved course work, including 6 hours of cornerstone/capstone seminars. At least 12 of the 18 hours must be in courses outside the department in which the student is currently enrolled. The certificate is awarded to recognize the additional course work beyond that required for the student’s regular degree program. Hence, transfer credit for courses taken elsewhere may not be counted toward certificate requirements.

Questions about the certificate program in environment, policy, and society should be directed to the Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado at Boulder, 397 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0397;

Environmental Studies +

The interdisciplinary graduate degrees in environmental studies offer opportunities for education and research at the professional level to address the complex environmental issues facing Colorado, the Rocky Mountain west, and the global community. Students may pursue studies toward the master of science (MS) or doctor of philosophy (PhD) degrees, as well as dual degrees with Leeds School of Business (MS/MBA) and the Law School (MS or PhD/JD).

Graduate students, faculty, and research staff work together on research topics such as: climate and atmospheric chemistry, water sciences, energy, environmental policy, sustainability, environmental social sciences, and biogeoscience.

Skills acquired through participation in the program will allow graduates to devise strategies for the use of natural resources that are sustainable and comply with environmental regulations; apply the environmental sciences to commercial and government work in environmental remediation; analyze environmental resources for private or public planning purposes; provide an interface between management and engineering/science in industry and government; propose and implement cost-effective solutions to environmental problems; and develop regulatory laws that have a sound physical basis.

Additional information about graduate degrees in environmental studies may be obtained by contacting: the Graduate Program Assistant, Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado at Boulder, 397 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0397; 303-735-1043; or

Geophysics +

The interdisciplinary doctoral program in geophysics encourages students with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds to pursue graduate study in the physics of the Earth, with special emphasis on the interior of the planet. Students specialize in one of the subfields of geophysics while gaining a broad, general background in the discipline and in-depth education in the relevant aspects of the parent fields of geology, physics, and engineering.

Students enter the program by applying for admission to one of the following departments: aerospace engineering sciences; astrophysical and planetary sciences; civil, environmental, and architectural engineering; electrical and computer engineering; geological sciences; mechanical engineering; or physics. Upon satisfactory performance on the doctoral preliminary examination given by the home department, the student may formally apply for admission to the geophysics doctoral program.

The program is administered by the geophysics graduate program committee, which includes representatives from each of the participating departments. The comprehensive examination and the dissertation defense are directed by this committee, with a faculty member of the home department normally chairing these procedures.

For further information, see, or call or write the Director, Geophysics Program, Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder, 390 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0390; 303-735-5095.

Human Language Technology +

The recent growth of the World Wide Web and the vast improvements in computing power of the last decade have led to a greater need for education and research in human language technology. This interdisciplinary field includes key technological and scientific areas such as automatic speech recognition and synthesis, natural language understanding and generation conversational agents, augmentative and alternative communication, audio and text-based information retrieval, and grammar and spelling aids.

The curriculum for the certificate includes five core courses, consisting of a computer programming foundation course plus four courses in human language technologies (e.g., natural language processing, morphology and syntax, speech processing, and recognition). At least two of the language technologies courses must be outside the student’s home department.

Students are required to major in computer science, electrical and computer engineering, linguistics, or speech, language, and hearing sciences. The program is available to master’s or PhD students at CU-Boulder, including students in concurrent bachelor’s/master’s programs. For further information see, or Institute of Cognitive Science at

Hydrologic Sciences +

The CU-Boulder Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Program focuses on quantitative studies of water in the environment including its role in geologic and biogeochemical processes, ecosystem functions, and global elemental cycling. The program is interdisciplinary and interdepartmental. It is intended for science and engineering graduate students, both currently enrolled and prospective. It allows students to obtain recognition for their accomplishments in hydrologic sciences and demonstrates the quantitative multi-disciplinary education desired by many prospective employers.

Students can choose to enroll for a full Hydrologic Sciences PhD degree or obtain a hydrologic sciences graduate certificate while concurrently obtaining a master’s or doctoral degree in an associated academic department. Prerequisites and course requirements are identical for the PhD degree and graduate certificate.

Students are members of the broader CU-Boulder Geophysical Sciences Program, which has two specialization options: solid-Earth geophysics and hydrologic sciences. All hydrologic sciences students are admitted through one of the participating departments: civil, environmental, and architectural engineering; ecology and evolutionary biology; environmental studies; geography; or geological sciences.

Students may apply for admission either concurrently with their application to one of the participating departments or after admission by a department. The program is designed to encourage students with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds to enter the field. Nevertheless, all students in the program must have a substantial background in math and physics, including fluid dynamics. At the time of acceptance, the student will be informed of any undergraduate deficiencies that they will need to address within the first year in the program.

Most hydrologic sciences students conduct research with participating departments, research institutes, and centers (i.e., INSTAAR and CIRES), or partner government agency labs in the Boulder area (i.e., USGS and NOAA). Primary supervision of the student’s research may be provided by any faculty member approved by the department.

Additional information is available at, or by contacting the graduate assistant for hydrologic sciences, Benson Earth Sciences 246 a, 397 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0397, 303-735-1043,

Molecular Biophysics +

The goal of the molecular biophysics certificate program is to introduce graduate students to the field of biophysics, its methodologies, and the state-of-the-art biophysical research efforts being carried out in diverse laboratories and departments on the CU-Boulder campus. The program creates interdepartmental connections that provide the breadth of training needed to develop biophysical scholars.

Students must be admitted through the regular admissions process to a PhD program in one of the following departments: chemical engineering, chemistry and biochemistry, ecology and evolutionary biology, or physics. They must satisfy all of their home department’s requirements to receive a PhD.

The first requirement of the molecular biophysics certificate is participation in one to three laboratory rotations outside the thesis lab, which provide experience with a range of biophysical methods.

The second component of the program is the completion of two courses chosen from a list of approved courses. Currently this list includes 15 courses in areas ranging from theoretical physics to molecular and cellular biophysics.

Students are expected to take part in a seminar series, which introduces internationally renowned speakers and their research. They also are required to participate in supergroup meetings and symposia, which provide forums for them to present their own research in front of their colleagues and advisory committee.

Museum and Field Studies +

The interdisciplinary museum and field studies program leading to a master of science degree is administered by the University Museum, in conjunction with the departments of anthropology; history; art history; ecology and evolutionary biology; and geological sciences; as well as other departments. The program provides a strong background in a chosen field as well as theoretical and practical grounding in museology.

Internships are offered at a variety of museums in the region, including natural history, history, and art museums. Students completing the MS are trained as collection managers, curatorial assistants, registrars, museum educators, exhibit technicians, and administrators.

Program Tracks +

Two tracks are available: a collection/field track and an administrative/public track.

The collection/field track offers training for students interested in the curatorial and research aspects of museum work, such as floristic or faunistic studies of the past and present, material culture of the past and present, and biological inventory. The curriculum gives students academic training as well as experience in all areas of museum work. Field experience is offered through the curatorial and field practica.

The administrative/public track offers education for students interested in the public aspects of the museum such as program development and evaluation, exhibition planning and design, education, and the organization and management of museums. The curriculum offers both academic training in a discipline and hands-on experience with all aspects of the public museum.

Admission +

Students must meet all university requirements for admission to graduate school and have a baccalaureate degree and at least a B (3.00) grade-point average in previous academic work. The baccalaureate degree should be in anthropology, biology, geology, geography, history (including archival studies), classics, fine arts, or education, although other majors will be considered. Acceptance to the program is decided by the admissions committee of the University Museum in consultation with the student’s department. The student must be accepted by an advisor in his or her discipline.

Requirements +

The degree in museum and field studies is a two-year program requiring a total of 32 credit hours. Students may choose either the thesis or nonthesis plan. Depending on the track and plan, students complete from 9 to 15 credit hours in a department and from 13 to 22 credit hours in museology courses. One hundred fifty work hours of internship are required. The thesis plan requires the completion and successful defense of a thesis; the nonthesis plan requires the completion of a paper or a project.

For current course information, consult the Museum section under the College of Arts and Sciences. For new course or admissions information, write the Museum and Field Studies Program, University Museum, University of Colorado at Boulder, 265 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0265; call 303-492-5437; e-mail; or visit

Neuroscience and Behavior +

The graduate certificate program in neuroscience and behavior focuses on understanding the nervous system and its relationship to disease and behavior. This understanding encompasses the molecular, cellular, and behavioral aspects of neuroscience.

Students come from such graduate programs as ecology and evolutionary biology; behavioral genetics; molecular, cellular, and developmental biology; psychology; and integrative physiology. They receive a PhD in their department and a certificate in neuroscience.

The neuroscience core curriculum includes courses in the following areas: neuroscience methods laboratory, neuroanatomy (PSYC 5263), neurochemistry or neuropharmacology (e.g., PSYC 5062, PSYC 5132), neurophysiology or systems neuroscience (e.g., PSYC 5042, EPOB 5190), behavioral neuroscience or animal behavior (e.g., EPOB 5240, KINE 5610, PSYC—to be developed), molecular neuroscience or molecular genetics or developmental neuroscience (e.g., PSYC 5232, EPOB 5200, MCDB—to be developed).

Students are required to attend a weekly journal club or discussion group and neuroscience colloquia.

Neuroscience, Interdepartmental PhD Program in +

The graduate PhD program in neuroscience is an interdepartmental program currently consisting of eight tracks to a PhD: behavioral genetics (psychology); behavioral neuroscience (psychology); clinical neuroscience (psychology), cognitive neuroscience (psychology); social neuroscience (psychology); integrative physiological neuroscience (integrative physiology); molecular, cellular, and developmental neuroscience (MCD-biology); or speech, language, and hearing neurosciences (SLHS). Students apply for admission to one of the participating departments and their admission to CU-Boulder and financial support are determined by that department. Once in residence, students enter the neuroscience PhD program while still maintaining their “home” in the department to which they were admitted. They receive a PhD that lists both their home department and neuroscience.

The neuroscience curriculum includes a year-long intensive core course, graduate seminar courses linked to an invited speaker series, and wide-ranging neurosciences courses offered by many departments and institutes across campus.

Potential applicants are encouraged to visit the neuroscience website, which provides detailed information on the program, application process, courses, faculty, and current trainees:

Optical Science and Engineering Program (OSEP) +

The graduate certificate program in optical science and engineering offers interdisciplinary training in optics. Participating academic departments include physics, chemistry and biochemistry, and electrical and computer engineering, along with JILA, a joint institute between CU and NIST. To help students gain employment in either academia or industry, the program provides optics course work, broad research training, academic rotations, and a connection to the business community through the Industrial Advisory Board.

Course work for the certificate comprises an Optics Laboratory class as well as three other full-semester optics courses such as:

Introduction to Optics
Fundamentals of Optics and Lasers
Physical Optics
Optoelectronic Devices
Advanced Molecular Spectroscopy.

Students also are required to perform an industrial internship, participate in an interdisciplinary Optics Seminar, and take non-credit mini-courses in technical communication, machine shop, electronics, and ethics. For information, contact Professor Dana Anderson, University of Colorado at Boulder, 440 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0440; 303-492-5202; or e-mail

Population Studies +

The graduate certificate program in population studies, offered through the Population Program of the Institute of Behavioral Science, recognizes master’s and doctoral degree students for interdisciplinary work in demography. The population program, which is international in scope and has an applied and policy-oriented focus, fosters research on population trends and patterns and provides training in population analysis. Students who are earning graduate degrees through the Departments of Economics, Geography, or Sociology and are interested in majoring in demography are eligible to petition for admission to the program.

The population program emphasizes research training through direct faculty/student interaction and involvement in research projects. Students are required to take three core courses: ECON 8666 Economic Demography; GEOG 6732 Formal Population Geography; and SOCY 6012 Population Issues, Problems, and Policies. Students are granted a certificate on the basis of the three core courses, their applied research, and their thesis or dissertation.

Questions about the certificate program in population studies should be directed to the Population Program, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder, 484 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0484; 303-492-7986;;

Remote Sensing +

Remote sensing (satellite and ground based) is increasingly being used as a technique to probe the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, and land surfaces. Probing of other planets is accomplished largely by satellite remote sensing. Given national priorities in such areas as climate and global change, the interest in remote sensing will only increase with time.

Remote sensing is a relatively new academic subject, with few universities having any sort of an organized curriculum. The purpose of formalizing the CU remote sensing curriculum is to coordinate curricula across campus so that a coherent curriculum in remote sensing can be provided to complement and supplement the students’ regular degree program. An additional purpose is to encourage multidisciplinary education of the students in the area of remote sensing.

Graduate students, research staff, and faculty work on a wide variety of topics, ranging from the theory of remote sensing to its application. These applications include: use of satellite remote sensing to determine ocean surface temperature and heat fluxes, use of surface radar to improve the determination of clouds and precipitation from satellites; determination of surface biological characteristics and productivity from satellites; mapping of surface landform and topographical features; searching for locations of buried artifacts; use of surface radar to determine upper atmosphere wind motions; and aircraft remote sensing to assess the validity of satellite retrieval algorithms of surface and atmospheric characteristics.

A Certificate in Remote Sensing will be awarded based on a written request by the student to the remote sensing graduate chairman, provided that the following requirements have been met:

All students must take at least three remote sensing core courses (passed with a grade B or better) and register for ATOC 7500/ASEN 6310, Remote Sensing seminar, for at least one semester. This class is given once each year. Most remote sensing core courses are offered once each year.

The remote sensing graduate core courses are:

ATOC 7500/ASEN 6310 Remote Sensing Seminar
ASEN/ATOC 5235 Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Ocean
ASEN 5337 Remote Sensing Data Analysis
ASEN 5168 Remote Sensing Instrumentation
ASEN 5245/ECEN 5254 Radar and Remote Sensing
ECEN 5274 Radar Science and Techniques
GEOL/GEOG 5093 Remote Sensing of the Environment
GEOL 5440/GEOG 6443 Remote Sensing Field Methods
GEOL 6340 Remote Sensing of Planetary Surfaces

Letters to the Remote Sensing Graduate Committee should be sent to the remote sensing graduate chairman, Professor Bill Emery, University of Colorado at Boulder, 431 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0431; phone 303-492-8591; or e-mail

Science and Technology Policy +

The graduate certificate in science and technology policy is a rigorous educational program to prepare students pursuing graduate degrees for careers at the interface of science, technology, and decision making. Past recipients of the certificate have gone on to positions in the U.S. Congress, academia, NOAA, and other policy relevant positions.

Students come from such graduate programs as aerospace engineering, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, biological sciences, chemistry, civil engineering, environmental studies, geography, journalism, and mechanical engineering. Students enrolled receive a either a master’s or doctoral degree in their department and a certificate in science and technology policy.

Each year, the certificate program will begin with a capped enrollment of 18 students per cohort. These 18 students will take three required courses (Science and Technology Policy Certificate, or STPC):

STPC 6000/ENVS 5100 Science and Technology Policy
STPC 6010/ENVS 5110 Science, Technology, and Society Studies
STPC 6020/ENVS 5120 Quantitative Methods of Policy Analysis

In addition to the above three required courses students are also required to take three additional courses from a list of approved electives. For a list of all required courses and electives see Successful completion of the certificate program requires the completion of 18 hours of course work (or course work plus internship credit).

For more information, visit

Telecommunications +

Modern telecommunication encompasses the Internet, wireless and mobile networks, and the telephone network. These networks drive economic growth and have an important role in society. The graduate Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program prepares students for a professional career in telecommunications through a study of the underlying technologies, the business and economic environment in which they operate, and the legal and policy framework that shapes the industry. Students are given the tools for successful careers today and the foundation to be future technology leaders.

Masters Degree Programs +

Students may pursue studies toward the master of science degree (MS) or the master of engineering degree (ME). The Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program also offers several concurrent degrees that combine the MS in telecommunications with a: BS in operations and information management; masters of business administration; ME in engineering management; or juris doctor. All degrees include a strong laboratory component, interaction with industry leaders, participation in nationally recognized policy debates, and an emphasis on developing communication skills. Degree seeking and non-degree students may pursue certificates in computer and network security; and wireless networks and technologies.

Students are required to have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited university and must include current GRE and/or GMAT scores with their applications. Applications are invited from graduates who have good academic records and professionals with work experience/training in telecommunications. For more information about the telecommunications program go to The MS in telecommunications may be completed either on campus or through the Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education (CAETE) Distance Learning Program. For more information about the Distance Learning Program, go to

Women and Gender Studies +

The graduate certificate in women and gender studies offers a graduate-level education in the systematic approach to the study of gender from an interdisciplinary perspective. It provides an intellectual context in which students study feminist theory and methodology at an advanced level. At the same time, the certificate program bridges the gap between discipline-centered studies and the interdisciplinary foundations of women’s studies, thereby enhancing the student’s ability to conduct gender-based research.

Students wishing to take part in the women’s studies certificate program must be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program at CU-Boulder and have completed at least 6 hours of graduate study.

The certificate program has two components: course work based in the interdisciplinary women’s studies curriculum, and course work drawing upon gender studies in other disciplines. The program’s curriculum consists of two required courses:

WMST 5010 Feminist Methodologies
WMST 5090 Feminist Theories

Two elective courses on gender-related issues from different departments outside the student’s discipline are also required.

Students in the program work with an advisor to develop an elective course plan and research emphasis that reflects a coherent and interdisciplinary plan. Departments in which electives may be taken include anthropology, economics, English, fine arts, history, journalism, law, music, philosophy, and sociology. Contact Women and Gender Studies at for information about other departments that may qualify.

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