In today’s world of big data, rapid technological change and natural resource scarcity, Earth scientists with data science expertise are in high demand. The Earth Data Analytics - Foundations professional graduate certificate is designed to provide students with a powerful combination of skills in earth science, data analytics, interdisciplinary collaboration and science communication.

The nine-credit professional graduate certificate consists of three courses and can be completed over a ten month period online. The certificate can be used to start or advance a career in the rapidly expanding world of data-intensive environmental inquiry and tool development.

The Earth Data Analytics - Foundations professional certificate is one of the first university certificate programs in the U.S. to explicitly focus on applying data science techniques to the Earth Sciences.

Key Learning Outcomes

The Earth Data Analytics - Foundations professional certificate provides core skills required for a career in computationally-intensive earth sciences. These skills, identified through a survey of both industry representatives and the scientific community, and supplemented by a literature review, include the ability to:

  • Address domain specific scientific challenges and questions using readily available, multi-dimensional data streams
  • Efficiently process, integrate, analyze and visualize heterogeneous spatio-temporal data
  • Communicate effectively across disciplines
  • Efficiently and effectively collaborate with colleagues in interdisciplinary environments

Career Opportunities for Graduates

The technical skills acquired through this certificate can help start or advance a career as a:

  • Data scientist
  • Geospatial analyst
  • GIS technician, specialist, analyst, coordinator, or manager
  • Remote sensing scientist or analyst

The interdisciplinary earth data science skills learned in this program can also support existing career tracks in fields including hydrology, geosciences, environmental engineering, urban and regional planning and natural resources.

How to Apply

The 2019 certificate application is open.

Required application materials include a resume/CV, undergraduate transcripts (unofficial transcripts are acceptable), and a statement of interest. The statement of interest should consist of approximately 500 words describing your reasons for applying to the Certificate Program, how it will further your career and what aspects of your background (relevant prerequisite coursework, work experience, etc.) have prepared you to succeed in the program. If you would like to review the content of the application prior to starting it, a pdf can be found here.

Apply now for the 2019 Earth Data Analytics - Foundations professional certificate

Admission Requirements

This certificate is appropriate for recent graduates, experienced Earth Science professionals and professionals who want to change career tracks. If you are a current CU student or employee more information can be found here.

Minimum Requirements

  • Possess and provide documentation of an undergraduate degree (BS, BA or equivalent) in any academic field from an accredited academic institution
  • The ability to read and write in English

Preferred Requirements

  • At least one year of professional work experience
  • At least one semester of college-level math, statistics or related quantitative coursework (can be substituted with quantitative professional experience)
  • An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or higher

Certificate Requirements

The Earth Data Analytics - Foundations professional graduate certificate requires three sequential courses beginning in the fall semester and ending in June.

What Courses Are Required?

  • Earth Analytics Data Science Bootcamp (Geog 4463 / 5463) (Fall semester)
  • Earth Analytics (Geog 4563 / 5563) (Spring semester)
  • Earth Analytics Applications (Geog 5663) (Summer session)

Learn more about certificate courses

How Do You Earn the Certificate?

In order to earn the certificate you will need to: 

  • Complete the three certificate courses within a three year period
  • Receive a B or higher grade in each course


The cost of all three certificate courses (nine credits) is $9,000 for in-state students and $10,800 for out-of-state students. Students are permitted to enroll in just one or two of the certificate courses (three credits each) at the rate of $1,000 per credit for in-state and $1,200 per credit for out-of-state students.

Apply this certificate toward a master's degree
We are in the process of developing a full master's degree in Earth Data Analytics. The courses included in this certificate can be applied towards this degree.