Technical electives provide an opportunity for students to explore a range of engineering, mathematical, and natural sciences topics to provide increased breadth or to focus on a specific technical area to develop in-depth understanding. In addition, one technical elective must be used to meet a requirement for a course in earth sciences.  Students should consult their faculty advisors to plan their technical elective program.

The EVEN BS curriculum requires nine credit hours of technical electives. Technical elective credit may be met by courses in the following categories:

  • most engineering, physics, biology (both EBIO and MCDB), chemistry, geology, physical geography, atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and mathematics (both APPM and MATH) courses that are substantially different from required EVEN courses;
  • many courses taught by Computer Science and Engineering Management;
  • quantitatively rigorous courses in social sciences (economics, psychology, human geography);
  • EVEN senior thesis; and
  • independent study courses with appropriate technical content.

Three credit hours of technical electives may be lower division (1000-, 2000-level course). The remaining technical elective courses must be taken at the 3000-level or above. Both undergraduate and graduate courses (5000 level and above) may be taken as technical electives; enrollment in graduate courses requires the consent of the instructor.

One of the technical elective courses (3 credit hours) must be an earth science course at either the lower or upper division level. See below for recommended earth science courses.

All technical elective course selections should be approved by your advisor.  Technical electives counted toward the graduation requirements for the EVEN BS degree may not be taken pass/fail.

Exceptions to these rules will be considered by petition to the Environmental Engineering faculty. 

Specific Inclusions and Exclusions for Technical Electives

Independent study is accepted as technical elective credit up to a maximum of 6 credit hours.

Co-op credits will not count as technical electives nor toward other degree requirements, except as free elective credits.

A maximum of 3 credit hours of some Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) courses may be used as technical electives upon commissioning.

Earth, Science Technical Electives

Courses that meet the earth sciences requirement are typically found in the Departments of Geological Sciences, Geography, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and some engineering departments. Note:  If using ATOC 1050 or GEOL 1010 to satisfy Air or Earth Science Laboratory or Field Course, you may not use them to also satisfy a Technical Elective.

Many students have found that a course devoted to the use of computer software for engineering drawing (e.g., AutoCAD) or geographic information science (GIS) and mapping (e.g. ARCview®) can open up job opportunities.

The following courses are available on the Boulder campus:

  • AREN 1027 Engineering Drawing (formerly AREN 1017)
  • ASEN 4090 Global Positioning Systems Applications (prereqs APPM 2360, GEEN 1300, recom. JR/SR standing)
  • CVEN 2012 Introduction to Geomatics (prereq APPM 1350)
  • GEOG 3053 Cartography: Visualization and Information Design (restricted to junior/senior GEOG/ENVS majors)
  • GEOG 4043 Cartography 2: Interactive and Multimedia Mapping (prerequisite:GEOG 3053)
  • GEOG/GEOL4093 Remote Sensing of the Environment
  • GEOG 4103 / 4203 / 4303 Geographic Information Science (prerequisite: GEOG 2053 or 3053; restricted to junior/senior GEOG/ENVS majors)
  • GEOL 3050 GIS for Geologists (prereq: basic computer skills)
  • MCEN 1025 Computer aided Design and Fabrication

Advice on Technical Electives

Many students are interested in energy-related courses.  It is also suggested that students check each semester for courses in individual departments’ special topics classes for topics of interest.

Instructor’s consent must be obtained on a petition form if prerequisites are not met.  Permission must be obtained from the relevant department if courses have other restrictions.

Free Electives

The EVEN curriculum allows for two credits of free elective(s).  College-level CU or transfer credits, upper- or lower division, may be used for these credits to broaden the student’s academic experience.  Students may also use AP or IB credits, courses from Residential Academic Programs (RAP), President’s Leadership Class (PRLC), ROTC, courses required to pursue a minor, etc., as long as they are substantially different from required EVEN courses.  Or they may be used to take a “fun” class in something you always wanted to study!

Air or Earth Science Laboratory or Field Course

Students are required to take one 3-credit course with a significant lab or field component focusing on air quality or earth science.  If the course chosen is less than three credits, the difference is required as an upper division technical electives or accompanying lecture (Note: courses taken to complete this Air or Earth Science Lab/Field course cannot be used to fulfill both a technical elective and this lab/field requirement on the same student record).

The following courses will fulfill the lab/field requirement:

  • ATOC 1070 Weather and the Atmosphere Lab (1) AND ATOC 1050 Weather and the Atmosphere (3) (prereq or co req: ATOC 1050 or instructor consent)
  • CVEN 3708 Geo technical Engineering 1 (3) (prerequisite: CVEN 3161)
  • GEOL 1030 Introduction to Geology Lab (1) AND GEOL 1010 Introduction to Geology (3) (prior or current registration in 1000 level GEOL recommended)
  • GEOL 2700 Introduction to Field Geology (2) AND GEOL 1010 Introduction to Geology (1) (prerequisites: GEOL 1010 & 1030)
  • GEOL 3010 Introduction to Mineralogy (3) (prerequisites: CHEM 1113/CHEN 1211, MATH 1300/APPM 1350)
  • GEOL 4716 Environmental Field Geochemistry (2) (Requires prerequisite courses of GEOL 2001 or GEOL 2700 and GEOL 3320 and CHEM 1011 and CHEM 1031 or CHEM 1113 and CHEM 1133.

Another option:

  • ATOC 1070 (1) AND Upper Tech Elec (2-3) (ATOC 1050 will be used as your Lower level Tech Elec to satisfy Earth Science)
  • GEOL 1030 (1) AND Upper Tech Elec (2-3)  (GEOL 1010 will be used as your Lower level Tech Elec to satisfy Earth Science)

Technical Elective Suggestions List