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STEM-related Undergraduate Minors and Certificates at Colorado State University

STEM is an ever growing employment sector in the U.S., with with over 1 million jobs related in some way to STEM. Undergraduate minors allow students to extend their major area of study into related or unrelated fields based on their areas of interest. This is advantageous for students looking to expand their job prospect within STEM-related fields. Colorado State University has more than 40 STEM-related undergraduate minors available for students to choose.

Below, we have organized our STEM-related undergraduate minors by College, noting the academic department within which the major resides. CSU also has over 50 STEM-related undergraduate majors for students who would like to select a primary academic discipline as well as graduate degrees for students who have already obtained an undergraduate degree. If you would like to learn more about these undergraduate majors, click here. If you would like to learn more about STEM Graduate Degrees at Colorado State University, click here.

Important note for international students: International students with a F-1 visa earning a degree in a STEM field can qualify for the OPT STEM Extension. However, not all STEM majors qualify. Please see the official list of OPT STEM Extension qualifying majors, produced by the US Department of Homeland Security, found here. The corresponding “CIP Code” should be found on your I-20. For more questions about the OPT STEM Extension, please contact the CSU Office of International Programs.

College of Agricultural Sciences

College of Agricultural Sciences

Minor: Agricultural Literacy

Department: Agricultural and Resource Economics

This minor offers students an integrated set of courses in agricultural education including an agricultural literacy internship. Students pursuing this minor should be passionate about content in animal sciences, plant sciences, food products and processing, agricultural mechanics or natural resources, and desire to teach others these disciplines. These experiences help round-out a student’s education for those who are interested in working in a broad range of fields where a background in agricultural literacy would be beneficial, i.e. leading educational experiences in their major content.

Minor: Entomology

Department: Agricultural Biology

Minor: Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

Department: Agricultural and Resource Economics

The Minor in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics is open to all students who desire to complete an integrated set of courses where they learn how to apply economics to a broad range of natural resources and environmental issues. Interested in how economists view climate change, parks and protected areas, renewable energy, deforestation, carbon accounting, corporate social (and environmental) responsibility and/or biodiversity and ecosystem services? Students have the opportunity to develop skills to evaluate private and societal choices that are made regarding human interactions with the natural world. Economic theory and analytical methods are central to most public policy discussions and investment projects. Students who build these skills will be positioned to guide social dialogue and private investment around some of the most important issues of the modern era.

Minor: Environmental Horticulture

Department: Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

A Minor in Environmental Horticulture will serve to broaden the academic background of students seeking employment in interdisciplinary job markets associated with plant sciences or the art and science of environmental horticulture. A minor will allow students a maximum breadth and depth in the field while utilizing a limited number of requirements.

Minor: Horticulture

Department: Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Minor: Soil Science

Department: Soil and Crop Sciences

Soil Science as a discipline has applications to many fields of study, including biology, ecology, engineering, horticulture, and hydrology. The purpose of the minor in Soil Science is to combine the fundamental sub-disciplines of soil science to provide non-majors the essential elements of soil science.

College of Business

College of Business

Minor: Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Department: Management

The minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation will prepare students across the CSU campus to play crucial roles (as founders, investors, advisors, policy makers, and executives) in the greater entrepreneurial ecosystem including new venture start-up, corporate entrepreneurship, social and sustainable ventures, and government entities.  The minor consists of 24 credits which are a combination of required entrepreneurship courses from the College of Business and electives across majors selected due to their entrepreneurial nature.

Certificate: Entrepreneurship

Department: Management

The Certificate in Entrepreneurship is composed of a series of courses which provides students with the knowledge and skills to successfully develop and assess the viability of for profit and not-for-profit “social and sustainable” business concepts, and plan for the funding and launch of new ventures whether they are stand alone businesses or new ventures within an existing company.

Certificate: Information Technology for Business Professionals

Department: Computer Information Systems

The Department of Computer Information Systems (CIS) offers the Certificate in Information Technology (IT) for Business Professionals, which covers some of the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate, create, deploy, and use IT-based solutions to business problems. It is open to all business students, other than those in the CIS concentration. Students who pursue the certificate are typically interested in applying IT skills to their chosen concentration.

Certificate: Market Research and Data Analytics

Department: Marketing

This certificate enables students to gain valuable insight into the traditional qualitative and quantitative research methods used to collect primary data as well as the advanced analytic techniques used by marketers to transform secondary data into decision making information. Upon completion of this certificate, students will have also learned how to manage social media and websites and how to develop an understanding of content marketing, web analytics and search engine optimization.

Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Minor: Environmental Engineering

Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering

In order to permit undergraduate students in any engineering major to take advantage of CSU’s environmental expertise, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers a minor in Environmental Engineering. The minor is designed to broaden the academic background of undergraduate engineering students seeking a career in environmental fields, and to provide fundamentals required to pursue a graduate degree in environmental engineering or related fields.

College of Health and Human Sciences

College of Health and Human Sciences

Minor: Nutrition

Department: Food Science and Human Nutrition

This minor provides an opportunity for a non-major to gain a significant orientation to a food, nutrition, and health-related field. The courses in the minor in Nutrition have a significant number of prerequisites that should be examined carefully before selecting the minor. Although open to any interested student, the Nutrition minor would be most easily taken by students majoring in a life science discipline such as biology or health and exercise science.

Certificate: Design Thinking

The Certificate in Design Thinking provides students with an opportunity to explore creative approaches used to solve problems. Students will gain an awareness of the impact of design thinking and its application – regardless of their discipline, profession, or major.

College of Liberal Arts

College of Liberal Arts

Minor: Applied Environmental Policy Analysis

Department: Political Science

The minor in Applied Environmental Policy Analysis will provide students with a rigorous and in-depth study of the public sector environment, practice, and methods for analyzing and developing policy. Each course will also have the environment as a focus in the material, exams, and assignments. At the end of the minor students will be able to recall and explain the basic rationales for public policies; be able to apply rigorous research methods for evaluating policy; and be able to integrate the elements of theory, methods, problem structuring, ethics, analysis and argumentation to generate reports useable in government and nonprofit management. The minor is appropriate for practicing professionals and current undergraduate students interested in expanding their applied evaluation skills and environmental policy expertise.

Minor: Technical and Science Communication

Department: Journalism and Media Communication

The minor in Technical and Science Communication is designed to educate highly qualified communicators who have interests in specialized academic disciplines and career fields. Because science and technology often involve complicated research and processes, communicating the results of that work requires special skills. This program is designed to prepare students for a wide range of niche career opportunities in media, corporate communication, technology related industries, and scientific environments.

Warner College of Natural Resources

Warner College of Natural Resources

Minor: Ecological Restoration

Department: Forest and Rangeland Stewardship

The Ecological Restoration minor allows students in related majors to gain knowledge of the science and art of restoring ecosystems. This background is especially valuable to students who will be working in the various natural resource management fields. Since the prevalence of damaged, degraded or destroyed ecosystems is likely to increase in the future, restoration will be imperative for transforming these lands to once again provide ecosystem services.

Minor: Fishery Biology

Department: Fish and Wildlife Conservation Biology

Students majoring in Watershed Science, Forestry, Rangeland Ecology, Zoology, and others may find that a minor in Fishery Biology will increase employment opportunities. The requirements for this minor provide a solid base for work in fishery and aquatic science.

Minor: Forestry

Department: Forest and Rangeland Stewardship

he minor in Forestry provides students with the opportunity to obtain exposure to forest sciences. It provides insight into the management of forested lands and is particularly appropriate for students majoring in other natural resource disciplines or natural sciences.

Minor: Geology

Department: Geosciences

The minor in Geology is open to students in all majors to provide curricular depth in geosciences. Example majors who may benefit from a geology minor include students from the Colleges of Natural Science, Natural Resources, Business, Engineering, and Agriculture.

Minor: Range Ecology

Department: Forest and Rangeland Stewardship

The minor in Range Ecology provides an academic background for students interested in wildlife habitat, integrated land management, ranch management, applied ecology, and international development of arid lands. The minor provides additional flexibility for students who have a liberal arts or international education goal, but would like to increase their employment potential in an applied area.

Minor: Spatial Information Management

Department: Forest and Rangeland Stewardship

The minor in Spatial Information Management provides students with fundamental geospatial skills in natural resource management. Geographic information systems, global positioning systems, and remote sensing are key tools for the workforce of the 21st Century. This minor is designed for students desiring to gain technical skills and to increase their employment potential in an applied area. The Spatial Information Management minor has a broad interdisciplinary appeal due to the ability to adapt and use these technologies in many disciplines.

Minor: Watershed Science

Department: Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

The minor in Watershed Science provides a background in core classes addressing land use hydrology and sustainable watersheds. Students also engage in experiential learning in the watershed practicum field course. The minor offers a broad and flexible selection of additional coursework options that emphasize physical, biogeochemical, and societal aspects of water resources and watershed management.

College of Natural Sciences

College of Natural Sciences

Minor: Applied Statistics

Department: Statistics

The minor in Applied Statistics is designed for students pursuing non-calculus based majors. The minor in Applied Statistics is a great way for students to highlight their quantitative abilities when applying for jobs and graduate school.

Minor: Biochemistry

Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The minor is valuable to students majoring in any biological or physical science or in engineering. The minor requires a sound chemistry background, provides fundamental courses in molecular biosciences, and augments the latter with more specialized courses in biochemistry and molecular genetics.

Minor: Botany

Department: Biology

The minor in Botany is offered to provide interested students with maximum breadth and depth in botanical science utilizing a limited number of requirements. The program also serves to broaden the academic background of students seeking employment in the interdisciplinary job market associated with the plant sciences.

Minor: Chemistry

Department: Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry offers a minor in Chemistry to interested students from other disciplines. The program serves to broaden the academic background of students seeking employment in fields related to chemistry.

Minor: Computer Science

Department: Computer Science

A Computer Science minor will give students a foundation in software development, programming, and computer and information theory. Students will begin with a gradual introduction to programming and data structures. Then students can take courses in an area of emphasis that complements their current degree.

Minor: Mathematics

Department: Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics offers a minor in Mathematics for those students who wish to acquire a more extensive knowledge of mathematical sciences in support of their personal interests or major area of study.

Minor: Mathematical Biology

Department: Mathematics

The minor in Mathematical Biology is designed for students of the life sciences who wish to acquire a broader base of quantitative expertise in support of their major area of study.

Minor: Physics

Department: Physics

Most technical fields require some background in physics. A minor in Physics can provide students with an increased understanding of the foundations of their chosen major. For students majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics, a minor in Physics can offer experience in applying the skills acquired in their major to concrete physical problems.

Minor: Statistics

Department: Statistics

Students with a minor in Statistics will get training in data analysis, probability, and quantitative reasoning, which will enhance any education in science, social science, medicine, finance, etc.

Minor: Zoology

Department: Biology

The minor in Zoology is a useful complement to a major in animal science, fishery biology, geology, natural resource recreation and tourism, or wildlife biology.

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Minor: Biomedical Sciences

Department: Biomedical Sciences

The minor in Biomedical Sciences provides students with a useful complement to majors in Animal Science, Biochemistry, Biological Science, Health and Exercise Science, Human Development and Family Studies, Microbiology, Psychology, and other biomedical science areas. The program offers a variety of courses which serve to broaden the background of students pursuing professional careers in biomedical sciences, human and veterinary medicine, and a variety of health-related disciplines.

Minor: Environmental Health

Department: Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences

A minor in Environmental Health will benefit students majoring in a variety of biosciences who are interested in career options in public health, private sector environmental health and safety, sustainability, or graduate school.

Minor: Microbiology

Department: Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology

A minor in Microbiology will be of considerable benefit to students majoring in biological science, natural science, food science, biochemistry, some fields of engineering, and other science-related fields.

University Interdisciplinary Studies Program

University Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Minor: Biomedical Engineering

The Biomedical Engineering Interdisciplinary Minor (BME minor), coordinated by the School of Biomedical Engineering, offers students an interdisciplinary approach to biomedical engineering education and research. This unique program combines medicine, engineering, and the life sciences to improve human and animal health and well-being through medical diagnostics and therapeutics.

Minor: Conservation Biology

Conservation Biology is a scientific discipline and management context that deals with the diversity of life in ecosystems. Humans have tremendous effects on other species and ecosystems on Earth, and Conservation Biology considers these effects, and how our impacts can be altered to sustain diverse and healthy ecosystems.

Conservation Biology encompasses a wide range of biological sciences such as genetics, evolution, and physiology, as well as a wide range of ecological sciences such as biodiversity, competition, predator/prey relations, and long-term dynamics.

This university-wide undergraduate minor addresses contemporary environmental issues that deal with biological diversity and prepares students to play an active role in the maintenance of biological diversity.

Minor: Energy Engineering

The Energy Engineering Interdisciplinary Minor is designed to provide students in Engineering and the sciences with an understanding of renewable and non-renewable energy systems; clean energy technologies; basic principles of operation of energy extraction, conversion, storage, and transmission systems; and depth in current and new energy methods and applications (e.g., PV, batteries, biofuels, etc.).The goal of the program is to empower engineers and scientists to be technological catalysts for sustainable solutions to the grand challenges of energy.

Minor: Environmental Affairs

The Environmental Affairs interdisciplinary minor is designed for students with a particular interest in environmental topics, focusing on a core of social sciences and humanities courses that are supplemented with required science courses, as well as environmental electives from six colleges. Courses address domestic and international issues of concern with both current and historical perspectives, and will provide students with a well-rounded program of study. The program is open to all students and designed to be an additional component to the student’s major. CSU has environmental expertise and this program provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to broaden their education as they prepare themselves for environmental careers or graduate study.

Minor: Food Science/Safety

The Food Science/Safety interdisciplinary studies programs provide students with the interdisciplinary background necessary for understanding the roles and responsibilities of growers, producers, processors, retailers, consumers, and others working within the food system to ensure that food is safe and healthful. These programs are a cooperative effort by faculty from several departments and colleges within CSU who share a common interest in food quality and safety, and integrated production and processing.

Minor: Gerontology

The Gerontology Interdisciplinary Minor is a cooperative effort among faculty from different departments and colleges of CSU who share a common interest in gerontology, the study of human aging. The primary purpose of the interdisciplinary minor is to provide students with background academic knowledge and practicum/ internship experience to work effectively with and for older adults in a variety of settings, and to enter professions in which there is a need to combine insight and skills derived from their major with knowledge about older individuals and the aging process.

Minor: Global Environmental Sustainability

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) seeks to prepare students to meet today’s pressing environmental challenges. Using an interdisciplinary approach within a framework of sustainability, students will be led in innovative research leading to the knowledge and understanding needed to approach and solve problems of the human-environment interaction. SoGES’ vision encompasses laying the foundation and defining the principles and practices that will ensure long-term environmental sustainability, while continuing to meet the needs of people around the earth.

Minor: Information Science and Technology

This Interdisciplinary Minor is sponsored by five departments in different colleges across CSU: Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Journalism and Media Communication, and Psychology. The program is designed for students seeking a broad foundation in information technology, but not seeking to major in a specific information technology-related field.

Minor: Molecular Biology

The Molecular Biology Interdisciplinary Minor provides students with a strong, well-balanced background in the biological, physical, and mathematical sciences. It is ideally suited for undergraduates who wish to pursue advanced degrees in biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, or related life sciences; for pre-professional students in health-related fields; and for students interested in employment in the biotechnology industry. The program includes study of macromolecular structure and function; cellular biochemistry; metabolism; gene expression, DNA structure, replication, and repair; cell organization, communication, growth, aging, and death.

Minor: Organic Agriculture

The Organic Agriculture Interdisciplinary Minor is designed for students with an interest in alternative agricultural production approaches, in particular, organic agriculture. The focus of this program is on the science of organic agriculture with additional courses specifically focused on organic agriculture production techniques, business management, marketing, and decision making. Experiential learning is a critical part of this field of study and found in many levels in discussions, laboratories, and, most importantly, internship experiences.

Minor: Sustainable Energy

The interdisciplinary minor in Sustainable Energy offers undergraduate students, regardless of their major, an opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge of the many dimensions of sustainable energy. Students will complete 21 credits (at least 12 upper-division credits) in core and elective courses that are relevant to the technical, environmental, and social science issues as we transition to a sustainable energy future.

Minor: Sustainable Water

Water is a complex, interdisciplinary topic that is critical to our economic, societal, and environmental well-being. Issues surrounding water supply, water quality, and ecological relationships have become increasingly important in Colorado, the American West, and internationally as water demands increase. The complexity of these issues and competition among various water users demands that students interested in pursuing careers in water gain a broad introduction to the issues while specializing in a particular discipline. Colorado State University has developed considerable water resources expertise in many academic fields over the past century. The Sustainable Water Interdisciplinary Minor (SWIM) allows undergraduates to take advantage of this expertise and broaden their backgrounds regarding water resources in order to prepare for employment or graduate-level work.