Bachelor of Science

Geoarchaeology applies the concepts of geology, geography and other Earth sciences to examine archaeological problems. It provides evidence for the preservation and development of historic sites and physical landscapes, taking into consideration the impact of humans. Surrounded by one of the world’s great outdoor laboratories for geology including a 10,000-year-old archaeological site, Western is well positioned for the study of Geoarchaeology.

Program Overview

Explore the history of the physical Earth and its people.

If you’re interested in uncovering the history of the physical Earth and the societies that inhabited it, you’ll find your niche in the Geoarchaeology emphasis. You’ll gain a geoscience background to support archaeological studies including geologic history, past climates and landscapes that would have impacted societies. The program features a blend of Geology and Anthropology courses and offers fieldwork opportunities in both fields.

The Gunnison Basin is one of the most geologically diverse regions in the world, and Tenderfoot (aka “W”) Mountain, just one mile away from campus, is home to structures dating to the Paleo Indian period—more than 10,000 years ago. Through a combination of rigorous coursework and unparalleled research opportunities, Western Colorado University offers an ideal environment to prepare you for a career or graduate studies in environmental and climate science, policy analysis and research.

Unparalleled research opportunities

All students take to the field every semester on trips that provide an opportunity to visit and explore famous sites, including the Hopi Mesas, Great Sand Dunes, Canyon de Chelly and Arches National Park.


At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Code Title Credits Description
ANTH 107 Introduction to General Anthropology (GT-SS3) 3 View
ANTH 218 Physical Anthropology (with laboratory) 4 View
ANTH 219 Archaeology (with laboratory) 4 View
ANTH 230 Cultural Anthropology (with laboratory) 4 View
ANTH 333 Archaeology of Colorado 3 View
ANTH 469 Archaeology Field School 4 View
CHEM 101 Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry (GT-SC2) 3 View
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (GT-SC2) 3 View
CHEM 112 General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1) 1 View
GEOG 340 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3 View
GEOL 101 Physical Geology (GT-SC2) 3 View
GEOL 105 Physical Geology Laboratory (GT-SC1) 1 View
GEOL 201 Historical Geology (with laboratory) 4 View
GEOL 302 Geoscience Writing 2 View
GEOL 310 Stratigraphy and Sedimentation (with laboratory) 4 View
GEOL 320 Geomorphology (with laboratory) 4 View
GEOL 345 Structural Geology (with laboratory) 4 View
GEOL 420 Research in Geomorphology (with laboratory) 3 View
GEOL 450 Field Geology 4 View
GEOL 465 Research in Basin Analysis (with laboratory) 3 View
MATH 113 Statistical Thinking (GT-MA1) 3 View
MATH 213 Probability and Statistics 3 View


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.


Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 15 for 2021. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Board, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found here (click). Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Take your education beyond the classroom.

Get the hands-on learning experience you need to apply your knowledge and launch your career.

  • Fieldwork: Students explore the Elk, West Elk and San Juan ranges; the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gold Belt; the active tectonics of the Rio Grande Rift and more.
  • Geology Club: The Geology Club is active in fundraising for student experiences, including field trips and attending professional conferences.
  • Geology Scholarships and Awards: Four annual scholarships, from generous geology alumni donations, are awarded to geology students to help offset educational costs.
  • Research Funding: The Bartleson-Prather Fund provides students with scholarships and research stipends.

Geology + Anthropology

The Geoarchaeology program features a blend of Geology and Anthropology courses and offers vast fieldwork opportunities in both fields including the study of geologic history, past climates and landscapes that would have impacted societies.

Department Chairperson

Robin A. Bingham, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Administrative Assistant

Samantha Siegfried

Administrative Assistant for NES

Contact Information


Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Hurst Hall 128
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231