FB Pixel Skip to Main Content

STEM

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math at Western

Whether you’re a future doctor, engineer or ecologist, Western’s STEM programs will provide you with the skills and resources you need to succeed in any career. Our hands-on programs conducted in our backyard laboratory in the Rocky Mountains will provide you with unique educational opportunities and set you up for a fulfilling, lucrative career in dozens of professional fields.

Overview

Small class sizes to help you learn; big opportunities to help you grow.

Though Western prides itself on providing over 100 years of liberal arts education, we bring the same curiosity and creativity to our STEM fields. Our students are innovative problem-solvers who don’t just want to memorize facts; they want to put their knowledge to test in the field and contribute meaningful work that has long-lasting impact both during and beyond their undergraduate years. With a 16:1 student to faculty ratio, our small class sizes provide a safe space to ask individual questions, learn from mistakes, and get one-on-one guidance from faculty mentors for career and graduate school preparation.

No matter the area of study, our programs foster an eagerness to learn and help our students develop their inherent academic strengths to become well-rounded, analytical and resourceful scientists.

Practical learning

Many of Western’s STEM programs have a strong focus on lab work so students can turn theoretical knowledge into hands-on understanding.

A cutting-edge partnership

Founded through a generous $80 million donation from Western alumnus Paul M. Rady, the Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering offers two programs made possible through a collaborative effort with the University of Colorado Boulder. Students in the partnership programs spend their first two years as Western students and then transition into CU Boulder’s College of Engineering & Applied Science where they will earn their degree, all while remaining on Western’s campus. Students in these programs enjoy small class sizes, one-on-one attention from faculty and access to state-of-the-art lab equipment in the newly constructed, 75,000 square foot Rady Building. Eligible students can apply for a full-tuition scholarship for their first two years in the partnership program to offset costs lessen student debt upon graduation.

Access to industry technology

Opened in 2021, Western’s Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science & Engineering provides lab spaces with the most up-to-date software and engineering equipment.

Areas of Study

actuarial science

Actuarial Science

Emphasis

Actuarial Science
Anthropology degree program, table with bones displayed

Anthropology

Major | Minor

Anthropology
Teacher writing on whiteboard for students in class

Applied Physics/Pre-Engineering

Major

Applied Physics/Pre-Engineering
Girl student examining her work in the lab

Biochemistry

Emphasis

Biochemistry
STEM

Biology

Major | Minor | Secondary Licensure

Biology
Cell biology

Cell & Molecular Biology

Emphasis

Cell & Molecular Biology
Chemistry

Chemistry

Major | Minor | Secondary Licensure

Chemistry
Clinical Exercise Science

Clinical Exercise Science

Emphasis

Clinical Exercise Science
Computer science

Computer Science

Major | Minor

Computer Science
Computer science

Computer Science – University of Colorado Partnership

Major

Computer Science – University of Colorado Partnership
Girl sitting on ground typing on laptop

Data Analytics

Minor

Data Analytics
Environmental Biology Ecology

Environmental Biology & Ecology

Emphasis

Environmental Biology & Ecology
Geology

Environmental Geology

Emphasis

Environmental Geology
Environmental Science

Environmental Science

Minor

Environmental Science
Exercise sport science

Exercise & Sport Science

Major | Minor | K-12 Licensure

Exercise & Sport Science
STEM

Fisheries & Aquatic Ecology

Emphasis

Fisheries & Aquatic Ecology
NEW
Geoarchaeology

Geoarchaeology

Emphasis

Geoarchaeology
Geology

Geology

Major | Minor | Secondary Licensure

Geology
STEM

Health & Fitness

Emphasis

Health & Fitness
Information Security

Information Security

Emphasis

Information Security
STEM

M.S. in Ecology 3+2

Accelerated Degree Programs

M.S. in Ecology 3+2
STEM

M.S. in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP) 3+2

Accelerated Degree Programs

M.S. in Exercise & Sport Science: High Altitude Exercise Physiology (HAEP) 3+2
Mathematics

Mathematics

Major | Minor | Secondary Licensure

Mathematics
Mechanical engineering

Mechanical Engineering – University of Colorado Partnership

Major

Mechanical Engineering – University of Colorado Partnership
STEM

Nutrition Science

Major | Minor

Nutrition Science
Petroleum Geology

Petroleum Geology

Emphasis

Petroleum Geology
Physics

Physics

Minor

Physics
Pre-nursing

Pre-Health Advising

Advising Program

Pre-Health Advising
Pre-Nursing

Pre-Nursing

Emphasis

Pre-Nursing
Pre-Physical Therapy

Pre-Physical Therapy

Emphasis

Pre-Physical Therapy
Psychology Program Western

Psychology

Major | Minor

Psychology
STEM

Scientific Computing

Emphasis

Scientific Computing
Computer science

Software Engineering

Emphasis

Software Engineering
Web design

Web Design & Development – Computer Science

Minor

Web Design & Development – Computer Science
STEM

Wildlife & Conservation Biology

Emphasis

Wildlife & Conservation Biology

Scholarships

Eligibility

  • An outstanding undergraduate student who is majoring in Geology

Description

This scholarship is provided by Paul Rady, Peter Dea & Barrett Resources Corporation.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Geology Department Scholarship Committee.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Applied or accepted Western student
  • Student is pursuing a major in Mathematics or related Natural Sciences
  • Applicant has demonstrated a need for financial assistance
  • Demonstrated an interest and is active in inter-collegiate athletics
  • Preference should be given to entering first-year students, however all classes are eligible
  • Preference should be given to applicants whose study time is limited by family obligations or the need to earn income
  • No preference shall be given based on the sex of the applicant
  • Preference will be given to applicant from Delta County, CO. or the Western Slope of Colorado

Description

Established with the Western Colorado University Foundation to perpetuate the memory of William Charlesworth, a 1954 graduate of Western Colorado University. The express purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to student-athletes pursuing majors in mathematics or related natural sciences.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected By: The chair of Mathematics and Computer Science and a representative from the Athletic Department appointed by the Athletic Director. A representative from the Natural Sciences Department shall be on the selection committee.

Application:

Contact the Mathematics & Computer Science Department or the Athletic Department for application and deadline information.

Mathematics & Computer Science Department: 970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128
Athletic Department: 970.943.2079 | Paul Wright Gym 201.

Eligibility

  1. Enrolled in undergraduate or graduate study in the Biology Department.
  2. Demonstrates the skills to advance professionally in either the fields of biology, or environmental studies and science.
  3. Highly regarded by WCU academic faculty.

Description

Mr. David Schneck majored in biology at Western during the 1980’s. David was an exemplary undergraduate student who demonstrated the above criteria. David continued his education earning his graduate degree in 1989 with a Magna cum Lade Master of Arts and Sciences in Biology. Professionally, David served as a very successful Environmental Health Director for San Miguel County in southwest Colorado. Moreover, David was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt, fish, hike, and ski. Additionally, he was an animal lover, especially of his favorite pets. Among his friends and colleagues, David will be remembered as a humorous and kind person who loved the natural environment and who respected the laws and nature of science.

Application

 

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship

This scholarship is available to Exercise & Sport Science (ESS) majors with demonstrated excellence in academics and outstanding achievement in personal fields.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • ESS Major
  • Junior or senior class standing
  • 3.0 Minimum GPA
  • Demonstrated excellence in academics
  • Show outstanding achievement in four of the following:
    • Special talents
    • Leadership
    • Obstacles overcome
    • Community service
    • Unique endeavors
Application Procedures:
  • A written letter of application – please include local address
  • Unofficial transcript (may use DegreeWorks)
  • Two letters of recommendation from Western faculty or staff
    • Letters must NOT be from ESS department members
    • At least one letter must be from a faculty member
  • Essay addressing at least four of the five areas listed above

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship is Provided by:

Ernest Degutis

Amount depends on fund availability.

Scholarship Recipients Selected by:

Western Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science (RESS) Faculty.

Completed applications must be turned in to Terri in the RESS Department office in Wright Gym no later than the second Friday of April for the upcoming academic calendar year.

Eligibility

  • Full-time student
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher
  • At least sophomore status
  • Must demonstrate an interest and capability to pursue studies and/or research in the area of botany and native plant research (Biology)
  • Preference will be given to those with financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by the family and friends to honor Dr. Ferchau for the never-ending assistance he gave to students at Western.

Award depends on funds available (anticipated award $2400).

Selected by: Sciences Scholarship Selection Committee

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Geology majors who are committed to the timely and enthusiastic pursuit of a Geology degree
  • Must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher

Description

This scholarship is provided by Art H. Menzer.

Amount: $500

Selected by: Western Colorado University Geology Faculty

Application:

Geology faculty review Geology majors for consideration. Contact the Department of Natural & Environmental Sciences for additional information. 970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Woman Physical Education or Recreation major at Western
  • Must have completed a minimum of one year in residence at Western
  • Must be a Junior or Senior (ie., will have completed at least 64 semester hours at the completion of the spring semester in which the award is to be granted, but will not be graduated at the completion of that same semester).
  • Must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 at time of selection.
  • Must have exhibited leadership in intramurals, the intercollegiate program or other departmental activities.
  • Must have demonstrated professional promise in the field of Physical Education or Recreation.

Description

This award has been established in honor of Miss Hannah E. Praxl, in recognition of her long and illustrious service as a member of the Division of HPER at Western. The contributions made by Miss Praxl during her tenure at Western were many. In addi­tion to her everyday duties as professor of Physical Education and Counselor and advisor to many students, Miss Praxl contributed much time and effort in working with the Women’s Recreation Association, the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, and numerous local, state, regional and national organizations associated with the development and promotion of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Following retirement, a number of friends, faculty, and alumni have endeavored to establish a suitable award in honor of Miss Praxl, and to be known as the “Hannah E. Praxl Award.” Award for Outstanding Woman Athlete.

Application

A list of all women students majoring in Physical Education and Recreation and whose grade point averages meet the 3.2 criteria, or are close enough that they could meet the criteria at the completion of the spring semester, will be submitted to the selection committee for consideration. This list will be given to the committee as soon after April 15 as possible, with instructions that the recipient be determined by May 1.

The selection committee shall be composed of the women Physical Education staff members, the Division Chairman, and any other Division HPER staff members, as determined by the committee.

DEADLINE DATE: April 15 of each academic year; selection by May 1

Eligibility

  • Students majoring in Computer Information Science
  • Completed a minimum of 12 credit hours at Western, 3 of which can be applied toward their majors
  • Must have minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Plan on enrolling in at least nine credits

Description

This scholarship is provided by Stephen Watson.

Amount: $500

Selected by: Math and Computer Science Scholarship Committee

Application:

Contact the Mathematics & Computer Science Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Full-time students who are majoring in Geology, Environment & Sustainability, Environmental Biology or a related field.
  • Must be a junior level (60+ credits)
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Preference given to students with financial need who are residents of the Western Slope of Colorado and have expressed interest in a career in park operations/park management or a career in the earth sciences

Description

This scholarship is provided by Barbara Kastellic and gifts from others to honor Joseph, who was the first Superintendent of the Black Canyon National Monument from 1975-1984.

Award depends on funds available.

Application:

Complete and submit The Joseph A. Kastellic Scholarship application which is available in the Financial Aid Office.

A recommendation and a one-page essay will be needed to complete the application.

Eligibility

  • Students majoring in Biology or Chemistry

Description

This scholarship is provided by the family and friends of Aubrey W. Lawrence who served as Professor of Chemistry and Chairman of the Division of Natural Science and Mathematics.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Science Scholarship Selection Committee.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Recipient must be a full-time junior or senior
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • must be engaged in pre-medical studies

Description

This scholarship is provided by Dr. Mason Light, who served the college community for over forty years while he was a practicing physician in Gunnison. He and his wife established this scholarship.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Donor Scholarship Committee (Family of Mason Light) in cooperation with Western Colorado University Foundation and the Director of Financial Aid.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Students majoring in Geology
  • Demonstrate academic promise and financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by Marquerite Davidson.

Award depends on funds available

Selected By: Geology Faculty

Application:

Applicants must write a letter stating their interest in Geology and explaining their financial need. Contact the Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences for additional information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Full-time juniors or seniors (qualified juniors shall be given preference over seniors)
  • Must be declared major in the Natural and Environmental Sciences Department
  • Must maintain at least 3.2 GPA
  • Recipients must follow Casey’s example of academic promise, love for the outdoors and service to fellow students demonstrated by volunteering in the community and involvement in campus activities and service.

Description

this scholarship is provided by the gifts by Bill and Monica McKenny, Casey’s parents, as well as other family members and friends.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Natural & Environmental Sciences faculty in consultation with the Dean of Students and Bill and Monica McKenny.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Students majoring in Geology who have completed their junior year of study at Western Colorado University
  • Must be able to demonstrate high GPA and leadership potential within the field of geology

Description

This scholarship is provided by the parents and friends of Valerie Mitchell who died in an accident at the end of her junior year.

Award depends on funds available. (Anticipated award $200)

Selected by: Western Colorado University Geology Faculty.

Application:

Geology faculty review geology majors for consideration. Contact the Department of Natural & Environmental Sciences for additional information. 970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Learn more about Western’s Geology Program.

Eligibility

  • Students majoring in Geology
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Must have academic promise and financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by Richard W. and Belva Moyle.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Western Colorado University Geology Faculty.

Application:

Contact the Department of Natural and Environmental Sciences for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Learn more about Western’s Geology Program.

Eligibility

  • Full-time Colorado residents who have a major in a field within the Natural & Environmental Science Department
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 minimum
  • Demonstrate financial need

Description

This scholarship is provided by Dr. James Nauman, who attended Western from 1945-49.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: Sciences Scholarship Selection Committee.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Eligibility

  • Must have a clearly defined interest in pursuing a profession within healthcare. Fields of interest may include, but are not limited to, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, registered dietitian nutritionist, etc.
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (non-weighted)
  • Preference will be given to female students
  • Preference will be given to under-represented minorities
  • Preference will be given to first generation students
  • Preference will be given to students that attend a Preview Day and healthcare networking event (date announced annually)

Description

This scholarship serves to celebrate Erich and Beth Ferchau’s and their friends’ commitment to the University and their desire to contribute to the success of pre-health students at Western. The scholarship may be awarded to up to two incoming freshman. Students who maintain eligibility may receive this scholarship for up to 4 years.

Amount

$2500 per year

Application

For application and deadline information, contact Emily McMahill at 970.943.2311 or emcmahill@western.edu.

Eligibility

GPA Award amount per year (In-State) Award amount per year (Out-of-State)
3.50-3.749 $3,500 $9,000
3.75-3.999 $5,000 $10,500
4.0 $6,500 $12,000
  • Accepted to Western by January 31, 2023
  • Declared major in the Computer Science or Mechanical Engineering partnership programs by March 31, 2023
  • Eligible for MATH 151-Calculus 1 (via ACT math score of 27 or above, SAT math score of 630 or above, ALEKS test score of 76 or above, or applicable AP/IB/Concurrent Enrollment credit) by July 1, 2023

Renewal Criteria

  • Remain in the partnership program
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Earn grades of “B-” or higher in a two-course, college-level sequence in calculus (MATH 151, MATH 251, MATH 252)
  • Earn grades of “B-” or higher in one college-level physical science course (PHYS 200, PHYS 201, CHEM 111+112, CHEM 121)

Description

The Rady Merit Scholarship can be awarded for a maximum of 6 semesters, while the student is considered a full-time Western student (enrolled in 12 credits or more) and Western is processing the student’s financial aid. The number of scholarships awarded is based on fund availability.

Eligibility

  • Full-time students who have declared a major in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics

Description

This scholarship is provided by the gifts from members of the Walker family to perpetuate the memory and to commemorate the service and devotion of C. Ralph and Florence Walker, who both served Western and the Gunnison community in an exemplary manner for many years. Professor Walker was Chairman of Western’s then Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by:Sciences Scholarship Selection Committee.

Application:

Contact the Natural & Environmental Sciences Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2015 | Hurst Hall 128

Get In Touch

Flynn Guerrieri, our Regional Director of STEM Recruitment and Promotions, is happy to answer any questions you have about our STEM offerings, scholarship opportunities, ways to visit campus, how to set up a one-on-one meeting with faculty and more! Email fguerrieri@western.edu or click the link below to set up a virtual counselor meeting.

Schedule a virtual meeting

Take the Next Step

Apply to
Western

Apply to
Western

We understand that applying to a university can be daunting, which is why we make our admission process as simple and straightforward as possible. Learn more about applying to your program of choice at Western.

Visit
Western

Visit
Western

The best way to find out what makes Western such a special place is to experience it for yourself. Our student-led tours give you an insider’s perspective on everything from academics to student life.

Alumni
Community

Alumni
Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.

Request
Information

Request
Information

Want to discover more about Western? Request information today to get in touch with the admissions team.