Undergraduate Degrees

TrincheraRanch NRRT431 April2015Colorado State University and the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources has been involved in the social aspects of natural resource conservation and recreation resource management since 1937, and we are very proud of our tradition and national/international reputation. 

We currently offer two majors:
Global Tourism
Natural Resource Tourism

Previously we offered one major with four concentrations.  The addition of our new HDNR major highlights the need to emphasize the social aspects of conservation issues, as the field of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources is one of the fastest growing in the natural resources sector. In addition to the new degree the department will retain the Natural Resource Tourism degree with concentrations in Global and Natural Resource Tourism.
The HDNR major seeks to accurately reflect the training students are receiving and will better prepare students for professional positions with public, private, and non-governmental organizations in the field of natural resource management and conservation.  This change ensures that students graduating with this new major can effectively communicate the depth of knowledge that they possess. The curricula for the new major will concentrate on communication, conservation, protected areas, stakeholder processes, environmental governance, planning and policy, ecosystem services, and public/private land management practices.
To speak to an advisor regarding switching to one of our majors go HERE.

Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Environmental issues are complex.  They require a wide gamut of competencies to be successfully addressed. The major in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources prepares students to examine conservation issues through a multi-disciplinary lens that takes into account an issue’s political, socio-economic and ecological dimensions.
Environmental issues affect people differently.  Students in the HDNR major gain skills to see a conservation issue through the eyes of varied stakeholders, to understand perspectives of an issue that may be different than their own, and how to work effectively with others in order to collaboratively address environmental issues.
Solutions to environmental issues required well-constructed plans. Students in HDNR acquire the skills to envision a desired conservation outcome, and then design a plan and identify the steps needed to help that outcome come to fruition. Environmental issues affect our natural environment, an environment which is often a source for physical, emotional and spiritual renewal. Majors in HDNR are encouraged to harness their passion for nature into skills and strategies to protect the places we love.
The HDNR major prepares students for a variety of jobs in conservation, with an emphasis on jobs that require strong interpersonal skills, leading others, and collaborating with people with diverse insights and opinions. These skills are transferable to a wide gamut of conservation jobs, such as an outdoor education instructor, park ranger for a protected area, or an associate with an environmental planning firm.

Curriculum Checklist ]
Elective List ]


Natural Resource Tourism

  • Global Tourism

Global tourism prepares students for careers with private, for-profit enterprises that provide services to tourists.

Additionally, opportunities can be found with some non-profit and governmental organizations in various countries. Specific jobs might include ecotourism operator, conference and event planner, marketing director, tourism information center director, park concession manager, and convention and visitor bureau director.

The curriculum is focused on a unique blend of subjects. Business and tourism topics provide students with planning, management, and entrepreneurship skills essential in the tourism industry. Because sustainable tourism requires a healthy natural environment, the environment is another area of study. Finally, students are provided cross-cultural experience by learning a second language, studying at a university abroad, and participating in an international internship.

[ Curriculum Checklist ]
Elective List ]


  • Natural Resource Tourism

Natural Resource tourism prepares students for careers in natural resource related tourism positions in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

Opportunities are available in resorts, tour companies, outfitting and guiding companies, major corporations, ecotourism companies, cruise lines, etc. Public sector opportunities are available with state travel and tourism offices, as well as national and international tourism offices. Non-profits such as travel and tourism bureaus, hotel and lodging associations, meeting planner groups, and ski/tour associations value natural resource tourism graduates.

The curriculum emphasizes courses in tourism management, marketing and planning, natural resources, business, and social science to develop appropriate skills for work in recreation and tourism enterprises.

Curriculum Checklist ]
Elective List ]

Independent Study and Study Abroad are also options.