A young woman in a bright floral-print beanie takes a sample of snow pack from a snow berm.

Snow Science

Gain a foundational understanding in subject matter core to the discipline of snow science before focusing on either snow mechanics or snow biology and geographic information systems.

Snow Science – B.S. in Earth Sciences, Snow Science Emphasis

At Montana State, students in the Snow Science track have one of the best laboratories in the nation in which to study: the Rocky Mountains. Alongside some of the most preeminent scientists in the field, students gain a foundational understanding of the distribution, mechanics and composition of snow before further defining their study before graduation. Snow scientists find careers in snow safety and consulting in land use planning, transportation and avalanche protection, as well as post-graduate study to further prepare for positions in the field.

The Earth Science major at Montana State offers four other Options Within the Major: Geography, Geology, Geographic Information Science (GIS)/Planning and Paleontology.






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Subzero Research Laboratory
Montana State’s Subzero Research Laboratory is one of the world's leading cold science research centers.

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Innovators In The Field
Montana State snow science pioneer Charles Bradley once conducted research that now underpins modern avalanche forecasting.

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Hands-On Experience
Snow Science students learn about avalanche causes in the field at local ski areas including Bridger Bowl and Big Sky.




Career Resources

Within their first year of graduation, more than 96% of Montana State graduates are employed, continuing their education or not seeking employment, and career guidance website Zippia consistently ranks MSU as the #1 school in the state where alumni are most likely to land jobs.

Career Coaching & Professional Skills Studio

Professional career coaches help students with their career exploration, employer networking opportunities and job or internship searches. They also critique resumes and help students practice job interviews. Additionally, the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success offers free workshops for students to develop the professional communication and collaboration skills that are highly sought after by employers.


Snow Science students at Montana State University go into careers such as:

  • Avalanche Protection
  • Snow Safety
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Land Use Planning

To explore more career possibilities, the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success has a variety of tools available, including self-assessment and working with career coaches.