Water Science and Engineering

The availability of usable freshwater is a fundamental requirement for drinking water, food production, power generation, and the extraction and processing of natural resources such as oil, gas, and minerals. Global demands for food, energy, and water are expected to rise by 60% by 2050. On a global scale, the availability and access to clean drinking water is the single largest factor affecting human health.

To help prepare students who will address these grand societal challenges, we offer a thesis-based and non-thesis based MS-degree in Water Science and Engineering (WSE). The WSE program integrates the expertise in Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Geology, Geological Engineering, and Biology to provide students with a tailored interdisciplinary experience. Students in the WSE degree program will take courses in the following focus areas (1) Engineering Hydrology, (2) Water Infrastructure and Remediation, (3) Water Resources and the Environment, and (4) Water Policy.

Master of Science

Water Science and Engineering

The Water Science and Engineering (WSE) Master of Science (MS) degree requires a total of 31 graduate credit hours beyond the B.S. degree for both thesis and non-thesis MS options.  We encourage applications from students with undergraduate degrees from one of the seven participating programs (Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Geology and Geophysics, and Geological Engineering) or closely related degree programs. Graduate certificates in Subsurface Water Resources and/or Surface Water Resources can serve as an entry point into the WSE program. 

The thesis option is comprised of the following:

  • Program Courses:  Students will select six courses (18hrs) from the Program Course List.  Students must take at least one course from three different course categories and also take at least  one course from three separate departments. Course categories include Engineering Hydrology, Water Infrastructure and Remediation, Water Resources and the Environment, and Water Policy.

  • Additional Courses: Students will select two courses (6 hrs) from a combination of existing and newly developed graduate courses that are relevant to their degree plans. These courses must be approved by their advisor in consultation with their thesis committee and will be chosen based on their specific career goals and interests.  

  • Graduate Seminar: Students will be required to take one hour of graduate seminar from any of the affiliated disciplines.

  • Thesis Research: Students will complete six hours of research credit.

The non-thesis option is identical to the thesis option except that the research hours are replaced with six hours of additional coursework. The non-thesis WSE MS-degree is offered both on campus and online.

Engineering Hydrology
CIV ENG 6331Advanced Hydraulics And Hydraulic Engineering3
CIV ENG 5338Hydrologic Engineering3
CIV ENG 5330Unsteady Flow Hydraulics3
CIV ENG 5331Hydraulics Of Open Channels3
CIV ENG 5333Intermediate Hydraulic Engineering3
CIV ENG 5337River Mechanics And Sediment Transport3
CIV ENG 6338Advanced Hydrology3
GEO ENG 5320Groundwater Modeling3
GEO ENG 5331Subsurface Hydrology3
GEO ENG 5332Fundamentals of Groundwater Hydrology3
Water Infrastructure and Remediation
CIV ENG 5335Water Infrastructure Engineering3
CIV ENG 6340Urban Hydrology3
CIV ENG 6335Hydraulic Structures3
BIO SCI 6463Bioremediation3
CHEM ENG 4210Biochemical Reactors3
CHEM ENG 5110Intermediate Chemical Reactor Design3
CIV ENG 5332Transport Processes in Environmental Flows3
CIV ENG 5360Water Resources And Wastewater Engineering3
ENV ENG 5630Remediation of Contaminated Groundwater And Soil3
ENV ENG 5635Phytoremediation and Natural Treatment Systems: Science and Design3
ENV ENG 5619Environmental Engineering Design3
ENV ENG 6612Biological Operations In Environmental Engineering Systems3
ENV ENG 6611Physicochemical Operations In Environmental Engineering Systems3
GEO ENG 6237Advanced Geological & Geotechnical Design For Hazardous Waste Mgt3
GEO ENG 5239Groundwater Remediation3
GEO ENG 5381Intermediate Subsurface Hydrology And Contaminant Transport Mechs3
Water Resources and the Environment
BIO SCI 4313Introduction to Environmental Microbiology3
BIO SCI 6313Environmental Microbiology3
BIO SCI 4383Toxicology3
BIO SCI 4363Freshwater Ecology3
BIO SCI 6363Advanced Freshwater Ecology3
BIO SCI 6383Advanced Toxicology3
CHEM ENG 5340Principles of Environmental Monitoring3
CHEM 4710Principles Of Environmental Monitoring3
CHEM 5710Environmental Monitoring3
ENV ENG 5605Environmental Systems Modeling3
ENV ENG 5642Sustainability, Population, Energy, Water, and Materials3
GEOLOGY 4431Methods Of Karst Hydrogeology3
GEOLOGY 4411Hydrogeology3
GEOLOGY 4451Aqueous Geochemistry3
GEO ENG 5153Regional Geological Engineering Problems In North America3
Water Policy
CIV ENG 5640Environmental Law And Regulations3
CIV ENG 5650Public Health Engineering3
POL SCI 4500Geopolitics and International Security3
POL SCI 4320Policy for Science, Technology, and Innovation3
ECON 4440Environmental And Natural Resource Economics3

A written thesis and formal thesis defense are required for thesis-based MS-degree students. Entrance requirements are equivalent to the baseline university graduate student admission standards. The GRE exam is not required for internal degree applicants.