Earn a Master's Degree in Water Science and Engineering

Are you ready to explore beyond your science or engineering background into water-related education and research?

Our existing foundational master of science programs, including geological engineering and environmental engineering, are comprehensive in nature, but only our new water science and engineering master’s degree offers specialized expertise in water resources.

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Degree Information

We offer a thesis-based and non-thesis-based master's 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.

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 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 (18 credit hrs) from the Program Course List. Students must take at least 1 course from three different course categories and also take at least 1 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 credit 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.

A written thesis and formal thesis defense are required for thesis-based MS-degree students. There are no requirements for non-thesis students. Entrance requirements are equivalent to the baseline university graduate student admission standards. The GRE exam will not be required for internal degree applicants.

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 6331 Advanced Hydraulics And Hydraulic Engineering (LEC 3.0)
  • CIV ENG 5338 Hydrologic Engineering (LEC 3.0)
  • CIV ENG 5330 Unsteady Flow Hydraulics (LEC 3.0)
  • CIV ENG 5331 Hydraulics Of Open Channels (LEC 3.0)
  • CIV ENG 5333 Intermediate Hydraulic Engineering (LEC 3.0)
  • CIV ENG 5337 River Mechanics And Sediment Transport (LEC 3.0)
  • CIV ENG 6338 Advanced Hydrology (LEC 3.0)
  • GEO ENG 5320 Groundwater Modeling (LEC 3.0)
  • GEO ENG 5331 Subsurface Hydrology (LEC 3.0)
  • GEO ENG 5332 Fundamentals of Groundwater Hydrology (LEC 3.0)

Water Infrastructure and Remediation

  • CIV ENG 5335 Water Infrastructure Engineering (LAB 1.0 and LEC 2.0)
  • CIV ENG 6340 Urban Hydrology (LEC 3.0)
  • CIV ENG 6335 Hydraulic Structures (LEC 3.0)
  • BIO SCI 6463 Bioremediation (LEC 3.0)
  • CHEM ENG 4210 Biochemical Reactors (LEC 3.0)
  • CHEM ENG 5110 Intermediate Chemical Reactor Design (LEC 3.0)
  • CIV ENG 5332 Transport Processes in Environmental Flows (LEC 3.0)
  • CIV ENG 5360 Water Resources And Wastewater Engineering (LEC 3.0)
  • ENV ENG 5630 Remediation of Contaminated Groundwater And Soil (LEC 2.0 and LAB 1.0)
  • ENV ENG 5635 Phytoremediation and Natural Treatment Systems (LEC 3)
  • ENV ENG 5619 Environmental Engineering Design (LAB 1.0 and LEC 2.0)
  • ENV ENG 6612 Biological Operations In Environmental Engineering Systems (LEC 3.0)
  • ENV ENG 6611 Physicochemical Operations In Environmental Engineering Systems (LEC 3.0)
  • GEO ENG 6237 Advanced Geological & Geotechnical Design For Hazardous Waste Mgt (LEC 3.0)
  • GEO ENG 5239 Groundwater Remediation (LEC 3.0)
  • GEO ENG 5381 Intermediate Subsurface Hydrology And Contaminant Transport Mechs (LEC 3.0)

Water Resources and the Environment

  • BIO SCI 4313 Introduction to Environmental Microbiology (LEC 3.0)
  • BIO SCI 6313 Environmental Microbiology (LEC 3.0)
  • BIO SCI 4383 Toxicology (LEC 3.0)
  • BIO SCI 4363 Freshwater Ecology (LEC 3.0)
  • BIO SCI 6363 Advanced Freshwater Ecology (LEC 3.0)
  • BIO SCI 6383 Advanced Toxicology (LEC 3.0)
  • CHEM ENG 5340 Principles Of Environmental Monitoring (LEC 3.0)
  • CHEM 4710 Principles Of Environmental Monitoring (LEC 3.0)
  • CHEM 5710 Environmental Monitoring (LEC 3.0)
  • ENV ENG 5605: Environmental Systems Modeling (LEC 3.0)
  • ENV ENG 5642 Sustainability, Population, Energy, Water, and Materials (LEC 3.0)
  • GEOLOGY 4431 Methods Of Karst Hydrogeology (LEC 3.0)
  • GEOLOGY 4411 Hydrogeology (LEC 3.0)
  • GEOLOGY 4451 Aqueous Geochemistry (LEC 3.0)
  • GEO ENG 5153 Regional Geological Engineering Problems In North America (LEC 3.0)

Water Policy

  • CIV ENG 5640 Environmental Law and Regulations (LEC 3.0)
  • CIV ENG 5650 Public Health Engineering (LEC 3.0)
  • POLY SCI 4500 Geopolitics and International Security (LEC 3.0)
  • POLY SCI 4320 Policy for Science, Technology, and Innovation (LEC 3.0)
  • ECON 4440 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (LEC 3.0)

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Your Career in Water Science and Engineering

You will be prepared to tackle the interdisciplinary nature of water resource problems and graduate with the tools and the depth of knowledge to be a trailblazer in highly-competitive industry positions. 

Industry leaders have expressed their need for a workforce that possesses a deep understanding of water-related challenges, which includes knowledge of water policy, water science and engineering. You will have additional exposure to management, regulatory interactions and remediation of water resources, and the design of infrastructure associated with water resources such as dams, levees and treatment plants.

$97,545

Combined median salary of careers according to
Bureau of Labor and Statistics

 

5.25%

Employment growth of combined careers according to
Bureau of Labor and Statistics

 

Student analyzing a screen filter

Career Fields

  • Natural Science Manager
  • Hydrologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental Engineer

Companies that Hire

  • Burns & McDonnell
  • Black & Veatch
  • Golder Associates
  • Federal and state agencies
  • Environmental consulting companies

Research in Water Science and Engineering

research-in-WSE

Satisfy your natural curiosity by working with our world-class faculty in an exciting multidisciplinary approach to research.

Each thesis-based master’s student in Water Science and Engineering will receive support and guidance from a research advisor who best matches individual research interests. You will choose an advisor from research areas such as water quality and resources, remote sensing and geophysics, groundwater remediation, water treatment, environmental microbiology, and analytical chemistry.

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Information for Future Students