Hydrologic Sciences

The CU-Boulder Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Program focuses on quantitative studies of water in the environment including its role in geologic and biogeochemical processes, ecosystem functions, and global elemental cycling. The program is interdisciplinary and interdepartmental. It is intended for science and engineering graduate students, both currently enrolled and prospective. It allows students to obtain recognition for their accomplishments in hydrologic sciences and demonstrates the quantitative multidisciplinary education desired by many prospective employers.

Students can choose to enroll for a full Hydrologic Sciences PhD degree or obtain a hydrologic sciences graduate certificate while concurrently obtaining a master’s or doctoral degree in an associated academic department. Prerequisites and course requirements are identical for the PhD degree and graduate certificate. 

Students are members of the broader CU-Boulder Geophysical Sciences Program, which has two specialization options: solid-Earth geophysics and hydrologic sciences. All hydrologic sciences students are admitted through one of the participating departments: civil, environmental, and architectural engineering; ecology and evolutionary biology; environmental studies; geography; or geological sciences.

Students may apply for admission either concurrently with their application to one of the participating departments or after admission by a department. The program is designed to encourage students with a variety of undergraduate backgrounds to enter the field. Nevertheless, all students in the program must have a substantial background in math and physics, including fluid dynamics. At the time of acceptance, the student will be informed of any undergraduate deficiencies that they will need to address within the first year in the program. 

Most hydrologic sciences students conduct research with participating departments, research institutes, and centers (e.g., INSTAAR), or partner government agency labs in the Boulder area (e.g., USGS and NOAA). Primary supervision of the student’s research may be provided by any faculty member approved by the department.

Additional information is available at hydrosciences.colorado.edu/about/index.php, or by contacting the Graduate Coordinator, Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Program, University of Colorado Boulder, 450 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0450, hydrgrd@colorado.edu.