Are you a working professional employed by a consulting firm, utility, government, or regulatory agency? Are you a graduate student who already has or is working toward an MS or PhD degree? Do you want to stand out from other young professionals in a water profession? It is taught by senior water professionals from accross the country.

Boost your career by earning a graduate certificate in Water Engineering and Management (WE&M). This program provides the skills and tools demanded by the rigors of the water profession earning you a graduate certificate in 12 to 18 months.

For students who begin with seeking continuing education credits or certificate enrollment, course credits can be utilized in the pursuit of the Water Engineering & Management (WE&M) Professional Master of Science degree or a master’s degree in civil or environmental engineering, following the rules established by the Graduate School for transfer credit.

Program Goals:

The WE&M Certificate program is designed to help young professionals to succeed in the business of water and position themselves for mid-career advancement by:

  • Demonstrating a general understanding of the worldwide water profession, short- and long-term trends, and the factors likely to drive organization and individual success;
  • Demonstrating general water business acumen sufficient to distinguish between effective business decision-making and technical/functional decision-making;
  • Demonstrating the ability to work collaboratively in functionally and culturally diverse teams;
  • Building a career foundation based on credibility, confidence, and ethics, beginning to cultivate a personal brand.

Curriculum Summary

  • Includes courses on leadership, management, communication, finance and governance.
  • Courses are delivered on campus and include live-streamed or recorded options online for working professionals and distance students.
  • Complete three core courses and an additional elective to earn a certificate from the University of Colorado Boulder Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering.

CVEN 5564: Water Profession - Communication and Utility Finance
This course aims to build skills needed to meet current and future challenges in the water profession. The communications content provides important tools for leadership and communication at all levels, externally and internally. Utility Finance includes reading financial statements, financial planning, capital improvement plans, and rate setting by water utilities.


CVEN 5574: Water Utility Management - Current Issues and Future Challenges
The course objectives include: learning how public utilities manage water supply and environmental services; how they work with their constituencies and each other; and what leadership is required to meet future challenges. Also, a unique sustainable and renewable case study is an opportunity for students to apply the course principles for plan implementation. The course focuses on many of the humanistic challenges for consulting, utility and regulatory agencies.

CVEN 5584: Water Profession - Utility Leadership and Management
This course provides an opportunity to examine leadership and management within water organizations. Topics that are covered include emotional intelligence, habits and traits of good leaders, strategic planning, decision-making, critical thinking, mentoring, facilitation, and interpersonal communication.

CVEN 5147: Civil Engineering Systems - Engineering Economics and System Design

CVEN 5834: Special Topics - Small System Water/Wastewater Treatment

CVEN 5834: Special Topics - Water Reuse Planning and Implementation

PUAD 5631: Seminar in Environmental Politics and Policy

Other electives with permission of WE&M Program Director

Certificate courses count towards the Master Science (MS) degree in Civil Engineering, the Master of Science (MS) degree in Environmental Engineering or the Master of Engineering (ME) degree in Engineering Management.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree in engineering or related field
  • Convey an understanding of the water profession in a one page personal statement.

  • Is there a deadline to apply to the WE&M ​certificate?
    There are no application deadlines to apply to the WEM certificate program.
  • Are there prerequisites for the program?
    An undergraduate degree in any academic field from an accredited institution is required.
  • I'm currently enrolled in a graduate program at CU and want to pursue the certificate. How do I apply?
  1. Complete the WE&M Certificate Application form.
  2. Submit the above items to the Graduate Program Advisor.

Once your application materials are reviewed, you will receive an admission response. 

  • I just want to try a course or pursue the certificate as a non-degree seeking student. How do I apply?
  1. Submit the following items to the Graduate Program Advisor

​​​a. Certificate Application form

b. One-page personal statement of purpose describing how participating in the Water Engineering Management certificate program will further your career or academic employment; your understanding of the water profession; and your area of interest (drinking water, wastewater or reuse).

2. Complete the non-degree graduate registration application and enroll through the Continuing Education ACCESS program. Once your application is processed and approved, you will receive a student ID number that you will need to complete the process. Once your application materials are reviewed you will receive an admission response. 

Meg Parker"There are no comparable certificates or degrees to the WE&M program. The faculty throughout the department genuinely want to see you succeed. The wide range of practical water related topics, and expert speakers from throughout the water sector, played a large role in my decision to attend the program. " Meg Parker, 2019 WE&M Graduate, Denver Metro employee

"The WE&M program is a unique opportunity to obtain skills critical for success in the water profession. Through the program, I have had the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the best and most experienced professionals in the industry. The skills taught in the WE&M courses have allowed me to become a much more well-rounded engineer, which is something employers are quick to recognize. The lessons learned from the WE&M program have changed the way that I interact with coworkers every day in the workplace." Alex Sofranko, 2020 WE&M Graduate, intern at Denver Water

"The Water Engineering and Management Program at CU Boulder is a great blend of technical and soft skills. The distance learning options allowed me to continue working while pursuing my degree. I was able to implement the soft skills learned immediately at work. The technical classes built upon each other providing me with a strong foundation in the water industry." John McCarl, 2019 WE&M Graduate, employee Lockheed Martin