The department offers a program leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) degree with a major in hydrology. The faculty offers competence in hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry, hydrometeorology, hydroclimatology, environmental hydrology, ground-water hydrology, surface-water hydrology, vadose zone hydrology, mathematical and statistical methods in hydrology (including stochastic and numerical modeling), water resources systems, and water resources policy.
The programs are designed for students with interests in the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the hydrologic cycle, as well as water resources systems, environmental studies, or water policy and the social sciences related to water resources. Students may concentrate in one or a combination of these fields but should acquire some proficiency in all aspects of hydrology and water resources. Research-based M.S. study programs are individually planned to meet the student's special interests and professional objectives.
For completion of combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees, course sequencing and timing is very important because enrollment for graduate-level courses is done while in undergraduate status and graduate status. Students should discuss course enrollment with the Director of Graduate Studies-Hydrology prior to enrolling while in both statuses.
The Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences offers graduate-level Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in three Majors: Atmospheric Sciences, Hydrology, and Hydrometeorology. You can read about the differences and similarities for these majors here.
To understand the depth and breadth of our teaching and research and learn how these complementary areas guide our efforts, read about our Research Focus Areas here.
Graduate Certificate: Available for Hydrology
Master of Science Non-Thesis Option: Available for Hydrology
Accelerated Master of Science: Combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science programs are available for the following combinations:
Doctoral Minors: Doctoral Minors are available for Atmospheric Sciences and Hydrology
You can find more information about these programs and review Program Guides and Summary Pages for all degree programs here.
College of Science
University of Arizona - Main - Tucson
Applications for Fall Semester admission must be completed by January 15.
Applications for Spring Semester admission must be completed by August 1 (for any student requiring a visa) or October 1 (for any student not requiring a visa).
If GRE scores are close to the minimum required, we recommend you apply. Other factors in your application may help mitigate this requirement.
Required: Applicants should upload required documents to the Graduate College application, including a Statement of Research Interests; a Resume or Curriculum Vitae; Three Letters of Recommendation (instructions provided); copy of Transcripts for all colleges and universities attended; Diploma Certificates (international applicants). All of these documents may be uploaded and attached to the Graduate College online application.
At the Graduate College website, click on Apply-Now to begin your application.
Undergraduate course prerequisites in science and mathematics must be completed with a grade of C (or equivalent) or higher. Grades of D or lower are considered to be deficient when applied to a graduate degree program. Courses include:
Physical Geology: 1 semester
College Chemistry: 2-semester sequence, Inorganic/Analytical
College Physics: 2-semester sequence, 1 course in Mechanics; 1 course in Electricity/Magnetism or Optics/Thermodynamics
Fluid mechanics: 1 semester
Mathematics: Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Vector Calculus, Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations
Engineering Statistics or Probability Theory: 1 semester
The GRE is not required for this program.
Graduate Assistantship in Research or Teaching
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program:
Minumum credits: 30
Core coursework: HWRS 517A Fundamentals of Water Quality
HWRS 518 Fundamentals in Subsurface Hydrology
HWRS 519 Fundamentals in Surface Hydrology
HWRS 528 Fundamentals: Systems Approach to Hydrologic Modeling
Language requirements: None
Advanced elective course work (12 units total) must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies-Hydrology. While the study of hydrology and water resources is interdisciplinary in nature, not all crosslisted courses in the catalog may be used in the Master's Plan of Study. (Crosslisted courses are those in which HWR is not the home department and the course instructors reside in other departments.) Students must complete at least 9 of 12 required units with HWRS Primary Faculty instructors. More information about required courses and pre-approved non-HWRS department courses is available in the HAS department's Master of Science Program Guide.
Potential courses include (3-unit Lecture format unless noted otherwise):
Advanced Elective Requirement
Advanced elective course work must be approved by the department. While the study of hydrology and water resources is interdisciplinary in nature, not all crosslisted courses may be used in the Master's Plan of Study. (Crosslisted courses are those in which HWR is not the home department, i.e. course instructors reside in another department.) The majority of course work must be completed with primary HWR department faculty members.
Field Methods-Field Synthesis Requirement
The following field methods-synthesis course sequence is required (3 units total):
HWRS 513A Field Methods (2 units) & HWRS 513B Field Synthesis (1 unit)
Professional Development Requirements (two requirements)
Enrollment in HWRS 595A section 001, the department's weekly colloquium, for a minimum of one semester. These units are not included in Master's Plan of Study.
Paper or poster presentation of Master's Thesis research at an approved regional or national conference. No academic credit is awarded for paper or poster presentation.
Final Examination Requirement
A final oral examination with the thesis director and two other approved faculty members is required. While the initial presentation may be open to the public (at the discretion of the student and his or her committee members), the examination by faculty committee, or defense of thesis, is closed.
Electronic submission of the Master's Thesis to the Graduate College and archival with ProQuest UMI is required. The department does not maintain a separate archive, although members of the student's faculty committee may request a copy of the manuscript.
Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for students who are pursuing this program of study.
This is an Accelerated Master's Program (AMP).
The Graduate College offers exceptional undergraduate students in selected majors the opportunity to earn both a bachelor's degree and master's degree in as few as 5 years. The Accelerated Master's Program is for the top undergraduates in participating majors who plan to continue in a graduate program in the same, or closely related, UA discipline.
Programs will select from among a qualified pool, based on the following criteria. Individual programs may have more stringent or additional requirements: