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Hydrometeorology (MS) 
Program Description

The Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona now offer the nation’s first graduate degree programs (MS, PhD) with a Major in Hydrometeorology. Faculty members in a variety of focus areas advise students, provide research opportunities, and teach courses for these degree programs. Refer to the list of Core Faculty and list of Focus Areas below for potential advisors.

Core Faculty:

Focus Areas in Terrestrial Hydrometeorology:


The terrestrial water cycle includes the atmospheric component (water vapor, clouds, and precipitation) and the land component (surface and subsurface runoff, infiltration, evapotranspiration, snowmelt, river flow). Hydrometeorology plays a major role in weather and climate and strongly affects human activities.

Historically, the science and practice of hydrology has focused on land-related processes and has relied on prescribed atmospheric inputs (from observations or atmospheric model outputs, or through empirical estimates derived from conventional meteorological measurements). In other words, the land-generated feedbacks to the atmosphere have usually not been considered. In contrast, while the atmospheric sciences generate hydrologically-relevant forecasts, they tend to avoid dealing with the details of processes influencing feedbacks generated by the land surface.

Nature and Purpose of Program

The Major in Hydrometeorology provides the linkage of hydrology and atmospheric science. In establishing this linkage, it addresses the following questions:

  • What is the science involved with the interface of water in the atmosphere and water on the ground?
  • What are the ramifications for predictive capabilities when these processes are incorporated into coupled numerical weather and climate models?
  • What are the new applications in water quality (and how are water quality issues linked to precipitation and related run off issues)?
  • How is the full understanding of the hydrologic cycle from "white water" to "blue water" (from precipitation to streams to ocean to water vapor to precipitation) related to the advancements in prediction and related societal benefits that link back to the water quality issue?

The purpose of the UA Hydrometeorology Program is to become the first and premier Hydrometeorology program in the World. Our mission is to:

  • Educate students by providing them with (1) a well-rounded background in the related fields of atmospheric, hydrologic and systems sciences, (2) the tools and methods for numerical modeling, prediction and data assimilation (surface hydrology, weather and climate), and (3) the sensors, data sources and data manipulation tools, including remote-sensing and geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Partner with various national and international weather and climate forecasting agencies to identify critical hydrometeorological knowledge gaps, to support, encourage, and facilitate research in multidisciplinary hydrometeorological science, and to work towards improved forecasts and forecast support (particularly over arid and semiarid regions, such as the Western US), and
  • Serve the hydrometeorological science and operational communities by coordinating meetings and workshops seeking to build consensus related to hydrometeorological science and to assist in the transfer of advances in understanding into the decision-making arena.
Department/Academic Unit(s)

Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences

College of Science  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Guadalupe V Romero
Graduate Program Coordinator
Guadalupe V Romero
Director of Graduate Studies
Guo-Yue Niu
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Kristi R Davenport
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

Submit all required application materials, including letters of recommendation, electronically with the Graduate College application. Paper applications are no longer accepted.

Request that official reports of the GRE exam and the TOEFL exam scores be reported to the University of Arizona (University Code 4832). Department or major codes are not required because all scores reported to the University of Arizona are accessible by all departments.

If you have questions about research, refer to the Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences *Education/Graduate) website. Select a Faculty Advisor in your focus area of interest and contact that Faculty Member:

If you have questions about, or problems with, the Graduate College electronic application, including electronic submission of letters of recommendation, contact the staff member for Hydrometeorology in the HAS department.

Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
Ms. Lupe Romero, Graduate Coordinator, Hydrometeorology or 520-621-6831

Standardized Tests

Required test(s): GRE
Minimum GRE Quantitative: 157
Minimum GRE Written: 4.5
Minimum TOEFL: 550 or 9
Minimum IELTS: 7

Financial Aid

Graduate Assistantship in Research or Teaching
Scholarship Awards

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: February 1

International Applicants:

  • Fall: January 15
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Minimum credits: 33
1 year college chemistry sequence
1 year college physics sequence
1 course in fluid mechanics or aerodynamics
1 course in calculus-based statistics for physical sciences or engineering
Math courses: calculus 1, calculus 2, vector calculus, introductory differential equations


  • ATMO 541A Dynamic Meteorology I (3 units)
  • ATMO 551A Physical Meteorology I (3 units)
  • HWRS 519 Fundamentals in Surface Water Hydrology (3 units)
  • HWRS 524 Hydroclimatology (3 units)



Students must take 6 units from each of the three areas listed below

1) Numerical Weather and Climate Prediction (6 units)

  • ATMO 558 Mesoscale Meteorological Modeling (3 units)
  • ATMO 579 Boundary Layer Meteorology (3 units)                
  • ATMO 551B Dynamic Meteorology II (3 units)
  • ATMO 570/571Synoptic Meteorology (3 units)

2) Systems Science and Methods (6 units)

  • HWRS 528 Fund. Systems Approach to Hydrologic Modeling   (3 units)
  • ATMO 545 Intro to Data Assimilation (3 units)

3) Data Sciences (6 units)

  • ARL 590 Remote Sensing for the Study of Planet Earth (3 units)
  • ATMO 529 Objective Analysis in Atmos. and Related Sciences (3 units)
  • HWRS 513A Field Hydrology (3 units)
  • CE 528 Numerical methods in Hydraulics (3 units)


*If the elective courses are not offered in a particular semester, the student may take an alternative related course after approval of his/her Advisor.


Students are required to take a minimum 3 units of ATMO/HWRS 910 for thesis research credit.

*If the elective course is not offered in a particular semester (e.g. if instructor is on sabbatical leave), the student may take an alternative related course after approval by his/her faculty advisor.

**Consult faculty advisor for details

Other requirements: A master's-level research project is required which should result in publication (preferred) or a master's thesis. A final oral examination defending the research (publication or thesis) is required. The three-person faculty committee examining the student will consist of the student's primary faculty adivsor, one primary faculty member in hydrology from the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, and one primary faculty member in atmospheric sciences from the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.

Minor Requirements

Currently, there is no official doctoral minor in Hydrometeorology. Consult with the appropriate department if you wish to declare a Doctoral Minor in Atmospheric Sciences or a Doctoral Minor in Hydrology.

Student Handbook  
Persistent link:
Last revised 17 Jan 2018