The CU Boulder hydrologic sciences 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, interdepartmental and designed to encourage students with a variety of academic backgrounds to enter the field. It is intended for science and engineering graduate students, allowing them to obtain recognition for their accomplishments in hydrologic sciences and to demonstrate the quantitative multidisciplinary education desired by many prospective employers.
PhD students can choose to enroll for the hydrologic sciences subplan or graduate certificate and master's students can pursue a hydrologic sciences graduate certificate, while concurrently obtaining a doctoral or master’s degree, respectively, in a participating academic department. Course requirements are identical for the subplan and certificate.
All hydrologic sciences program students are admitted through one of the participating departments: Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC); Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering (CEAE); Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EBIO); Environmental Studies (ENVS); Geography (GEOG); or Geological Sciences (GEOL). Graduate students may apply for admission to Hydrologic Sciences after admission to one of these departments.
Hydrologic sciences students conduct research within participating departments, research institutes and centers (e.g., INSTAAR), or partnering government agency labs in the Boulder area (e.g., USGS, NOAA). Primary supervision of the student's research may be provided by any faculty member approved by their department, though the hydrologic sciences program requires representation from hydrologic sciences program faculty on students' comprehensive exam and defense committees.
- Completion of all hydrologic sciences program courses with a grade of B or better.
- Completion of degree requirements for graduate degree within the student's home department.
- For the graduate certiﬁcate: The thesis topic includes substantial use of hydrologic science and the thesis committee includes at least one Hydrologic Sciences Program faculty member.
- For the PhD subplan: The dissertation topic is approved by Hydrologic Sciences Program co-director and the dissertation committee includes at least two Hydrologic Sciences Program faculty members.
Students are referred to their home department (ATOC, CEAE, EBIO, ENVS, GEOG or GEOL) and the University Catalog for general information on requirements for their degree. In case of a conflict between those documents and the requirements stated here, the rules of the Graduate School apply.
Primary supervision of the student's research may be provided by any faculty member approved by the student's home department.
All students entering the program are expected to have advanced-level knowledge of mathematics: a full year of college level calculus including differential and integral calculus. (Linear algebra and differential equations are strongly encouraged.) Students are expected to have completed one semester of college-level physics (mechanics).
In addition, students are encouraged to work with their advisors and committees to identify and fulﬁll any other specialized degree and/or research-related required courses. For example, students interested in the physical aspects of hydrologic sciences are expected to have advanced-level knowledge of physics (mechanics and thermodynamics) and fluid mechanics. Similarly, students interested in the chemical aspects of hydrologic sciences may be expected to have advanced-level knowledge of organic and/or physical chemistry, students interested in the biological or ecological aspects of hydrologic sciences are expected to have an advanced-level knowledge of biology and/or ecology.
Students may also need to complete other speciﬁc undergraduate prerequisites required by their home department.
Required Courses and Credits
Five courses are required for the Hydrologic Sciences Certiﬁcate and PhD Subplan. The number of courses is intentionally kept low, so that the student is free to design an overall academic program that meets their needs in terms of specialized scholarly interests. Hydrologic sciences courses are included in the minimum semester hours required for all graduate students. The coursework is designed to assure competency in appropriate subject matter at the graduate level.
The ﬁve courses are required, as follows:
- One course from List A
- One course from List A or B
- Three elective courses
|ATOC 5050||Atmospheric Thermodynamics and Dynamics||3|
|ATOC 5060||Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Oceans||3|
|CVEN 5313||Environmental Fluid Mechanics||3|
|CVEN 5353||Groundwater Hydrology||3|
|ATOC 5051||Introduction to Physical Oceanography||3|
|ATOC 5061||Advanced Ocean Dynamics and Air-Sea Coupled ENSO Mechanisms||3|
|CVEN 5333||Physical Hydrology||3|
|CVEN 5404||Water Chemistry||3|
|GEOG 5321||Snow Hydrology||3-4|
|GEOL 5080||Advanced Hydrogeology and Modeling Concepts||3|
|ATOC 5235||Introduction to Atmospheric Radiative Transfer and Remote Sensing||3|
|ATOC 5500||Special Topics in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (Field Observations and Measurements)||1-3|
|ATOC 5550||Mountain Meteorology||3|
|ATOC 5600||Physics and Chemistry of Clouds and Aerosols||3|
|ATOC 5730||Physical Oceanography and Climate||3|
|ATOC 5750||Desert Meteorology and Climate||3|
|ATOC 5780||Ice Sheets and Climate|
|ATOC 5850||Numerical Methods Laboratory|
|CHEM 5141||Environmental Water and Soil Chemistry||3|
|CVEN 5323||Applied Stream Ecology||3|
|CVEN 5343||Transport and Dispersion in Surface Water||3|
|CVEN 5363||Modeling of Hydrologic Systems||3|
|CVEN 5383||Applied Groundwater Modeling||3|
|CVEN 5404||Water Chemistry||3|
|CVEN 5454||Statistical Methods for Natural and Engineered Systems||3|
|CVEN 5833||Special Topics (Analysis of Urban Water Systems)||1-3|
|CVEN 5537||Numerical Methods in Civil Engineering||3|
|CVEN 5833||Special Topics (Environmental Transport and Dispersion Processes)||1-3|
|CVEN 6383||Flow and Transport through Porous Media||3|
|CVEN 6414||Aquatic Surfaces and Particles||3|
|ENVS 5840||Global Biogeochemical Cycles||3|
|GEOG 5023||Advanced Quantitative Methods for Spatial Data||4|
|GEOG 5093||Remote Sensing of the Environment||4|
|GEOG 5241||Topics in Physical Geography (Watershed Biogeochemistry)||1-3|
|GEOG 5241||Topics in Physical Geography (Fluvial Geomorphology)||1-3|
|GEOG 5251||River Systems and Landforms||4|
|GEOG 5271||The Arctic Climate System||3|
|GEOG 5303||Geographic Information Science: Spatial Programming||4|
|GEOL 5093||Remote Sensing of the Environment||4|
|GEOL 5270||Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry||3|
|GEOL 5280||Aqueous and Environmental Geochemistry||3|
|GEOL 5305||Global Biogeochemical Cycles||3|
|GEOL 5430||Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology||3|
|GEOL 5700||Geological Topics Seminar (Terrestrial Hydrology)||3-4|
|GEOL 5700||Geological Topics Seminar (Sedimentary Modeling)||1-4|