Hydrology is the study of water storage and movement in the Earth system, including the effects of hydrologic fluxes on the distribution of energy, chemicals and sediments.

Students may take the courses at any time during their undergraduate program, completing them by their last semester.


The certificate is composed of two core courses aimed at providing students with a solid foundation on hydrologic sciences and their water management implications as well in quantitative analysis, both of which will be integral for the deeper understanding of hydrologic and related processes. Students will also need to round up their training and obtain the knowledge and skills deemed as fundamental for students to have upon graduation in order to be competitive in water management, consulting and other water-related jobs.

Consistent with other programs’ requirements (including the GEOG major), students will need to obtain a grade of C- or higher in each and all required courses and electives in order to obtain the certificate.


Two prerequisite courses are required for admission into the certificate program.

GEOG 3511The Water Cycle4
GEOG 3023Statistics and Geographic Data4
Total Credit Hours8

 Required Courses

Some of the classes listed below have co-requisite or prerequisite courses. Students should check to see if they meet these requisites. 

Required Coursework
Three of the following GEOG courses:9-12
Principles of Climate
Earth Surface Processes
River Systems and Landforms
Snow Hydrology
Water Issues in the American West
Three additional courses from outside the Department of Geography9
Introduction to Hydrogeology
Advanced Ecology (Lake and Stream Ecology)
Ecosystem Ecology
Introduction to Biogeochemistry
Introduction to Applied Ecology
Total Credit Hours18-21

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Use a holistic approach to understand the hydrologic spatial connections and interactions between the physical and human environment.
  • Use sound, defensible and rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze and interpret hydrologic data in a meaningful way.
  • Articulate these findings to various audiences in a respectful and professional manner.