Water Resources Science (WRS)

students walking through the river laying out line

The Water Resources Science degree program is designed to train students broadly in water resources while maintaining an intellectual affiliation with a secondary field. Allied fields include ecology, forest science, geology, oceanography, atmospheric sciences, climatology, geomorphology, soil physics, geochemistry, public health, and microbiology. Many of these scientific disciplines now have significant overlap with hydrology, and demand has increased for scientists trained in these areas to command a knowledge of hydrology. Increasing knowledge of connections between the biosphere and the hydrosphere are driving the emergence of the field of ecohydrology. Geologists have long been concerned with hydrology, and most groundwater issues require a reasonably sophisticated knowledge of geology. Problems in global change are increasingly recognized as linked to the land surface through freshwater runoff into the world's oceans and evapotranspiration. Many environmental problems require training in both hydrology and other areas of science.

Students graduating from the WRS degree program will have three sets of requirements.

  1. Entrance Requirements . All students entering the WRS degree program will be required to show basic competence in chemistry, physics, mathematics to integral calculus, and advanced competence (upper-division) in one science.
  2. Program Requirements . Students will complete a standard MS (45 cr.) or PhD (108 cr.) program based in water resources science but allowing for significant coursework in another field.
  3. Exit Requirements . Students graduating from the degree program must show that they have a total of 37 cr. of water-related coursework based upon the American Institute of Hydrology (AIH) standards. Up to 22 credits of this may be met by coursework taken elsewhere, including as an undergraduate, though it is expected that many of the requirements will be met by OSU coursework.

Required courses within each WRS focus area are identified in Table 2. Students would also be expected to maintain ties to and include significant coursework from their secondary field of emphasis (ecology, geology, etc.).

See WRS Checklist for program requirements and WRS PhD Handbook or WRS MS Handbook.