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Hydrology and Water Resources Science


Hydrology and water resources science programs teach people about the movement, distribution, and properties of water on the Earth and other planets.

Hydrology and water resources science programs include topics such as:


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in hydrology and water resources science. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

A few colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in hydrology and water resources science. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study. Some schools offer interdisciplinary programs in hydrology. Interdisciplinary programs combine courses from several college departments. In hydrology it may be civil engineering and geology. A bachelor's degree prepares students for entry-level positions in government agencies, environmental consulting, or other applications.

Several universities offer graduate degrees in hydrology and water resources science. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor’s degree in geology, engineering, or a related science, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

The list above is a set of "core" courses. Advanced courses that may be part of an undergraduate or graduate program may include the following:

Graduate Program Courses

Hydrology is an interdisciplinary program. Some schools put more emphasis on engineering, while others stress water resources. Graduate students usually focus on one area. Typical courses vary by specialty. A list of common graduate requirements is below:

Things to Know

The majority of careers in hydrology are with engineering and environmental consulting firms.

Some states require licensing or professional registration for hydrologists.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

Spokane Area

Spokane Community College

West Side Area

Evergreen State College, The