Sustainable management of freshwater resources is an increasingly important and complex challenge in Colorado and worldwide, and we need scientists who can address complex water issues. The watershed science program focuses on how water moves through the landscape, what factors affect its quality, and how to manage water resources. Students in the Ph.D. in Watershed Science program work closely with research scientists in the classroom, laboratory, and field on both basic and applied watershed science research. Students are exposed to cutting-edge field, data analysis, and modeling techniques through flexible programs of study and access to a breadth of water-related courses throughout the university. Students also have opportunities to participate in seminars and field courses.

The Ph.D. in Watershed Science requires 72 credits, most of which are research credits. Coursework includes in-depth classes in the student’s area of research, as well as classes that expand into other disciplines. Each student develops an individualized program of study with the guidance and approval of the student’s graduate committee. Students in the Ph.D. program develop new contributions to the literature of the watershed science discipline.

Effective Fall 2021

Required Foundation Courses
GRAD 544Ethical Conduct of Research1
WR 692Seminar1
Discussion Courses
Select at least 3 credits from the following:3
Advanced Snow Hydrology
Hillslope Hydrology and Runoff Processes
Quantitative Courses
Select at least 3 credits from the following:3
Spatial Statistical Modeling-Natural Resources
Quantitative Spatial Analysis
Design and Data Analysis for Researchers I
Design and Data Analysis for Researchers II
Data Issues in Hydrology
Skill Courses
Select at least 3 credits from the following:3
Groundwater Modeling
Remote Sensing and Image Analysis
Concepts in GIS
Watershed Measurements
Water Quality Analyses
Modeling Watershed Hydrology
Snow Hydrology Field Methods
Depth and Breadth Courses
Select at least 6 credits from the following:6
Applied Advanced Water Resource Economics
Environmental River Mechanics
Physical Hydrology
Water Resources Planning and Management
River Restoration Design
Risk Analysis of Water/Environmental Systems
Quantitative Eco-Hydrology
Integrated Analysis of Coupled Water Issues
Principles of Ecosystem Sustainability
Global Climate Change
Biogeochemical Cycling in Ecosystems
Advanced Topics in Hydrogeology
Fluvial Geomorphology
Ecosystem Services--Theory and Practice
Wetland Ecology and Restoration
Water and Social Justice
Sociology of Water Resources
Soil-Plant-Nutrient Relationships
Terrestrial Ecosystems Isotope Ecology
Land Use Hydrology
Land Use and Water Quality
Watershed Management in Developing Countries
Water Resource Development
Water Law for Non-Lawyers
Research and Dissertation
WR 798Research2
WR 799Dissertation2
Additional Credits (A maximum of 30 credits may be accepted from a master's degree toward the Ph.D.)51
Program Total Credits:72

 A minimum of 72 credits are required to complete this program.