The department offers a program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree with a major in hydrology. The faculty offers competence in hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry, hydrometeorology, hydroclimatology, environmental hydrology, ground-water hydrology, surface-water hydrology, vadose zone hydrology, mathematical and statistical methods in hydrology (including stochastic and numerical modeling), water resources systems, and water resources policy.
The program is designed for students with interests in the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the hydrologic cycle, as well as water resources systems, environmental studies, or water policy and the social sciences related to water resources. Students may concentrate in one or a combination of these fields but should acquire some proficiency in all aspects of hydrology and water resources. Research-based Ph.D. study programs are individually planned to meet the student's special interests and professional objectives.
Ph.D. applicants should have completed a Master of Science degree with a major in hydrology, water resources, environmental sciences, environmental engineering, or a related field. (Holders of a Bachelor’s degree cannot enter the Ph.D. program directly.)
All Ph.D. students are expected to acquire basic computer programming skills and complete a field methods course. To meet the professional development requirement, Ph.D. students are required to attend departmental seminars and colloquia at the beginning of academic residency and to make two formal seminar presentations of their own dissertation research at two professional conferences at or near the end of their academic residency.
Ph.D. students may, or may not, be required to complete fundamental, or core, courses in hydrology and water resources depending on each student’s prior educational background. Where gaps exist in background knowledge of relevant subject matter, the student may be required to take additional course work prior to the Oral Qualifying Examination. The Doctoral Oral Qualifying Examination must be passed by the end of the second semester in residence. Comprehensive Examinations (Written/Oral) must be passed by the end of the third year in residence. For Ph.D. students, a Doctoral Dissertation is required; the Doctoral Dissertation Publication option is also available. A Doctoral Final Oral Examination, or defense of the dissertation, is required.