Graduate Education

The study of water is highly interdisciplinary, and involves biological, physical, chemical, social, political, and economic dimensions. The exceptional diversity of water-focused faculty and staff at UW-Madison helps to facilitate this interdisciplinary approach to research and learning. Graduate students who study water at UW-Madison are able to access the wealth of expertise on campus because graduate committees often include faculty from multiple departments.

Students interested in water-related research can earn degrees through their adviser’s department or a campus-wide degree program. Because the student-adviser relationship is so important, we advise that prospective students identify potential faculty advisers based on their interests, and contact potential advisers prior to submitting their application for graduate studies.

There are four graduate degree programs at UW-Madison that offer MS and PhD degrees that strongly emphasize water and water-related topics: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Chemistry and Technology, Freshwater and Marine Sciences, and Water Resources Management. Additionally, there are at least 30 other departments and degree programs in which students and faculty work on water and water-related topics in some fashion. These degree programs vary in their specific requirements, but coursework within each program is tailored to a student’s research and career goals and there are dozens of water-related graduate and undergraduate level courses offered by a wide range of departments and colleges at UW-Madison.

Below we provide some additional information and links to graduate degree opportunities in water-related studies at UW-Madison.

Highlighted Graduate Degree Programs

Civil and Environmental Engineering

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers MS and PhD degrees and has two groups with a strong water emphasis: Environmental Engineering and Science and Water Resources Engineering and Science.

Environmental Chemistry & Technology

The Environmental Chemistry and Technology program offers MS and PhD degrees that train students to apply chemistry to environmental systems. Areas of specialization that emphasize water include aquatic chemistry and environmental technology.

Freshwater and Marine Sciences

The Freshwater and Marine Sciences Program is an interdisciplinary graduate training program offering MS and PhD degrees to students interested in the science of freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Water Resources Management

The Water Resources Management MS Program integrates the biological & physical sciences with engineering and the social sciences to prepare students to face the complexities of managing this critical natural resource.