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The Hydrology Doctorate degree focuses on interactions between water, the land surface and biota. Areas of emphasis include surface water hydraulics, surface water quality and watershed hydrology. Doctoral graduates in Hydrology are fully qualified to conduct academic research and education at the university level, in addition to having skill sets valuable to public and private industry involved with hydrologic sciences and engineering.
The Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences is one of the largest such programs in North America and is consistently ranked amongst the top 10 places in the United States to study hydrology by U.S. News and World Report. The goals of the program are to provide fundamental and advanced training to students with undergraduate backgrounds in science and engineering, in the critical fields of surface and subsurface hydrology.
Over 70 faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno and the Desert Research Institute conduct research in areas such as contaminant transport (surface and subsurface), watershed and ecohydrology, aqueous geochemistry, global climate change, groundwater hydraulics, vadose zone hydrology, surface water hydrology and water resources engineering, students have a tremendous range of options to study.
The GPHS administers two separate degrees – Hydrology and Hydrogeology – at both the M.S. and Ph.D. levels. There is a single, required, foundation core that includes a one-semester credit hour seminar along with one course each in groundwater, hydrologic fluid dynamics, and environmental chemistry. Beyond this foundation core, each degree has separate and additional required coursework. Students are expected to work with their advisors and committee members to develop a Plan of Study that best matches their research efforts and interests.
A non-thesis M.S. option is available in both Hydrology and Hydrogeology and is an appropriate alternative for those students with significant experience in project management and report writing, while maintaining the high standards of a Master of Science Degree. The non-thesis option is generally considered a terminal degree and is not recommended for those students considering a future Doctoral degree. The Professional Paper (2 credits) should demonstrate the student's ability to integrate technical state-of-the-art knowledge into a document suitable for professional review and publication.