Ph.D. in Hydrology

Few things are more vital to a community's health than the quality and safety of its water supply. Hydrologists play a key role in protecting this precious resource.

Why choose this Ph.D. in hydrology?

The University's Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences (GPHS) is one of the largest programs of its kind in North America. It trains students in the critical fields of surface and subsurface hydrology. The 70 departmental faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno and the Desert Research Institute conduct research in areas including:

  • Aqueous geochemistry
  • Contaminant transport (surface and subsurface)
  • Global climate change
  • Groundwater hydraulics
  • Surface water hydrology
  • Vadose zone hydrology
  • Water resources engineering
  • Watershed and ecohydrology

The GPHS offers hydrology and hydrogeology degrees at both the master's and doctoral levels. These programs share 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, each degree has separate and additional required coursework. Students work with their advisers and committee members to develop a personalized plan of study.

To learn more about the program, visit these pages:

While a hydrology Ph.D. is ideal for aspiring professors, it can also impart skills valuable in public- and private-industry careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that population growth and environmental concerns are likely to increase the demand for hydrologists between 2014 and 2024.

How do I apply?

Prospective students can apply through the University Graduate School.

For admission to the Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences (GPHS), the program behind the hydrology Ph.D., applicants must submit the items below with their online Graduate School application:

  • Letter of intent
  • Three letters of recommendation, each signed by its author

These are the application deadlines:

  • Jan. 15 for fall semester
  • Aug. 15 for spring semester

To learn more about the admissions process, visit the hydrology graduate program admissions page.

Is funding available?

For current information on research assistantships, please see the GPHS research funding page. Visit the GPHS research staff page to inquire directly to faculty on assistantship opportunities.

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