Degree Programs in Hydrological Science and Engineering
The Hydrological Sciences and Engineering program at Colorado School of Mines is an interdisciplinary graduate program comprised of faculty from several different Mines departments: Chemistry & Geochemistry, Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Geology & Geological Engineering, Geophysical Engineering, Mining Engineering and Petroleum Engineering. The program offers fields of study in fundamental hydrologic science and applied hydrology with engineering applications. Our program encompasses ground-water hydrogeology, surface-water hydrology, vadose-zone hydrology, watershed hydrology, contaminant transport and fate, contaminant remediation, hydrogeophysics, hydrochemistry and water policy/law.
Our students typically accept jobs in areas such as contaminant characterization and remediation, ground-water or watershed modeling, water-resources assessment, ecologic restoration and environmental restoration. Typical employers for M.S. graduates include environmental consulting firms, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the petroleum industry and state regulatory agencies. Ph.D. graduates often find employment in environmental consulting firms, colleges and universities, national research laboratories, federal agencies and self-owned consulting businesses.
All hydrology students are required to complete a core curriculum of four formal graduate courses and a field session. Programs of study are interdisciplinary in nature and the remainder of the coursework is obtained from multiple departments at Mines and is approved for each student by the student's advisor and thesis committee. The core curriculum consists of:
- GEGN 466- Ground Water Engineering
- GEGN 582 or ESGN 527 - Surface-Water Hydrology
- ESGN 522 - Contaminant Fate and Transport
- ESGN 500 - Environmental Aquatic Chemistry
Students also are required to complete a hydrology field session. Students who plan to incorporate hydrochemistry into their research may elect to replace ESGN 500 with a two-course combination that includes an aqueous inorganic chemistry course (GEGN 509) and an aqueous environmental organic chemistry course (ESGN 555).
Master of Science
To achieve the Master of Science (M.S.) degree, students may elect the non-thesis option, based exclusively upon coursework and a project report, or the thesis option. The thesis option is comprised of coursework in combination with individual laboratory, modeling and/or field research performed under the guidance of a faculty advisor and presented in a written thesis approved by the student’s committee.
- M.S. Non-Thesis Option: 36 total credit hours, consisting of coursework (30 hours), and Independent Study (six hours) working on a research project with HSE faculty.
- M.S. Thesis Option: 30 total credit hours, consisting of coursework (24 hours), and research (six hours). Students must also write and orally defend a research thesis.
Combined B.S./M.S. Program
Any Mines undergraduate is eligible to apply for the combined program in hydrology. Students must maintain a B average in their undergraduate program and declare interest in their mid-sophomore or beginning junior year by contacting the hydrology program chair listed below. A formal graduate application is completed by first semester senior year. Although the GRE is waived for combined applicants, students must submit three letters of recommendation along with their application.
Students must meet all master’s degree requirements as listed above, however six 400-level credits from the undergraduate program may be double counted for the master’s degree.
Doctor of Philosophy
To achieve the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, students are expected to complete a combination of coursework and original research, under the guidance of a faculty advisor and doctoral committee, that culminates in a significant scholarly contribution to a specialized field in hydrologic sciences or engineering. Full-time enrollment is expected and leads to the greatest success, although part-time enrollment may be allowed under special circumstances. All doctoral students must complete two semesters of full-time, on-campus residency.
Ph.D.: 72 total credit hours, consisting of coursework (at least 15 hours), minor coursework (12 hours) and research (at least 24 hours). Up to 36 hours of transfer credit can be applied to the degree from a previous M.S. degree related to hydrology. Students must also successfully complete written and oral qualifying examinations, write and defend a dissertation proposal, write and defend a doctoral dissertation, and are expected to submit the dissertation work for publication in scholarly journals.
|Financial support priority deadline||Jan. 15|
|U.S. citizen application deadline||July 1|
|International application deadline||April 1|
|U.S. citizen application deadline||Nov. 1|
|International application deadline||Sept. 1|
|GRE is required|
|Subject test required||No|
|Average accepted Verbal||455|
|Average accepted Quantitative||637|
|Average accepted Writing||4.1|
- College calculus (two semesters)
- Differential equations (one semester)
- College physics (one semester)
- College chemistry (two semesters)
- College statistics (one semester)
- Fluid mechanics (one semester)
Some prerequisites may be completed in the first semesters of the student’s graduate program. Applicants should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for admission to the graduate school.
Applicants seeking financial support should indicate such within the application for admission. Support may be in the form of teaching assistantships (TA), research assistantships (RA) or fellowships. Generally, these awards are reserved for students pursuing a research-based program.
TAs are generally offered by March 15 for the next academic year, so are not usually available beginning with the spring semester. RAs are offered by individual faculty to students whom they expect will contribute quickly to a particular funded research project. Applicants interested in RAs should contact directly the faculty members whose research interests parallel their own.