Doctoral Minor in Hydrology

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The doctoral minor in hydrology and water resources provides complementary educational and research expertise for students majoring in a variety of fields, such as Atmospheric Sciences, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Geological Engineering, Geosciences, Mining Engineering, Soil-Water-Environmental Science, and Planetary Science.

Faculty Committee

One or more doctoral minor faculty advisors should be chosen from among the Hydrology and Water Resources core faculty. Early discussion is encouraged; the student should complete and obtain approval of their Minor Plan of Study preferably within the first semester.


The Doctoral Oral Qualifying Examination (first-year exam): The Qualifying Exam may be waived if a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is achieved for all 4 courses in the Minor Plan of Study.

The Doctoral Written Comprehensive Examinations (third-year exams):  At least one of the doctoral minor faculty advisors must participate in both the written and oral portions of the Comprehensive Examination process. The faculty advisor will provide a written examination for the student to take and which the student must pass. Along with other members of the committee from the major department, the minor advisor will also attend and participate in the oral examination.

The doctoral minor faculty advisor may accept or decline membership on the Doctoral Final Oral Examination committee (dissertation defense). If he or she declines membership, he/she does not sign the approval page of the dissertation manuscript.


The doctoral minor program requires 12 semester units of hydrology and water resources graduate-level course work. Selection should be made with a thematic or focus area in mind. At least 9 semester units where HWRS is the home department are required. The remaining 3 semester units may be from HWRS, another UA department, or another university. All courses must be passed with a minimum GPA of 3.0. (Any elective course prerequisites must be satisfied before the elective course is taken.)

Depending on a student's background, one or more HWRS Core courses may or may not be an appropriate starting point:

  • HWRS 517A Fundamentals of Water Quality (3 semester units)
  • HWRS 518 Fundamentals of Subsurface Hydrology (3 semester units)
  • HWRS 519 Fundamentals in Surface Hydrology (3 semester units)
  • HWRS 528 Fundamentals: Systems Approach to Hydrologic Modeling (3 semester units)

Select at least 2 courses from 1 of the 4 subareas below. (The two courses should represent substantive learning in at least one subarea of hydrology and water resources.) No more than 2 courses taught at the co-convened 400/500-level may be used in the Minor Plan of Study; this includes any cross-listed course outside the department that may be approved for inclusion in the plan of study.

Select the remaining 2 courses from among those listed in any of the 4 subareas below.  NOTE: Individual Study aka Independent Study (e.g. 599, 699), Independent Research (900), and some colloquia (e.g. HWRS 695A sec 001) may not be included in the Minor Plan of Study.

Water Quality-Water Chemistry

HWRS 517A (Core), 570, 572, 580, 696B, 696G, 696H, 696T

Groundwater Hydrology

HWRS 503, 504, 505, 516, 518 (Core), 531, 532, 535, 580, 582, 596M, 603A, 645, 696C, 696I, 696T

Surface Water Hydrology

HWRS 519 (Core), 521, 522, 524, 528 (Core), 549, 596M, 602, 630, 642, 655, 696F, GEOS xxx (Baker)

Water Resources Systems

HWRS 521, 522, 528 (Core), 543A, 549, 596M, 696L


Water quality focus (12 units total)

  • Fall 1: HWRS 517A Fundamentals of Water Chemistry (3)
  • Spring 1: HWRS 570 Computer Simulation of Water Quality Processes (3)
  • Fall 2: HWRS 580 Isotope Tracers in Hydrogeology (3) 
  • Fall or Spring 2: HWRS 5xx - Discuss an appropriate course with HWRS faculty advisor

Subsurface hydrology focus (12 units total)

  • Fall 1: HWRS 518 Fundamentals of Subsurface Hydrology (3)
  • Spring 1: HWRS 535 Advanced Subsurface Hydrology (3) & HWRS 582 Applied Groundwater Modeling (3)
  • Fall 2: HWRS 516 Hydrologic Transport Processes (3)

Surface hydrology focus (12 units total)

  • Spring 1: HWRS 519 Fundamentals of Surface Hydrology (3) & HWRS 524 Hydroclimatology (3) OR HWRS 549 Statistical Hydrology (3)
  • Fall 1: HWRS 522 Critical Zone Science and Management (3)
  • Spring 2: HWRS 630 Advanced Catchment Hydrology (3)

Water resources systems (12 units total)

  • Fall 1: HWRS 528 Fundamentals: Systems Approach to Hydrologic Modeling (3)
  • Spring 1: HWRS 630 Advanced Catchment Hydrology (3)
  • Fall 2: HWRS 521 Water Resources Systems Planning and Management (3) OR HWRS 549 Statistical Hydrology (3) & HWRS 543A Risk Assessment for Environmental Systems (3)


General Inquiry:

Admissions Contact:

Director of Graduate Studies:

Graduate College Student Services Degree Counselor:

Kristi Davenport