Hydrology and Water Resources

Graduate Certificate


Ranked#1 in Water Resources

- ShanghaiRanking Academic
Ranking of World Universities


In Best Value Among Arizona's Public Universities

- Payscale, 2022

Quick Facts

Credits Required: 12
Cost Per Credit: $750
view of water canal system in Arizona

College of Science

Program Details

Are you passionate about solving today’s emerging water problems? The Graduate Certificate in Hydrology and Water Resources program will prepare you to address water-related issues such as flooding, drought and water quality. Learn and apply hydrologic and water resources concepts and data analysis/modeling skills from a department ranked top three worldwide by ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Water Resources.

The curriculum explores a variety of hydrology and water resources topics and provides an introduction to fundamental principles of hydrology and water resources. You will be introduced to basic fluid mechanics, hydraulic engineering and water resources systems. The curriculum also emphasizes experimental and research techniques that are applicable to hydrology and water resources.

This certificate is intended for students who are seeking professional work in hydrologic design, planning and operation of water resources systems.

Credits earned as part of the Graduate Certificate may be applied to the Master of Science in Hydrology and Water Resources if the student meets Graduate College and HAS department requirements.

Prospective students must complete the following prerequisites; First semester of inorganic chemistry for science/engineering majors, Calculus-based physics course in mechanics, Calculus II for science/engineering majors, Calculus-based probability and statistics, and Fluid Mechanics.

*Residents of some U.S. Territories may not be eligible. Please see our Eligibility & State Authorization page for more information.


This course requires the completion of four courses (12-semester units) from an approved list of graduate-level HAS courses. The curriculum for this degree program includes:

HWRS 517A: Fundamentals of Water Quality
HWRS 518: Fundamentals of Subsurface Hydrology
HWRS 519: Fundamentals of Surface Water Hydrology
HWRS 528: Fundamentals: Systems Approach to Hydrologic Modeling



Earning your Graduate Certificate in Hydrology and Water Resources will build core skills, including:

  • Understanding of interactions between each aspect of the hydrologic cycle
  • Communication of fundamental hydrologic concepts
  • Connecting hydrologic understanding to relevant water-related issues
  • Quantitative problem-solving
  • Model, figure and diagram creation for hydrologic data visualization
  • Application of data-based, conceptual, and physics-based hydrologic models
  • Application and creation of computer coding tools
  • Predictive model creation of water systems
  • Interpreting model output and figures related to water-related problems
  • Synthesizing water resource-related knowledge and data analysis

The career outlook for hydrologists and water resources specialists is excellent, spurred largely by increasing demands placed on the environment and water resources by population growth. Graduates of the Hydrology and Water Resources Certificate program will be prepared to pursue careers in the following fields:

  • Environmental Consulting
  • Forensic Isotope Hydrology
  • Risk Assessment and Characterization
  • Remediation Consulting
  • Environmental Regulatory, Permitting and Compliance
  • Water Resource Evaluation
  • Urban Planning
  • Industrial and Municipal Water Use and Supply
  • Water Resource Design and Protection
  • Wetlands, Riparian and Habitat Restoration
  • National Park Service Water Use Planning
  • Peace Corps Water Development
  • Flood Forecasting, Control and Management
  • City, County and State Flood Planning Management
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • National Weather Service
  • Computer Simulation of Water and Pollutant Transport
  • Fate and Transport of TCE, Formaldehyde and Other Contaminants
  • Transport of Heavy Metal Contaminants Using Coupled Models
  • Environmental Protection Agency (State, Tribal, Federal)