What will I learn?

This cross-campus interdisciplinary program provides comprehensive training in water resources science, with integration across scientific disciplines. A structured interdisciplinary graduate curriculum is offered. The program includes a set of core courses plus electives in the following areas: aquatic biology, environmental chemistry, hydrologic science, limnology, water management technology, water policy, water quality, and watershed science and management. A limnology and oceanography track is also available. Approximately 80 courses offered within 15 other graduate programs are available to students majoring in water resources science.

The goal of the program is to produce scientists with strong technical skills in disciplines relevant to water resources and a broad understanding of 1) the hydrologic cycle and associated ecosystems, 2) the interconnectedness of the sciences involved in managing aquatic resources, and 3) the interplay between the biophysical sciences and social sciences in developing and implementing public policies related to water.

Students in the program develop the breadth of scientific knowledge appropriate to understand the complicated aquatic ecosystems and watersheds on which they will work, as well as social dimensions of the topic, including the public policy and legal frameworks in which water resources are protected and managed.

The program involves faculty from the following departments on the Twin Cities campus: Applied Economics; Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering; Civil Engineering; Earth Sciences; Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; Entomology; Environmental and Occupational Health; Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology; Forest Resources; Geography; Horticultural Science; Plant Biology; and Soil, Water, and Climate. It also involves faculty from the following departments on the Duluth campus: Biology; Chemical Engineering; Chemistry; Civil Engineering Geography; Geological Sciences; Physics; as well as the Large Lakes Observatory and the Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth.

Which department am I in?

Graduate School

Study options

Full Time (48 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$26,412.00 per year
Start date

3 September 2019, 21 January 2020


Graduate School

321 Johnston Hall,

101 Pleasant St. S.E.,



55455, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or a comparable degree from an officially recognized college or university outside the U.S. may apply for graduate admission. In general, most graduate programs prefer an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher for admission. Other English Language Requirements:  MELAB score of 80.

For international students

The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.

The program is flexible enough to accommodate students from a variety of backgrounds. Normally students have a master's degree in physical, biological, or environmental science or engineering.

English Language Proficiency Requirements: TOEFL iBT – 79; IELTS Academic – 6.5; MELAB – 80; Pearson Test of Academic English (PTE Academic) – 59; Cambridge Assessment English (CAE) C1 Advanced – 180.