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Hydrological Science and Engineering

Hydrological Science and Engineering

Program Description

The Hydrologic Science and Engineering (HSE) Program is an interdisciplinary graduate program comprised of faculty from several different Mines departments.

The program offers programs of study in fundamental hydrologic science and applied hydrology with engineering applications. Our program encompasses groundwater hydrology, surface-water hydrology, vadose-zone hydrology, watershed hydrology, contaminant transport and fate, contaminant remediation, hydrogeophysics and water policy/law. 

HSE requires a core study of five formal graduate courses. Programs of study are interdisciplinary in nature, and coursework is obtained from multiple departments at Mines and is approved for each student by the student’s advisor and thesis committee.

To achieve the Master of Science (MS) degree, students may elect the non-thesis option, based exclusively upon coursework and an independent study project or a designated design course, 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.

To achieve the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree, students are expected to complete a combination of coursework and novel, original research, under the guidance of a faculty advisor and doctoral committee, which 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 the full-time, on-campus residency requirements.

Currently, students will apply to the Hydrological Science and Engineering program through the graduate school and be assigned to the HSE participating department of the student’s HSE advisor. Participating units include: Chemistry and Geochemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Geology and Geological Engineering (GE), Geophysical Engineering, Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS), Mechanical Engineering (ME), Mining Engineering (MN) and Petroleum Engineering (PE). HSE is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WICHE), a recognition that designates these programs as unique within the Western United States. An important benefit of this designation is that students from several western states are given the tuition status of Colorado residents. These states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Additional program information is available at the HSE website.

Doctor of Philosophy

  •  Hydrology

Master of Science

  • Hydrology (Thesis and Non-Thesis options)
  • Bachelor’s degree in science or engineering discipline with a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.2 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • Completed college coursework in calculus, differential equations, physics, chemistry and statistics. Some prerequisites may be completed in the first semesters of the student’s graduate program.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission.


Priority: Dec 15, 2018

International: March 1, 2019

Domestic: July 1, 2019

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