The Water Resources Management (WRM) program is an interdisciplinary graduate program leading to a master of science (M.S.) degree in water resources management. The program addresses the complex, interdisciplinary aspects of managing water resources by helping students integrate the biological and physical sciences (which identify and assess problems) with engineering (which defines technological alternatives) as well as law and the social sciences (which assess needs and potential for institutional response). Through the WRM program, a student gains breadth in relevant planning and management areas while developing depth in an area specialty.
The water resources management degree is designed to prepare students for employment as water resources management professionals. Rather than conduct individual research projects, WRM students participate in a summer group practicum workshop with a water resources management focus. Students who wish to add individual research credentials to their records frequently arrange to complete a second, simultaneous master's program in one of the university's traditional departments. Those interested primarily in individual research may wish to consider the Nelson Institute's Environment and Resources program as an alternative. The WRM program does not offer a doctoral degree.
Any person who attended an accredited institution and earned an undergraduate degree there in the biological sciences, earth sciences, economics, education, engineering, history, journalism, landscape architecture, law, mathematics, physical science, political science, urban and regional planning, or other relevant field may apply for admission to the WRM program.
Two tracks are available. All applicants should apply for the regular 45-credit track, which provides depth in an area specialty in addition to breadth in resource management and planning. The alternate track (30 to 44 credits) is for those who have at least three years of pertinent professional experience or for those advanced students who already have a related master's degree prior to entering the program. Either such candidate may appeal for the alternate track based on their background. The alternate track, also known as the reduced-credit track, can be pursued with the consultation of one's faculty advisory committee once that candidate is enrolled in the program. The candidate's advisory committee and the program chairperson make the final determination as to whether or not the alternate track is appropriate. No thesis is required for either track, but every WRM student must complete the 2-credit spring planning seminar and the associated 4-credit summer group practicum workshop.
Graduate School Admissions
Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.
|Fall Deadline||January 15|
|Spring Deadline||October 15|
|Summer Deadline||January 15|
|GRE (Graduate Record Examinations)||Required.|
|English Proficiency Test||Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).|
|Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT)||n/a|
|Letters of Recommendation Required||3|
Application materials for Water Resources Management must be received by January 15 for admission to the following summer session or fall semester and by October 15 for admission to the following spring semester.
Graduate School Resources
Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.
In most cases Water Resources Management is unable to guarantee any funding to students. However, many of our students obtain funding through other departments on campus, and we recommend that students contact faculty or departments directly if they have teaching skills in specific areas. Individual faculty members occasionally have their own sources of support for project assistants, though we strongly urge students not to depend on these as guaranteed sources of funding.
Minimum Graduate School Requirements
Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.
MODE OF INSTRUCTION
|Face to Face||Evening/Weekend||Online||Hybrid||Accelerated|
Mode of Instruction Definitions
Evening/Weekend: These programs are offered in an evening and/or weekend format to accommodate working schedules. Enjoy the advantages of on-campus courses and personal connections, while keeping your day job. For more information about the meeting schedule of a specific program, contact the program.
Online: These programs are offered primarily online. Many available online programs can be completed almost entirely online with all online programs offering at least 50 percent or more of the program work online. Some online programs have an on-campus component that is often designed to accommodate working schedules. Take advantage of the convenience of online learning while participating in a rich, interactive learning environment. For more information about the online nature of a specific program, contact the program.
Hybrid: These programs have innovative curricula that combine on-campus and online formats. Most hybrid programs are completed on-campus with a partial or completely online semester. For more information about the hybrid schedule of a specific program, contact the program.
Accelerated: These on-campus programs are offered in an accelerated format that allows you to complete your program in a condensed time-frame. Enjoy the advantages of on-campus courses with minimal disruption to your career. For more information about the accelerated nature of a specific program, contact the program.
|Minimum Credit Requirement||M.S.: 45 credits |
M.S.: reduced-credit track: 30–44 credits
|Minimum Residence Credit Requirement||16 credits|
|Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement||Half of degree coursework must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).|
|Overall Graduate GPA Requirement||3.00 GPA required.|
|Other Grade Requirements||Grades of BC or C are not typically accepted toward program requirements unless the grade is allowed by the student’s faculty advisory committee and the program chair. Grades of BC and C may not be used in the area specialty category. A maximum of 3 credits graded S may be counted toward program requirements if approved by the student’s faculty advisory committee and the program chair. Courses that are audited or graded pass/fail or credit/no credit will not count toward program requirements.|
|Assessments and Examinations||All students must hold an evaluation and guidance conference with their faculty advisory committee, preferably no later than their third semester in the program.|
|Language Requirements||No language requirements.|
|Category A: Natural Science & Technology 1||9|
|Category B: Water Resources Institutions & Public Decision-Making Processes 2||9|
|Category C: Analytical & Design Tools in Water Resources 3||6|
|Area of Specialty 4||15|
|Summer Group Practicum & Workshop|
|ENVIR ST/CIV ENGR/URB R PL 718||Water Resources Management Practicum Planning Seminar II||2|
|ENVIR ST/CIV ENGR/URB R PL 719||Water Resources Management Summer Practicum||4|
Students choose any biological sciences and/or physical sciences courses in the 300–999 range.
Students choose any social sciences and/or arts & humanities courses in the 300–999 range.
Students choose any measurement/analysis/tools/methods courses in the 300–999 range.
Students choose courses, in the 300–999 range, in a cohesive area of study pertaining to their intended career path.
Graduate School Policies
The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.
Graduate Program Handbook
The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.
Graduate Work from Other Institutions
With faculty advisory committee and program chair approval, students are allowed to count graduate coursework from other institutions. The number of such credits is determined on a case-by-case basis. Coursework completed five or more years prior to admission to the program is not allowed to satisfy graduate degree or graduate coursework requirements.
No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the program.
UW–Madison University Special
With faculty advisory committee and program chair approval, students are allowed to count up to 15 credits of coursework taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Such credits from courses numbered 300 and higher can count toward graduate residency and graduate degree requirements. Credits from graduate-level courses (courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide) can count toward the graduate coursework requirement. Coursework completed five or more years prior to admission to the program is not allowed to satisfy graduate residency, graduate degree, or graduate coursework requirements.
The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.
- Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).
- Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status).
- Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor or program).
ADVISOR / COMMITTEE
All students must assemble a three-member faculty advisory committee that represents a minimum of two departments, preferably no later than their second semester in the program. To meet the interdisciplinary requirement the committee must include members tenured in one of the natural sciences divisions (Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences) and one of the social sciences divisions (Social Studies, Arts & Humanities).
CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED
Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.
Graduate School Resources
Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.
- Expand their knowledge of the physical, chemical, biological, and social sciences and learn how to apply this knowledge to the management of water resources.
- Understand water resource decision-making at governance levels from local to national.
- Use a wide range of analytical tools to sustainably manage water resources.
- Participate in as well as lead interdisciplinary teams.
- Orally and in writing communicate to stakeholders the findings and recommendations of interdisciplinary projects.
- Have an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.