Students enrolled in this degree will be broadly trained to undertake life-long careers in water resources system design, and will have the option to focus on groundwater, surface water, or watershed engineering. Students will be required to take a minimum of 12 (M.S.) or 15 (Ph.D.) credits of graduate level engineering courses, and at least 6 (M.S.) or 9 (Ph.D.) credits of water science courses to support the engineering analysis. Water science courses may be selected from non-engineering departments across the campus, and are required to provide the students with the scientific context to understand the non-quantitative aspects of water resource systems. Students completing the WRE degree program will meet the coursework requirements to attain Professional Hydrologist certification through the American Institute of Hydrology (AIH). Prior to graduation, all students in WRE will be required to show competence in mathematics to the level of applied differential equations (MTH 256), have a year of calculus-based physics and chemistry at the undergraduate level.


  • One year, Calculus Equiv. of: MTH 251, 252, (253 or 254)
  • Applied Differential Equations Equiv. of: MTH 256
  • One year Chemistry
  • One year Physics


Students graduating from the WRE degree program will have three sets of requirements.

  1. Entrance Requirements: All students entering the WRE degree program will be required to show basic competence in chemistry, physics, mathematics to integral calculus, and advanced competence (upper-division) in one science or engineering field.
  2. Program Requirements: Students will complete a standard MS (45 cr.) or PhD (108 cr.) program based in water resources engineering but allowing for significant coursework in another field.
  3. Exit Requirements: Students graduating from the program must show that they have a total of 37 cr. of water-related coursework based on the American Institute of Hydrology (AIH) standards. Up to 22 credits of this may be met by coursework taken elsewhere, including as an undergraduate, though it is expected that many of the requirements will be met by OSU coursework.

Required courses within each WRE focus area are identified in the core curriculum course list. Students would also be expected to include fundamentals of earth science (from geosciences, atmospheric sciences, or soil science).

See WRE Checklist for prerequisites and program requirements, as well as the WRE PhD Handbook or WRE MS Handbook (Last updated 09/10/2020).

Accreditation Information:

Professional Engineering (PE) Licensure Information for Water Resources Engineering Graduate Students