Water Resources Engineering (WRE)

A career in water resource engineering can be varied, exciting, and rewarding. A water resource engineer may manage the clean water supply chain entering into a household, or observe and analyze the wastewater leaving for infectious diseases, such as Covid-19. They may test the temperatures of water in creeks and rivers to ensure healthy survival of the local fish population. A water resource engineer may build modeling systems to study the course of water flow during an emergency weather event; or, they could work in dam removal or restoration. These are just a few examples of potential career pathways for the future water resource engineer.

The Water Resources Engineering (WRE) degree program is designed to provide students with the necessary skills to undertake life-long careers in water resources engineering and system design.

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). 




  • One year, Calculus Equiv. of: MTH 251, 252, 253, or 254
  • Applied Differential Equations Equiv. of: MTH 256
  • One year Chemistry* 
  • One year Physics* 
  • One year, upper division Science

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).

For more information please see the Student Resources page for Handbooks, Check Lists and Forms.


Accreditation Information:

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

* All transferrable coursework in chemistry and physics will be considered.