Certificate in Water Quality Science {22-23}

Water Quality Science

The water quality certificate provides foundational science concepts and practical experience for addressing problems and solutions in a wide variety of water-related fields of work, including work with drinking water, wastewater, aquatic waters, ground water, surface hydrology, landfills, mining, and other environmental work. Note: This program addresses interdisciplinary science concepts important in a wide range of water-related jobs and should not be confused with government or industry-specific "water quality certifications" that address particular techniques and technologies within a narrower part of the water industry.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Ability to analyze complex water-related problems using analytical, experimental, or field data.
  • Understanding of principles related to water chemistry and analysis, water-biosphere interactions, limnology, water-sediment interactions, and movement and fate of water contaminants in both surface and subsurface environments.
  • Ability to evaluate and communicate complex water-related issues, including within the context of varied societal and political perspectives.

Program Delivery Mode
Land plus: face-to-face where some online courses may be available or required

Core Requirements ( 10 credits )

+SUST 421 Systems Thinking (3) OR SUST 432 Environmental Dilemmas (3)
+GEOS 340 Economic and Environmental Geology (3)
++MATH 227 Survey of Differential Calculus with Algebra (4) OR BIOL 275 Biostatistics (4)

+Note:  TWO of the following courses should be completed BEFORE taking SUST 421, SUST 432, or GEOS 340 for this certificate program: BIOL 115, CHEM 210, PHYS 201, and GEOS 109/109L.

++Note:  alternative calculus or statistics courses might be substituted with advisor approval

Program Requirements

*NOTE:  Courses in the rubric of a student's major cannot count toward completion of either of the two categories of restricted electives below.

Restricted Electives (10 cr)*

BIOL 115/BIOL 115L Organismal Biology and Lab (4)
BIOL 490 Topics in Biology: Oceanarium (1)
CHEM 150 General Chemistry I (3)
CHEM 150L General Chemistry I Lab (1)
CHEM 210 General Chemistry II (3)
CHEM 210L General ChemistryII Lab (1)
CHEM 275 General Chemistry Research Based Lab (3)
GEOS 109 Processes & History of a Dynamic Planet (3)
GEOS 109L Introductory Geology Lab (1)
GEOS 110 Water, Land, and People: An Introduction to Physical Geography (3)
GEOS 110L Water, Land, and People: An Introduction to Physical Geography Lab (1)
GEOS 209L Problems in Introductory Geology (2)
GEOS 211L Problems in Water, Land, and People (2)
PHYS 200 Physics I with Calculus & Lab (4)
PHYS 201 Physics II with Calculus & Lab (4)
SUST 200 Nature of Sustainability (3)


Restricted Electives (8 cr)*

BIOL 321 Invertebrate Zoology (3)
BIOL 345 Principles of Ecology (4)
BIOL 350 Microbiology (4)
BIOL 372 Aquatic Biology (4)
CHEM 375 Team-based Chemistry Research (4)
CHEM 380 Analytical Chemistry I (4)
GEOS 345 Principles of Geomorphology and Hydrology (3)
GEOS 415 Reading Geochemical Fingerprints (3)
GEOS 417L Problems in Geochemistry (2)
SUST 421 Systems Thinking (3) (if not taken for the requirements)
SUST 432 Environmental Dilemmas (3) (if not taken for the requirements)