May 19, 2024  
2021-2022 University of Wyoming Catalog 
2021-2022 University of Wyoming Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Hydrologic Sciences, Ph.D. (WRESE)

The Water Resources/Environmental Science and Engineering (WRESE) program facilitates Ph.D.-level course offerings in water-related disciplines, and coordinates offerings of these courses. Furthermore, the WRESE program serves as a focal-point for water-related graduate research and education at the University of Wyoming.

This interdisciplinary degree program encourages cross-department and inter-college coordination for research and education in hydrology and water resources.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

The WRESE Program only admits students seeking a doctoral degree.

Minimum criteria for admission to the Program are:

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.000
  • Agreement by a faculty member affiliated with the WRESE program to sponsor the student
  • Admission to a home department at the University of Wyoming

Typically, students admitted into the program will have previously obtained a Masters-level degree. Under exceptional circumstance, students may be admitted directly after an undergraduate degree if they show exceptional promise and commitment. Students already admitted to doctoral programs in individual departments at the University of Wyoming may apply to transfer to the program.


Program Specific Degree Requirements

Students in the WRESE Program are expected to create their graduate committee within the first year of study. The committee should be composed of three faculty members within the PhD program in Hydrology and 2 should be from the student’s departmental home. A committee shall be composed of no fewer than 5 members, of which only one may be from outside the University. Additional committee members may be added to support the student’s learning and objectives on the discretion of the committee and WRESE Program chair.

Program of Study

Students enrolled in the Program should complete their Program of Study within the first 3 semesters. The student shall work with his/her research advisor and committee to determine the appropriate course of study relative to the student’s research agenda. Students are expected to complete a rigorous course of study in quantitative hydrological sciences. Minimum requirements for the PhD include:

  • Coursework credits: 42 hours (26 can be from an MS)
  • Total credits: 72 hours
  • Math expectations: students are encouraged to pursue a high level of math proficiency, with typical students progressing through differential equations. Individual math expectations will be determined by the committee and program chair.

A dissertation proposal should be approved by the end of the 4th semester. Students shall submit their proposal to their committee for review two weeks prior to a holding a committee meeting where the student (a) presents their proposal in a public presentation and (b) defends the proposal to the committee in a closed meeting. After the meeting, the student shall amend the proposal as required by the committee within a timely manner.

Admission to Candidacy / Preliminary Examination

Advance to candidacy is attained by passing preliminary exams within 3 years of initiating a degree program. Students should complete their preliminary exams as close to the end of their primary coursework as possible. Preliminary exams consist of two parts. The first part is a written examination wherein committee members shall submit written questions to the student. Once the student has passed their written exams, they will be administered an oral examination. 

The written exam shall be administered by the student’s research adviser, who will coordinate the questions so as to obtain a comprehensive review of the student’s knowledge of the materials the student has learned in the classroom and needs to complete his/her research topic. Written questions should cover both conceptual and theoretical underpinnings in hydrological sciences and technical questions related to the student’s research area.