Curriculum

waterscientist

A New Water Degree at Virginia Tech

View Degree Checksheets for a more detailed list of classes and requirements.

The B.S. degree in Water: Resources, Policy, and Management comprises 120 credits, distributed among the following categories of courses:

i) Curriculum for a Liberal Education (general education; 36 credits)
ii) Water Core (18 credits)
iii) Writing (3 credits)
iv) Water Law, Planning, and Economics (9 credits)
v) Geospatial Technology (3 credits)
vi) Water Science (12 credits)
vii) Water Policy (12 credits)
viii) Restricted Electives (18 credits)
ix) Free Electives (9 credits)

The curriculum is based on an interdisciplinary mix of coursework from water science and water policy, taught by faculty with extensive teaching experience, who are highly qualified to provide comprehensive, innovative coverage of appropriate subject matter and meet learning objectives for each of the core courses. All courses in the proposed curriculum are currently being taught by faculty at Virginia Tech.

Water, petri dish, research, lab, pipette, dropper, water drops, splashesStudents are required to select one area of focused study from a choice of water science specializations:

    • Aquatic Ecosystems
    • Hydrology
    • Water Quality
    • Water Treatment and Public Health

and one area of focused study from a choice of water policy specializations:

    • Watershed Management
    • Water Policy, Planning, and Economics
    • Water, Climate, Energy, and Global Issues.

There are at least 21 credits of water science courses and at least 21 credits of water policy courses required of all students in the program. There are 18 credits available in restricted electives, where students can further enhance their study of water science, policy, and management.

View Degree Requirement Checksheets; Download list of Undergraduate Water Courses (PDF)


Degree Requirements

Curriculum for a Liberal Education (general education) (36 credits)    

    • Area 1: Writing and Discourse (0-6 credit hours – depending on placement)
    • Area 2: Ideas, Cultural Traditions, and Values (6 credit hours)
    • Area 3: Society and Human Behavior (6 credit hours)
    • Area 4: Scientific Reasoning and Discovery (8 credit hours, including 2 labs)
    • Area 5: Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (6 credit hours)
    • Area 6: Creativity and Aesthetic Experience (1 credit hour)
    • Area 7: Critical Issues in a Global Context (3 credit hours)

Water Core (all 18 credit hours required)

GEOG/NR 2004: Introduction to Water Resources and Environmental Issues (3)

PHYS 2205: General Physics (3)

PHYS 2215: General Physics Lab (1)

FREC 3104: Principles of Watershed Hydrology (3)

ENSC 3604: Fundamentals of Environmental Science (3)

ENSC 4314: Water Quality (3) or FREC 3754 Watersheds and Water Quality Monitoring (3)

ALS/NR 4614: Watershed Assessment, Management, and Policy (2)

Writing (3 credit hours required; choose one course)                                        

Water Law, Planning, and Economics (9 credit hours required; choose one course from each of the three groupings)           

Geospatial Technology (3 credit hours required; choose any one course)                  

Water Science (12 credit hours required; complete 9 credit hours in one Water Science Specialization; remaining 3 credit hours can be chosen from any of the four Water Science Specialization Areas on the checksheet)                                

    • Aquatic Ecosystem Specialization – links water and ecosystems for enhancing understanding of natural environments
    • Hydrology Specialization – provides principles concerning movement and occurrence of water on the Earth’s surface
    • Water Quality Specialization – focuses on biological, chemical, and physical properties of water and how to control water pollution
    • Water Treatment and Public Health Specialization – provides concepts to manage water for human health and consumption

Water Policy (12 credit hours required; complete 9 credit hours in one Water Policy Specialization; remaining 3 credit hours can be chosen from any of the three Water Policy Specialization Areas on the checksheet)                                                           

    • Watershed Management – emphasizes management of land and other resource use on a watershed basis to provide goods and services without adversely affecting water resources
    • Water Planning, Policy, and Economics – addresses key social tools that are used to manage water resources
    • Water, Climate, Energy, and Global Issues – allows specialization on inter-linkages between water and other major global challenges

General Restricted Electives (18 credit hours required; choose from any courses listed under Water Science Specializations, Water Policy Specializations or from courses listed below).                       

Free Electives (9 additional credit hours)

View Degree Requirement Checksheets

Download list of Undergraduate Water Courses (PDF)


 

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