Search Google Appliance

Prospective Certificate in Hydrology


The Graduate Certificate of Hydrology is designed to give students advanced training in hydrology, and leads to professional certification with the American Institute of Hydrology (AIH).

Trained hydrologic professionals are necessary to solve problems concerning drinking water supplies, stream habitat and water supply requirements for important aquatic organisms, the variability of climate and its effect on water supplies and hazards, and the threat posed to all these resources by industrial, agricultural and domestic contamination and overuse.

Employment possibilities include federal, state and local governmental agencies; commercial and industrial corporations in the private sector; and private consulting firms knowledgeable in hydrogeologic regulations, wetland mitigations, environmental regulations, flood prediction, pollution abatement and bioremediation, environmental site audits, and regulatory compliance. 

This Certificate program enhances professional development and can put students in a better position either to pursue a graduate degree and/or to pursue certification as a professional hydrologist with the AIH. A student earning a Graduate Certificate in Hydrology achieves a significant proportion of educational requirements and satisfies all primary hydrology coursework for qualification as a member of the AIH.


Program Goals

The goals of this Certificate program are:
o    A conceptual foundation surface hydrology, hydrogeology and water quality.
o    Competence in solving quantitative and qualitative hydrologic problems.
o    Completion of primary hydrological education requirements for certification as a Professional Hydrologist with AIH.

Admission Requirements

All PSU Graduate Certificate programs require admission by the University.  Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 in all undergraduate courses. Applicants with cumulative undergraduate GPAs between 2.50 and 2.74 may be considered for conditional admission only.

Department admission requirements for this Graduate Certificate include 8 undergraduate credits each in physics, chemistry and calculus. Applicants may be considered for a conditional admission. No prior coursework in hydrology is necessary for admission.

Application Process

Application process for applicants that are not current PSU students and current PSU students with a post-baccalaureate status: 

Apply via PSU Graduate Admissions: Link to online application 

Please note, PDF copies of transcripts of college and university work are required for the online application. (Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the review process. Before you receive permission to register you will need to provide official transcripts.) For information on transcripts see the Office of Graduate Studies requirements

If you have questions regarding the online application, you may contact the ESM department at 503-725-4982 or You may also contact Graduate Admissions in the Office of Graduate Studies at 503-725-8410 or

Application process for current PSU Master's, Doctoral and Graduate Certificate students: 

Apply by submitting an application form with unofficial transcripts to the department. Applications may be submitted via email ( or in person (SRTC 218). In addition to this application, you will also need to submit a GO-19 to the department.  

NOTE: There are two application periods for the Hydrology Certificate program: April 1 (for a Summer start date) and October 1 (for a Winter start date).  Please note the term of admit for the Hydrology Certificate for applicants already admitted in to a PSU Master's, Doctoral, or Graduate Certificate program will be the term in which applicants are accepted in to the Hydrology Certificate program, submit a GO-19 to the department, and are registered for classes at PSU.

Department of Education Mandated Certificate Program Information


Course Requirements

Course requirements for this Certificate include successful completion of one of three surface hydrology core courses (4 credits total); one of two hydrogeology core courses (4 credits total); one of three water quality core courses (4 credits total); an additional Category I course (4 credits total); and two Category II courses (8 credits total), for 24 total credits.

Currently this certificate cannot be completed fully online. 

For students admitted to the program prior to Fall 2017, please click here for course requirements.

For students admitted to the program Fall 2017 and after, please click here for course requirements.


The Graduate Certificate in Hydrology is an interdisciplinary program centered in the PSU Environmental Science Masters Program. It is affiliated with the PSU Departments of Civil Engineering, Geology, Geography, Biology and Physics.

Relationship to PSU Graduate Programs

Courses completed for this Graduate Certificate may be applied toward graduate degrees at PSU provided they meet the appropriate standards for use in the degree, including acceptable grades, and completion within seven years of the master’s degree award.

For more information contact: Dr. Angela Strecker (Faculty Coordinator)