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Water Resources Graduate Certificate

Credits to Earn Your Certificate
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Certificate Overview Open Accordion
aerial view of Hansen supply canal’s 20-foot flume at Poudre River

Earn your water resources certificate online

Advance your career in water resources planning, management, and policy with this graduate certificate addressing an array of water issues in the western United States and around the world. Expand your knowledge with case studies, geospatial applications, and exercises. The program of study emphasizes an understanding of the hydrologic cycle and the physical processes that drive it, how humans adapt water resources to their needs, techniques for sustainable management, the evolution of laws and policies governing water use, and basic spatial and temporal analysis of water data.

After completion of this water resources graduate certificate, apply your knowledge to a career in the public or private sector. Career opportunities may be found in forests, parks, wildlife refuges, public lands, special-purpose water districts, academia, water resources engineering and consulting firms, nonprofit organizations, and municipal, tribal, county, state, or federal agencies.

Learn more about courses in this program on the curriculum page.

Faculty Open Accordion

Steven Fassnacht

Dr. Steven Fassnacht’s research focuses on snow hydrology and how a changing climate affects water resources in cold land regions. His projects examine the spatial and temporal variability of snowpack (and other earth system) properties using a variety of field measurements, station data and remotely sensed data. Past projects have used hydrological and snowpack models to evaluate datasets and model performance, while others have integrated social, ecological and/or hydro-climatological datasets to assess uncertainty, especially in regions with limited on-the-ground measurements.

Matt Ross

Dr. Matt Ross is an ecosystem scientist interested in how people control and change the environment and how altered landscapes impact the streams and rivers that drain them. To explore how people reshape landscapes and create novel dominant controls of ecosystem processes, Matt uses a range of approaches including: remote sensing, in situ sensors, field data collection, and use of public datasets with data science techniques. All of this work aims to enhance our understanding of ecosystem change for scientists and society alike.

Curriculum Open Accordion

This graduate certificate requires three courses total and they may be taken in any order. Students coming into this program must have an undergraduate degree in a related field (i.e., hydrology, geography, geology, ecology, biology, etc.). Additional coursework may be required due to prerequisites.

Required Courses

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Fall semester July 1
Spring semester December 1

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

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1Review Admission Requirements

This online graduate certificate requires that students have an undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution, in a related field (i.e., hydrology, geography, geology, ecology, biology, etc.).

International Students: A minimum Internet-based TOEFL score of 86 or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or a minimum of PTE score of 58 is required.

While it is not required, it is recommended that you contact us in advance of submitting application materials.

2 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Choose "Water Resources (Certificate) – Distance" when choosing the Program of Study. (Note: You must first select "Certificate" at the top.)

3 Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript from the institution where you earned your bachelor’s degree. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary):
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Morgan Parsley
Prospective Student Support Coach
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Program Details

$712-993 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
Certificate Awarded
Graduate Certificate in Water Resources
Time Frame
1 Year
Admission Reqs.
  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution.

Application Dates

Fall semester
July 1
Spring semester
December 1

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