MS in Natural Resources with Emphasis in Water Resources

The Water Resources emphasis area is an interdisciplinary graduate degree program encompassing all fields of natural sciences and, through collaboration, involves expertise from throughout the University of Missouri (MU). The geographic location of MU allows directed research to better understand water movement, biogeochemical cycling, biological and ecohydrological processes of flowing and impounded waters in forested, prairie, agricultural and urban landscapes of the midcontinent.

The Water Resources graduate emphasis area offers an M.S. degree program specializing in the occurrence, circulation, distribution, chemical and physical properties, and environmental interaction of atmospheric, surface and subsurface waters. Specific areas of investigation often include (but are not limited to) precipitation floods and drought regimes, lakes and reservoirs, groundwater, water use, water quality, water contamination, plant water use, environmental measurement methods, hydrologic modeling and International water resources.

Participating faculty in the Water Resources emphasis area are engaged in both scientific understanding of water resources (physical, chemical and biological) and its management, and the decision-making processes used to address competing societal values (social, economic and legal). The program has no geographic boundaries but benefits from a distinct midcontinent climate, and physiography. Multi-use watersheds (e.g. forest, agriculture, urban), streams, lakes, rivers, wetlands and subsurface waters are ideal areas for basic and applied research that is easily transferable to other regions. The program provides Global impact by graduating highly qualified internationally aware water resource professionals.

Water Resources program applicants must meet the program requirements of the University of Missouri Graduate School for MS programs and meet any additional application criteria of the Water Resources graduate emphasis area. Water Resources graduate students are often supported by grant-funded research assistantships, scholarships or fellowships, teaching assistantships, or are self-funded. Other opportunities may be available to eligible students.

Upon successful completion of the School of Natural Resources Water Resources graduate program, students will possess strong technical skills in water resources and related sub-disciplines. Graduates will have developed a holistic understanding of the hydrologic cycle related to ecosystem processes and the interdisciplinary background necessary to understand and address contemporary water resources problems.

Degree Requirements

  • 30 hours of course work must be completed
  • 15 hours or more shall be 8000 level.
  • Not more than 40 percent of the 30 hour credit requirement can be satisfied by a combination of special investigations, Research, Readings and/or Problems courses.
  • The GPA of all course work submitted for the degree must be 3.0 or better.
  • M.S. Students are required to publish at least one article in the primary literature stemming from their master’s thesis. In most cases, the article should be submitted to a peer reviewed journal prior to graduation.
Must take at least 6 credit hours from the following:
Aquatic Ecosystem Science
F_W 8460Wetland Ecology3
F_W 8520Stream Ecology3
F_W 7400Techniques for Fisheries Management and Conservation3
F_W 7100Limnology3-4
F_W 8450Advanced Limnology3
F_W 8550Advanced Waterfowl Ecology3
Climate and Climatology
ATM_SC 7400Micrometeorology3
ATM_SC 7520Environmental Biophysics3
ATM_SC 7590Radar Meteorology3
ATM_SC 8400Atmospheric General Circulation3
ATM_SC 8600Advanced Climate Dynamics3
Environmental Chemistry
ENV_SC 7318Environmental Soil Chemistry3
ENV_SC 8500Chemistry of the Vadose Zone3
F_W 7800Environmental Toxicology3
Hydrologic Science and Water Quality
ATM_SC 7520Environmental Biophysics3
ATM_SC 7550Atmospheric Physics3
FOREST 8390Physical Hydrology3
ENV_SC 7320Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling3
ENV_SC 7305Environmental Soil Physics3
ENV_SC 7306Environmental Soil Physics Laboratory2
ENV_SC 8400Solute Transport in the Vadose Zone3
Water Management Technology
NAT_R 8290Hydrologic Measurement and Synthesis2
ATM_SC 7510Remote Sensing for Meteorology and Natural Resources3
ATM_SC 7590Radar Meteorology3
Watershed Science and Management
FOREST 7390Watershed Management and Water Quality3
FOREST 8620Plant-Water Relations3
FOREST 8625Plant-Water Relations Laboratory2
Elective Courses
AG_EC 7356Environmental Law and Policy3
AG_S_M 7420Surface Water Management3
AG_S_M 7440Water Quality and Pollution Control3
AG_S_M 7460Irrigation and Drainage3
BIOL_EN 8150Natural Systems for Wastewater Treatment3
BIOL_EN 8250Water Management Theory3
CV_ENG 7230Introduction to Water Quality3
CV_ENG 7240Water Quality Analysis3
CV_ENG 7290Wastewater Treatment and Process Design3
CV_ENG 7700Hydraulics of Open Channels3
CV_ENG 7703Applied Hydrology3
CV_ENG 7710Soil and Water Conservation Engineering3
CV_ENG 7720Watershed Modeling Using GIS3
CV_ENG 7792Analysis of Water-Resource Systems3
CV_ENG 8200Water Quality Modeling3
CV_ENG 8210Groundwater Pollution Evaluation and Modeling3
CV_ENG 8215Environmental Transport Phenomena3
CV_ENG 8225Aquatic Chemistry3
CV_ENG 8270Design of Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities3
CV_ENG 8280Engineering Aspects of Water Quality3
CV_ENG 8740Hydrodynamics3
GEOG 7630River and Stream Dynamics3
GEOL 7100Groundwater Hydrology3
GEOL 7110Karst Hydrology3
GEOL 7130Groundwater Modeling3
GEOL 7210Marine Geology3
GEOL 7300Introduction to Low-Temperature Geochemistry3
GEOL 7318Environmental Soil Chemistry3
GEOL 7400Geomicrobiology and Microbial Biogeochemistry3
GEOL 7500Organic Geochemistry3
GEOL 8210Advanced Aqueous Geochemistry3
GEOL 8230Groundwater and Subsurface Geomicrobiology3
GEOL 8240Hydrolgeologic Processes3
GEOL 8400Ancient Greenhouse Climate3
GEOL 8550Stable Isotope Geochemistry3
PLNT_S 7720Aquatic Entomology3

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Thesis Requirements

A thesis shall be completed before the final examination. Research credits toward a thesis normally shall not exceed eight hours. A final oral examination is provided by all candidates before completion of the degree.

Every candidate should review the “Guidelines for Preparing Theses and Dissertations” from the Graduate School and should consult the Water Resources Director of Graduate Studies for academic program style requirements.

Thesis defense seminar

All students must present a defense seminar in advance of his/her final examination. The seminar must be publicized and the Director of Graduate Studies needs to be informed of the date as soon as the student arranges it, at least two weeks before the seminar. If the seminar is not appropriated announced, it may be considered invalid.

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Admission Contact Information

School of Natural Resources
Water Resources Emphasis Area
203-Q Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
(573) 884-7732

Director of Graduate Studies:

Dr. Jason A. Hubbart
203-Q ABNR Building
(573) 884-7732

Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the MS in Natural Resources with emphasis in Water Resources program and the minimum requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies.  Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program's graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process.  Your application materials will be reviewed by both the Office of Graduate Studies and the degree program to which you've applied before official admission to the University of Missouri.

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