Scope and Objectives
The graduate program in Water Resources Engineering at Oregon State University emphasizes interdisciplinary research and education on emerging themes related to environmental hydraulics hazards (e.g., floods, explosive air-water geyser flows, etc.), hydroinformatics, water resources systems analysis, watershed hydrology, flood management, green storm water infrastructure, water sustainability, and adaptation planning. The instructional program aims at developing strong abilities to conduct engineering work involving basic concepts and principles, technical analysis, planning, design and management. Our program seeks to enable students to pursue research topics that cross the traditional boundaries of water resources engineering, and to prepare students for leadership positions in academia, private, and public sectors.
Program of Study
Students develop their study programs from a variety of courses in civil engineering and other departments and programs across OSU. Civil Engineering departmental courses typically form the major field of study. Supporting course work from other departments and programs is encouraged because of the breadth of the water resources engineering field and to take advantage of strong supporting programs in many natural resources departments on campus.
The major field usually consists of a core of course work in surface and groundwater hydrology, hydraulic enginering, water quality, stormwater management, river engineering, and resource management. This is complemented by studies in a selected field such as environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, bioresource engineering, forest hydrology, stream ecology, geomorphology and geology, and resource economics, as well as many other possibilities.
Students consult with their advisor to develop study programs that fit their academic and professional goals. Master of Science and Doctoral degrees in Civil Engineering are offered. The Master of Science degree requires twelve months of full-time study and completion of a research study in the form of a thesis or project report. The doctorate degree requires at least two years of additional study and research and is granted for the completion of a dissertation involving original, creative research. Students may also study water resources engineering within the department’s Master of Engineering degree program, for which no thesis or research project is required.
Entrance and Coursework
Minimum entrance requirements (equivalent coursework):
- Calculus and differential equations: MTH 251, 252, 254, 256, and 306
- Statistics: ST 314
- Physics (with calculus): PH 211 and 212
- Chemistry: CH 201
- Engineering Mechanics: ENGR 211 (statics), 212 (dynamics), and 213 (strength of materials, recommended but not required)
- Fluid Mechanics* and Hydraulics: CE 311 and 313
*If a student has not had a basics fluids course, or needs a refresher, CE 547 Water Resources Engineering I: Principles of Fluid Mechanics is highly recommended.
Civil Engineering Course Offerings
CE 512 Hydrology (4)
Twice per year
CE 517 Hydraulic Engineering Design (4)
CE 540 Selected Topics: Stormwater Management and Modeling (4)
CE 540 Selected Topics: Unsteady Flows in Rivers and Pipe Networks (4)
CE 544 Open Channel Flow (4)
CE 547 Water Resources Engineering I: Principles of Fluid Mechanics (4)
CE 525/CE 540 Stochastic Hydrology
CE 540 Selected Topics: Optimization in Water Resources Engineering
CE 514 Groundwater Hydraulics
CE 513 GIS in Water Resources
External Course Offerings
Other courses relevant to water resources engineering may be found among other civil and environmental engineering areas and in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering and the departments of Biological and Ecological Engineering (BRE), Forest Engineering (FE), Geosciences (GEO), and elsewhere. Mathematics (MTH) and Statistics (ST) are also likely sources of coursework. An incomplete list of these classes is provided below.
Areas of concentration relevant to water resources engineering within Civil Engineering and other Oregon State departments include: Ocean Engineering, Structural Engineering and Mechanics, Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Simulation, Mathematics and Statistics, Business Administration and Logistics, Geotechnical Engineering, Surveying, Forest Engineering, Bioresource Engineering, Forestry and Resource Management, Economics and Resource Economics, Regional Science and Geography, and Political Science.
The Institute for Water and Watersheds (IWW) coordinates and offers leadership in OSU and regional water-related research, teaching, and outreach functions. The IWW is yet another example of the extraordinary integrative and interdisciplinary activities in water resources engineering, science and policy ongoing at Oregon State.
Oregon State has an Interdisciplinary Program in Water Resources that allows students to focus in Water Resources Engineering, Water Resources Science , or Water Resources Policy and Management. M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs bring together faculty and students from six colleges and multiple departments. The program includes core requirements for all students with additional work concentrated in specific degree programs (engineering, science or policy). Students draw from a set of existing OSU courses covering engineering approaches, watershed processes, and/or water resources management and policy. The course of study for the Water Resources Engineering focus area is outlined on the program web page. There is ample opportunity to take civil engineering courses, if desired.