Building Strong Departments > Curricula & Programs > Curriculum Design > Curriculum Profiles > Proposed Hydrology Major, Central Michigan University

Proposed Hydrology Major, Central Michigan University

Information for this profile was provided by Jodi Ryder, Marty Baxter, and Patrick Kinnicutt in 2009.

Central Michigan is a university with graduate programs, primarily masters programs .

Overview and Context

Illustration of the CMU proposed hydrology curriculum, constructed by Monica Bruckner, based on information provided by Jodi Ryder, Marty Baxter, and Patrick Kinnicutt. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The Hydrology curriculum is an interdisciplinary geosciences degree with a focus on hydrologic systems. The curriculum is designed to continue our tradition of pairing a broad science base with rigorous geosciences courses. The core classes introduce the student to the three primary areas of the hydrologic cycle (atmospheric, surface, and ground water) as well as quantitative and modeling skills needed to assess these systems. Electives add the option for further work in environmental and climate science.
This is a proposed curriculum developed by faculty from both the Geology and Meteorology halves of the department. It has not been approved outside the department at this time.

Program Design

This curriculum was designed to mesh the faculty from the two segments of the department as well as provide more wide ranging career opportunities for our students. We see hydrology as an important area for our state.

Goals and Assessment

The goals of this curriculum are to meet the timely needs for students in terms of future career options. This includes immediate employment in the geosciences as well as graduate school in geology, environmnetal science, or engineering with a hydrology focus.

Since it is not currently offered our assessment has focused on alumni and external opinions about hireability and needs in the field.

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

  • Physical Geology and Physical Geology Lab
  • Dangerous Planet and Physical Geology Lab
  • Introduction to Earth Systems
  • Earth Processes

Core courses

  • Earth History
  • Introduction to Geologic Investigation
  • Earth Materials
  • Wet Planet
  • Surficial Hydrologic Processes
  • Hydrogeology
  • Meteorology
  • Meteorological Radar and Satellites
  • Geology Field Camp


Students are required to take 9-10 credits as 3 courses of electives, selected from:

  • Oceanography
  • Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • Glacial Geomorphology
  • Soil Science
  • Introduction to Geophysics
  • Environmental Geochemistry or Geochemistry
  • Applied Geostatistics
  • Geographic Information Systems I
  • Climatology and Climate Change

Other required courses

  • Introduction to Chemistry I and II or Principles of Chemistry
  • College Physics I with Lab or University Physics I with Lab
  • Calculus I and II
  • Elementary Statistical Analysis
  • Introduction Geographic Information Systems


  • Modeling of Hydrologic Systems

Additional comments

We have a Geology basis with Meteorology requirements. GIS and Statistics are also required to give students quantitative skills needing in environmental systems. Electives are limited to courses that have a strong bearing on Hydrology to keep the students focused but allow some latitude in course selection.

Additional Materials

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