Master of Science in Water Management and Hydrological Science

http://waterprogram.tamu.edu

Head: R. Kaiser

Graduate Advisor: R. Sanchez

The interdisciplinary graduate water degree program offers a Master of Water Management, a MS degree and a PhD degree in Water Management and Hydrological Science. The degrees are designed to prepare students for academic, research and professional careers in water management and science by expanding and deepening knowledge in a primary water discipline while providing an integrated and multidisciplinary perspective on water.

Degree programs are prepared by the student in consultation with his or her graduate committee. Courses for the degree program are selected from various departments and colleges as designated by the interdisciplinary water faculty.

The graduate program and degrees are administered by an interdisciplinary water faculty whose membership includes faculty from the Colleges of Agriculture, Architecture, Engineering and Geosciences. Program supervision includes a Council of Participating Deans, Program Chair and the interdisciplinary water faculty.

The Master of Water Management and Hydrological Science (MWM) is a non-thesis degree designed to prepare a student for a career in the critically important areas of water management and hydrology. It is structured to enhance problem solving and technical skills along with managerial principles. The degree program integrates an interdisciplinary curriculum with an intercollegiate faculty. Program administration includes a Council of Participating Deans, Program Chair and Faculty of Water Management and Hydrological Science. It is a degree combining principles from economics, engineering, management, policy analysis and science and requires the completion of a minimum of 36 hours of coursework and a satisfactory comprehensive final exam. This approach provides a student with the necessary education and training to enable him/her to contribute to advancements in managing water quality and quantity for the world, the nation and the State of Texas.

An individual with a baccalaureate degree, or a qualified senior in his/her last semester may apply for admission to the program. Because of the combination of professional, science and technical classes, prerequisites may be required before a student can take the core curriculum and common body of knowledge courses.

Program Requirements

Student’s Advisory Committee

After receiving admission to the graduate studies and enrolling for coursework, the student will consult with the graduate coordinator concerning appointment of the chair of his or her advisory committee. The student’s advisory committee for the master’s degree will consist of no fewer than three members of the graduate faculty. The chair or one of the co-chairs of the advisory committee must be from the Water Management and Hydrological Science faculty. At least one or more of the members must be from an academic program other than Water Management and Hydrological Science.

The chair, in consultation with the student, will select the remainder of the advisory committee. The student will interview each prospective committee member to determine whether he or she is willing to serve. Only graduate faculty members from the faculty of Water Management and Hydrological Science may serve as chair of a student’s advisory committee. Other graduate faculty members may serve as co-chair with an individual from the Water Management and Hydrological Science faculty. The chair of the committee, who usually has immediate supervision of the student’s degree program, has the responsibility for calling meetings at any other time considered desirable.

If the chair of a student’s advisory committee voluntarily leaves the University and the student is near completion of the degree and wants the chair to continue to serve in this role, the student is responsible for securing a current member of the University Graduate Faculty, from the student’s academic program and located near the Texas A&M University campus site, to serve as the co-chair of the committee. The Department Head or Chair of Intercollegiate faculty may request in writing to the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies that a faculty member who is on an approved leave of absence or has voluntarily separated from the university, be allowed to continue to serve in the role of chair of a student’s advisory committee without a co-chair for us to one year. The students should be near completion of the degree. Extensions beyond the one year period can be granted with additional approval of the Dean.

If the chair of the student’s advisory committee is unavailable for an extended time in any academic period during which the student is involved in activities relating to an internship or professional paper and is registered for courses such as 684, 692 or 693, the student may request, in writing, that the Program Chair appoint an alternate advisory committee chair during the interim period.

The duties of the committee include responsibility for the proposed degree plan, any professional study or project, and the final examination. In addition, the committee, as a group and as individual members, are responsible for counseling the student on academic matters, and, in the case of academic deficiency, initiating recommendations to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

The committee members’ approval on the degree plan indicate their willingness to accept the responsibility for guiding and directing the entire academic program of the student and for initiating all academic actions concerning the student. Although individual committee members may be replaced by petition for valid reasons, a committee cannot resign en masse.

Degree Plan

The student’s advisory committee, in consultation with the student, will develop the proposed degree plan. The degree plan must be completed and filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to the second semester of registration, and no later than 90 days prior to the date of the final oral examination.

This proposed degree plan should be submitted through the online Document Processing Submission System located on the website https://ogsdpss.tamu.edu.

Additional coursework may be added to the approved degree plan by petition if it is deemed necessary by the advisory committee to correct deficiencies in the student’s academic preparation. No changes can made to the degree plan once the student’s Request for Final Examination or Request for Final Examination Exemption is approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Credit Requirement

The minimum requirements for the Thesis option is 32 credit hours. The student is required to complete 8 credit hours of core course work, 15 credit hours of required water courses, up to 6 credit hours of free elective courses, and a minimum of 1 credit hour of research. Maximum of 4 credit hours of 685 courses towards the Master of Science degree are permitted.

Transfer of Credit

A student who has earned 12 hours of graduate credit in residence at Texas A&M University may be authorized to transfer courses in excess of the limits prescribed above upon the advice of the advisory committee and with the approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Graduate and/or upper-level undergraduate courses taken in residence at an accredited U.S. institution or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater might be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution. Otherwise, the limitations stated in the preceding section apply. Coursework in which no formal grades are given or in which grades other than letter grades (A or B) are earned (for example, CR, P, S, U, H, etc.) is not accepted for transfer credit. Courses appearing on the degree plan with grades of D, F or U may not be absolved by transfer work. Credit for thesis research or the equivalent is not transferable. Credit for coursework submitted for transfer from any college or university must be shown in semester credit hours or equated to semester credit hours. An official transcript from the university at which the transfer coursework was taken must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.

Courses used toward a degree at another institution may not be applied for graduate credit. If the course to be transferred was taken prior to the conferral of a degree at the transfer institution, a letter from the registrar at that institution stating that the course was not applied for credit toward the degree must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Grades for courses completed at other institutions are not included in computing the GPR.

Limitations on the Use of Transfer, Extension and Certain Other Courses

Some departments may have more restrictive requirements for transfer work. If otherwise acceptable, certain courses may be used toward meeting credit-hour requirements for the master’s degree under the following limitations:

  1. The maximum number of credit hours which may be considered for transfer credit is the greater of 12 hours or one-third (1/3) of the total hours of a degree plan. The following restrictions apply:
    • Graduate and/or upper-level undergraduate courses, taken in residence at an accredited U.S. institution, or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater will be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the student was in degree-seeking status at Texas A&M University, or the student was in degree-seeking status at the institution at which the courses were taken; and if the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution.
    • Courses previously used for another degree are not acceptable for degree plan credit.
  2. The maximum number of credit hours taken in post-baccalaureate non-degree (G6) classification at Texas A&M University which may be considered for application to the degree plan is 12.
  3. Any combination of 684 and 685 may not exceed a total of 6 credit hours.
    • A maximum of 4 hours of 684 (Professional Internship); and
    • Up to 6 hours of 685 (Directed Studies).
  4. A maximum of 2 hours of Seminar (681).
  5. A maximum of 9 hours of advanced undergraduate courses (400-level).
  6. For graduate courses of three weeks’ duration or less, taken at other institutions, up to 1 hour of credit may be obtained for each five-day week of coursework. Each week of coursework must include at least 15 contact hours.
  7. No more than 3 credit hours of 690 (Theory of Research) or 695 (Frontiers in Research) may be used.
  8. Continuing education courses may not be used for graduate credit.
  9. Extension courses are not acceptable for credit.

Exceptions will be permitted only in unusual cases and when petitioned by the student’s advisory committee and by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Thesis Option

An acceptable thesis is required for the Master of Science degree for a student who selects the thesis option program. The finished work must reflect a comprehensive understanding of the pertinent literature and express in clear English, the problem(s) for study, the method, significance and results of the student’s original research. Guidelines for the preparation of the thesis are available in the Thesis Manual, which is available online at the  Office of Graduate and Professional Studies website.

After successful defense (or exemption) and approval by the student’s advisory committee and the head of the student’s major department (or chair of the intercollegiate faculty, if appropriate), the student must submit his/her thesis in electronic format as a single PDF file. The PDF file must be uploaded to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies website. Additionally, a signed paper approval form with original signatures must be received by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The PDF file and the signed approval form are required by the deadline.

Deadline dates for submitting the thesis are announced each semester or summer term in the “Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Calendar” (see Time Limit statement). These dates also can be accessed via the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies website.

Each student who submits a document for review is assessed a one-time thesis/dissertation processing fee through Student Business Services. This processing fee is for the thesis/dissertation services provided. After commencement, theses and dissertations are digitally stored and made available through the Texas A&M Libraries.

A thesis that is deemed unacceptable by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies because of excessive corrections will be returned to the student’s department head (or chair of the intercollegiate faculty, if applicable). The manuscript must be resubmitted as a new document, and the entire review process must begin again. All original submittal deadlines must be met during the resubmittal process to graduate that semester.

Thesis Proposal

For the thesis option Master of Science degree, the student must prepare a thesis proposal for approval by the advisory committee and the head of the major department or chair of the interdisciplinary faculty, if applicable. This proposal must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at least 20 working days prior to the submission of the request for the final examination.

Compliance issues must be addressed if a graduate student is performing research involving human subjects, animals, infectious biohazards and recombinant DNA. A student involved in these types of research should check with the Office of Research Compliance and Biosafety at (979) 458-1467 to address questions about all research compliance responsibilities. Additional information can also be obtained on the Office of Research Compliance and Biosafety website.

Thesis Defense/Final Examination

A thesis option student must pass a final examination by dates announced each semester or summer term in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Calendar. The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies must be notified in writing of any cancellation. To be eligible to take the final examination, a student’s GPR must be at least 3.000 for courses on the degree plan and for all courses completed at Texas A&M which are eligible to be applied to a graduate degree, and there must be no unabsolved grades of D, F or U for any course listed on the degree plan. To absolve a deficient grade, the student must repeat the course at Texas A&M University and achieve a grade of C or better. All coursework on the degree plan must have been completed with the exception of those hours for which the student is registered. Additionally, all English Language Proficiency requirements must be satisfied prior to scheduling the examination. An approved thesis proposal must be on file in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies according to published deadlines.

A request to hold and announce the final examination must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies a minimum of 10 working days in advance of the scheduled date for the examination. Examinations which are not completed and reported as satisfactory to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies within 10 working days of the scheduled examination date will be recorded as failures. A student may be given only one opportunity to repeat the final examination for the master’s degree and that must be within a time period that does not extend beyond the end of the next regular semester (summer terms are excluded).

The final examination covers the thesis and all work taken on the degree plan and at the option of the committee may be written or oral or both. The final examination may not be administered before the thesis is available to all members of the student’s advisory committee in substantially final form, and all members have had adequate time to review the document. The examination is conducted by the student’s advisory committee as finally constituted. The student must be registered in the University in the semester or summer term in which the final examination is taken. Persons other than members of the graduate faculty may, with mutual consent of the candidate and the major professor, attend final examinations for advanced degrees. Upon completion of the questioning of the candidate, all visitors must excuse themselves from the proceedings. A positive vote by all members of the graduate committee with at most one dissension is required to pass a student on his or her exam. A department, or interdisciplinary degree program, may have a stricter requirement provided there is consistency within all degree programs within a department or interdisciplinary degree program.

A thesis option candidate may petition to be exempt from his/her final examination provided his/her degree plan GPR is 3.500 or greater and he/she has the approval of the advisory committee, the head of the student’s major department, or intercollegiate chair, if appropriate, and the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. It is required that the petition for exemption be submitted the same semester the student intends to submit the thesis.

Exam results must be submitted with original signatures of only the committee members approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. If an approved committee member substitution (1 only) has been made, his/her signature must also be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Non-Thesis Option

The Master of Science in Water Management and Hydrological Science does not offer a Non-Thesis option.

Additional Requirements

Residence

In partial fulfillment of the residence requirement for the degree of Master of Water Management and Hydrological Science, the student must complete 9 credit hours during one regular semester or one 10-week summer semester in resident study at Texas A&M University. Upon recommendation of the student’s advisor committee and with approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, a student may be granted exemption from this requirement. Such a petition must be approved, however, prior to the student’s registration for the final 9 credit hours of required coursework.

Students who are employed full-time while completing their degree may fulfill total residence requirements by completion of less-than-full time course loads each semester. In order to be considered for this, the student is required to submit a Petition for Waivers and Exceptions along with verification of his/her employment to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

See Residence Requirements.

Time Limit

All degree requirements must be completed within a period of seven consecutive years for the degree to be granted. A course will be considered valid until seven years after the end of the semester in which it is taken. Graduate credit for coursework which is more than seven calendar years old at the time of the final examination (oral or written) may not be used to satisfy degree requirements.

Foreign Languages

A foreign language is not required for the Master in Water Management and Hydrological Science degree.

Internship or Practicum

The final examination is not to be administered until all other requirements for the degree, including any internship, have been substantially completed.

Application for Degree

For information on applying for your degree, please visit the Graduation section.