Certificate Program in Hydrogeology

Program details

Credits required: 12

Location Format   
Online—optional field course in Kalamazoo Online

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Student stories

Video of Hydrogeology Field Course Western Michigan University (WMU)

Industry highlights

Employment of hydrogeologists is expected to grow 16 percent between 2012 and 2022Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employer experience

  •   As anticipated, [the applicant’s hydrogeology field course] experience was one of the main qualifications that set him apart from other candidates … as an employer, we are excited to see that an entry-level candidate has the experiences which can only be acquired during field camp.   Kate Fayling, P.G., GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

Graduate Certificate

Get in-demand experience to enter the growing field of hydrogeology

There is growing need for environmental professionals with experience and knowledge in hydrogeology. Environmental regulations supporting clean water, problems concerning water quality and treatment, and a large number of geoscientists reaching retirement age have increased the demand for qualified hydrogeologists, hydrologists and environmental geologists.  Additionally, if you already have an interest in environmental geology or hydrology, learning more about hydrogeology could be a natural fit.

Whether you’re currently a student or an industry professional, the graduate Certificate Program in Hydrogeology will give you marketable field experience and credentials. 

Earn your credentials from the country’s premier hydrogeology program

The certificate program combines our highly regarded six-week field course (now optional) with three geoscience electives (12 credit hours total). The geoscience electives are offered online and also at our main campus in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Since its inception in 1987, our hydrogeology field course has been attracting students and professionals from across the nation and the world. The field course is offered in Kalamazoo, Mich. each summer.

You’ll spend six weeks in the field getting hands-on experience in:

  • Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER).
  • Geophysical methods of investigating ground water.
  • Aquifer testing.
  • Groundwater sampling and monitoring.
  • Well drilling and installation.
  • Remediation design and implementation.

Open doors to rewarding career opportunities

A certificate in hydrogeology can give you additional endowments and increase your employability without having to commit to a full-time graduate program. 

Holders of a certificate in hydrogeology have found jobs as:

  • Geologist*, hydrogeologist
  • Teacher*, educational consultant or museum educator
  • Manager or mid-level consultant
  • Environmental technician, scientist, specialist or engineer
  • Environmental regulator 

*Some positions require additional licensure that are not provided by this program.

Employment opportunities may include working with:

  • Environmental consulting
  • Hydrogeolic investigation
  • Wetland mitigation
  • Flood prediction
  • Hazardous waste remediation
  • Environmental geochemistry

Over the last five years, nearly half of WMU Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences graduates have found careers in hydrogeology and are working in the Great Lakes region, Colorado, California and beyond. Employment of hydrogeologists is expected to grow 16 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, the 2014 Status of Geoscience Workforce report predicts a future workforce shortage of 135,000 geoscientists due to large swaths of retirees. 

Program Overview

Graduate Certificate (12 credit hours)
Required Courses (3 credits)
GEOS 5120—Hydrogeology (3 credits)
Choose 9 credits of the following (9 credits)
GEOS 5060—Introduction to Soils (3 credits)
GEOS 5090—Surface Water Hydrology (3 credits)
GEOS 5140—Isotope Hydrology (3 credits)
GEOS 5360—Glacial Geology (3 credits)
GEOS 5230—Hazardous Waste Operation and Emergency Response (1 credit)
GEOS 5240—Remediation Design and Implementation (1 credit)
GEOS 5250—Surface Geophysics (1 credit)
GEOS 5260—Principles and Practices of Aquifer Testing (1 credit)
GEOS 5270—Principles of Well Drilling and Installation (1 credit)
GEOS 5280—Principles/Practices of Groundwater Sampling/Monitoring (1 credit)
GEOS 5450—Hazardous Waste Remediation (3 credits)
GEOS 6000—Hydrogeochemistry(3 credits)
GEOS 6050—Groundwater Modeling (3 credits)
GEOS 6120—Advanced Hydrology (3 credits)
GEOS 6130—Wetlands Hydrology (3 credits)
GEOS 6150—Contaminant Hydrology (3 credits)
GEOS 6170—Stable Isotope Geochemistry (3 credits)

Employer tuition reimbursement

If your employer has a tuition reimbursement program, find out about WMU’s deferment program for employer paid tuition.

"Best bang for the buck"

Washington Monthly placed WMU on a list of national universities that offer "the best bang for the buck." WMU came in at No. 50 based on the economic value students receive per dollar.

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