Certificate Program in Hydrogeology

As a student in the certificate program in hydrogeology at Western Michigan University, you will gain the field, technical and analytical skills that prepare you for successful careers in hydro- and environmental geology. Students will learn the principles and practices of aquifer testing and analysis, contaminant transport and remediation, drilling and water well design, installation and development and near-surface geophysics. Students will also practice water, soil, gas and sediment sampling, field geochemistry, scientific writing, proper data collection, field documentation, scientific presentation and analysis. Through online and field courses, students will gain the knowledge, as well as the ability to carry out relevant field techniques and develop technical and problem-solving skills.

During your program, you will learn how to design an investigation, collect and analyze your own data, form interpretations and share your results with peers, faculty and members of the geosciences community. Trained environmental professionals are needed to solve problems concerning drinking water supplies, wastewater treatment, water resources availability, subsurface contaminant transport, water quality and quality assessment, the effects of climate and land-use change on water and wetland resources and many other environmental issues. This program provides the specialized knowledge, critical thinking and communication skills necessary to succeed as a trained environmental professional. Graduates of this program have attained positions in state and federal government agencies, non-profit agencies and environmental and geotechnical consulting firms.

YOU SHOULD PURSUE A CERTIFICATE IN HYDROGEOLOGY IF...

  • You want to specialize or expand your skill set into hydro- and/or environmental geology.
  • You are seeking a manageable post-graduate program that includes theoretical, laboratory and field training and technical skills that will prepare you to be a marketable entry-level geologist, hydrogeologist or environmental scientist.
  • You are currently employed with a non-profit, regulatory or consulting group but desire to learn the technical and field aspects of environmental geology and hydrogeology through hands-on training.
  • You are interested in a career in geosciences working in a state or federal agency, non-government organization, environmental or geotechnical consulting firm.

CAREERS

Employment options for holders of a certificate in hydrogeology are numerous. Graduates seek employment with state and federal government agencies, private consulting firms, non-profit organizations and educational services. Employment opportunities may include work dealing with: environmental consulting, environmental regulations, hydrogeologic investigation, wetland mitigation, flood prediction, pollution abatement and hazardous waste remediation and environmental geochemistry. Some specific careers available to those with certificates in hydrogeology are:

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

*Some positions require additional licensure not provided as part of this program. For more career information, contact your faculty advisor (listed below) and visit the Career Guidance and Alumni Spotlight pages.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Undergraduate Certificate (15 credit hours)
Graduate Certificate (12 credit hours)
Prerequisite
None
Required Courses (9 credits)
Hydrogeology Field Course (6 credits) 
GEOS 5120—Hydrogeology (3 credits) 
Choose 6 credits of the following (6 credits)
GEOS 4320—Geomorphology (3 credits)
GEOS 5060—Introduction to Soils (3 credits)
GEOS 5090—Surface Water Hydrology (3 credits)
GEOS 5450—Hazardous Waste Remediation (3 credits)

Undergraduate and Graduate Course Information
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)
  • Program design: Our students have 20 to 40 percent classroom/laboratory education with a 60 to 80 percent focus on research. Students will gain experience through attending dynamic lectures, performing laboratory research in our state of the art facilities and applying their knowledge in hands-on field courses. Our programs are designed for national and international students coming from diverse scientific backgrounds with a variety of career goals—from industry to academia.
  • Course listings: To see which courses will be offered when, check out the WMU course listings. You can also read course descriptions for geosciences classes here.

  • Professional development: Students in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences are encouraged to gain valuable professional, research and field experience through joining our highly active student organizations: Geology Club, Student Chapter of American Institute for Professional Geologists, Student Chapter of American Associate of Petroleum Geologists and the Student Chapter of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
  • OUR STUDENTS

  • Meet our students: Watch video interviews featuring undergraduate and graduate students from a wide variety of personal and educational backgrounds discussing their experiences in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences.
  • Recent student achievements: Read about the accomplishments of our current students.
  • Alumni spotlight: Read about where our students find careers after graduating.

ASSOCIATED FACULTY

ADVISING

  • Academic advising: Confused about which classes to take, how to meet program requirements or what your progress is towards certificate completion? Confused about Graduate College forms or deadlines? All of these questions can be discussed with your faculty advisor, Dr. Dan Cassidy.

RESOURCES

WHAT'S NEXT?

APPLY   SCHEDULE A VISIT   MEET WITH ADVISOR   CONTACT US