What are the requirements of admittance and the application process?
There are two separate certificate programs in hydrogeology—undergraduate and graduate.
- Undergraduate requirement: current or past undergraduate enrollment in a related field.
- Graduate requirement: bachelor's degree in a related field from an accredited institution.
- Undergraduate and graduate requirement: resume, three professional letters of recommendation, a written statement and official academic transcripts.
For additional information, see application requirements.
Note: Official academic transcripts are examined by the Program Director to ensure that you have passing grades in the necessary lower-level prerequisites (Calculus I/II and General Chemistry) in the certificate required and elective courses.
What are the costs associated with the certificate?
Main campus tuition rates apply to the undergraduate and graduate certificate with the exception of the Hydrogeology Field Course and online courses. The HFC and any online courses are offered through the Extended University Programs of Western Michigan University. See EUP's tuition rates here.
Note: GEOS 5230–HAZWOPER requires a $225 course fee and a $125 course fee is required for the other five HFC courses.
Can I apply for financial aid assistance for the certificate?
The certificate programs are non-degree programs and are therefore ineligible for financial aid available through the U.S. Department of Education.
How long does it take to complete the certificate?
The graduate certificate program requires a total of 12 credit hours: 3 credit hours of GEOS 5120 and 9 additional credit hours of online or face-to-face coursework (the list of approved courses can be found in the table on the Hydrogeology certificate program page). The timeline for completion of the certificate can vary based on several factors—what courses you plan to enroll in, when the courses are being offered and your ability to fulfill the credit obligations.
The undergraduate certificate program requires a total of 15 credit hours: 3 credit hours of GEOS 5120, 6 credits of the face-to-face Hydrogeology Field Course, and 6 credits of online or face-to-face coursework (the list of approved courses can be found in the table on the Hydrogeology certificate program page). The timeline for completion of the certificate can vary based on several factors—what courses you plan to enroll in, when the courses are being offered (see course offerings) and your ability to fulfill the credit obligations.
When your certificate requirements are completed, you will need to fill out a graduation application through the Office of the Registrar's in order for your certificate to awarded.
Do I have to take the Hydrogeology Field Course or can a previous field course be substituted for credit?
Graduate certificate: the Hydrogeology Field Course is not required to complete the graduate certificate program. However, you can choose to take the HFC to fulfill 6 of the 9 approved elective credits.
Undergraduate certificate: The Hydrogeology Field Course offered by the Department of Geosciences at Western Michigan University is one of the very few hydro-technical programs in the United States and the longest running of its kind. The HFC teaches a broad skill-set necessary for applied hydrogeology. Students will learn the principles and practices of a 40-hour HAZWOPER, aquifer testing, environmental geophysics, groundwater sampling, remediation, and well drilling and instillation. The Certificate program in Applied Hydrogeology is an outgrowth of the Hydrogeology Field Course. We feel that this course is absolutely essential to gain the necessary expertise in applied hydrogeology. Substitutions are not allowed.
I do not have the upper-division hydrogeology course prerequisite for the graduate certificate. How will this impact the courses I am eligible to take and the timeline for completion?
The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences offers GEOS 5120–Principles of Hydrogeology (upper-division prerequisite) each year in the spring semester. Undergraduate and graduate students can still be admitted into the program without GEOS 5120. Students who do not have the upper-division hydrogeology course can enroll in courses that do not require the prerequisite (see courses below).
- Courses that do not require GEOS 5120: GEOS 4320*, 5060, 5090, 5360, 5450, 6170**
- Courses that require GEOS 5120: Hydrogeology Field Course, GEOS 6000**, 6150**
*Undergraduate students only
**Graduate students only
Can I begin enrolling in the courses needed for the graduate certificate if I have not yet earned my undergraduate degree?
Students wishing to take graduate certificate courses at WMU must meet one of the following scenarios:
- You must have earned your bachelor's degree.
- You are a WMU student and have already applied to graduate for your undergraduate degree.
- You are enrolled in an accelerated graduate degree program at WMU.
Please note—options 2 and 3 apply only to WMU students.
What are the deadlines for applying for graduation?
How do I apply to receive my certificate?
Note: Students must apply for graduation in order to be awarded the Hydrogeology Certificate.