The Department of Watershed Sciences combines coursework and research in aquatic ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, and climate science into an integrative interdisciplinary aquatic sciences program.  Our degree programs prepare students for careers in natural resources research and management.  Our recent graduates have secured employment with federal and state agencies, universities, and private organizations.

Our department offers graduate programs at both the Master and Doctoral levels in:

  • Ecology
  • Fisheries Biology
  • Watershed Science

We further offer graduate specializations in:

  • Aquatic Ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Fisheries Management
  • Watershed Ecology
  • Watershed Hydrology
  • Watershed Management
  • Geomorphology
  • Earth Surface Processes

Admission Requirements

  • GPA of 3.2 or higher
  • Combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of at least 307 (1100 on the old system)
  • Sponsorship by a faculty member (gaining a sponsorship usually requires correspondence directly with the faculty)
  • A formal application
  • A detailed statement outlining your objectives in graduate education, your future goals, and your specific area of research interest.

Utah State University is committed to providing equal educational opportunities, regardless of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, veteran status, or age. Equal education opportunities include admission, access to course offerings, financial assistance, housing, and extracurricular activities.

Graduate Program Overview

How to Apply

Applying for graduate study in Watershed Sciences is a two-step process.  We admit applicants to begin graduate study during Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters.  Applications should be submitted by the following deadlines.
Summer: March 15
Fall: June 15
Spring: October 15
Preference is given to applicants who apply before January 10.  Fellowships for non-University funds, such as Quinney Fellowships, have different deadlines.  Please see individual applications for deadlines.

Step One:

Contact a faculty member you would like to work with directly.  Students cannot be admitted to the program without first having a faculty sponsor and funding provided by their sponsor or an outside agency.  In your email please explain why you are interested in working with your prospective mentor and discuss your qualifications for graduate study, including any undergraduate research.  Be sure to also include your GPA and GRE scores.  To choose a prospective mentor, consult the list of faculty who have current active graduate programs.

Step Two:

Once you have secured a faculty sponsor and funding, you will be invited to officially apply through the School of Graduate Studies, send official transcripts and GRE scores, and pay the application fee.

If you have additional questions about the application process or our graduate program, please contact our graduate coordinator, Brian Bailey, at 435-797-2459.

Financial Assistance

Most of our students are supported by research assistantships provided by the faculty.  There are no separate applications for financial assistance.  All applicants accepted into the graduate program before January 10 are considered for College and University fellowships for the following year.  Fellowships are competitive and usually awarded to PhD students.  Award recipients will be notified by April 30 that they will receive a fellowship for the following school year.  For more information on financial assistance, view our Graduate Scholarships and Fellowships page.