The goal of the Hydrology Program is to meet the need for qualified hydrologists in the immediate and foreseeable future as identified by the National Academy of Sciences. Graduates of the program are equally ready to assume positions as practicing hydrologists with resource agencies or consulting firms or to seek advanced training at the graduate level.

The Hydrology Program offers a B.S. degree and a supplemental minor in hydrology in response to the need for a coherent hydrology curriculum. At present, the major is one of only two such programs in the country.

The Program. Hydrologists generally need strong backgrounds in physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, geology, field methods, and computer methods. Knowledge of biology and chemistry is important for understanding modulators of water quality. Geology is essential for those working in groundwater hydrology. Field methods are necessary for observing and measuring hydrologic phenomena, and computer methods and mathematics are routinely needed for collectively analyzing field data and forecasting future system behavior.

The diverse and interdisciplinary hydrology major is designed to expose students to a broad range of hydrologic processes with course work that forms a basis for specialization in such areas as hydrobiology, hydrogeochemistry, irrigation/drainage, surface or groundwater hydrology (hydrogeology), and water management. Students in the major program complete a total of 180 units, including 72 units of rigorous course work in the natural sciences and mathematics, along with general education course work.

Requirements for a major program
Requirements for a minor program

Internships and Career Alternatives. Numerous opportunities for internships exist with state and federal agencies in the Greater Sacramento–Davis area. Career opportunities in hydrologic science are available in private consulting firms, environmental interest groups, and government agencies dealing with water resources, including the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture (Fish and Wildlife, Agricltural Research, Forest Service, and Soil Conservation Service), Environmental Protection Agency, national research laboratories (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory), and California Departments of Water Resources, Water Resources Control Board, Regional Water Quality Control Boards, Conservation, Fish and Game, and Toxic Substances. The major is excellent preparation for advanced degrees in hydrologic science and related fields.

For information about our undergraduate program email Lacole Brooks lbrooks@ucdavis.edu or lawradvising@ucdavis.edu or visit our Student Resources Page.