The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's hydrogeology and water chemistry bachelor's degree is for students planning careers in geology, including hydrogeology, geochemistry and environmental geology — or planning to pursue graduate school in those same areas. The robust program currently meets the 1998 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources academic requirements for classification as a hydrogeologist.
Curriculum throughout the comprehensive major will provide you with a solid foundation in areas like physical geology, environmental geology, and mineralogy and petrology, with a special emphasis on hydrogeology and water chemistry. Classes will explore topics like hydrogeologic field techniques, groundwater development and management, water law, conservation of surface and subsurface waters, problems associated with the development of water resources in Wisconsin and the U.S., and the application of chemistry to geologic problems.
Rooted in experiential learning, the geology department is committed to providing you with real-world experience before you graduate. A required three-week field course in West Texas and New Mexico will introduce you to geologic mapping techniques, including the construction of geologic maps and cross-sections in mildly deformed sedimentary and volcanic rocks. You'll also have countless opportunities to work alongside our talented professors, conducting experiments and participating in geological field research.
Graduates of UWEC's hydrogeology and water chemistry program go on to pursue a variety of rewarding careers. From helping a city to develop a new water supply well to figuring out how to best clean up contaminated groundwater to assessing potential water quality impacts from a new mine, the paths this degree will take you are endless.
Support your college journey with scholarships! There are currently thousands of dollars in scholarships available for incoming and current Blugolds, some of which are reserved specifically for geology majors. For example, the H2O Well Drilling and Pump Service Geology Scholarship awards $500 to two geology majors in good academic standing with at least sophomore standing. Another scholarship, the Josh Carlisle Applied Geology Scholarship, awards $1,000 to two geology majors who provide evidence of interest in careers in applied geology through either an essay outlining career goals, completion of an internship or confirmation of an upcoming internship.
Learn more about additional scholarships and resources available to you by checking out our scholarships page.
Financial aid at UW-Eau Claire
Working to make your college education affordable is very important to us. We are here to walk you through the financial aid process and make applying for aid and paying your bill as easy as possible.
To get this process started, please contact our staff at Blugold Central — our one-stop-shop for tuition and financial aid. They will help you learn how to pay for your education and minimize debt, freeing you up to focus on academics and your hydrogeology and water chemistry degree.
Learn more about our financial aid process at UWEC.
Hydrogeology and water chemistry program details
- Program length: four years
- Availability: campus
- This major does not require a minor.
- Geology Club
- Women & Gender Minorities in STEM
State-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities. The geology department at UW-Eau Claire, along with the Materials Science and Engineering Center, houses state-of-the-art analytical equipment that is rarely found at undergraduate institutions. With nearly 100 unique pieces of high-tech instrumentation, here, you can analyze your field samples right on campus. From analytical geochemistry equipment to mineralogy and petrology equipment to the latest software used in the field — we have it all.
Access to internships. Our geology students have unparalleled internship opportunities, largely due to the rare industry partnerships we have forged through the Responsible Mining Initiative (RMI) grant. These connections give our students a huge hiring advantage with several industry leaders in the region.
Field research opportunities. Student-faculty collaborative research is the hallmark of all geology programs at UW-Eau Claire. Faculty members will regularly encourage you to become involved in their latest research projects — or encourage you to start your own. Here, our professors are committed to the philosophy that learning science is best achieved by doing science. Past projects have brought students to places like southwestern Montana, Maine, Ontario and the Swiss Alps.
A variety of electives. Study soils found within our environment, inorganic chemistry or river processes and the landforms that result from them. More than 20 credits come from classes chosen by you. This personalized approach allows you to uncover even more interests and passions and gives you a chance to learn from multiple departments and faculty members.
Nature close to home. Our campus’ physical location provides nature right at your fingertips. Bordered by a nature preserve known as Putnam Park, UW-Eau Claire has over 230 acres of terrain perfect for studying soils. The Chippewa River and Little Niagara Creek flow right through our lower campus, and Big Falls County Park is just 12 miles away.
The hydrogeology and water chemistry program was designed to fulfill requirements for admission to graduate programs in hydrogeology, geochemistry and environmental geology. Graduates are also equipped with the knowledge and skills to immediately enter the field as geologists and hydrogeologists/hydrologists.
Specialists in hydrogeology commonly work in environmental consulting firms, regulatory agencies such as the DNR and for private companies seeking to maintain compliance with environmental regulations. And these jobs are in demand. Hydrogeology studies are quickly becoming fundamental to environmental science, especially in a world becoming increasingly more focused on conservation and sustainability.
Where are hydrogeology and water chemistry alumni now?
- Field geologist, Arcadis
- Associate technician, SEH Inc.
- Geologist, Genesis Engineering and Redevelopment
- Hydrogeologist, Tetra Tech
- Geotechnical engineer, Element Materials Technology
- Geologist, Cedar Corp.
The faculty care deeply about their students, which is shown in the effort they put into daily classes, field trips and student research. The lifelong relationships, experiences and opportunities I had at UWEC surpass many other universities.
Throughout the hydrogeology and water chemistry program, you will study the occurrence, use and motion of surficial deposits and groundwater in an effort to protect precious water resources. Rigorous field-based programs blend traditional geological field skills with modern technology and computational science, giving you an inside look at what you can expect to do in the field — and what skills will be required of you.
Classes for hydrogeology and water chemistry majors may include:
- Water Resources
- Hydrogeology I and II
- Structural Geology
- Introduction to Geochemistry
- Geomorphology and Aerial Photography Interpretation
- Engineering Geology
- Calculus II
- General Physics
- Geographic Information Systems I
- Modern Organic Chemistry
Learn more about the comprehensive hydrogeology and water chemistry major in the UWEC course catalog.
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