B.S Hydrologic Sciences and Policy Requirements

Hydrology is a science dealing with the occurrence, circulation, distribution, and properties of the waters of the solid earth and its atmosphere. Many of the significant environmental problems that society is facing today are related to hydrologic or water issues. These include the hydrologic impact of climate change; the transportation of hazardous materials in both ground and surface water; the maintenance of high quality water for human consumption, industry, irrigation, recreation, energy generation, and agriculture; the understanding of geological hazards; and the management of important aquatic environments. Because water is important to and affected by physical, chemical, and biological principles, the curriculum of the B.S. degree in hydrologic sciences is multidisciplinary.

The main focus of the hydrologic sciences and policy program and major is to provide students with the scientific training needed to understand and solve complex hydrologic problems at local, regional, and global levels. The goal of the hydrologic sciences curriculum is to provide a rigorous framework for students to examine the hydrologic process in our environment. Although the program is housed within the Environmental Studies Program, the curriculum for this degree is offered cooperatively by the departments of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Geography; and Earth Science. Lower-division courses concentrate on the physical and natural sciences. In the upper division, students complete a core group of hydrology courses and then select one of the following three emphases: biology and ecology, physical and chemical sciences, or policy.

Students in hydrologic sciences have the opportunity to conduct academic internships. Through the Environmental Studies Internship Program, a student majoring in hydrologic sciences can obtain valuable hands-on experience while earning academic credit towards major requirements. Students majoring in hydrologic sciences may also conduct independent research or serve as a research assistant with faculty members (Environmental Studies 199 or 199RA). In addition, the Environmental Studies Program offers a senior honors program for all qualified hydrologic sciences majors in which a student can receive a "Distinction in the Major" award upon successful completion of the program. The hydrologic sciences program is also affiliated with numerous study abroad programs and schools which provide students the opportunity to receive academic credit while conducting hydrological research around the world.

Major Requirements:

The Hydrologic Sciences (B.S.) major is divided into three parts: preparation for the major, upper-division required courses (Area A), and choose one of three major emphases (Area B): Biology and Ecology, Physical and Chemical, and Policy.

1) Preparation for the Major (1st and 2nd years):

UCSB Courses:
1 course Physical Geology Earth Sciecne 1 or 2
1 course in Physical Geography: Geography 3B
4 courses of Science Calculus: Mathematics 3A, 3B, Math 4A and 4B
1 course of Intro Statistics: PSTAT 5A or 5LS
1 year of Intro Sci. Chemistry w/lab: Chemistry 1A-AL, 1B-BL, and 1C-CL
1 year of Intro Sci. Biology MCDB 1A-AL, MCDB 1B, EEMB 2, EEMB 3-3L, and either 
1 year of Intro Physics: Physics 6A-AL, 6B-BL, and 6C-CL or Physics 1, 2, and 3-3L
1 course in History of Public Policy: History 7
1 Intro to Env. Studies or American Political Govt. Environmental Studies 3 or Political Science 12
1 course in Micro, Macro, or Intro Econ: Economics 1 or 2 or 9


 2) Upper-division Units (3rd and 4th years):

All Hydrologic Sciences majors must complete a total of 56 upper-division units broken down in the following:

Area A. Required Courses (25 total units):

Geography 112, Geography 116/Earth Science 173, Earth Science or Environmental Studies 168 or 169, Geography or Environmental Studies 144. Environmental Studies 176A, and Environmental Studies 100 or EEMB 120.

Area B. Complete one of the following three emphases (31 units):

Biology and Ecology:
    Required:  EEMB 128, 148, 171.................................................................... 12 units _____
    * It's highly recomended this emphasis should take EEMB 120 in Area A above.

    19 units from the following:  EEMB 117, 119, 120AL-BL, 142B-BL-C-CL, 153, 168, 186; 
    Environmental Studies 149, 176B, 192, 197, 199, 199RA;  Geography 114A-B, 162, 
    176A-B-BL-C-CL;  Earth Sci. 114, 117, 168 or 169 (if not used above) ............ 19 units _____

Physical and Chemical:  
    Required:  Geography 114A, 162, Earth Sci. 114, 117 ........................................ 17 units _____
    14 units from the following:  Chemistry 109A-B-C, 113A-AL-B-C, 123, 150;  EEMB 142B-BL, 168,
    186; Environmental Studies 119, 128, 149, 176B, 192, 197, 199, 199RA;  Geography 110, 114B,
    134, 166, 176A-B-BL-C-CL; Earth Sci. 102A-AL-B-BL-C-CL, 103, 104A, 113, 122, 124AA-ZZ, 
    130, 168 or 169 (if not used above)  .............................................................. 14 units _____

    Required:  Environmental Studies 106, 174;  History 173T;  Political Science 175 .. 16 units _____
    15 units from the following:  EEMB 142B-BL, 186;  Environmental Studies 119, 128, 149,
    176B, 192, 197, 199, 199RA;  Geography 135, 135S, 162, 176A-B-BL-C-CL;  
    History 172A-B, 176A-B; Political Science 177 ............................................. 15 units _____ 

Note: Env S 192, 197, 199, and 199RA must be selected in consultation with the department
     undergraduate advisor as course material must relate to your hydrologic sciences emphasis. 
     Only up to 4 units of the Env S  192, 199, and 199RA courses, and No more than 8 units
     combined, can be applied to the major.


P/NP GRADING OPTION .............Up to 4 units of Env St 192 may be taken P/NP for major credit. All other courses, including those applied to the major from other departments must be taken for letter grades. 

SUBSTITUTIONS ..................... In the major requirements permissible only by petition to the department. 

RESIDENCE REQUIREMENTS ....... At least 20 UD units in major while in residence at UCSB. 

G.P.A. REQUIREMENTS ............. At least 2.0 overall average in a) all UD major courses; and b) all major courses (Prep and UD) while in UC.

Related Resources:

» View High School and Transfer Student Preparation for the B.S. Hydro Major
» View and download the B.S. Hydro Major Requirement/Progress Check worksheet
» Download the official College L&S Hydro major requirements sheet from the UCSB General Catalog.
» View the Guide to Completing the B.S. Hydro Degree & GE's in Four Years