PhD Degree Specifics

Info for just the Hydrologic Sciences PhD Degree students



The exams and Defense are conducted by interdepartmental committees chaired by a faculty member in the home department and approved by the home department and the Hydrologic Sciences Program.

Preliminary examination (in some departments)

Students pursuing a PhD Degree in Hydrologic Sciences will take a preliminary exam depending upon the regulations of the student's home department.

Comprehensive examination

The format of the PhD comprehensive examination varies somewhat from department to department. In general, the comprehensive exam tests general knowledge of hydrologic sciences as well as specific research skills. The oral exam can include basic questions of hydrologic sciences to test the student's understanding of fundamental concepts. It is recommended that students complete this exam before the end of their fifth semester.

There should be at least two faculty from the Hydrologic Sciences Program on the exam committee, the composition of which should be approved by a co-director of the Hydrologic Sciences program.

Dissertation defense

The dissertation defense is conducted publicly in the usual way by a committee of 5 faculty, as approved by the chair of the student's home department. The chair of the defense committee is normally the student's research advisor. In the event the research advisor is not a member of the faculty of the student's home department, the agreement of that department that the advisor serve as chair will be sought. Because the Hydrologic Sciences faculty is broadly interdisciplinary, the requirement that not all of the committee members for the defense be from one department is usually automatically satisfied. Conduct of the defense will follow the CU-Boulder Graduate School rules.


Graduate student, Natalie Mladenov (CEAE & INSTAAR), collects water samples for pH, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen measurements from a seasonal floodplain in the Okavango Delta, Botswana in July, 2002. Field work was part of a study (NSF IGERT and NSF GSF) that examined hydrologic controls on organic matter cycling in arid-zone wetlands. The seasonal floodplains support large mammals, such as zebra and elephants, and predators, such as lion and leopard, and are home to crocodiles, hippos, and numerous water birds. Photo: Piotr Wolski (Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre, HOORC), 2002.


Site built and hosted by INSTAAR