Combine advanced scientific study, management, and communication skills to launch a successful professional career.

If you are a recent college graduate looking to gain real-world experiences while earning your master’s degree or a working professional looking to further your career and refine your skill set, this program is for you. Participate in an internship with a water-related business, government or non-profit organization.


Minimum degree requirement is 36 graduate credits.

Expand your freshwater science knowledge, quantitative skills, and business expertise and apply them to non-profit, government and business careers in the water sector.

Course Credits
Required science core 12
FRSHWTR 502 Aquatic Ecosystem Dynamics
FRSHWTR 504 Freshwater Analysis
Choose two of the following:
FRSHWTR 506 Environmental Health of Freshwater Ecosystems
FRSHWTR 508 Aquatic Technologies
FRSHWTR 510 Economics, Policy & Management of Water
Required professional core (Others approved by program director) 9
BUSMGMT 706 Managing in a Dynamic Environment
BUSMGMT 715 Leadership, Team Building, and Effective Management
FRSHWTR 810 Professional Development for Water Leaders
PHILOS 337 Environmental Ethics
Elective courses (Selected with your major advisor) 12
FRSHWTR 980: Graduate Internship 3

View complete list of Freshwater Courses.

See all Freshwater Program requirements.

Previous Professional Science student internships.

An undergraduate bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, public policy or other appropriate natural science, social science or engineering discipline is required. Additionally, the following prerequisite courses are strongly recommended.

  • At least one semester of any three of the following topical areas: chemistry, biological sciences, physics, and calculus.
  • One additional semester of chemistry, biological sciences, or physics.

Students lacking prerequisites are often unable to complete courses in the recommended sequence and find it difficult to complete the required courses for graduation within the normal time frame of study.

Professional Science Advisory Board

Regional water leaders from government agencies, nonprofits, private industry, and local start-ups make up an active and engaged advisory board. Board members mentor students, provide internship and career opportunities, and help students develop workplace skills valued by employers. 

Major Advisor
We strongly recommend you reach out to faculty members whose interests align with your own early in the application process to discuss potential opportunities.  Meet our faculty and explore their research. Professional Science track MS students are paired with an advisor whose interests most closely align with their own.

Internship Requirement

Participate in an internship at a water-related entity and combine science and business skills. Whether you’re a full time student, working professional, or somewhere in between, create an experience that accommodates your current schedule and professional goals.

Recent student internships include Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Wisconsin DNR, US Army Corps of Engineers, Natural Resource Technology, Veolia Water, Pentair, City of Racine Health Department, City of Milwaukee Office of Sustainability, Alliance for the Great Lakes, and RA Smith.

Funding Your Education

PSM students are eligible for SFS scholarships and other forms of financial aid. For tuition and fee information see the UWM Cost of Attendance page. We strongly recommend you reach out to faculty members whose interests align with your own to discuss potential research and additional funding opportunities.

Launching Your Career

Join the Student Water Council, volunteer in the community, help at school events, and participate in conferences and symposiums to enhance your skills and experience and grow your academic and professional networks.

Partnerships with local organizations provide professional development opportunities and workshops. Meet with Academics Office staff, faculty advisors, and external mentors from non-profits, business, and government organizations. Explore resources from the UWM Career Development Center.

Recent graduates work at Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), Natural Resource Technology, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Milwaukee Water Works, GRAEF, Badger Meter, WE Energies, Wisconsin DNR, and Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.