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.

How to applyScholarshipsInfo Session


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 Freshwater Engineering
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

Learn more about Freshwater Program requirements.

Learn more about past 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

Professional Science Advisory Board
An active and engaged team of water leaders provide feedback, mentorship, internships, and jobs.

The PSM Advisory Board, comprised of local and regional water leaders from government agencies, nonprofits, private industry, and local start-ups, provides employer-based feedback to increase the effectiveness of the program. Board members provide recommendations to ensure students receive the skills necessary to excel as leaders in water related organizations. They emphasize the need for developing strong communication skills, problem solving, critical thinking, adaptability, and lifelong learning. You will benefit from direct interactions with advisory board members who provide mentoring opportunities, connections to internships, real world learning experiences, and careers.

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

Internship Requirement
Participate in a traditional internship at a water-related entity and combine science and business skills, or complete a group project to solve a specific water-related issue.

Whether you’re a full time student, working professional, or somewhere in between, select your experience to meet 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.

Launching Your Career

Launching Your Career
We provide career services to get you connected with business and industry.

Meet with career services staff, faculty advisors, and external mentors from non-profits, business, and government organizations. Partnerships with local organizations provide professional development opportunities and workshops for students.

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

Recent graduates work at Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), Natural Resource Technology, Alliance for the Great Lakes, The Nature Conservancy, GRAEF, Badger Meter, and Urban Ecology Center.