Your career in freshwater sciences starts here.

 

At the School of Freshwater Sciences, we all have our water stories. We want to hear yours.

Did you spend your childhood summers swimming and fishing? Did you grow up worrying your drinking water wasn’t safe? Do you want to protect the world’s most valuable resource for future generations?

With a bachelor’s degree in freshwater sciences, you can turn your water story into a thriving career. Our faculty and staff will guide you along the way.

As an undergraduate student, you will build scientific knowledge to prepare yourself for a job in research, industry, advocacy or government, or to continue your education through graduate program. You’ll also have access to undergraduate research experiences, including opportunities with the School of Freshwater Sciences faculty at the Great Lake Research Facility.

Choose a focus for your undergraduate studies: aquatic sciences or water policy. Both tracks combine core classes in natural sciences, mathematics, economics and computer science with topic-specific electives in areas such as sustainability and environmental law.

Full-time undergraduate students starting in Fall 2021 qualify for a $500 Friends of Water Scholarship. For more information, please visit the SFS Scholarship and Financial Aid page.

Dive in and discover your path to making a difference. Attending an info session is your next step. Sign up today.

Curriculum

The Bachelor of Science in Freshwater Sciences program requirements are comprised of 120 credits, of which 42 are UW-Milwaukee general education requirements. Students will be required to complete 31 credits in foundational natural sciences, mathematics, economics, and computer science courses; 32 credits of core courses of which 29 are in Freshwater Sciences; 27 credits of program option requirements (Aquatic Science or Water Policy); and elective courses. Coursework will be primarily offered on the main campus.

General education courses required for graduation (42 credits, 12 of which are satisfied through Required Foundational courses)

Oral and Written Communication levels A and B 6 credits
Quantitative Literacy levels A and B (B satisfied by MTHSTAT 215) 6 credits
Foreign Language 6 credits
Arts 3 credits
Humanities 6 credits
Social Sciences (partially satisfied by ECON 103) 6 credits
Natural Sciences (satisfied by BIOSCI 150, 152) 6 credits
Cultural Diversity 3 credits

Required Foundational courses (31 credits)

BIOSCI 150 Foundations of Biological Sciences I (NS) 4 credits
BIOSCI 152 Foundations of Biological Sciences II (NS) 4 credits
CHEM 102 General Chemistry 5 credits
CHEM 104 General Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis 5 credits
COMPSCI 250 Introductory Computer Programming 3 credits
ECON 103 Principles of Microeconomics (SS) 3 credits
MTHSTAT 215 Elementary Statistical Analysis (QLB) 3 credits
MATH 231 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 4 credits

Required Core courses (32 credits)

FRSHWTR 101 Elements of Water 3 credits
FRSHWTR 120 Preparing for a Career in Freshwater Sciences 1 credit
FRSHWTR 201 The Water Environment 3 credits
FRSHWTR 202 Life in Water 4 credits
FRSHWTR 392 Water-Energy-Food-Climate 3 credits
FRSHWTR 391 Water and Natural Resource Economics 3 credits
FRSHWTR 361 Intro to Environmental Data Systems 3 credits
FRSHWTR 464 Chemical Hydrogeology OR GEOSCI 400 Water Quality OR GEOSCI 562 Environmental Surface Hydrology 4 credits
FRSHWTR 660 Professional Capstone Planning OR FRSHWTR 662 Thesis Research Planning and Proposal Development 1 credit
FRSHWTR 661 Undergraduate Capstone OR FRSHWTR 663 Undergraduate Research and Thesis 3 credit

GEOG 215 Intro to GIS 3 credits

Aquatic Science Option (27 credits)

    • Required Courses (4 credits)
      • PHYSICS 120 or PHYSICS 209 4 credits
    • Electives (9 credits, from the following, at least 3 FRSHWTR credits)
      • FRSHWTR 321 Exploration of Inland Seas 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 341 Sanitation and Sustainability 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 322 Ecology and Evolution of Freshwater Organisms 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 362 Calculating Nature 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 342 Water Pollution, Technology, and Management 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 471 Introduction to Sensing Networks 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 421 Molecular Level Tools to Understand Larger Scale Change 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 511 Ichthyology 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 512(Topic) Brew City Aquaponics 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 513 Field Experimentation and Analysis in Freshwater Science 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 514 Analytical Techniques in Freshwater Sciences 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 522 Aquatic Organic Biogeochemistry 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 524 Aquatic Isotope Biogeochemistry 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 562 Principles of Aquaculture Systems 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 563 Finfish Aquaculture and Nutrition Principles 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 564 Water Quality in Aquaculture 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 567 Fish Health 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 621 Benthic Ecology 3 credits
      • ATM SCI 240 Introduction to Meteorology 3 credits
      • BIOSCI 310 General Ecology 4 credits
      • BIOSCI 406 Marine Biology 3 credits
      • BIOSCI 505 Conservation Biology 3 credits
      • BIOSCI 512 Limnology 3 credits
      • CES 651 Principles of Stream Management and Restoration 3 credits
      • CIVIL 311 Intro to Energy Environment and Sustainability 3 credits
      • GEOG 403 Remote Sensing: Environmental and Land Use Analysis 4 credits
      • GEOG 411 Physical Climatology 3 credits
      • GEOG 415 Hydrogeography 3 credits
      • GEOG 455 Applied Climatology 3 credits
      • GEOG 515 Watershed Analysis and Modeling 3 credits
      • GEOG 525 Geographic Information Systems 4 credits
      • GEOSCI 400 Water Quality 4 credits
      • GEOSCI 463 Physical Hydrogeology 4 credits
      • MATH 305 Introduction to Mathematical and Computational Modeling 3 credits
      • PH 303 Climate Change, the Environment and Human Health 3 credits
    • Additional Electives chosen in consultation with advisor 11 credits

Water Policy Option (27 credits)

    • Required Courses (3 credits)
      • FRSHWTR 393 Water Law, Policy and the Environment 3 credits
    • Electives (9 credits, from the following, at least 3 FRSHWTR credits)
      • FRSHWTR 584 Aquatic Ecosystem Valuation 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 583 Cost-Benefit Analysis for Environmental Resource Decision 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 461 Politics and Policy of Sustainability 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 510 Economics, Policy and Management of Water 3 credits
      • FRSHWTR 585 Applied Water Statistics and Data Manipulation 3 credits
      • POLISCI 216 Environmental Politics 3 credits
      • GEOG 525 Geographic Information Science 4 credits
      • GEOG 625 Intermediate Geographic Information Science 4 credits
      • ECON 210 Economic Statistics 3 credits
      • ECON 301 Intermediate Microeconomics 3 credits
      • ECON 310 Research Methods for Economics 3 credits
      • HIST 432 North American Environmental History 3 credits
    • Additional Electives chosen in consultation with advisor 12 credits

Click here for the Freshwater Sciences course catalog.

Sample Four Year Plans

Careers

An undergraduate degree in Freshwater Sciences can be the foundation for success in a broad range of careers within government, industry, advocacy, academia and other fields.

Water is the fastest-growing sector of the global economy, and employers are looking for people with the skills and experience you’ll develop here at the School of Freshwater Sciences.

Here are just a few of the areas where our graduates succeed:

  • environmental consulting
  • aquatic biology
  • public health
  • habitat restoration and conservation
  • field and laboratory research
  • resource management
  • water policy and advocacy
  • water treatment and technology
  • science communication and education
  • community outreach

Minor in Freshwater Sciences

Beginning Fall 2021, our school will offer a new minor in freshwater sciences. Visit the program’s page for more information, including required courses and electives.