Want to save the world? Our Professional Science Master’s graduates land jobs in their chosen field.

The knowledge, hands-on experience and connections you build here make you the person everyone wants to hire for the jobs creating a better water future. No GRE required for application. No thesis required for graduation. Instead, you’ll intern with a water-related business, government or non-profit organization to launch your career while you’re still in school.

Success Stories from Recent Grads

Samm Posnanski ’18
“I use what I learned every single day.”

Leah Holloway ’19
“The PSM program helped me land my dream job!”

Admission Requirements

You must meet Graduate School requirements in addition to the following to be considered for admission:

    1. Bachelor’s degree
      A bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, public policy, or other appropriate natural science, social science or engineering discipline.
    2. 3.0 undergraduate GPA
    3. Transcripts
      All applicants, including UWM students, must upload an official or unofficial transcripts directly in the Panthera admission application system for all work done at higher education/post-secondary institutions. All applicants who are admitted to the Graduate School will be required to submit an official transcript with the degree posted within two weeks of the beginning of their first semester of enrollment.
    4. Reason Statement
      The reason statement is an essential part of the application. It is used to determine the appropriateness of your educational and professional goals and serves as an example of your ability to express yourself in writing. Your reason statement should include:

      • your reasons for pursuing graduate study
      • your specific background interests and background in the field
      • any relevant skills or training you’ve acquired
      • any academic awards or honors you have received
    5. Resume
      Submit a current resume that clearly articulates your professional experience.
    6. Writing sample
      Submit a scholarly writing sample that demonstrates your critical thinking and writing skills.
    7. Three letters of recommendation
      Three letters of recommendation are required by persons who can attest to your scholarship and/or research potential and your success in graduate school at the School of Freshwater Sciences.
    8. Relevant courses
      List relevant courses taken at previous institutions. Please include course number, course title, credits, and final grade (example: BioSci 150, Foundations of Biological Sciences, 4 cr, A-). The following prerequisites 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

Internship Requirement

More than 90% of our students land well-paying jobs in their chosen field, right out of school. Instead of writing an academic thesis, the capstone project for MS Professional Science students is an internship at a water-related entity. You’ll work in the field building the scientific and business skills and professional network you need to launch your career in water. Whether you’re a full-time student, working professional, or somewhere in between, your experience will change your life and help you change the world.

Recent student internships include placements at local, regional and international governmental organizations, nonprofits, and water industry leaders. Some examples include The Harbor District, City of Milwaukee Environmental Collaboration Office, AO Smith, Veolia Water, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. For a complete list, please click HERE.

Launch Your Career

If you want a good job in water, start here. Our job placement rate is so high because everything you do in this program creates opportunities for you to thrive. Every course trains you in the scientific and business skills employers are looking for. Our equipment and research vessels give you hands-on opportunities to build expertise you can only get in the field. Your internship gives you the experience and connections to go anywhere. We provide frequent opportunities to connect with our huge network of scientific agencies, businesses, nonprofits and government offices changing water around the region and the world. The knowledge, hands-on experience and connections you build here make you the person everyone wants to hire for the jobs creating a better water future.

You’ll also have full access to Academics Office staff, faculty advisors, and external mentors from non-profits, business, and government organizations. The UWM Career Development Center offers additional resources. You’ll have opportunities to join the Student Water Council, volunteer in the community, help at events and participate in conferences and symposiums to enhance your skills and experience and grow your academic and professional networks.

Recent graduates work at Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), The Nature Conservancy, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Veolia North America, Oklahoma Water Resource Board, Pentair, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Milwaukee Water Works, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, to name just a few.For a complete list, please click HERE.


Required courses (19 credits)

FRSHWTR 502 Freshwater Ecosystem Dynamics (3 cr)
FRSHWTR 504 Quantitative Freshwater Analysis (3 cr)
FRSHWTR 513 Field Experimentation and Analysis in Freshwater Science (3 cr)
FRSHWTR 514 Analytical Techniques in Freshwater Sciences (3 cr)
FRSHWTR 810 Professional Development for Water Leaders (3 cr)
FRSHWTR 890 Science, Communication, and Public Engagement (3 cr)
FRSHWTR 900 Colloquium in Freshwater Sciences (1 cr)

Select one of the following courses (3 credits)

FRSHWTR 506 Environmental Health of Freshwater Ecosystems (3 cr)
FRSHWTR 508 Aquatic Technologies (3 cr)
FRSHWTR 510 Economics, Policy, and Management of Water (3 cr)

Elective courses selected with advisor (9 credits)

Internship Requirement (1 credit)

FRSHWTR 980 Graduate Internship (1 cr)

Total required credits – 32 credits

Click here for the Freshwater Sciences course catalog.

Request Information

Contact Us