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Online Water Systems Engineering Degree Programs

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Influential Water Systems Engineering Professors Who Teach Online

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Because most online water systems engineering degree programs are extensions of brick-and-mortar universities, online students receive the same level of quality instruction they would by attending a traditional university program. The following five highly regarded water systems engineering professors teach on and offline.
Ximing Cai

Ximing Cai is a professor at University of Illinois, teaching coursework in water resources engineering, surface water hydrology, and river basin management. Dr. Cai is currently the editor for Water Resources Management, has co-authored more than 125 peer-reviewed journal papers, and has worked as a consultant to the World Bank and the United Nations.

Dara Entekhabi

Dara Entekhabi is a Bacardi and Stockholm Water Foundations Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. Dr. Entekhabi is currently the Science Team Leader of the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), and has received several awards and honors in hydrologic sciences.

Paul Block

Paul Block is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Block received the Best Reviewer Award, and is an associate editor for the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.

Tiao Chang

Tiao Chang is a professor focusing on water resources in the Civil Engineering Department of Ohio University. Teaching at Ohio University since 1982, Dr. Chang has written over 100 papers and technical articles for professional publications.

Francis de los Reyes

Francis de los Reyes is a professor of civil, construction, and environmental engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. de los Reyes is Ted Fellow, has worked on water/sanitation issues in developing nations, and was named an Outstanding Alumnus of the University of the Philippines.

Admissions Requirements for Online Water Systems Engineering Programs

Knowing what is expected of you when applying to an online program can take some of the pressure off of what can be a stressful process. Although prospective students are advised to read carefully through the application requirements for specific programs, there are common criteria across all programs.

As a helpful strategy for finding each school’s individual requirements, keep in mind that most online master’s programs in water systems engineering will be found in the university’s civil and/or environmental engineering departments. in addition, many online master’s programs for water systems engineering are extensions of the traditional in-person programs and require the same requirements for admission.

Common requirements for admission to online master’s programs in water systems engineering include:

  • A bachelor’s of science (BS) in engineering or a related field from an accredited institution
  • GRE scores, FE scores, and/or demonstration of significant relevant work experience
  • Official transcripts demonstrating a competitive undergraduate GPA
  • A statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • An application fee of $35 or higher
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (international students only)

Program Accreditation & State Authorization

The Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET) is seen as the gold standard for programmatic accreditation for bachelor’s degree programs in engineering. As of January 2018, there were only two ABET-accredited online master’s degrees in engineering, and neither were in the field of water systems engineering. As a result, those seeking online master’s degrees in water systems engineering should ensure that the university offering the online program is accredited by a regional accrediting body.

To become a licensed water systems engineer, one must have completed a bachelor’s degree and at least four years of work as an engineer in order to apply for the Professional Engineer (PE) license. Engineering licensure is regulated on a state-by-state basis, and offered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Additionally, those specializing in water systems engineering may also seek professional certification through the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (AAWRE).

1University of California, Riverside

Offering an online master's of science in engineering, UC Riverside is a conscious blend of management strategy and high-level technical skills for the student interested in eventual leadership roles in the field. in the subspecialty for water systems management, entitled, “environmental engineering systems (water),” students learn the engineering principles needed to provide clean water and improve the natural environment.

Students interested in the water systems engineering specialization take 16 credit-hours of core classes in environmental engineering and management, 16 credit-hours of classes related specifically to water systems engineering, and four credit-hours for capstone projects, for a total of 36 credits. Total tuition for the program is $29,988, and there is a discount for Military Veterans.

UC Riverside is located in Riverside, California. There is no residency requirement for this program and students are not required to visit the campus to enroll. There are four start dates for the program throughout the year. UC Riverside is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WEASC).

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker is a professor of chemical and environmental engineering at the University of California, Riverside. In addition to teaching at UCR, Dr. Walker served as associate dean of the graduate division at UCR, was an ELATE fellowship recipient, and received a Fulbright Scholarship at Ben Gurion University in Israel.
Haizhou Liu
Haizhou Liu is an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at the University of California, Riverside. A rising talent in the water systems engineering, Dr. Liu was selected as an “Emerging Investigator in Water Engineering and Technology” by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and received a CAREER award in 2017.

2Colorado State University

Colorado State University offers two online programs: a master's of engineering with a focus in water resources engineering or a master's of science in civil engineering with a focus in water resources. Both programs are designed to prepare students to respond the evolving water concerns facing future generations.

The online master's of engineering is a “Plan C” coursework-only degree, and does not require a thesis, project paper, or final examination. In addition, the MEng. does not require students to take the GRE, unless their undergraduate degree is below a 3.0. Students enrolled in the online MEng. program are required to complete 30 total credits, with 15 of those credits specifically in civil engineering coursework. At $909 per credit, tuition for the master's of engineering is $27,270.

The online master's of science in civil engineering is a “Plan B” project paper degree, and requires an engineering report and final oral examination. Students may be required to come to campus for the final oral exam. Students enrolled in the online MS program must complete a total of 32 credits, with 15 of those credits specifically in civil engineering courses. At $909 per credit, tuition for the master's of science in civil engineering is $29,088.

Colorado State University is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. There is no residency requirement to enroll in either program, students are not required to visit campus to apply, and potential students can apply for fall or spring admission.

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Ramchang Oad is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado State University. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. Oad has worked both nationally and internationally on various projects related to water rights, the impact of irrigation on fish and wildlife, and programming for policy and practice for effective water use and management.
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Darrell Fontane is the director of the International School for Water Resources and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado State University. Specializing in civil engineering models in spreadsheets, Dr. Fontane has trained engineers and scientists in water resources systems analysis worldwide.

3Villanova University

The master's of science in water resources and environmental engineering at Villanova University is a program heavily focused on teaching student water systems management through the lens of engineering. Villanova’s MS in water resources and environmental engineering is nationally recognized for cutting edge research, collaborative opportunities, and distinguished leadership.

The online master's of science in water resources and environmental engineering requires a minimum of 30 semester credits, with 21 credits required in civil and environmental engineering. Students must also complete two environmental engineering courses and two water resources courses. If desired, a student may author a thesis, but a thesis is not required for completion of the program. At $1,350 per credit, tuition for this online program is $40,500.

Villanova University is located in Villanova, Pennsylvania, and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. There is no residency requirement for e-learning students and students are not required to visit campus to apply. The school offers both fall and spring admission.

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Metin Duran is a professor of environmental engineering at Villanova University. Dr. Duran’s areas of expertise include biological processes for wastewater treatment, renewable energy from waste, microbiology of anaerobic processes, and microbial water quality and microbial source tracking.
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Robert Traver is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Villanova University. In addition to teaching, Dr. Traver is involved in ongoing research at the Center for Advancement in Sustainability and the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership.

4University of Florida

The University of Florida’s engineering department has an online arm known as the University of Florida Electronic Delivery of Graduate Engineering (UF EDGE). Through UF Edge, potential students can pursue a master's of engineering and a master's of science in environmental engineering sciences. Notably, the school also has a Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, which also has an online master’s degree. Students specializing in water systems will learn about hydrology, potable water systems, stormwater systems, and wastewater systems.

Both online master's of engineering and master's of science programs are 30-unit programs, with a 15-unit minimum requirement of coursework in environmental engineering. Students can take a maximum of of 15 credits outside the focus of study. Tuition for TF EDGE for Florida residents is $501.38 per credit-hour, for a total of $15,041 for the program. Tuition for non-Florida residents is $725.75 per credit-hour, for a total of $21,773 for the program.

The University of Florida is located in Gainesville, Florida and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commision on Colleges. There is no residency requirement for UF Edge and students are not required to visit campus to apply. Students can apply for admission in the spring, summer, or fall.

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John Sansalone is a professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences at the University of Florida. Dr. Sansalone has taught and researched in the US and abroad, and has contributed to over 50 peer-reviewed articles in the environmental engineering field.
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Angela Lindner is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Engineering Sciences at University of Florida. In addition to teaching at UF, Dr. Lindner chairs the Publications Committee of the American Environmental Engineering Society of Professors, as well as the Advisory Board for the Center for Sustainable Engineering at Carnegie-Mellon.

5Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University offers an online master's of science in civil Engineering with a concentration in environmental engineering and water resources. The online MS in civil engineering at KSU is designed to help engineers already working in the field to advance their professional careers.

At KSU, there is a thesis option and non-thesis option for the online MS in engineering. The thesis option requires students to take a minimum 24 credits of coursework, and six credits for the research thesis, for a total of 30 credit-hours. The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 30 credits of coursework and includes three core courses, a four-course concentration, and three courses in another concentration. At $408 per credit-hour, tuition for either the thesis or non-thesis program totals $12,240.

Kennesaw University is located in Kennesaw, Georgia and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. There is no residency requirement to apply to the online MS of civil engineering, but some online courses designated as 95 percent online may require one visit to campus per semester for orientations or exams. Prospective students can apply for fall, spring, or summer admission.

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M.A. Karim is an associate professor for the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Karim has more than twenty-five journal and proceeding publications in the areas of soil and sediment remediation, environmental management, statistical hydrology, and engineering education.
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Tien Yee is an assistant professor for the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Yee’s specialization is in water resources, with research interests in the arena of computer, numerical, and physical modeling of fluid flows and phenomena.