Apply for MWS

Are you searching for a career that supports sustainable water use in our communities? Do you agree that water security is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, and one that requires us to think across traditional disciplines? If so, the Master of Water Security (MWS) may be the program for you. 

New in 2016, the MWS is a cross-disciplinary, project-based and professional-style program that may be completed in 12 months of full time study. Graduates are prepared to address complex water problems, with training in science, engineering and policy analysis enabling them to investigate water security issues of regional, national and international significance. Graduates are ready to become water scientists, managers and policy-makers with the necessary expertise needed to tackle the complex and multidisciplinary water problems facing us now, and in the future.

  • Students choose among three specialized tracks: hydrology, hydrogeology and socio-hydrology, to gain in-depth disciplinary knowledge that is applicable to their career path and background. 
  • The program is a joint initiative between SENS and the Global Institute for Water Security - a world-leading centre focused on research that addresses issues such as climate change and water resources, flooding and drought, and the social and policy environment surrounding water management.
  • Students will work with one of the strongest water security research communities in North America. Our faculty areas of expertise are varied and include: hillslope and watershed hydrology; ecology and lake biogeochemistry; water quality; groundwater resource management; First Nations water and health; and, water resource management and planning. Please see the comprehensive list of faculty expertise.

How to apply

All prospective graduate students apply to the U of S through the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Please contact for more information

Course structure

All students are required to take six core courses (15 cu)

  • ENVS 806.3: Field Skills in Environment and Sustainability
  • ENVS 827.3: Breakthroughs in Water Security Seminar
  • ENVS 821.3: Sustainable Water Resources
  • ENVS 990.0: Seminar in Environment and Sustainability
  • JSGS 870.3: Water Policy in an Age of Uncertainty or equivalent
  • GEOG 427.3: Advanced Hydrology

Remaining credit units are made up of a 6 cu project and 9* cu of course work in a pre-selected track.

(*There is a limit of 3 elective cu at the undergraduate level).

Hydrology Track
This track focuses on the surface water cycle and the availability, distribution, movement, quality and quantity of water. Particular attention is paid to water resources management, modelling and planning in an era of climate change. 
  • ENVS 824.3: River Science
  • ENVS 826.3: Climate Change
  • GEOG 898.3: Landscape Parameterization for Hydrological Modelling
  • CE 464.3: Water Resources Engineering
  • CE 834.3: Water Resources Development
  • ENVS 805.3: Data Analysis and Management
  • ENVS 823.3: Chemicals in the Environment
  • ENVS 825.3: Water Resource Management in Cold Regions
  • CE 840.3: Surface Hydrology Prediction and Simulation
  • CE 415.3: Structures for Water Management
  • GEOG 827.3: Principles of Hydrology
  • ENVS 813.3: Numerical Modelling
  • TOX 843.3: Environmental Chemodynamics

Note that not all classes are offered each academic year.

Hydrogeology Track

This track focuses on the distribution and movement of groundwater. Students choose from a variety of courses examining groundwater and its properties from a geochemistry, engineering or soil science perspective.

  • GEOE 412.3: Reservoir Mechanics
  • ENVS 826.3: Climate Change
  • GEOG 898.3: Landscape Parameterization Hydrology Modelling
  • CE 834.3: Water Resources Development
  • SLSC 821.3: Soil Physics
  • ENVS 805.3: Data Analysis and Management
  • GEOE 475.3: Advanced Hydrogeology
  • GEOG 328.3: Groundwater Hydrology
  • GEOL 413.3: Aqueous Geochemistry
  • ENVS 813.3: Numerical Modelling
  • CE 850.3: Geoenvironmental Engineering Fundamentals

Note that not all classes are offered each academic year.

Socio-hydrology Track

This track studies the dynamics between human use, control, value and culture related to water and its place in the global community. It offers courses centered on health, community, aboriginal peoples and policy.

  • JSGS 807.3: Statistics for Public Managers
  • JSGS 863.3: Aboriginal Peoples and Public Policy
  • ENVS 807.3: Sustainability in Theory and Practice
  • ENVS 832.3: Risk Assessment and Negotiation of Environmental Issues (Compressed Course)
  • ENVS 805.3: Data Analysis and Management
  • ENVS 823.3: Chemicals in the Environment
  • ENVS 825.3: Water Resource Management in Cold Regions
  • PUBH 898.3: Water and Health
  • RRM 312.3: Natural Resource Management and Indigenous Peoples
  • Law 498.3: The Fluid State of Water Law in Canada
  • ENVS 898.3: Co-management of Northern Ecosystems and Natural Resources

Note that not all classes are offered each academic year.