Sustainable Water Interdisciplinary Minor

The Colorado Water Center, in partnership with the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, is proud to offer the Sustainable Water Interdisciplinary Minor (SWIM). CSU’s SWIM offers students, regardless of their major, an opportunity to gain deeper knowledge about the many dimensions of water. By taking advantage of CSU’s outstanding water expertise, students can prepare themselves for careers in water or graduate study in a water-related area.

To date, 43 students representing 14 different majors have graduated with the SWIM and another 23 are currently enrolled.

INS_V2Final_SWIM_5.2020

“Natural Resource Economics was my favorite course because not many people think of the implications of ecosystem services as a part of our economy.”

~ Ry Weber, Spring 2017 graduate in Watershed Science

“Having a specialization in water will help prepare me for the work I plan to do.”

~ Christina Neel, Spring 2016 graduate in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

“The SWIM helped me by showing employers that I want to work for a cause I care about.”

~ Marcus Lively, Spring 2015 graduate in Natural Resource Management & Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

“I think having the SWIM on my resume helped boost my resume when I was applying and interviewing for my job.”

~ Sara McMahan, Spring 2020 graduate in Civil Engineering

“Everyone has a right to clean water and I want to make sure that happens.”

~ Jameson Lumpkin, Spring 2020 graduate in Environmental Engineering

The Colorado Water Center, in partnership with the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, is proud to offer the Sustainable Water Interdisciplinary Minor (SWIM). CSU’s SWIM offers students, regardless of their major, an opportunity to gain deeper knowledge about the many dimensions of water. By taking advantage of CSU’s outstanding water expertise, students can prepare themselves for careers in water or graduate study in a water-related area.

To date, 43 students representing 14 different majors have graduated from SWIM and another 23 are currently enrolled in the minor.

INS_V2Final_SWIM_5.2020

“Natural Resource Economics was my favorite course because not many people think of the implications of ecosystem services as a part of our economy.”

~ Ry Weber, Spring 2017 graduate in Watershed Science

“Having a specialization in water will help prepare me for the work I plan to do.”

~ Christina Neel, Spring 2016 graduate in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

“The SWIM helped me by showing employers that I want to work for a cause I care about.”

~ Marcus Lively, Spring 2015 graduate in Natural Resource Management & Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

“I think having the SWIM on my resume helped boost my resume when I was applying and interviewing for my job.”

~ Sara McMahan, Spring 2020 graduate in Civil Engineering

“Everyone has a right to clean water and I want to make sure that happens.”

~ Jameson Lumpkin, Spring 2020 graduate in Environmental Engineering

Course Requirements

Students will complete 21 credits* in core and elective courses that are particularly relevant to today’s water professional. Completion of the program is certified on the student’s academic record.

Core Courses
GES 120: Water Sustainability in the Western U.S. (3 credits)
AREC/ECON 240: Issues in Environmental Economics (3 credits)
AREC 342: Water Law, Policy, and Institutions (3 credits)
GR/WR 304: Sustainable Watersheds (3 credits)

Foundations of Water
A minimum of 3 credits in Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Ecology, Geology, and Physics courses

Context of Water 
A minimum of 6 credits in Social, Economic, Ecological, Biological, and Physical Sciences courses
* A minimum of 12 upper-division (300-400 level) courses are required to complete the SWIM

More Information 

  SWIM Check Sheet

For questions and to enroll, contact the SWIM Advisor, Julie Kallenberger at Julie.Kallenberger@colostate.edu.

Procedures Required to Receive Transcript Designation

  • Discuss your plans with your academic advisor. Be sure you understand which courses you are required to take and how these courses will affect your schedule of classes for your major(s).
  • Email the SWIM Advisor to schedule a meeting to review your Degree Audit Report (DAR) and complete the enrollment paperwork.
  • During each semester’s preregistration advising session, you and your advisor should review your progress toward completion of the SWIM.
  • In the semester prior to which you will graduate, notify the SWIM Advisor of your intention to graduate. The SWIM Advisor will certify that you have met all of the requirements and approve your DAR.

SWIM Course List

Core Courses

Course CodeCourse Name Credits Prerequisites
GES 120Water Sustainability in the Western U.S. 3
AREC/ECON 240Issues in Environmental Economics3
AREC 342Water Law, Policy, and Institutions3
GR/WR 304 Sustainable Watersheds3Completion of the AUCC 1B Mathmatics requirement

Foundations of Water Courses

 Course CodeCourse NameCreditsPrerequisites
BiologyBZ 104Basic Concepts of Plant Life3
BZ 110Principles of Animal Biology3
BZ 120Principles of Plant Biology 4
FW 204Introduction to Fishery Biology 3
LIFE 103Biology of Organisms - Animals and Plants 4LIFE 102
ChemistryCHEM 103Chemistry in Context3
CHEM 107Fundamentals of Chemistry4MATH 117 or placement out of MATH 117 or MATH 141
or MATH 155 or MATH 160 or MATH 161 or MATH 229
or MATH 261 or concurrent registration in any of the above
CHEM 113General Chemistry II3CHEM 107 or CHEM 111 or CHEM 117; MATH 124
or placement out of MATH 124 or MATH 141 or MATH 155
or MATH 160 or MATH 161 or MATH 229 or MATH 261 or concurrent registration in any of the above
GeographyGR 100Introduction to Geography3
GR/ESS 210Physical Geography3
EcologyESS 211Foundations in Ecosystem Science3GR/ESS 210
ESS 311Ecosystem Ecology3ESS 211
LAND/LIFE 220Fundamentals of Ecology3Three credits of 100-level biology or HORT 100;
Three credits of 100-level mathematics
LIFE 320Ecology3BZ 101 or BZ 104 or BZ 110 or BZ 120 or LIFE 102;
MATH 141 or MATH 155 or MATH 160
GeologyGEOL 120 Exploring Earth: Physical Geology 3
GEOL 122The Blue Planet: Geology of our Environment3
GEOL 124Geology of Natural Resources3
GEOL 150Physical Geology for Scientists and Engineers4
PhysicsPH 110Descriptive Physics3
PH 121General Physics5MATH 125 or concurrent registration or MATH 155 or
concurrent registration or MATH 157 or concurrent registration
or MATH 160 or concurrent registration
PH 141Physics for Scientists and Engineers 5MATH 126 or concurrent registration; MATH 155 or concurrent
registration or MATH 159 or concurrent registration or MATH
160 or concurrent registration

Context of Water Courses

 Course Code Course NameCredits Prerequisites
Sociological/
Economic
GES 101Foundations of Environmental Sustainability3
AGRI/IE 270World Interdependence - Population and Food3
AREC 341Environmental Economics3AREC 202 or ECON 202; AREC 240 or ECON 240
CON 476Sustainable Practices - Design and Construction 3
E 339Literature of the Earth3CO 150
JTC 461Writing about Science, Health, and Environment3JTC 210 or JTC 300 or LB 300
NR 320Natural Resource History and Policy 3
PHIL 320Ethics of Sustainability3
PHIL 345Environmental Ethics3
POLS 361U.S. Environmental Politics and Policy 3POLS 101
SOC 323Sociology of Environmental Governance3SOC 100 or SOC 105; minimum of 30 credits
SOC 461Water, Society, and Environment3SOC 100 or SOC 105
BZ 415Marine Biology4BC 351 or BC 401; BZ 214
BZ 471Stream Biology and Ecology3LAND 220/LIFE 220 or LIFE 320
BZ 474Limnology3LAND 220/LIFE 220 or LAND 320
ERHS 320Environmental Health - Water Quality3MIP 300 or concurrent registration
FW 300Biology and Diversity of Fishes2BZ 111 or LIFE 103
FW 400Conservation of Fish in Aquatic Ecosystems3FW 300; LIFE 320
LAND/HORT 368Landscape Irrigation and Water Conservation3HORT 100 or LAND 110
Physical ATS 150Science of Global Climate Change3
CIVE 322Basic Hydrology3CBE 331 or CIVE 300 or WR 416;
CIVE 202 or STAT 301 or STAT 315
CIVE 330Ecological Engineering3BZ 110; BZ 111 or BZ 120 or LIFE 102 or
SOCR 240; CHEM 113; CIVE 300 or LIFE 320
CIVE 413Environmental River Mechanics3CIVE 300 or WR 416
CIVE 423Groundwater Engineering3CBE 331 or CIVE 300 or WR 416
CIVE 440Nonpoint Source Pollution3CIVE 300 or CIVE 322 or SOCR 240 or WR 416
GEOL 452Hydrogeology 4GEOL 120 or GEOL 122 or GEOL 124 or
GEOL 150 or GR 210; MATH 161 or MATH 255; PH 141
SOCR 370Irrigation Principles2HORT 100 or SOCR 100; BZ 120 or SOCR 240
SOCR 371Irrigation of Field Crops1SOCR 370
WR 406Seasonal Snow Environments3Junior or senior standing
WR 416Land Use Hydrology3GEOL 120 or GEOL 122 or GEOL 124 or
GEOL 150 or SOCR 240; CIVE 202 or STAT 201 or
STAT 301 or STAT 307 or STAT 315; PH 110 or
PH 121 or PH 141
WR 418Land Use and Water Quality3CHEM 103; CHEM 104 or CHEM 107;
CHEM 108 or CHEM 111; CHEM 112
WR 474Snow Hydrology3