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.

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.

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)

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

Context of Water 
A minimum of 9 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, Ryan Deming at SWIMAdvising@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 Code Course Name Credits Prerequisites
GES 120 Water Sustainability in the Western U.S. 3
AREC/ECON 240 Issues in Environmental Economics 3
AREC 342 Water Law, Policy, and Institutions 3

Foundations of Water Courses

  Course Code Course Name Credits Prerequisites
Biology BZ 104 Basic Concepts of Plant Life 3
BZ 110 Principles of Animal Biology 3
BZ 120 Principles of Plant Biology 4
FW 204 Introduction to Fishery Biology 3
LIFE 103 Biology of Organisms – Animals and Plants 4 LIFE 102
Chemistry CHEM 103 Chemistry in Context 3
CHEM 107 Fundamentals of Chemistry 4 MATH 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 113 General Chemistry II 3 CHEM 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
Geography GR 100 Introduction to Geography 3
GR/ESS 210 Physical Geography 3
Ecology ESS 211 Foundations in Ecosystem Science 3 GR/ESS 210
ESS 311 Ecosystem Ecology 3 ESS 211
LAND/LIFE 220 Fundamentals of Ecology 3 Three credits of 100-level biology or HORT 100;
Three credits of 100-level mathematics
LIFE 320 Ecology 3 BZ 101 or BZ 104 or BZ 110 or BZ 120 or LIFE 102;
MATH 141 or MATH 155 or MATH 160
Geology GEOL 120 Exploring Earth: Physical Geology 3
GEOL 122 The Blue Planet: Geology of our Environment 3
GEOL 124 Geology of Natural Resources 3
GEOL 150 Physical Geology for Scientists and Engineers 4
Physics PH 110 Descriptive Physics 3
PH 121 General Physics 5 MATH 125 or concurrent registration or MATH 155 or
concurrent registration or MATH 157 or concurrent registration
or MATH 160 or concurrent registration
PH 141 Physics for Scientists and Engineers 5 MATH 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 Name Credits Prerequisites
Sociological/
Economic
GES 101 Foundations of Environmental Sustainability 3
AGRI/IE 270 World Interdependence – Population and Food 3
AREC 341 Environmental Economics 3 AREC 202 or ECON 202; AREC 240 or ECON 240
CON 476 Sustainable Practices – Design and Construction 3
E 339 Literature of the Earth 3 CO 150
JTC 461 Writing about Science, Health, and Environment 3 JTC 210 or JTC 300 or LB 300
NR 320 Natural Resource History and Policy 3
PHIL 320 Ethics of Sustainability 3
PHIL 345 Environmental Ethics 3
POLS 361 U.S. Environmental Politics and Policy 3 POLS 101
SOC 323 Sociology of Environmental Governance 3 SOC 100 or SOC 105; minimum of 30 credits
SOC 461 Water, Society, and Environment 3 SOC 100 or SOC 105
BZ 415 Marine Biology 4 BC 351 or BC 401; BZ 214
BZ 471 Stream Biology and Ecology 3 LAND 220/LIFE 220 or LIFE 320
BZ 474 Limnology 3 LAND 220/LIFE 220 or LAND 320
ERHS 320 Environmental Health – Water Quality 3 MIP 300 or concurrent registration
FW 300 Biology and Diversity of Fishes 2 BZ 111 or LIFE 103
FW 400 Conservation of Fish in Aquatic Ecosystems 3 FW 300; LIFE 320
LAND/HORT 368 Landscape Irrigation and Water Conservation 3 HORT 100 or LAND 110
Biological/Physical ATS 150 Science of Global Climate Change 3
CIVE 322 Basic Hydrology 3 CBE 331 or CIVE 300 or WR 416;
CIVE 202 or STAT 301 or STAT 315
CIVE 330 Ecological Engineering 3 BZ 110; BZ 111 or BZ 120 or LIFE 102 or
SOCR 240; CHEM 113; CIVE 300 or LIFE 320
CIVE 413 Environmental River Mechanics 3 CIVE 300 or WR 416
CIVE 423 Groundwater Engineering 3 CBE 331 or CIVE 300 or WR 416
CIVE 440 Nonpoint Source Pollution 3 CIVE 300 or CIVE 322 or SOCR 240 or WR 416
GEOL 452 Hydrogeology 4 GEOL 120 or GEOL 122 or GEOL 124 or
GEOL 150 or GR 210; MATH 161 or MATH 255; PH 141
GR/WR 204 Sustainable Watersheds 3
SOCR 370 Irrigation Principles 2 HORT 100 or SOCR 100; BZ 120 or SOCR 240
SOCR 371 Irrigation of Field Crops 1 SOCR 370
WR 406 Seasonal Snow Environments 3 Junior or senior standing
WR 416 Land Use Hydrology 3 GEOL 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 418 Land Use and Water Quality 3 CHEM 103; CHEM 104 or CHEM 107;
CHEM 108 or CHEM 111; CHEM 112
WR 474 Snow Hydrology 3