Sustainable Water Development Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Water Development (SWD) will train STEM graduate students to address future challenges of water scarcity and variability while also meeting the food and energy demands of Earth’s growing population. The SWD Graduate Certificate leverages a unique learning environment focused on water sustainability that extends beyond any one discipline, department, or College. Admission to the SWD certificate program is competitive and available to graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Iowa who are completing a degree program.  Please fill out the following application to be considered for the certificate program.

Admission Criteria

  • GPA - Relevant STEM field with graduate GPA greater than 3.0 for doctoral students and 2.75 for master’s students
  • Resume or CV
  • UI transcript
  • Statement of purpose - 500 words or less about your core research and training program and why the SWD certificate program will benefit your training and goals for career placement after receiving your degree
  • Brief letter of endorsement from your advisor

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis during the academic year and are reviewed by the Sustainable Water Development Program. You will receive an email after admissions decisions have been made.  Contact SWD Program Coordinator Blake Rupe at with any questions. 


Students will need to complete 5 courses (15 s.h.) relevant to SWD themes, including:

  • CEE:5410 Politics and Economics of the Food, Energy, Water Systems - 3 s.h.
  • CEE:5350 Watershed Hydrology and Ecosystem Processes  - 3 s.h.
  • CEE:5993 Community-Centered Problem Solving and Design  - 3 s.h.
  • CEE:5096 Water, Energy, Food Nexus Seminar for two semesters - 0 s.h.
  • Two additional from approved list of Path Elective Courses (6 s.h.) in consultation with their primary thesis advisor and the Certificate program director.

The graduate Certificate in Sustainable Water Development requires 15 s.h. of course work, including at least 9 s.h. earned at the University of Iowa.  The 5000-level courses required for the certificate must be taken at the University of Iowa.

Associated Faculty

  • David Cwiertny
  • Michelle Scherer
  • Gabrielle Villarini
  • Craig Just
  • Witold Krajewski
  • Jerry Schnoor
  • Allen Bradley
  • Corey Markfort
  • Gregory LeFevre
  • Ibrahim Demir
  • Eric Tate
  • Kelly Baker
  • Tori Forbes