Graduate Portfolio Program

Integrated Watershed Studies

The Integrated Watershed Studies Graduate Portfolio Program (IWSGPP) provides graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin the opportunity to supplement their current degree program with an interdisciplinary study of watershed issues.

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The GPP is open to graduate students in good standing at any masters or doctoral programs in one of the following participating academic units:

  • Jackson School of Geosciences
  • School of Architecture
  • Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
  • School of Law
  • Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering (Cockrell School of Engineering)
  • Department of Geography and the Environment (College of Liberal Arts)
  • Marine Science Institute (College of Natural Sciences)
  • Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (College of Natural Sciences)
  • Graduate Program in Plant Biology (College of Natural Sciences)

New departments can be added to the program, so if your department is not listed please contact the Environmental Science Institute. For questions, please contact us at

Students in the Integrated Watershed Studies Graduate Portfolio Program must complete the following requirements:

1. Science/Engineering Requirement: Two courses with a minimum of 50% content regarding watershed science or watershed engineering.

2. Policy/Planning Requirement: Two courses with a minimum of 50% content regarding watershed policy or watershed planning.

3. Field Experience: Participation in a field experience either as part of an organized course (in which the field experience is at least 25% of the course grade) or a field or internship experience not for course credit.

4. Research Paper:  The paper may be part of an organized course, a report developed from field experience, a thesis or dissertation chapter, or paper of similar length and intent, and must integrate watershed issues from an interdisciplinary standpoint.

5. Research Presentation:  Portfolio students must present their research at least once at an event. Ideally this is an event sponsored by the IWSGPP, but a regional, national, or international research conference is also acceptable.


Individual courses may satisfy more than one of the above requirements.  For example, a course may simultaneously partially satisfy both requirements (1) and (2), above.  In all circumstances, students must complete at least twelve hours of coursework appropriate for the Portfolio.  Three of the course credits required for the program may be fulfilled through independent study. Find a PDF list of suitable courses here.

Applications to the Graduate Portfolio Program in Integrated Watershed Studies are accepted year-round. Students are encouraged to get involved early in their time as a student, but applicants may be at any point in their graduate study, including the year prior to graduation.

A complete application to enter the GPP consists of:

1. The application form.

2. A brief one-page essay describing the relationship of integrated watershed studies to your degree program, career goals, and interests.

3. Proof of enrollment and good academic standing in an approved graduate degree program.

4. A plan detailing how and when you intend to satisfy the substantive requirements of the portfolio program: (a) coursework, (b) field experience, (c) research paper related to integrated watershed studies, and (d) research presentation.

Application materials should be submitted electronically to

Send the Program Coordinator the following for completion of the Integrated Watershed Studies Graduate Portfolio Program:

1. The completion form.

2. A written statement from your graduate advisor or dissertation supervisor attesting to your completion of the requirements.

3. A copy of your transcript (official or unofficial).

4. Your research paper (a draft dissertation chapter is acceptable as long as the final version is provided upon completion).

5. A copy of your approved research presentation.

6. A narrative description of how your coursework, fieldwork, research paper, and research presentation met the substantive program requirements and demonstrated the integration of watershed issues from an interdisciplinary standpoint.

Items should be submitted during the week of grade reporting for the semester you wish to graduate.

You may also be interested in a couple of related Graduate Portfolio Programs: