Educational Curriculum Overview

In order to receive a WSSS Graduate Certificate from Tufts University, students must complete one of two curricula.


Those two curricula are the Research Track (R-track), and the Practicum Track (P-track). The requirements for each of these curricula are described below.

Curriculum Option 1:

R Track: Interdisciplinary Water Resources Research

Courses: R-track WSSS students are required to complete three WSSS-approved courses.

Advising: Students in the R-track of the WSSS program will to meet with one member of the WSSS Steering Committee as early as possible during the fall semesters of their first and second years in the WSSS program to discuss course selection, research direction, and key challenges and opportunities.

Research Project: R-track WSSS students are required to undertake a significant interdisciplinary water resources research project, culminating in a completed thesis, capstone project, directed study, or dissertation by the time of graduation from the WSSS program.

Publication: R-track WSSS students are required to write a publication-ready water-based research manuscript although it is not required, we highly encourage our students to submit their work to a peer-reviewed journal.

Presentation: R-track WSSS students are required to present their water-based research at a significant national or international conference. Please look at the funding page for more information on funding opporutunities.


Learn more about our six interdisciplinary research areas >>

Look at examples of theses from past WSSS research projects >>

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Curriculum Option 2:

P Track: Practicum and Interdisciplinary Professional Experience


Courses: P-track WSSS students are required to complete two WSSS-approved courses.


Practicum: P-track WSSS students are required to complete a practicum project. The practica are group projects that work with real-world clients to address water-related problems. Practicum projects usually occur from December-April of the student's first year in the program. The practicum does not count as one of the two WSSS-approved courses required for P-track students.


Interdisciplinary Professional Experience (IPE): To foster students' practical experience in solving water issues, P-track WSSS students are required to complete a water-focused professional experience with a public- or private-sector organization. IPEs often take the form of internships.

  • IPE must be a minimum of 150 hours.

  • The IPE Approval Form has two parts, the first part must be filled out prior to the start of the IPE and the second part after completion of the experience.

  • Some students may satisfy this requirement through prior professional experience. These students should petition to WSSS Director for exemption of this requirement. Some existing internship programs (at UEP and in the AFE program at the School of Nutrition Science and Policy, for example) may satisfy the IPE, provided that they also meet the objectives of the IPE (and submit the required forms). This decision will be made by a member of the WSSS Steering Committee.

  • Students may secure their own IPE or seek the advice of WSSS faculty with similar interests. Read about past IPEs that WSSS students have completed >>

WSSS Symposium: P-track WSSS students are required to organize and put-on the annual WSSS symposium. This symposium requires preparations from December-April during the student's second year of the program. It requires generating a theme for the symposium, finding funding, recruiting speakers, reserving space and A/V equipment, and advertising for the event.

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