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Interdisciplinary Water and Health Science
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Graduate Certificate In Interdisciplinary Water and Health Science

Clean water is a common topic discussed in many classrooms and research laboratories around this campus. Yet, the complexity of societal issues related to water shortages, hygiene, and quality, which influence water consumption and its role in human health, highlights the importance of increased interdisciplinary dialogue and problem-solving capabilities. The certificate reflects the acquisition of this interdisciplinary knowledge as related to “water and health.”

This certificate program is available to graduate students who are affiliated with the Water INTERface (WI) IGEP – at either the MS or PhD level. Students who successfully complete the 9 credits of WI IGEP coursework are eligible to apply to receive the certificate. Students may be affiliated with any department with WI IGEP mentorship agreement by a certificated WI IGEP Faculty (see website).

The IGEP is a non-degree granting program, thus students have a home department (i.e., that of their graduate advisor) with specific degree requirements. The water (WI IGEP) graduate certificate reflects the successful completion of the interdisciplinary coursework (including a 2 credit hour independent research project), which includes content related to four interdisciplinary research thematic areas:

·        Public Perception: public perception of technological options and advancements for providing clean water resources (water treatment);

·         Risks: risks (perceived or real) associated with contaminants and water-borne infectious diseases in private homes, public water systems, and commercial food processing facilities;

·      Chemistry: role of water chemistry (e.g., mineral composition) in delivering functional qualities such as flavor and bioavailable nutrients;

·        Health: role of water consumption in health, wellness, and mitigation of mineral deficiencies and diseases.

How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admission Requirements: Graduate Certificate In Interdisciplinary Water and Health Science

Certificate applicants must have a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent of a US four-year degree from a regionally accredited institution, and must have been accepted (or are currently enrolled) in a degree-granting graduate program at Virginia Tech.

A minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 is required to apply for the graduate certificate. Students who wish to apply to pursue the certificate should contact the program director, Dr. Susan Duncan and Dr. Andrea Dietrich (WI IGEP Program Directors and certificate coordinators). The applicant must have approval from WI IGEP Directors and agreement from a WI IGEP faculty mentor who are different from applicant’s home department for the 5974 Independent Study. A formal request for admittance identifies and confirms the approval from applicant’s WI IGEP research mentor (5974 Independent Study) and from applicant’s thesis/dissertation advisor. Application for admittance includes the application for certificate (application form), letter of approval from thesis/dissertation advisor, letter of agreement from WI IGEP faculty mentor, CV, statement of interest, official transcript, GRE score report, and graduation certificates of baccalaureate degree or the equivalent of a US four-year degree from a regionally accredited institution (all materials can be submitted as electronic version). 

Course Requirements: Graduate Certificate In Interdisciplinary Water and Health Science

Students will increase knowledge, advocacy, and comprehension of the four thematic areas (public perception, risk, chemistry, health) through the required certificate coursework, in addition to completing the graduate degree requirements of their home department. Students will explore critical thinking of the thematic areas in literature reviews and meeting research objectives in their course discussions, research activities, and dissertations. The IGEP certificate courses are as follows: 

  • Ethics course (complete one of the following:
    • Advanced Interdisciplinary Issues and Ethics in Water Resources  (GEOG 5134) (3 credits)
    • Research Ethics in Agriculture and Life Sciences (ALS 5324) (3 credits)
    • Engineering Ethics and the Public (CEE 5804) (3 credits)
  • Interdisciplinary Research (GRAD 5134) (3 credits)
  • Water for Health Seminar (GRAD 5414) (1 credit)
  • Independent Research Study (GRAD 5974) (2 credits)