The Water Quality Technology and Management study plan provides excellent preparation for professional careers in the expanding field of water management. Graduates find employment in a wide variety of occupations with industry, private consulting firms, non-profit organizations, or government agencies that deal with the management of water supply, drinking water, waste water, solid waste, and other water quality concerns.
The program is broadly based to prepare students for careers in all aspects of water quality and management. The students take an interdisciplinary approach with classes from many departments, including geology, biology, chemistry, math, and computer science, as well as ENSP. Students have their choice of taking a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science; the coursework is similar but the B.S. provides more of a foundation in calculus and physics, expertise needed for working with many water engineers in the field. A small set of new regulatory positions in state and local government are only open to B.S. graduates.
An important component of this study plan is the internship, which provides an opportunity for real-world experience working in the field. Many excellent opportunities for internships exist near campus. Four units of internship are required, and students are encouraged to divide these units between two different internships to broaden their experience and expertise.
A number of graduates from this study plan get jobs as wastewater or drinking water technicians, for whom there is serious demand in the U.S. today. The jobs are well paid, have good benefits and room for advancement, and are increasingly important for environmental quality.
Other graduates are interested in working as investigators for federal, state, regional, and local environmental agencies, such as the EPA and Regional Water Quality Control Boards across California. All of these positions are open to people with a bachelors of science degree.
A small group of our graduates work for medium and large corporations. Some of them operate the machinery that purifies the air and wastewater from industrial pollutants. Others work as health and safety officers or environmental compliance managers. Additional graduates work in small engineering firms that serve the public agencies and the large private corporations. Some of these firms specialize in cleaning up polluted water and soil. Others give technical advice.
Students in this study plan are encouraged to minor or double major in Chemistry or Geology. Minors generally require 20 units in that department; students should consult an academic advisor in Chemistry or Geology for specific details.