• testing on the lake

    Water Science

From the ground up.

On a planet that is about 71% water, making water science a vital field of study that impacts people all over the world. As a water science major, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the chemistry, biology, and movement of water in the environment, all while studying how societies are connected to each other and the earth through bodies of water.

You’ll complement your studies with geologic, hydrologic, and atmospheric processes, giving you insight into how people all over the world are influenced by the quality of their water. Courses focus on the science of the occurrence, circulation, and distribution of surface water, ground water, lakes, oceans, and atmospheric water, preparing you for graduate school or an exciting career in this important field.


“Northland is also the only college where I can study water science and natural resources in such a research-based environment.” Reane Loiselle, Northland Student Landing Page Testimonial

Program Emphasis Options

  • Water Chemistry

    Tackle the important task of improving and maintaining water quality in the environment. With a mixture of core water science and chemistry classes, you will work in the field and in laboratories to study the details of water composition and protect its quality.

  • Water Resources Emphasis

    Discover how humans interact with water in the environment and learn to manage water resources. You’ll study earth resources, geographic information systems, biology and resource policy to tackle water resource problems and other challenging issues that affect current and future generations.

Why Northland?

Experiential Learning

An education at Northland involves more than just sitting in lecture halls. We combine classroom learning with immersive field studies and opportunities within the community to create a one-of-a-kind learning experience. Our career-focused curriculum will provide you with the tools and confidence to succeed in anything you do.

Access to Financial Aid

Think all private colleges are expensive? Think again. With 99% of all Northland College students receiving some form of financial aid, you can receive a private school education at a public school price.

Proven Outcomes

A degree from Northland is your pathway to opportunity. Our 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows our professors to personally invest in your success, and the results of this approach speak for themselves. 93.5% of our recent graduates are employed or in graduate school.

Full-Spectrum Sustainability

At Northland, we live our sustainability mission every day. Going green is a part of everything we do as an institution and everything you’ll do as a student—from how you’ll live, to what you’ll learn, and ways you can contribute.

Live & Learn in a Natural World

Our location in Ashland, WI, a small, safe community of just over 8,000 tucked along the south shore of Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and over a million acres of national forest, creates truly unique educational and recreational experiences.

Work with the Best & Brightest

Our faculty are passionate about learning—and not just student learning. They are dedicated learners and scholars, and that shines through in the classroom and in the field. And they’re more than just teachers. They are mentors who often establish life-long relationships with students.

Ready to take the next step?

Get in touch to learn more and start planning your journey at Northland College.

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