Water Resources Program

MSC05 3110
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Physical Location:
1915 Roma Avenue NE
Economics Building Room 1048

Phone: (505) 277-7759
Fax: (505) 277-5226

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Students are often in a quandary about where to submit forms, whom to ask about certain matters, etc. This section will help clear up those issues.

Flow Chart

A flow chart depicting the sequence of events in moving through the MWR degree program is in the appendices of the MWR Program Guide and downloadable here. Students should consult it frequently to ensure they are on track for completing all degree requirements.

Nuts and Bolts

Questions involving deadlines, status of applications (admissions, financial aid, etc.), the scheduling of professional project defenses, all forms, and similar issues should be directed to the Water Resources Program’s Administrative Assistant II, Annamarie Cordova (Economics Building room 1048; Fax: 277-5226; Voice: 277-7759; Email: acordova@unm.edu), who will strive to respond within two business days.

Coursework, Advisement, Program of Study

Questions involving coursework, program of study, etc., (i.e., advisement issues) should be addressed to the Director or the student’s advisor/committee chair (the Director serves as a student’s temporary advisor until the student decides upon a permanent one). A student’s advisor is the same person as the chair of his/her Professional Project committee, i.e., someone who has professional interests similar to the student’s.

For questions about a specific course (prerequisites, what’s covered, etc.) it is best to contact the course instructor (some instructors may have their course syllabi online – check the department’s home page). Courses evolve over time, so the best source of information is the instructor. All main campus UNM course descriptions, including prerequisites, are in the University Catalog, which is online at www.unm.edu/~unmreg/ (click on “University Catalog”). Semester schedules are also at the same URL (click on “Schedule of Classes”). School of Law courses and schedules are at lawschool.unm.edu/courses/. Note that School of Law classes may have different start/end dates than classes on the Main Campus

Professional Project

Questions involving the Professional Project, the Professional Project report, and Professional Project defense should be directed to the chair of the student’s Professional Project committee. The time/date of the Professional Project defense is something the student and his/her committee agree upon. Once the time and date are set, ask the WRP Office to schedule a room and prepare the proper form.

Students are encouraged to examine previous Professional Projects.  All projects since 1999 are part of the Zimmerman library collection.  Projects since 2005 are available electronically at dspace.unm.edu.


There are a number of UNM forms that must be submitted on time. All such forms are submitted to OGS through the WRP Office. If an advisor or committee chair’s signature is required on the form and it is someone other than the Director, please obtain the signature(s) before submitting it to the WRP Office. Please note that the WRP Office needs to get OGS forms at least four working days (sooner if possible) before they are due to OGS the forms are checked for accuracy before securing the Director’s signature. If the WRP Office receives a form any later, the student runs the risk that the Director will not be around to sign it or that there will not be time to check it, in which case it will not be submitted on time. The upshot: submit forms as early as possible.

Staying Enrolled after Completing Coursework, Readmission

After completing all of their coursework students are strongly encouraged to continue to enroll for at least 1 credit of classes to retain their UNM privileges (e-mail, library access, etc.) and prevent disenrollment.  The most expedient strategy is to register for at least one credit of Professional Project (WR 598) each semester.  However, only 3 credits of WR 598 will count towards the degree.

Students must also be registered for at least one credit of WR 598 during the semester in which they complete their degree requirements.

Students who have not been enrolled for three or more consecutive semesters may be disenrolled from UNM by OGS. To apply for readmission (Fall, Spring or Summer semesters) visit here.  An application fee must be paid.  Readmission is not automatic.

Deferral of Admission

Admission can be deferred for up to one calendar year. Students must submit a written request to OGS and the WRP requesting deferral.

Other Stuff – Graduate Units, Catalog, and MWR degrees, etc.

The graduate unit is the “Water Resources Program” and Dr. Thomson is the Director. The Program is administratively housed in University College. The major code is 429. The degree name is “Master of Water Resources” and its abbreviation is “MWR”. It is a Plan II (non-thesis) degree; there are two formal concentrations: Hydroscience and Policy/Management The UNM Catalog lists the formal requirements for all UNM graduate degrees  (here).

Computer Lab and Other Resources

The WRP has a Computer Lab that all students are welcome to use. It is located in room 1036 of the Economics Building. Students may obtain keys for access to the building after hours. The Computer Lab also is equipped with a monitored alarm system. You will receive instructions on how to arm/disarm the system.  The computer lab contains several computers, scanners and printers, one of which is a Dell color laser printer.  A Canon multifunction machine (B&W printer; B&W copier; fax; color scanner) is also available. The fax number is 505-277-0777. A phone is available for student use (505-277-0777). Please note that WRP computers are for the use of WRP students, faculty and staff; friends and relatives are not permitted to use them. Please lock the doors and arm the alarm system when you leave.

Next door to the Computer Lab is a student workroom (room 1040) with a microwave oven, coffeemaker, refrigerator, couch and desks.  The WRP has also equipment that may be checked out for student work. Items include: a Kodak digital camera, altimeter, GPS units, a rangefinder, a clinometer, tape measures, etc.

Building Access - Keys

All WRP students may obtain keys to the Economics Building (outside entrance key),  the WRP computer lab and the workroom.. The WRP Administrator (Annamarie Cordova) will issue key authorization cards. Keys must be turned in to the Lock Shop when you graduate.


Lockers are available along the wall of the west hall in the Economics Building. If you want a locker for storage of personal items, just put your own lock on an empty locker. No permission is necessary.


All students must have an e-mail account and should read it daily.  It is the principal form of communication between faculty and students in the program.  All UNM students are entitled to free e-mail through UNM ( www.unm.edu/computing/).  Private e-mail accounts are acceptable as well.  Students should make sure that the Administrator has their current e-mail address as well as other contact information (mailing address and phone number).

Transfer Courses and Courses Taken in Non-Degree Status

Students may enroll in MWR classes as non-degree students prior to admission to the program.  Non-degree students are limited to a maximum of 9 credit hours per semester (http://www.unm.edu/~grad/ndc/ndc.html). The Non-Degree Graduate Student Services office is located in Mitchell Hall 108, 505-277-0022, 277-6044; toll-free 1-877-7978203; fax: 505-277-6050.

A maximum of 12 graduate credit hours taken in non-degree status at UNM may count towards the student’s program.  Graduate courses taken at another accredited institution may count for up to 50% (18 credits) of the MWR course work. These courses must be approved by the WRP.  Each course to be transfer or non-degree course, whether taken at UNM or elsewhere, must have a grade no lower than B.

7-Year Rule

The OGS requires that students complete their Master’s degree within seven years.  If the student exceeds this time limit, classes older than seven years will not count towards their degree and they will therefore have to take additional courses to have the required credits for the program.

Incomplete Grades (“I”)

Incomplete (“I”) grades received during Summer 2005 and afterwards must be resolved within one year from the published end date of the semester in which the grade was assigned. If an “I” grade is not resolved within this time frame, it reverts to an “F”. Removing grades of “I” on time is a serious matter; if a student does not remove them according to UNM regulations, the “I” becomes an “F” and cannot be removed. A grade of “F” will do wonders for a student’s GPA. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure the “I” is removed in a timely manner. Graduation cannot occur with an “I” on a transcript.