About the WSSS Program

"The water crisis is a health crisis, it’s a farming crisis, it’s an economic crisis, it’s a climate crisis, and increasingly, it is a political crisis. And therefore, we must have an equally comprehensive response."


- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, March 22, 2011

Tufts University established the Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) graduate research and education program in 2004 to provide interdisciplinary perspectives and tools needed to manage water-related problems around the world.


The program is supported by the Tufts Institute of the Environment, which provides resources and space to students and faculty involved in WSSS.


Students participating in the WSSS program must enroll in and fulfill the requirements of a graduate degree at one of the university's participating schools. WSSS requirements are completed in addition to the student's degree requirements., but through the use of electives and co-listed courses, WSSS usually will not add significant time to a graduate degree program. WSSS has enrolled students from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Engineering, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the School of Medicine, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Upon completion of the WSSS requirements, students receive a Certificate in Water: Systems, Science, and Society along with their graduate degree.

WSSS students take courses from our educational core areas and participate in cross-cutting seminars, while also choosing to pursue an in-depth interdisciplinary research project or participate in a field Practicum. Details about the academic requirements of the WSSS program can be found on our Curriculum Overview page and in the WSSS Student Handbook.