Floodplain Management Degree Option

floodplain management option

The Master of Infrastructure Planning & Management now offers a degree option in Floodplain Management, allowing students to earn their master's with a focus on the study of coastal and riverine floodplain management. This 45-credit degree program lasts 24 months and launches with its first student cohort in summer 2016. Classes will begin June 20, 2016

Flooding is an extremely daunting and costly challenge facing society, with the effects of global climate change intensifying these challenges. There is high demand for professionals with specific training in designing and implementing preventative and corrective measures that address floodplain issues.

Graduates of this program will receive a University of Washington diploma which lists the degree as "Master of Infrastructure Planning and Management." The name of the degree option is not indicated on the diploma. The official UW transcript for graduates of this option will show the degree as "Master of Infrastructure Planning and Management (Flood Risk)."


The Floodplain Management option is an interdisciplinary program that combines courses from the main degree program with courses designed to specifically address floodplain management.

Topics unique to this degree option include:

  • Governmental role in floodplain management
  • Cities and floodplains
  • Hydrology, hydraulics and fluvial mechanics
  • Floodplain ecosystem services
  • Floodplain identification and mapping
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Resilient design for flood-prone communities
  • Coastal flood risk reduction and design measures

Expert faculty and instructors with deep knowledge of and experience with floodplain management issues teach all courses in this program. Direction and oversight is provided by an experienced Advisory Board.

As with the main degree program, students are required to complete a capstone project to gain real-world experience. This project presents an opportunity to synthesize the knowledge learned throughout the program, to conduct research and to network in a particular area of the field.


The Floodplain Management option features a hybrid format that requires in-person and online course completion. The classroom portion of the program takes place during two resident summer sessions at the UW campus in Seattle, each an intensive, full-time session lasting about two weeks.

The summer sessions are divided into two general areas of concentration. The first summer curriculum addresses Issues, Science and Impacts, while the second covers Tools, Approaches and Application Strategies.

A select number of main degree courses are incorporated into the degree option during the regular school year and are delivered completely online. Overall, students complete 21 credits in the summer sessions and 24 credits during the school year.

Quarter Summer 1 Autumn 1 Winter 1 Spring 1 Summer 2 Autumn 2 Winter 2 Spring 2
Courses IPM 522
IPM 523
IPM 520
IPM 500
IPM 504
IPM 513
IPM 518
IPM 517
IPM 501
IPM 510
IPM 515
IPM 503
IPM 505

Course Sequence

Credit value is listed in parentheses after each course title.