About CVU

CUAHSI has organized inter-university online courses to enhance the depth and breadth of graduate course offerings at universities across the nation, increase the rate of uptake of new research and facilitate networking among our hydrologic community. It is anticipated that participating faculty will teach the course as part of their regular teaching responsibilities at their home institutions, and they are not compensated by CUAHSI for their participation.

The format of the course is designed to give students flexibility to select the three topics most relevant to them from a list of Specialized Online Hydrology Course modules. Modules are offered by leading faculty in these specialized research niches from across the country. Each module, which is equivalent to one-third of a semester course, is designed to facilitate interaction among the instructor and students and contain some evaluation elements (problem sets, projects, presentations, exams etc.). The instructor at each student’s home university will assign a grade based on the student scores and class distribution provided by the module instructor.

The course will run from September through November with each module being conducted for 4 weeks.

Only students from participating universities are eligible to participate.

Fall 2021 Syllabus Here.

View syllabuses below:

View Snow Hydrology: Focus on Modeling module lectures:

Read the press release below:


Faculty currently employed by a U.S. university are eligible to participate in the Virtual University.

Only students from universities at which there is faculty participation in the CVU are eligible for enrollment. 


To participate in the Virtual University, each instructor must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a faculty member of a graduate program relevant to the hydrologic sciences
  • Receive university consent to participate in the CUAHSI Virtual University
  • Be available to teach an online module synchronously for four consecutive weeks (September, October, or November), twice a week for 90 min (M/W or T/Th).
  • Hold office hours for students both at the home institution and virtually
  • Participate in monthly preparation conference calls starting in February and ending one month prior to the start of the Virtual University. 

To participate in the Virtual University instructors are expected to:

  • Teach a module in their specialized sub-discipline
  • Promote CUAHSI Virtual University among students at their home university
  • Network and collaborate virtually with peers across the country
  • Create greater community awareness of research activities
  • Share data and resources across the hydrologic community

View the benefits of the Virtual University here.

Application and Deadline

For students: 

Students will register for the CUAHSI Virtual University through their typical university registration process. Registration for the Fall 2021 CUAHSI Virtual University is now open. Only students from participating universities are eligible to participate.

Registration for Fall 2021 has closed.

Questions regarding the CUAHSI Virtual University and application can be directed to Deanna McCay at dmccay@cuahsi.org

Call for 2022 CVU Instructors

For Instructors:

Since 2017, CUAHSI has offered an inter-university online course to enhance the depth and breadth of graduate-level hydrology course offerings.

In CVU, a series of 1-credit, 4-week modules are taught by faculty in participating universities. Faculty teach one-credit modules on highly specialized topics that are often too specific to be full-credit classes on an individual campus. Modules are self-contained and students enroll in the three modules most relevant to their interests. Participating faculty teach their 4-week module and serve as instructor-of-record for students from their university who enroll in CVU. While faculty need to discuss arrangements with their department administration, CVU was designed to count toward instructor teaching load. Students gain access to material that might not be offered at their home institution. 

  • Students: interested in participating in the CVU? Encourage your instructors to apply. 
  • Faculty: Interested in participating? Apply here

More details here 

New for 2022, we welcome the formation of subject matter tracks! We are particularly interested in forming a series of modules related to any of the following topics: Critical Zone Science, Food, Energy, and Water Systems (FEWS), Remote Sensing, and/or Hydrogeophysics. If you are a specialist in any of these areas and are interested in teaching in CVU, please contact Deanna McCay (dmccay@cuahsi.org) for more information.