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Doctorate in Environmental Science

The PhD in Environmental Science is a multidisciplinary program that collaborates with other departments at the University, allowing for research in a number of disciplines including ecology, biodiversity, conservation, environmental assessment, paleoecology-geology and environmental policy. Students work closely with one or more faculty members to master their chosen area of environmental research.

General Requirements

Applicants to the doctoral program are judged on the basis of academic excellence and the alignment of their research interests with those of the environmental faculty. To be awarded the PhD, students must complete a major, publishable research project and are expected to be published in leading peer-reviewed journals. There is no prescribed coursework for the doctorate. Students develop an academic plan of study appropriate for the completion of their research under the guidance of a faculty adviser. In addition to a qualifying entrance examination, the PhD student must pass a candidacy examination and an oral defense of his or her dissertation, which demonstrates the capacity to perform independent research.

Teaching Fellow Policy

The College of Arts and Sciences regards training in pedagogy and instruction to be core to the mission of doctoral education. Therefore, all PhD students in the College are required to perform significant teaching duties (defined over multiple terms) during their pursuit of their degree. These activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Supervising teaching labs
  • Running course recitations
  • Teaching as the primary instructor
  • Running student seminars
  • Training junior researchers in core research methods
  • Running or actively participating in pedagogical seminars or conferences

Alternate fulfillment of this requirement is at the discretion of the program director and the head of the student's home department.

Learn more about the degree in the Course Catalog