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PhD Program

Graduate Handbook


Ph.D. Requirements  

To encourage the development ogiraffef interdisciplinary ES Graduate Study Programs, guidelines for course selection are flexible. Ph. D. students must complete 108 graduate credits. A program of study for Ph. D. students must include a set of ES Graduate core courses totaling 10-12 Cr. In addition to the ES graduate core courses, students must complete courses that constitute an area of concentration (or track). Upon completion of course work and thesis requirements, Ph. D. students will graduate with a major in Environmental Science.

The Program of Study would therefore consist of the following minimum credits (≥ 108 credits) in five programmatic areas:

  1. ES Core Courses: 10-12 Cr
  2. Methods and Numerical Skills: 9 Cr
  3. ES Area of Concentration: 30 Cr
  4. Elective Courses: 3-23 Cr
  5. Thesis: 36-56 Cr 

Ph.D. Program Courses

1. ES Graduate Core. The ES graduate core will consist of 4 courses, totaling 10-12 Cr for Ph. D. students. The purpose of the core is to introduce new students to faculty, to give students a sense of programmatic identity, to foster interdisciplinary thinking among students and faculty, to expose students to the breadth of existing environmental science courses, to expose students to a focused area of environmental science, to give students the opportunity for academic exploration, and to teach research skills. The 4 courses are:

  1. Environmental Perspectives and Methods ENSC 515 (3 Cr, fall quarter).
  2. Environmental Analysis ENSC 520 (3 Cr, winter quarter).
  3. Joint-Campus Environmental Science Workshop ENSC 508 (1 Cr, spring quarter).
  4. Approved Core Course - see Handbook 

2. Methods and Numerical Skills Courses. Courses in research methods, experimental design, statistical analysis, and modeling ensure students have sufficient skills for environmental research. 9 Cr of course work are required for the Ph. D. degree.

3. ES Areas of Concentration (Tracks). Sets of courses that constitute an Area of concentration have been established within the ES Graduate Program to give focus to study and research. Six Areas of Concentration have been defined. New Areas of Concentration can be developed by groups of faculty and students. Areas of Concentration consist of at least 30 Cr for Ph. D. students. The Areas of Concentration that are currently available include:

  1. Biogeochemistry
  2. Ecology
  3. Environmental Education
  4. Natural Resources
  5. Quantitative Analysis  
  6. Social Science
  7. Water Resources

4. Elective Courses. Elective courses are to be defined in the student's Program of Study, and agreed upon by the student and the advising committee. Courses may be selected to provide additional background, to explore new areas, and to add depth to a scholastic program.

5. Thesis. A central purpose of the Ph. D. degree is to teach students the process of environmental research. A minimum of 36 Cr are required for original research leading to a thesis that complies with standards established by the Graduate School and the ES Graduate Program.