United States Doctorate in Environmental Science | PhD in Environmental Science Programs
PhD in Environmental Science | Doctorate in Environmental Science Programs Overview
Pursuing a PhD in Environmental Science might be particularly appealing to graduate students interested in advanced research in a specific aspect of this broad field. If you are dedicated to environmental issues and are hoping to make a difference, whether in policy, through teaching, or documentation, and are ready to advance your expertise in a particular area, a PhD Environmental Science Degree may offer the professional education needed to do so.
Environmental science degrees tend to be general ones, drawing from the traditional sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, geography and ecology) as well as the social sciences (economics, business, or sociology). At the doctoral level, however, students have the opportunity to complete a specialization within a more select area in environmental science, such as energy, sustainability, conservation, forestry or botany.
Why Pursue a PhD in Environmental Science?
The main reason graduates enter Environmental PhD programs is to conduct research. Earning your PhD in Environmental Science places you amongst the most skilled in the field. Doctoral degrees combine high-level seminars with coursework and original research; the predominant requirement of these programs is to defend a doctoral dissertation.
It might take 3 to 6 years to complete a PhD in Environmental Science, though this may vary depending on the school and the program itself. The rigorous research entailed means one should consider each program carefully to determine which one will hold their attention and commitment during the process.
Typically, after students pass a comprehensive exam, they go on to complete their own research, making an important contribution to the field through a dissertation and oral examinations.
Selecting Environmental PhD Programs
GradSchools.com has easy to use search tools to assist you in choosing the right environmental PhD program. If location is an issue for you, initiate a location search to determine where you might study.
Choosing a learning format is an important consideration as well. Traditional campus programs offer face-to-face interaction, plus the use of laboratories and libraries. If you aspire to a career in academics, you might gain teaching experience by working as graduate teaching assistants—students who are enrolled in a graduate program and teach classes in the institution in which they are enrolled.
For busy working professionals, a distance-learning option might be more viable. In this event, you might choose an online or hybrid format, which is a combination of online and on campus courses. Some of the options you might find may include: PhD in environmental Studies, PhD in Ecology, PhD in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography and PhD in Botany.
Some of the things to compare between schools include:
- Admissions requirements
- Programs coursework majors/minors
- Whether the program is new and innovative or has a history and close-knit faculty
- Community and Alumni
Potential Coursework for PhD in Environmental Science Programs
Doctorate in Environmental Science programs are intended to help students understand:
- Important environmental issues
- Focus on a traditional or emerging area of environmental science
- Learn advanced research methodologies
- Teach, consult or contribute to policy making
Most programs allow students to personalize their degree according to their research interests, whether this be an interdisciplinary perspective, or in one aspect of environmental science, or in a specific issue such as:
- Environmental toxicology
- Environmental Resource management
- Deforestation and land-use management
- Plant biology and conservation
- Marine studies
- Botany and horticulture
Potential Careers for PhD Environmental Science Graduates
Individuals holding doctoral degrees might opt to work within academia. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be an employment growth of 9% between 2014 and 2024 for Environmental Science teachers at the Postsecondary level.
While a Ph.D. primarily prepares you for a career as a professor, there are a number of other career options open as well, particularly within the research sector. The industries with the highest level of employment of Environmental Scientists are
- Management, scientific, and consulting services
- State government
- Architectural, engineering and related services
- Local and Federal branches of government
Career Tip: Students who want to reach the Ph.D. level and have a career in academia or as an environmental scientist doing basic research may find it advantageous to major in a more specific natural science such as chemistry, biology, physics, or geology, rather than a broader environmental science degree[i].
Ready To Pursue a Doctorate in Environmental Science?
As a problem-solver for environmental issues, if you are ready to achieve the highest level of education, and potentially be part of the next generation of environmental experts, start looking into PhD programs in Environmental Science on GradSchools.com today!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm#tab-4 | bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers | bls.gov/oes/current/oes192041.htm
- Cookeville, TNCookeville, TN
Tennessee Technological University
ur Ph.D. program endeavors to be more than a traditional "academic" program. The interdisciplinary faculty works with our graduate students to develop the critical thinking necessary to solve critical, real world problems.
- Cookeville, TN
- Lafayette, LALafayette, LA
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Most Biology graduate faculty members compete in one or more research areas, and may encompass microorganisms, plants (ranging from algae to mangroves) and animals (including anemones and corals, mollusks, crustaceans, and fish). Topics of study include...
- Lafayette, LA
- College Park, MDCollege Park, MD
University of Maryland - College Park
- College Park, MD
- Jonesboro, ARJonesboro, AR
Arkansas State University
The graduate program in Environmental Science an interdepartmental program offering both MS and Ph.D. degrees for cross-disciplinary research in areas related to the understanding and management of the environment in the broadest context. Areas of study...
- Rochester, NYRochester, NY
University of Rochester
Our graduate program is one of the most well-established, research-oriented, toxicology Ph.D. programs in the nation.
- Baton Rouge, LABaton Rouge, LA
Louisiana State University
The mission of the Department of Environmental Sciences is to provide the academic talents and knowledge needed to solve environmental problems that are important to Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico region, and comparable areas throughout the nati...
- Baton Rouge, LA
- Lawrence, INLawrence, IN
University of Kansas
Kansas University has a tradition of pioneering excellence in entomology that has been recognized nationally and internationally for the past 120 years. In fact, "Entomology at the University of Kansas is as old as the University itself." As the result...
- Lawrence, IN
- Kent, OHKent, OH
Kent State University
The M.S. and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences—Ecology provides opportunities to study in areas such as animal behavior, entomology, microbial ecology, ornithology, systems ecology, systematic and evolutionary biology and vertebrate ecology.
- Kent, OH
- Athens, OHAthens, OH
Graduate Programs We offer programs leading to the master's (MS) and doctoral (P...
- Vancouver, WAVancouver, WA
Washington State University
The M.S. and Ph.D. in Botany and Zoology are WSU-wide graduate degrees. These degrees are offered by the WSU School of Biological Sciences, and you may pursue these degrees on the Vancouver campus, under the guidance and supervision of Vancouver-base...
- Vancouver, WA
- Pullman, WA
- Stanford, CAStanford, CA
Designed to create interdisciplinary scholars & leaders to address the most challenging environmental & sustainability problems.
- Stanford, CA
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of California - Berkeley
- San Francisco, CA
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
The Ph.D. degree can be pursued in fields related to the expertise of the core faculty. Students work closely with one or more faculty members in mast...
- Corpus Christi, TXCorpus Christi, TX
Texas A&M University
Highly interdisciplinary, this degree is designed to serve graduate students with diverse backgrounds in the natural and computational sciences.
- Kingsville, TX
- College Station, TX
- Tampa, FLTampa, FL
University of South Florida
The Department of Integrative Biology is committed to train the next generation of graduate students to prepare them for professional success in the fields of biological sciences that mirror our faculty's expertise. Our program of graduate study is desi...
- Tampa, FL
- Saint Petersburg, FL
- New Orleans, LANew Orleans, LA
- Port Aransas, TXPort Aransas, TX
University of Texas at Austin
The Department of Marine Science is located at Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas, whose mission includes research, education, and outreach on topics related to the marine environment. Graduate students work with full-time research scientis...
- Austin, TX
- Knoxville, TNKnoxville, TN
University of Tennessee
Many areas of research and study are available within the broad divisions of Soil Science, Plant Breeding and Genetics, and Physiology and Ecology of Agronomic and Horticultural Crops. Students entering the program should have a degree in Agricultural,...
- Knoxville, TN