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
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
California Institute of Integral Studies
The ecological challenges of the 21st century represent a crisis of values and consciousness. The pace of global change calls for an understanding of the process by which humanity came to this crossroads in planetary history.
- Conway, SCConway, SC
Coastal Carolina University
The Ph.D. in Marine Science: Coastal and Marine Systems Science facilitates students to work with faculty on original research expanding and applying knowledge of coastal systems...
- Athens, OHAthens, OH
Graduate Programs We offer programs leading to the master's (MS) and doctoral (P...
- Las Vegas, NVLas Vegas, NV
University of Nevada Las Vegas
The Department of Geoscience is an active and enthusiastic department consisting of 18 full-time faculty, 3 professional staff, 3 classified staff, post-docs, and associated faculty from the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and the Harry Reid Center for...
- Las Vegas, NV
- 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
- Blacksburg, VABlacksburg, VA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The plant pathology, physiology, and weed science department has programs leading to the M.S. (thesis and non-thesis) and Ph.D. degrees in plant pathology and in plant physiology and weed science. The M.S. programs usually require two years while a Ph.D...
- Blacksburg, VA
- 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.
- Santa Cruz, CASanta Cruz, CA
University of California - Santa Cruz
The Santa Cruz campus has a large and vigorous interdisciplinary marine sciences program with faculty in all major subfields. Research facilities include on-campus analytical labs, on-shore marine labs, a 40-foot research vessel and a research site on A...
- Santa Cruz, CA
- Boston, MABoston, MA
The program in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution includes courses and research opportunities in behavioral ecology and sociobiology, molecular ecology and evolution, community ecology, biochemical ecology, population biology, tropical ecology, and ecosys...
- Kent, OHKent, OH
Kent State University
The aquatic ecology specialization provides opportunities to study basic and applied topics in lakes, streams, and wetlands. Faculty and students in aquatic ecology interact with researchers from Chemistry, Geology, and Geography through the interdiscip...
- Kent, OH
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of California - Berkeley
- San Francisco, CA
- Dayton, OHDayton, OH
Wright State University
Wright State University's Ph.D.
- Gloucester Point, VAGloucester Point, VA
College of William and Mary
- Charlottesville, VACharlottesville, VA
University of Virginia
- 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...
- 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...
- Columbia, SCColumbia, SC
University of South Carolina
This is an interdisciplinary program with four required core courses(Physical, Chemical, Geological and Biological Oceanography). All students accepted are supported and we encourage prospective students to make direct contact with faculty members in th...
- Columbia, SC
- Arlington, TXArlington, TX
University of Texas at Arlington
The MS in Environmental and Earth Sciences is designed to provide graduate students an integrated, multidisciplinary education, nurtured through a carefully tailored degree program requiring a breadth of understanding and mastery of a spectrum of scient...
- University Park, PAUniversity Park, PA
Pennsylvania State University
The objective of this program is to educate and train plant biologists using the most modern techniques available today. Graduates from this program have gone on to a diverse range of careers, including positions in colleges and universities, research i...
- University Park, PA