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
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
Colorado Technical UniversityDoctor of Management - Environmental and Social Sustainability (Executive Format)
North Carolina State UniversityForestry and Environmental Resources Forest Biomaterials Plant Biology Plant Pathology Horticultural Science Crop Science Entomology Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences Soil Science
Oregon State UniversityForestry and Forest Engineering Botany and Plant Pathology Soil Science Entomology Horticulture Plant Physiology
Oklahoma State UniversityPlant Pathology Plant Science Plant and Soil Sciences Environmental Management Crop Science Entomology Human Environmental Sciences
Auburn UniversityEntomology Agronomy Agricultural Sciences Plant Physiology Graduate Programs Botany PlantPathology
Michigan State UniversityCrop and Soil Sciences Graduate Study in Plant Sciences Horticulture Entomology Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Lancaster UniversityBiological Sciences Environmental Science
Arizona State UniversityBiology Graduate Studies Plant Biology Graduate Studies
Michigan Technological UniversityForest Science Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology Forestry
McGill UniversitySoil Science Agricultural and Environmental Studies Plant Science Forest Science
Mississippi State UniversityAgronomy Entomology Plant Sciences Horticulture Forestry
Miami UniversityDepartment of Botany
Princeton UniversityPh.D. - Oceanography/Atmospheric Science Ecology
Idaho State UniversityEcology Botany
OGI School Of Science And Engineering at OHSUEnvironmental Science and Engineering
University of Alaska - FairbanksMarine Biology, Oceanography
New Mexico State UniversityPlant and Environmental Sciences Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science
Newcastle UniversityMarine Technology Environmental Science Marine Sciences Engineering and Science in the Marine Environment
Iowa State UniversityBiorenewable Resources and Technology Soil Science Forestry Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Environmental Science Plant Pathology Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture Plant Physiology Entomology Crop Production and Physiology
Northern Arizona UniversityForestry, Ph.D. Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, PhD
Kansas State UniversityAgricultural Sciences Plant Pathology Biological Research Entomology Agronomy
Stanford UniversityEmmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment & Resources
Drexel UniversityPhD in Environmental Science
Ohio UniversityEnvironmental and Plant Biology
University of South FloridaMarine Science - Doctorate
University of ChicagoEcology and Evolution
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyEnvironmental Science Environmental Policy Studies
Northeastern UniversityEcology, Evolution, and Marine Biology