California 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.
- San Francisco, CASan Francisco, CA
University of California - Berkeley
- San Francisco, CA
- Stanford, CAStanford, CA
Designed to create interdisciplinary scholars & leaders to address the most challenging environmental & sustainability problems.
- Stanford, CA
- 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
- Davis, CADavis, CA
University of California - Davis
Modern ecology is a large and exceptionally diverse field of study. While ecology originated in the biological sciences, the modern sense of ecology includes humans and human institutions, environmental management, and other elements that have been incr...
- Davis, CA
- Riverside, CARiverside, CA
University of California - Riverside
The Entomology Department is a large and internationally renowned department with 35 faculty and approximately 250 students, researchers, and staff. The department maintains a strong and integrated balance between investigations into basic science, and...
- Riverside, CA
- Santa Barbara, CASanta Barbara, CA
University of California - Santa Barbara
The Bren School, located among the many distinguished departments at UCSB, offers a professional Master's, a traditional Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Management, and an NSF-funded Ph.D. Fellowship Program in Economics and Environmental Science. Th...
- Santa Barbara, CA
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of California - Los Angeles
Our Environment and Sustainability Ph.D. equips students with diverse perspectives to develop profound new ideas, knowledge and answers to the most important concerns facing people and the planet.
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Diego, CASan Diego, CA
San Diego State University
San Diego State University offers a doctoral degree program in Ecology in cooperation with the University of California at Davis.
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
University of Southern California
It is the goal of our graduate program to provide our students with a comprehensive appreciation of the marine ecosystem and to train them in the util...