Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Environmental Sciences

Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College: College of Science and Mathematics


Application Deadline:  February 15th for Fall Applicants          July 15th for Spring Applicants

The Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science is designed to provide all students with a cross-disciplinary introduction to environmental science. Students are required to complete the PhD core course requirements which include taking one class in each of three categories: Environmental Chemistry/Soil and Water Science, Environmental Policy, Law & Economics, and Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies.

Each student will also take 1 credit hour of Ethics, 4 credit hours of Seminar, 6 credit hours of Statistics and 18 credit hours of Dissertation. In addition, each student will normally take courses in their specialty area sufficient to bring the total number of credits to the minimum of 72 required for the PhD in Environmental Science beyond the bachelor‘s degree or 42 beyond the master’s degree. Any additional course work requirements will be determined by the PhD Advisory Committee to meet the student's specific program needs.

For PhD EVS students, there are two public defenses: 1) Dissertation Proposal and 2) Dissertation Defense of their completed research.  Each of these defenses is followed by an oral examination given by the PhD Advisory Committee.  Two Qualifying Examinations and a final Comprehensive Examination are also required.

A PhD level research scientist must have the ability to form a research hypothesis based on previous knowledge in the area, design the critical experiments necessary to test the hypothesis, analyze the experimental data, propose additional experiments based on the data, and come to a successful resolution of the problem. Passing all required exams implies that the student has sufficient critical thinking skills to be able to solve any problems that might arise during the research. The student must also have acquired sufficient knowledge in the research area and at least one area of Environmental Science. Thus, these examinations are important milestones for assessing whether the graduate student has the necessary knowledge and skills to advance toward completion of the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Environmental Science. 

  • Admission Process

    The Admission Process begins with an Online Graduate Application.  Applicants then follow up by submitting official Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, a copy of their MMR immunization, and the documents mentioned below.  These need to be sent, by the deadline, to:

    Arkansas State University
    Graduate School Admissions
    P O Box 1570
    State University, AR 72467

    Questions?  Please email us at gradadmissions@astate.edu

    • A completed online application to A-State Graduate School, along with the $50 application fee
    • One copy of official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate course work attempted, to be sent directly from the institution(s) previously attended. The Graduate School will compute the graduate GPA by counting all graduate courses completed, including any repeated courses.
    • Three letters of recommendation to be reviewed by the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program Committee. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination showing a score of 150 on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the exam. (new scaled scoring system)
    • International student applicants must demonstrate a satisfactory level of proficiency in the English language if English is not their native language.
    • Statement of Purpose. In essay form, state your reasons for undertaking graduate study in the Environmental Sciences. Please describe your qualifications for the academic program to which you are applying and your objectives in undertaking this program. Applicants to the doctoral program should clearly outline their research interests. We are interested in how the applicant's interests would complement those research interests of the faculty. Applicants to master's program should discuss their plans for their academic and professional career and how the Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences will help them attain their goals.
    • Resume (C.V.) List all colleges and universities attended, major extracurricular activities and employment, detailing particularly those relevant to your proposed field of study; any honors or prizes awarded; and publications and research projects with which you have been associated.
  • Curriculum


    Ph.D. students are required to take one class in each of three core categories:

    Environmental Chemistry/ Soil and Water Science
    • CHEM 5043 Environmental Chemistry 
    • PSSC 5713 Soil Quality Assessment and Interpretation
    • PSSC 5853 Soil and Water Conservation
    • PSSC 5813 Soil Fertility
    • GEOG 5633 Climatology
    Environmental Policy, Law & Economics
    • POSC 6173 Environmental Policy Processes 
    • POSC 5533 Environmental Law and Admin 
    • ECON 6353 Environmental Economics 
    Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies
    • BIO 6623 & 6621 Case Studies in Ecosystem Management Lecture and Lab 
    • BIO 5613 Conservation Biology
    • ESCI 6303 Global Water Issues
    • AGRI 6243 Environmental Sustainability
    Additional Requirements
    Ethics (1 hour)
    • ESC1 7151 Responsible Conduct in Research 
    Seminars (4 hours, at least 2 hours of Topical Seminar)
    • ESCI 7111 Environmental Science Seminar 
    • ESCI 7121, Topical Seminar in Environmental Sciences 
    Statistics (6 hours)
    • STAT 6613 Nonparametric Statistics 
    • STAT 6623 Statistical Methods with SAS Programming
    • STAT 6643 Multivariate Analysis 
    • STAT 6653 Data Analysis I: Regression Analysis 
    • STAT 6663 Data Analysis II: Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) 
    • STAT 6673 Design of Experiments 
    • STAT 6833 Biostatistics 
    • AGRI 6213 Experimental Designs 
    • AGRI 5233 Experimental Agricultural Statistics 
    • BIO 5683 Biological Data Analyses
    • BIO 6603 & 6601Environmental Systems Analysis Lecture and Lab
    Dissertation (18 hours)
    • ESCI 889V (1-12 hours) Dissertation

    Substitution of equivalent courses may be made upon the recommendation of the doctoral advisory committee with the approval of the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program Committee. In addition, each student will normally take courses in their specialty area sufficient to bring the total number of credits to the minimum of 72 required for the Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences beyond the bachelor‘s degree or 42 beyond the master’s degree. Any additional course work requirements will be determined by the Doctoral Advisory Committee to meet the student's specific program needs. Each candidate for the Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences must execute an original and rigorous research project culminating in the completion and defense of a dissertation. 

  • Student Forms

    Please visit the Environmental Sciences website for the latest forms.