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Environmental Sciences

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD)
Offered By: College of Science and Mathematics
Graduate School
Application Deadline: Six Weeks Prior to the First Day of Class


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
    • A completed online application to ASU 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 ac-

              tivities 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.

  • Checksheets & Degree Plans


    Checksheets list all of the requirements and university obligations for degree completion.

    Degree Plans

    Degree plans suggest a schedule of courses for students to follow as they pursue their degree.