Become the expert.

The PhD in Earth & Environment emphasizes original research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Research topics supported by the department reflect our faculty’s diverse research interests. Our faculty are engaged in research sponsored by agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the World Bank, and the United Nations. All applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members directly to discuss potential research opportunities and available positions.



To our Admitted Graduate Students

Please know that our priority during this challenging time is the well-being of our students and ensuring their ability to fulfill their academic program requirements. This applies to our current students as well as you, our incoming graduate students. Due to the growing impact of COVID-19, all prospective and accepted student days, interview days, and individual student visits will be moved to a virtual format. We are also aware of the increasing concern around delayed visa appointments for our international students and delayed air travel for both our domestic and international students. Please be assured that we are currently working on alternative enrollment options for admitted students who are unable to make it to campus by the start of classes in September. You will be contacted via email with updates as they become available. Please be in touch if you have any questions or concerns.  

Degree Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the fundamental concepts and topics in a specific sub-field of Earth & Environment.
  • Demonstrate understanding of key research questions, the research design process, and the quantitative and/or qualitative methods used in a specific sub-field of Earth & Environment.
  • Communicate research questions and results to the scientific community and communicate about problems in Earth & Environment to a broader audience.
  • Integrate, synthesize, and apply scientific knowledge to societal problems, such as the sustainable use of energy and water resources, the identification and mitigation of risks posed by climate change and natural hazards, and the consequences of human activities on the environment.
  • Produce and defend an original and substantial contribution to the field.

Program Requirements

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Bulletin outlines the requirements for the PhD in Earth & Environment, including:

  • 64 credits of coursework at the 500-level or above (up 32 credits may be transferred from MA coursework)
  • Professional development requirement
  • Qualifying exam
  • Dissertation and final oral examination
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress for PhD Degree

The Department of Earth & Environment offers two additional programs to complement the PhD:

Graduate Student Funding

The Graduate School of Arts & Science guarantees five years of full funding for PhD students. Funding is met through a combination of of research assistantships, teaching fellowships, and other internal and external graduate scholarships. Funding consists of full coverage of tuition, a living stipend, and basic health insurance. Visit the Provost’s website for full details.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: December 19

We must receive all of your application materials via the online application system by December 19 for full consideration for fall entry.

  • Prospective students must apply online. Please visit our admissions page for more information on how to apply.
  • For information about financial aid, please visit the Graduate School’s Financial Aid webpage.

If you have any questions regarding the application process or the application itself, please contact Matt DiCintio, Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Earth & Environment.

Learn about the EEGSA

The Earth & Environment Graduate Student Association comprises graduate students at all levels throughout the Department who advocate for the student body and sponsor community-building activities.