Doctoral Certificate Program

PhD students enrolled in any of the participating programs qualify to complete the Certificate Program in Biogeoscience. Admission to the certificate program requires the submission of an official application to the Program Director (Lucy Hutyra). The one page application is reviewed by the program chair and advisory committee, with admission based on the student’s potential and match of interests with the program’s mission. Upon completion of the certificate program, students are required to submit a certificate program completion form to the Program Director (Lucy Hutyra), in order to receive their official certificates upon graduation.

Upon successful admission, students are required to complete 16 credits of coursework with the recommended courses: Colloquium in Biogeoscience (2 credits), Practicum in Biogeoscience (2 credits), one course in Biogeophysics (4 credits), one course in Biogeochemistry (4 credits), and one course in Methods in Biogeoscience (Statistics, Modeling & Geospatial Sciences; 4 credits). If it is logistically infeasible to complete Biogeophysics, biogeochemistry, and Methods in Biogeosciences courses, students can petition to the Program Director to take three (4 credit) courses within two of the focus areas (in addition to the Colloquium and Practicum). See below for list of course offerings in each area.

The certificate program is designed such that requirements can be fulfilled as part of, and not in addition to, requirements for the PhD degree in the student’s home department (Biology or Earth & Environment). Many students will complete more than the 16-credit requirement for the certificate because of their interest in the subject matter. Each student admitted into the program is required to constitute a four- to five-member PhD committee. At least two of the members must be drawn from participating faculty, one of whom must be outside of the student’s sponsoring department. This latter requirement, in combination with the coursework requirement, ensures strong, interdisciplinary education and training in biogeoscience.

Biogeoscience Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate academic mastery in biogeoscience
  • Attain research expertise and complete original research that advances a specific field of study within the field of biogeoscience
  • Be prepared to enter the job market, whether in academia, government, or industry
  • Communicate research questions and results to the scientific community and communicate research findings and wider implications of biogeoscience research to the general public

Biogeoscience Curriculum

    For information on how to apply, please contact Lucy Hutyra (, Director of the Biogeoscience Program.