College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences2012-2013
School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, Doctor of Philosophy
- Available Emphasis Areas:
- Climate and Landscape Change - Emphasis
- Earth and Planetary Systems - Emphasis
- Engineering Sustainable Systems - Emphasis
What Can I Do with a Doctor of Philosophy in Earth Science and Environmental Sustainability?
In this program, you'll join a new generation of leaders, scientists, and engineers who will be uniquely trained to tackle these pressing problems. The goal of this degree is to foster integrative and transformative research that lies between the traditional science and environmental engineering sub-disciplines. You will take classes in environmental policy, in-depth seminars in research, an individualized group of classes specific to your emphasis, and classes to help you attain your individual career goals.
With further education, one of these paths is possible:
- Environmental science and policy expert
- Applied scientist in energy and environmental and engineering consulting industries
- Applied scientist in governmental agencies and academe
To receive a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses, from one or more disciplines, ranging from at least 60-109 units of graduate-level courses. Most plans require research, a dissertation, and comprehensive exams. All plans have residency requirements regarding time spent on the Flagstaff campus engaged in full-time study.
The full policy can be viewed here.
In addition to University Requirements:
- Complete coursework requirements, including 45 units of coursework beyond the bachelor's degree and 15 units of dissertation credit (no more than 20 units from a master's plan can be credited toward degree requirements)
- Fulfill NAU's doctoral residency requirements
- Most of the emphasis areas prefer that the applicant has a MS degree in that area or a related field before the start of the PhD
|Minimum Units for Completion||60|
|Additional Admission Requirements||Required|
|Emphasis, Minor, Certificate||Required|
|Dissertation||Dissertation is required.
|Comprehensive Exam||Comprehensive Exam is required.
|Oral Defense||Oral Defense is required.
|Research||Individualized research is required.
Additional Admission Requirements
- Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Take the following 60 units, with a minimum GPA of 3.0:
- ENV 555 (3 units)
- EES 605, EES 606 (2 units)
- Coursework selected by student and committee from Environmental Law and Policy, Modern Languages (at the upper division level), Public Outreach and communications, Management and Business, Education, or Engineering (examples include ENV 698 Environmental Leadership, EGR 501, ETC 655) (6 units)
- Select courses specific to student's area of emphasis and dissertation topic, with at least 6 units in your area of emphasis chosen from the following (30 units):
- You may have no more than 6 units of 400-level courses. These 400-level courses cannot have been used to satisfy the requirements for any previous degree program(s). You must get your dissertation committee's approval for any courses taken outside of NAU.
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
- 698 (seminar) courses selected by student and committee (4 units)
- EES 799, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved dissertation. You can only count 15 units of dissertation credit toward your degree; however, you may end up taking additional units because you must enroll for it each term while you¿re working on your dissertation. (15 units)
- At least 39 units must be 500- and 600-level courses.
- Your dissertation committee must approve all of your courses.
In addition to completing 45 units of coursework, you must demonstrate your independence, research skill, and experience in a discipline within earth sciences and environmental sustainability by choosing a problem and research area in consultation with your dissertation committee and then satisfactorily completing a dissertation.
Your dissertation research meets our standards when it is soundly based in the theoretical context of the subject, proceeds with a sound design that gives due attention to statistical adequacy, and concludes with findings and inferences set forth within an appropriate theoretical context. Your dissertation must demonstrate that you have mastered your field of specialization, carried out independent scholarly work, and contributed significant new knowledge. You must pass an oral defense of your dissertation.
We also require that you demonstrate written and oral communication skills in English at a level that will allow you to effectively communicate your ideas and knowledge to a wide range of audiences. Part of this demonstration involves comprehensive oral exams by the end of your 4th semester designed to establish your competence in a breadth and depth of subjects within your emphasis area and the larger field of earth sciences and environmental sustainability.
RESEARCH COMPETENCY REQUIREMENT
NAU policy for PhD programs includes a research competency requirement that must be satisfied before a student can be admitted to candidacy. This interdisciplinary doctoral program recognizes ENV 555, EES 605, and EES 606, plus one graduate level course with significant content in statistics and/or science/engineering research methods, as meeting this requirement.
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