The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree may be preceded by graduate education in environmental science or another discipline. The program requires preparation of a research proposal, passage of a qualifying examination and general examination, completion of the dissertation research and a presentation of the research at a final examination.

Course requirements are flexible, though a minimum of two years of residence at the University of Washington is required. Students interested in the Ph.D. should contact individual faculty members to request information on current research and graduate opportunities. Students applying directly to the Ph.D. program should already have a master’s degree in a related field. View the Ph.D. Program of Study Form and the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam Form.

In partnership with the College of Environment, the College of Engineering, the eScience Institute, EarthLab and the Freshwater Initiative at UW, SEFS is excited to offer a unique training and mentorship program called The Future Rivers National Research and Training Program (Future Rivers NRT). Interested graduate applicants should apply to both the graduate program (M.S. or Ph.D.) by Dec. 1, 2019 and to the Future Rivers NRT  by Jan. 10, 2020 where they may be selected for financial support. Applicants should mention if they intend to apply to the Future Rivers NRT with a brief description of why in the SEFS application material. Additional details and how to submit your NRT application is available on the Future Rivers NRT website.

Prepare and apply for the Ph.D. program at the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

Course Requirements

  • Orientation
    • SEFS 500 (one credit) Graduate Orientation Seminar
  • Social and Natural Sciences Applied to Natural Resource and Environmental Issues
    • SEFS 509 (three credits) Analysis of Research Problems
  • Disciplinary Knowledge
    • 400-500 level: Approved by committee (10 credits plus one additional course)
  • Research Design and Quantitative Analysis
    • 400-500 level: Approved by committee (eight credits plus one additional course)
  • Current Topics
    • 500 level: Topics vary from year to year (two credits plus one additional course)
  • Dissertation Research
    • SEFS 800 (27 credits)
  • Electives
    • Other courses or research credits (24 to 36 credits)
  • 90 Credits Total

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