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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) Degree

The Department offers advanced study in the following specialty areas: atmospheric resources, earth resource information systems, fisheries management, water resources, and wildlife management. The purpose of the Ph.D program is to educate scientists with a broad experience in natural resources and to prepare them to do independent research in one of the specialty areas.

Collaborative programs for interdisciplinary research and study exist with other departments and University units, including the Institute of Water Resources, the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, the Center for Integrative Geosciences, the Northeast Wildlife Disease Center, the Wildlife Conservation Research Center, and the Environmental Health Institute.



Programs of study vary according to the student’s previous experience and professional goals, with a committee of three to five members of the graduate faculty along with the major advisor assisting in supervising and examining the Ph.D. student. Full-time students would be expected to complete their degree work in three to five years and part-time students in five to seven years following the M.S. degree.

The Ph.D. degree requires at least 20 credits of course work, exclusive of the related or supporting area, beyond the masters degree. All Ph.D. candidates will be required to take NRE 5800 (Graduate Seminar), NRE 6000 (Research Methods in Natural Resources) and additional course work as approved by the candidate’s graduate committee as part of the program of study. Ordinarily, students enrolled in this program will have completed the masters degree.

Students are required to have at least six credits of advanced work in a related or supporting area or have a competent reading knowledge of at least one foreign language appropriate to the general area of study. Courses for the related or supporting area must be advanced work outside the major field of study and ordinarily outside the Department. The courses must be approved by the advisory committee as part of the plan of study.

The student must prepare a plan of study that is approved by the advisory committee. The student may not take the general examination before the plan of study has been fully approved. There will be both a written and oral examination. No fewer than five faculty members, including all members of the student’s advisory committee, shall participate in the examination.

Upon passing the general examination, completing courses on the Plan of Study (including any related or supporting area requirements), and acceptance of the Dissertation Proposal, the student becomes a candidate for the Ph.D. degree.

A dissertation representing a significant contribution to ongoing research in the candidate’s field is required. Final approval of the dissertation following the final examination shall be by all members of the advisory committee.

The final examination shall be oral and under the jurisdiction of the advisory committee. It shall deal mainly with the subject matter of the dissertation. Invitation to participate in the examination will be issued by the advisory committee, although members of the faculty may attend.




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Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Connecticut
1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4087
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-4087
Phone: 860-486-2840