Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences (EEOS), PhD
For the official detailed PhD requirements, click here.
For the Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences, 60 credits are required. These credits are earned through a combination of course work and reseearch. Formal course work include a required core curriculum and a speciality areas. Core courses include:
1 of the following courses:
EEOS 611 Applied Statistics
EEOS 623 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Any 2 of the following courses:
EEOS 616 Environmental Policy and Administration
EEOS 675 Marine Resource Economics
EEOS 670 Environmental Economics
EEOS 680 Coastal and Ocean Law
Any 2 of the following courses:
EEOS 630 Biological Oceanographic Processes
EEOS 640 Chemistry of Natural Waters
EEOS 650 Physical Oceanography
The curriculum includes core courses taken by all students, several alternative concentrations beyond the core, weekly seminars, and dissertation research. Ph.D. students are not accepted as part-time students. The core courses are intended to provide a common grounding in the biological, chemical, and physical areas of environmental sciences and in the administrative, policy, and management issues involved. These courses also provide students with training in numerical methods (statistics) essential to modern scientific activity.
To build on the core component, each student selects an area of specialization. Work in the specialty area usually includes 30 hours of course work to provide a thorough grounding in the student's area of specialization as well as satisfy the interdisciplinary program of study requirements.
Appropriate courses in other departments at UMass Boston or at other area institutions may form part of a student's program. The specialty areas currently available include ecology, environmental microbiology, chemistry of aquatic systems, phytoplankton ecology, estuarine physics, environmental physiology / toxicology, environmental law, policy and administration, population and environmental biology, biotechnology, green chemistry, and cellular and organismal physiology. Successful performance in the core courses is required for advancement to the degree. Grades of B- or better in each core course and an overall average of 3.0 in the core courses are required. There is one retake option on a course for which the student receives a grade of B- or less.
Weekly seminars presented by students and by visiting speakers are intended to broaden the scope of each student's experience and to provide experience in verbal communication. Each student presents a seminar once each year after the first year.
Each student's program of study and dissertation research are guided by a graduate committee. The students must select a major professor (or two major professors), who will serve as chair (or co-chairs) of the committee by the end of the second semester. The student and major professor select at least two additional faculty to complete the graduate committee. Committee members are often solicited from other departments at UMass Boston and from other institutions in the academically-rich northeastern United States.
By the end of the third semester, the student meets with the committee to formulate his/her program of study. This plan will include the specification of areas ofr which the student will be responsible on the comprehensive exam, and a written dissertation proposal.
No later than the sixth semester, the student's committee administers the written and oral candidacy examinations, which are comprehensive and cover the core areas and the student's area of specialization. The candidacy examinations are designed to test the intellectual competence and maturity of the student in the broad area of environmental sciences and in the selected area of concentration. In order to advance to the oral portion of the exam, the student must perform satisfactorily on the written portion. A student who fails the comprehensive exam may, at the discretion of the committee members, be permitted a second and final examination.
A student who successfully completes the comprehensive exam becomes a candiate for the PhD degree and is thus required to present and defend a scholarly dissertation based on original reseach. Dissertation research may be done in the laboratory or the field, or may be carried out in part during residence with an appropriate private business or government agency. Presentation and defense of a satisfactory dissertation complete the degree requirements. The dissertation defense consists of a public lecture on the dissertation and a subsequent oral examination by the Dissertation Committee.