Ph.D. (Environmental Science)

Please note: PhD applicants must have a faculty supervisor before an acceptance offer can be made. The search for a faculty supervisor must be complete prior to submitting the application to the School of Graduate Studies.

As with the Masters programs, the Environmental Science PhD program focuses on interdisciplinary research. Supervisors include faculty from all Departments in the Faculty of Science and the Ocean Sciences Centre, the Department of Geography, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Environmental Science Program at Grenfell Campus, as well as adjunct faculty from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The Board of Study is responsible for the program. The Board makes recommendations to the Dean of Graduate Studies concerning admissions and academic requirements. In consultation with supervisors, recommendations are made concerning course programs, financial support, thesis committees, comprehensive and thesis topics and examiners, and the annual progress of students. The department of the supervisor ensures that adequate facilities are provided for each candidate. Students in Environmental Science are considered for teaching assistantships in the Faculty of Science and the Department of Geography.

Program requirements

1. There are two required courses for the doctoral program. All students take ENVS 6010 - Environmental Science Seminar, and those with a disciplinary Master's degree in Science from a recognized university take ENVS 6000 - Environmental Science and Technology. Other courses tailored for individual students are included in the student's program by the Dean of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Chair of the Board of Study.

2. The comprehensive examination should be taken on completion of all course work. An Examination Committee will be struck in accordance with the General Regulations. At least two members of the Board of Study must be on the Examination Committee. The candidate's Supervisor will be on the Examination Committee and will be the only examiner from the candidate's Thesis Supervisory Committee. The Head of the Department of the Supervisor or his/her delegate is invited to serve on the Comprehensive Examination Committee. The Examination Committee is chaired by the Chair of the Environmental Science Program. The examination will be both written and oral. The topic is assigned by the Examination Committee, which also determines the submission date for the paper, and the date of the examination. Normally, the Program Chair will communicate the seminar topic and guidelines to the student six weeks, if possible, but not less than four weeks before the examination. This paper will form the basis of a public seminar. The Examination Committee will question the candidate about the paper, the topic and its broader relationship with Environmental Science.

3. A major requirement is the writing of the doctoral thesis. The dissertation is based on the results of systematic, independent research on an approved scientific topic. To ensure the research is interdisciplinary, the supervisory committee must consist of members from at least two different departments. The candidate will be required to present a PhD research proposal to the supervisory committee. The completed thesis will be evaluated according to the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. It must contribute significantly to knowledge in the field of Environmental Science.

Consult our Graduate Handbook for more indepth information on the program and for program requirements.


ENVS 6000 - Environmental Science and Technology
ENVS 6001 - Earth and Ocean Systems
ENVS 6002 - Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
ENVS 6003 - Applied Ecology
ENVS 6004 - Environmental Pollution and Mitigation
ENVS 6005 - Environmental Sampling and Pollutant Analysis
ENVS 6007 - Environmental Risk Assessment
ENVS 6010 - Environmental Seminar


Faculty of Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000