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, 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 and no later than the end of the seventh semester of the student's program. The examination will be both written and oral. An Examination Committee will be struck in accordance with SGS General Regulations. The Examination Committee will consist of five voting members, chaired by the Program Chair (or delegate from the Board of Study). The Examination Committee will include the Chair, the Supervisor, and three other members of which only one may be a member of the Supervisory Committee.   The Supervisory Committee suggests three voting members for the Comprehensive Examination Committee by submitting the form,   Recommendation for PhD Comprehensive Examination Committee (listed in Handbook Appendix D) to the Program Chair.

The Comprehensive Examination Committee shall select a paper topic within the student's previously determined sub-discipline and determine the due date for the paper, and the date and time for the Oral Examination. The paper topic will generally be broad in scope and related to, but distinct from, the thesis research. The Examination Committee will submit the paper topic to the Program Chair, on the form, Recommendation for PhD Comprehensive Examination Topic (listed in Handbook Appendix D), for approval by the Board of Study. The Examination Committee Chair will communicate the Examination topic and guidelines to the student seven weeks before the date of the Oral Examination. The Examination Committee will question the candidate about the paper, the topic and its broader relationship with Environmental Science. Members of the public may attend the Oral Examination but may not ask questions. Further information about the Comprehensive Examinations may be found in the ENVS Handbook.

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 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