Doctoral Program

DOCTORAL Programs at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies

The Ph.D. in Global Environmental Studies is designed for the advanced study of specific areas relating to the global environment. While the questions and lines of inquiry are interdisciplinary, research and writing agendas emphasize methods and concepts from various disciplines of economics, law, political science, sociology, natural science as well as engineering. The degree is intended to prepare persons for academic positions in research institutions, IGOs and NGOs engaged in the area of environmental issues, the public and private sector and requiring advanced knowledge pertaining to specific environmental and sustainability matters.

The Ph.D. program requires a three-year residency and is focused upon the production of a doctoral dissertation. While no formal course work is required, candidates are encouraged to participate in workshops and other program activities and may, in consultation with their dissertation supervisor, attend courses from the master's program. Ph.D. candidates must first pass several qualifying exams and then, upon successful defense of a dissertation prospectus, proceed to dissertation research and writing. To ensure solid guidance of dissertation research and production, entrance is limited to only a few candidates each year.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements and Schedules

A doctoral student begins working towards the doctoral degree upon matriculation in GSGES. With successful acceptance of the dissertation draft, typically in the third semester, a student is considered as a doctoral candidate. The general requirements for completing the Ph.D. are a three-year residency and the writing of a thesis that is successfully defended and accepted by the dissertation committee. Note that doctorates are not awarded as a result of completing a specified number of courses or credits. The doctoral program consists of a combination of course seminars and individual study and research that meets the minimum requirements of the GSGES and is approved by the doctoral committee for each individual student.

A student is expected to be enrolled for a minimum of three years in GSGES, with the possibility of extensions being granted for a further two years. Therefore, the maximum amount of time that a student can be enrolled in the Ph.D. program is five years. A student may take a leave of absence for a maximum of five years (M.A. and Ph.D. in total) in order to complete the dissertation. A student who has completed all requirements except the dissertation can also request a "Withdrawal by Completion". The "Request for Leave of Absence" and "Request for Withdrawal by Completion" forms are available at the Academic Records Section, in the Center for Academic Affairs. In the case of applying for these options, a student should carefully consult with his or her supervisor.

Process for Attaining a Doctorate Degree

Step1: Submission of "Thesis Title" Form

A doctoral student must submit their doctoral thesis title to his or her supervisor at the beginning of the first year. A tentative title is acceptable and this may be changed at a later date.

Step 2: Presentation of Dissertation Plan

At the beginning of the second year, all doctoral students are required to present their dissertation plans prepared under the supervisor's guidance to other faculty members.

Step 3: Research and Writing(Dissertation Proposal Defense)

Students planning to complete the degree by the end of their third year must submit a draft of the dissertation paper to his or her supervisor by the end of the second year. Based on the draft, students will be required to give a presentation of their dissertation outline before an evaluation committee. Upon successful evaluation of the presentation and acceptance of the dissertation draft, a student will then officially qualify as a doctoral candidate and sets about researching and writing their dissertation. Students must consult with their supervisor as their write their dissertation. Upon consultation with their supervisor the doctoral candidate may choose to leave for extended field work, among other dissertation related research activities.

Step 4. Dissertation Submission and Defense

The dissertation must be submitted by the end of the semester prior to that during which the candidate intends to defend the thesis, and at least four months before the intended defense date.