School of the Environment

118 Science Research and Teaching Center (SRTC)


  • M.S. Systems Science
  • Ph.D. Earth, Environment, & Society
  • Ph.D. Systems Science
  • Graduate Certificate in Computer Modeling and Simulation
  • Graduate Certificate in Computational Intelligence

The School of the Environment was formally established in 2009. This School is made up of four participating departments (Environmental Science and Management, Geography, Geology, and Systems Science), associated faculty from across the university, and several affiliated groups (USGS Oregon Water Science Center, the Oregon Natural Heritage Information Center, the Institute for Natural Resources, and others). Multi-disciplinary research groups, institutes, and centers within the School support its efforts in problem-based research. The School of the Environment administers the Earth, Environment, & Society doctoral program, the Systems Science doctoral program, and the Systems Science master's program. For more information on the composition of the School, please see

Earth, Environment and Society Ph.D.

Systems Science M.S.

Systems Science Ph.D.

Graduate Certificates

Earth, Environment and Society Ph.D.

The Earth, Environment, & Society (EES) doctoral program provides an opportunity for the student to engage in relevant research while acquiring advanced academic training in Environmental Science and Management, Geography, or Geology. One of the goals of the program is to provide a broadly based understanding of one of the above the fields coupled with scientific training in one or more specialty areas. The student will follow a program of study and research approved by the EES program. The graduating student will be awarded a degree in Earth, Environment, & Society.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the Earth, Environment, & Society (EES) doctoral program normally will be expected to have completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree in a related field that will have prepared them to become engaged in state-of-the-art research. A list of individual faculty research expertise and research groups is available on the School of the Environment website:

Degree requirements

In addition to the requirements listed above, each student must complete the following.

At least 81 credits past the bachelor's degree and the following specific courses:

Course requirements

ESR 507/607500/600-level seminars 6 terms


ESR 630Introduction to Transdisciplinary Modes of Critical Inquiry and Science in Environmental Research


ESR 655Science Communication


ESR 656Advanced Communication Skills for Doctoral Students


ESR 657Science, Media and the Public: Working with the Media to Create Effective Scientific Messages


Soc 694Analysis of the Impacts of Social and Management Practices on Ecosystem Services


Departmental Dissertation (minimum)


Total Credit Hours: 43

Additional Requirements

In addition to the general requirements, each student will be required to complete that coursework necessary to indicate competence in environmental science and management at the graduate level. These courses will be recommended by the student’s Dissertation Committee and approved by the director of the School of the Environment.

Other requirements

Prior to advancement to candidacy, a student must take an Advisory Committee-approved course in statistics such as ESM 566, ESM 567, G 523, or Geog 597. A student must also take one term of an Advisory Committee-approved environmental sociology course.


The student must submit a prospectus outlining a proposed research project suitable for the doctoral dissertation in Earth, Environment, & Society. This is done under the guidance of the student’s adviser and is approved by the Dissertation Committee and the Director of the School of the Environment. The research for the dissertation is conducted under the guidance of the student’s dissertation committee. After the dissertation is complete and after advancement to candidacy (see below), a final oral examination will be conducted, open to the public, within the subject area of the dissertation.

Advancement to candidacy

As soon as the student has successfully completed the course and comprehensive examination requirements and has had the dissertation prospectus approved, the student is recommended for advancement to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. This recommendation is approved by the dean of Graduate Studies.

Financial support

There are a limited number of teaching assistantships and research assistantships available. The student should contact the appropriate department or program about the availability of these positions.


Any student who ceases to be enrolled for more than one academic term without formal leave of absence will be assumed to have withdrawn from the degree program and will be formally dropped from it. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress toward the degree may be dropped from the program.

The student can be readmitted only by formal application, subject to all current admission requirements. In addition, completion of the degree will be subject to the student’s meeting all current degree requirements.

Leave of absence

Under special circumstances, requests for a leave of absence may be approved.