Doctor of Philosophy

The School of Natural Resources and Environment's doctoral program is research based and supports the pursuit of either a highly focused course of study or one that broadly addresses complex, interdisciplinary issues.

The SNRE doctoral program has two primary tracks: Resource Ecology Management, with an ecology and science focus; and Resource Policy and Behavior, with a social science focus. Areas of specialization are reflective of faculty research interests and parallel the fields of study identified in the MS program. (For additional resources, visit the form index)

Each student's doctoral studies are guided by the dissertation advisor and committee, and tailored to the scholarly interests of each student. The goal of the doctoral programs is to develop the creative abilities of exceptional students, training them for independent work that contributes to original research and scholarship at the forefront of their chosen fields.

A PhD candidate will be deeply involved in research efforts, defining and understanding critical natural and environmental resource problems, and developing new knowledge and management strategies to address these problems. These students are expected to become leaders in research, in training other professionals, and in developing the scientific knowledge base for formulating policies and management practices that contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources.

Admission to the doctoral program includes the assignment of an advisor and one or more faculty members who agree to serve on the student's Interim Guidance Committee. During the first year of study and working in cooperation with the faculty, the student will prepare a detailed Course of Study to guide the student's coursework and scholarly development. By the end of the second academic year, the student is expected to advance to candidacy by successfully completing a qualifying examination. A full dissertation proposal is expected by the end of the fifth academic semester, and students are expected to defend their dissertation by the end of the fifth academic year.

The PhD is granted by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies (generally referred to as Rackham). Degree requirements for all doctoral programs can be found in the Rackham Graduate School Academic Policies. The SNRE Doctoral Handbook provides a timeline and additional details of our expectations and requirements.

The SNRE provides a four-year funding package to accepted students. The securing of funding is a shared responsibility by SNRE and the faculty advisor, and normally requires two years of teaching by the student as a Graduate Student Instructor.

For more information on the doctoral programs, contact

Doctoral Dissertation

The culmination and final requirement of a doctoral program. Dissertation document candidates’ ability both to contribute original knowledge to a given field and to communicate research results with professional competence. They signal the transition from student to scholar.

Doctoral Forms and Materials