May 24, 2024  
University Catalog 2023-2024 
    
University Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Studies, PhD


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PhD in Environmental Studies
Location:
 AU New England
Credits for Degree: 69 semester credits
Standard Mode of Instruction: Classroom, Fieldwork
Standard time to completion: 84 months

Program Overview

The Environmental Studies doctorate integrates a wide range of concepts and ideas and embraces multiple methodological approaches to understanding and solving critical and emerging environmental challenges. Environmental studies doctoral students complete four phases of the program with their cohorts, with each phase spanning approximately one year. Each year of the program has residency requirements which are detailed below, and also requires weekly online work to supplement class time on campus.

The doctoral program in Environmental Studies is a 69-credit program typically completed in 5-6 years. At minimum the program is a four year, full time program, with the exception of candidacy, which is half-time. Students have a maximum limit of ten years from the date of entry to complete all degree requirements, including the dissertation, and 69 semester-hour credits beyond a Master’s. Students must complete the Candidacy Exam and successfully defend their Dissertation Proposal before admission to the Dissertation Phase.

Current Tuition and Fees

University Tuition and Fees  

Plan of Study


All of the courses described below are required courses, unless otherwise indicated.

Phase 1: Foundation - 18 Semester Credits


The initial phase of AUNE’s doctoral program in environmental studies instills the foundations of interdisciplinary environmental studies and scholarship through intensive, integrative, theoretically oriented courses. Topics include research design, ecological thought, applied ecological analysis, global environmental change, political economy and sustainability, and environmental history.

The Schedule for This Phase Is:


  • Summer Semester: 8 day intensive
  • Fall Semester: 4 weekends
  • Spring Semester: 4 weekends

Phase 2: Learning Domain - 24 Semester Credits


The program’s second phase includes a series of seminars about scientific research where students focus on methodologies, literature, and theoretical frameworks to guide their research interests. They discuss their work with leading scholars and writers and learn how others frame and execute their research. Students also design and complete four individual “learning domain” courses, each with an individual mentor. That allows them to focus and deepen their knowledge and research skills in their specific area of future dissertation research.

The Schedule for This Phase Is:


  • Summer Semester: 8 day intensive
  • Fall Semester: 3 weekends
  • Spring Semester: 3 weekends
  • Doctoral Learning Domain Projects (independent studies, formal courses)

Phase 3: Candidacy - 9 Semester Credits


During the candidacy phase (or the dissertation phase), students complete a service learning seminar and project related to their academic goals. This phase also focuses on preparation to pass a qualifying exam in the form of writing an integrated essay about their area of research interests and completion of their dissertation proposals. The timing and sequence of the candidacy phase will vary for each student depending on her or his own pace.

The Schedule for This Phase Is:


  • Summer Semester: 8-day intensive (optional)
  • Fall Semester: 2 weekends
  • Spring Semester: 2 weekends

The Required Courses for This Phase Are:


* May be taken the previous year in the program with permission of advisor and instructor.

Phase 4: Dissertation - 18 credits


During the fourth and final phase of the program, students participate in seminars designed to support all aspects of the dissertation process. They design and conduct original research and analyses that have direct social, environmental, political, and educational impacts. Finally, they write their doctoral dissertation.

The Schedule for This Phase Is:


  • Summer Semester: 8-day intensive (optional)
  • Fall Semester: 2 weekends
  • Spring Semester: 2 weekends

The Required Courses for This Phase Are:


*May be completed during Phase 3 of the program with permission of advisor and instructor

“En Passant” Master’s Degree for Environmental Studies Doctoral Students - 39 Semester Credits


The university will offer to award an “en passant” master degree to doctoral students during their course of study for an Environmental Studies PhD. The degree of MS in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies will be awarded to Environmental Studies PhD students once they have successfully completed 39 credits in this PhD program that includes all Phase 1 and Phase 2 courses except one, 3 credit, Learning Domain. Students must apply for the conferral of this MS degree. To apply, students must be currently enrolled in the ES-PhD program. Students, if they wish, may attend the annual commencement event. The course requirements for the En Passant degree are:

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