Fully-Funded PhD Programs in Environmental Science

Several schools offer Ph.D. programs in environmental science that award full funding. These programs provide a comprehensive education that prepares graduates for a range of research and teaching options after the degree is earned. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Course Offerings in Fully Funded PhD Programs in Environmental Science

Doctoral degrees examine complex environmental science topics from a multidisciplinary standpoint that includes economic, social, and cultural factors. Course offerings focus on scientific processes, such as hydrology and climate change, while also considering humans' impact on the environment through the study of urban, suburban, and rural climates.

Environmental & Natural Resource Management Economics

This course explores the connections between economic policy and natural resource management. Students learn how abstract economic concepts relate to environmental science and explore real-world examples of policies and decisions relating to resource management. Concepts encountered in this course can include pollution control, water management, forestry, and global warming.

Sustainable Development

This class focuses on the importance of sustainability moving forward. It might introduce the earth's systems and demonstrate how global development has affected these systems. Course topics might also discuss potential solutions and methods that can be used to ensure sustainable growth in the future. Students can expect to study development concepts from several disciplines, including science, law, economics, technology, and international relations.


This course considers the economic concepts that interact with environmental science. Students learn about consumer behavior, intertemporal allocation, competitive equilibrium, and welfare and efficiency. Other course topics can include competition, price rigidities, and game theory.

Urban Climates

This course focuses on the specific theory and practice of environmental science in cities. Common topics can include human population growth, land use planning, anthropogenic emissions, and urban ecosystem structure. Students also learn how cities are affected by climate change and what steps can be taken to ensure sustainable development.

Environmental Justice

In this course, candidates study the concept of environmental justice alongside its legal, moral, and ethical implications. Students learn about the basic tenets of the concept and explore how it has shaped contemporary environmental policy. The course can also re-visit historical developments in environmental justice and consider past examples of injustice.

Admissions Requirements for a Fully Funded Ph.D. Program in Environmental Science

Doctoral programs in environmental science require applicants to have at least a bachelor's degree, which should contain relevant coursework in topics like biology or conservation. Programs may also require the GRE, professional letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose in which students explain their background and goals for their careers moving forward. Once accepted, students are guaranteed funding via fellowships and assistantships.

Careers for Graduates of a Ph.D. Program in Environmental Science

Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers tackle global issues like climate change. Using their knowledge of soil science, chemistry, and biology, environmental engineers work to launch recycling initiatives, find ways to improve waste disposal techniques, and educate the public about health concerns and how to practice environmentally conscious actions. Aspiring engineers who possess an environmental science Ph.D. might find themselves in a position to pursue research and development positions in this field.

Environmental Scientist and Specialist

Using their knowledge of ecosystems and the environment, environmental scientists collect data, analyze samples, and work to improve struggling ecosystems. They split time in the lab and out in the field, where they may work in a variety of environments in an effort to acquire as much information as possible. Earning a Ph.D. in environmental science provides graduates with knowledge of resource management, sustainability, and conservation strategies, three areas that are essential in the day-to-day functions of an environmental scientist. A doctorate can also prepare them for positions that involve postsecondary teaching.


Environmental science students with an interest in chemistry can pursue careers as biochemists, which allow for the combination of environmental knowledge, biology, and chemistry. Biochemists explore the chemical principles that govern biological processes and living animals, making it an interesting intersection between environmental science and chemistry and allowing candidates with a PhD in environmental science to take on research and development roles. These professionals conduct experiments, study biological specimens, and publish their findings.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Environmental Engineer $87,620 per year 5% (As fast as average)
Environmental Scientists and Specialists $71,130 per year 8% (Faster than average)
Biochemist $93,280 per year (for all biochemists and biophysicists) 6% (As fast as average)

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fully funded Ph.D. programs in environmental science allow students to continue their education without worrying about finding money to pay for school. They prepare graduates for a variety of careers in the environmental sciences, including research positions as biochemists and environmental scientists.

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