About the Program

The specific objectives of the Ph.D. program include:

  • Primary emphasis on research, grounded in unique transdisciplinary approaches to address environmental issues that impact sustainability and future management.
  • Preparation of scientists who are fully primed to continue with creative, cutting-edge scientific discoveries that will lead to answering and to solving relevant issues of sustainability management in regard to the environment.
  • Preparation of environmental scholars who will recognize and analyze relationships among scientific, technological, societal and economic issues using research in a data-driven process firmly rooted in current scientific knowledge and methodology leading to decision and policy making.
  • Development of research professionals who will emerge as leaders in environmental management within academia, industry and government institutions.

Consistent with other environmental Ph.D. programs around the country, the dissertation of an Environmental Management doctoral student entails extensive original research generating new ideas and new data. The dissertation consists of high quality collection and analysis of extensive original data and field work that are prepared for publication in appropriate national/international peer reviewed journals. In addition, all doctoral students are expected to present ongoing results at professional conferences and are guided to prepare and submit competitive research proposals to national, state, regional or private agencies and foundations for potential funding support of their work (e.g., NSF doctoral support programs, EPA Fellowships, Heinz Scholars for Environmental Research of dissertations, etc.). The Ph.D. program requires submission of at least one journal article for review and publication prior to a students’ dissertation defense.

The Ph.D. program takes advantage of the University's location, within the heavily impacted New York-New Jersey metropolitan region, effectively making the region a laboratory to study a broad spectrum of environmental problems. Focus is particularly on the collection of data, analysis, understanding, and consideration of solutions to environmental issues in urban areas, both locally and parallel issues around the globe. With increased and appropriate scrutiny from government and community groups, industry must increase its vigilance on environmental controls and enhance efforts to minimize environmental disruption. Thus, the need for sound, scientifically-rooted environmental scholars and managers continues to grow. While environmental “problems” may focus on a particular issue or region (e.g. New Jersey brownfields, contaminants in Passaic River sediments, etc.), the Ph.D. program prepares students with a transdisciplinary perspective and approach that is critical to proper understanding of geographically different yet coincident environmental issues. For example, the cause and impact of a point source pollutant in New Jersey and in Shanghai may be similar, but the approach to comprehensive recognition, understanding, and possible rectification of the problem could be widely different. Students are encouraged to compare regional environmental problems with other heavily urbanized sites in developed and developing world countries.

Executive Committee




Participating Departments