Through the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Department of Environmental Science and Policy offers an interdisciplinary course of study leading to a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Policy.  Doctoral students are supported by research assistantships, which include tuition remission and a monthly stipend. All students are also required to serve satisfactorily for two terms as teaching assistants in the Ecosystem Science and Policy undergraduate program.

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to the program must have earned a bachelor's or master's degree and should display a strong interest in the interdisciplinary study of ecosystem science and policy. The GRE score is not required for admission. You may optionally submit your GRE score, but not all faculty will consider this information. Individual faculty members may consider GRE scores as part of a holistic evaluation of the candidates. Applicants whose first language is not English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 550. All application requirements are available here.

Curriculum Requirements

Core Courses
ECS 601Interdisciplinary Environmental Research: Introduction to the Why and the How3
ECS 603Interdisciplinary Environmental Methods3
ECS 605Interdisciplinary Enviromental Law and Policy3
Proposed Additional Courses 118
Additional Courses to get to 60 Credits18
Dissertation Research 315
Pre-Candidacy Research
Doctoral Dissertation
Required Examinations 2
Additional Requirements
Research Ethics
EVR Seminars 4
Educational Training Program (TA) 5
Educational Training 1
Educational Training 2
Educational Training 3
Total Credit Hours60

To attain the Ph.D., students must take a minimum of 60 credits, of which at least 24 must be for coursework taken while in residence at the University of Miami. Students entering the program with a master's degree in a related field may be given credit for up to 24 course credits. Students must accrue at least 12 credits worth of dissertation research.


By the end of their second semester, students must submit a proposed group of additional courses, totaling at least 18 hours, related to their research interest and intended dissertation research area. This group of courses requires approval of both the student's advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.


All Ph.D. students will be given comprehensive examinations following the conclusion of the core series of courses. A majority of the examination committee must be members of the graduate faculty of the University. In the event of failing to pass an examination, students are required to retake and pass the examination within one calendar year. By the end of their second year, students must present and defend a research proposal. Following successful completion of the comprehensive examination and research proposal defense, the student may apply to candidacy for the degree. Any student who fails to be admitted to candidacy for the degree within this two-year period can be dismissed from the program. Detailed guidance is available in the program handbook.


By the end of the second year, students should form a four-member dissertation committee; and write and defend a research proposal. Students may proceed with the dissertation after the dissertation committee has been appointed and the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate School have accepted the dissertation proposal. The dissertation must be an investigation of a substantial scholarly topic and bridge both scientific and policy aspects of the topic area. A final oral defense of the dissertation is required.


Students are expected to attend EVR department and student seminars.


All students are also required to serve satisfactorily for two terms as teaching assistants in the Ecosystem Science and Policy undergraduate program. Ph.D. students are expected to be a Teaching Assistant (TA) for two courses while pursuing their degree. The mandatory TA program will include training of new TAs, evaluation of their performance, and recognition of excellence. The goal is to make the experience as valuable as possible for the TA, the faculty, and the students taking our courses. A training session and two teaching opportunities are offered as courses in educational training (RSM 771, RSM 772, RSM 773). Students will be registered accordingly. Specific requirements for TAs are outlined in the RSMAS Student Handbook.


The Environmental Science and Policy (EVR) graduate program was formulated in response to increasing societal demand for academicians and practitioners at the Ph.D. level with interdisciplinary training aimed at addressing complex problems concerning the impact of human activity and global climate change on so-called linked social-ecological systems. Our graduate program targets top caliber students whose demonstrated skills and interests bridge science and social science, and who seek the theoretical and analytical skills to address human-environment problems from academic and applied perspectives.


The Ph.D. program is intended to provide students with the ability to work on interdisciplinary research problems using mixed methods, both quantitative and qualitative. The goal is for students to formulate dissertation projects that factor in both social and natural science approaches at the outset in order to further understanding of linked social-ecological systems.  

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate command of interdisciplinary environmental policy literature.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to perform sound interdisciplinary analyses of environmental problems and formulate sound interdisciplinary research approaches.
  • Students will exhibit an ability to communicate effectively in oral presentations and in writing.