The goal of the Earth System Science PhD program is to ensure that students have a solid foundation in scientific knowledge in all major earth system components and — critically — how system components interact and inter-depend.

Overview

The UMass Lowell Department of Environmental, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences (EEAS) offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Earth System Science program. The program is open for students with background in Geoscience, Environmental Science and Sustainability, Atmospheric and Climate science, Meteorology, Hydrology/Hydrogeology, Earth System Science, Environmental Engineering and related fields.
  • The Ph.D. curriculum includes a minimum of 54 course credits (24 course work and 24 of dissertation research). See more details in the graduate catalog and in the degree pathway.
  • The program will follow the general admission requirements for graduate students that are in place at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. A non-waivable and non-refundable application fee must be received before the application is processed. Each applicant must file the following documents: 

    • A completed application form. 
    • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records. 
    • Three letters of recommendation written by individuals qualified to judge the ability of the applicant to carry on graduate work and research. 
    • Official scholastic test scores. 
    • An applicant who has earned a graduate degree from an accredited university may petition the department graduate coordinator to waive the scholastic test requirements (e.g. GRE). 
    • The official score report for the "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL) for students from countries where English is not the national language.
    More information on the graduate admissions page.
  • The goal of the program is to produce graduates in the field of Earth System Science with expertise within the student’s core discipline while developing a deep understanding of processes and connections within and across multiple earth system components. These components are the geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. Foundation courses will provide a broad and deep understanding of the basic principles of Earth System Science and research. 

    The Ph.D. program will provide the student with the ability to perform independent high-quality research within their discipline while being able to engage in inter- and cross-disciplinary collaborations with other researchers and professionals. Graduates of the program will have excellent critical thinking, analytical, and communication skills. The students in the program will further have significant technology-based and hands-on experiences and systems thinking expertise. Students are expected to perform original research for their dissertation by formulating testable scientific hypotheses, designing and conducting field and laboratory experiments, performing numerical computations, constructing and using computer models and/or developing and applying analytical techniques. They will expand the frontiers of knowledge in their respective field, present their work at professional meetings, and write a dissertation on their research. Alumni of successful Earth System Science programs are employed in the public and private sectors, including environmental consulting and remediation, energy and natural resources development, weather and climate forecasting, water resources management, aviation industry, the agriculture sector and education.