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Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences Ph.D.

Doctor of Philosophy – Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences

Our complex world faces many challenges, including contaminated water supplies, hazardous wastes, an increasing population and limited resources. The Ph.D. program in Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences provides students with a comprehensive background in one or more fundamental aspects of environmental engineering, environmental science and/or the earth sciences. The major field of study is generally interdisciplinary in nature, consisting of coursework in several areas of the basic and applied sciences, as well as the engineering sciences so that a better understanding of our earth and environment is obtained and to develop better solutions for the critical problems that we face now and in the future. Using principles of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, mathematics and engineering, our Ph.D. graduates work to:

  • improve and protect air, water and soil quality,
  • ensure public safety and health,
  • evaluate and design products and processes for a more sustainable future,
  • develop sustainable approaches to energy and resource management, and
  • better understand the natural processes and human influences that shape our planet.

Each student’s Ph.D. curriculum and research program is tailored to suit their personal and professional goals.

  • Students will complete at least 30 total credit hours beyond the M.S. degree and at least 60 credit hours beyond the B.S. selected from appropriate courses at Clemson under the advisement of a major thesis advisor. The credit hours will be a combination of coursework and doctoral research.

  • Ph.D. students are required to complete a satisfactory dissertation based on original research. Qualifying, comprehensive, and final examinations are required. No foreign language is required.

  • Pursuit of a Ph.D. degree in Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences (EEES) is a significant commitment of time and effort. Applicants should communicate with professors in the EEES department who are engaged in research of interest to the applicant. It is important to find a research advisor who will guide the Ph.D. student effectively. Visit the web page of each professor and send an email to those involved in areas of interest. For questions about this process, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

    Students with a baccalaureate or master’s degree in a related science or engineering field may apply directly to the Ph.D. EEES program. Students with exceptional records and experience in research will be considered for the Ph.D. degree without a master's degree. However, most students admitted to the Ph.D. program will have previously earned their M.S. degree at Clemson University or elsewhere. Qualified students from Clemson University also may be accepted for continued study from either the M.S. Hydrogeology degree program or the M.S. EES program.

    For admission to the Ph.D. program, an applicant should have a grade point ratio/average (GPR/GPA) of at least 3.0 out of 4.0. The applicant must have a faculty member who has agreed to be the research advisor before final admission. Scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) for students who were accepted into the program recently are shown in the table below.

    Ph.D. Program Acceptance
    Accepted Applicants for the Ph.D. EEES Program

    (n = 34; accepted applicants w/o GRE scores = 6)

    Percentile 2017 - 2021
    25th V = 149 Q = 157 A = 3
    50th V = 155.5 Q = 161 A = 3.5
    75th V = 159.25 Q = 164 A = 4.5

    * Name of degree beginning with Fall 2018. The prior degree name was PhD in Environmental Engineering and Science.

Application Information

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For information on applying to the Graduate School, contact the Clemson Graduate School.

For specific information related to the MS in Environmental Engineering and Science and the PhD in Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, please contact:

Barbara Smith

Or, come visit the Rich Labs and say Hello! to Barbara