Doctor of Philosophy

The research-based doctoral program has two primary tracks: Resource Ecology Management (natural science focus) and Resource Policy and Behavior (social science focus). Students may choose between a highly specialized course of study or one that broadly addresses complex, interdisciplinary issues.

Each student's course of study is tailored to their scholarly interests and guided by their faculty chair and committee. Broad areas of specialization reflect the expertise and research interests of faculty.

The doctoral program's goal is to develop the creative abilities of exceptional students, thereby training them for independent work that contributes to original research and scholarship at the forefront of their chosen fields. Students will become leaders in research, teaching and training others, and developing the scientific knowledge base needed to formulate policies and practices that help sustain natural resources.

Program Milestones

  1. Upon admission, you are assigned an advisor and faculty member(s) to serve on your interim Guidance Committee.
  2. In your first year, you prepare a "course of study" document that will guide your coursework and scholarly development.
  3. By the end of your second year, you will complete your qualifying exam and advance to doctoral candidacy.
  4. By the end of your fifth semester, you will submit your full dissertation proposal.
  5. By the end of your fifth year, you will defend your dissertation.

Your PhD will be granted by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. The school's Doctoral Handbook provides key information, such as a timeline and outline of expectations and requirements. For more information, contact

Doctoral Forms and Materials