Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences Phd Program

Doctoral Graduation Requirements

Admission Contact Information

Stephen Anderson, PhD, emphasis area coordinator (andersons@missouri.edu)
School of Natural Resources
University of Missouri
302 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
Columbia, MO 65211 USA
573-882-6303

Admission Requirements

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline from an accredited institution
  • GPA: 3.2 on a scale of 4.0
  • Graduate Record Exam score (GRE)*: verbal plus quantitative total of at least 1100 (300 on the new GRE)
  • Minimum TOEFL scores: 550 (paper-based test), 79 (Internet-based test)
  • 50th percentile or higher preferred in each category
  • Experience in research or management of natural resources. Practical skills are strongly considered.

Students whose GPAs and GRE scores do not meet the requirements will be evaluated individually. The GRE requirement may be waived under exceptional circumstances. Applicants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Degree Requirements

  • A minimum of 72 hrs beyond the Baccalaureate degree for the PhD.
  • A maximum of 30 hours of post baccalaureate graduate credit from an accredited university can be transferred toward the PhD degree program, subject to committee approval.
  • The program must include a minimum of 15 hours of 8000 level course work, exclusive of problems, readings and research.
  • The curriculum is developed by a doctoral program committee and requires a minimum of 72 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree.
  • A minimum of two credit hours of graduate seminar must be included in each student’s graduate program.
  • At least 12 credit hours of soil science courses at the 7000, 8000, and 9000 levels, exclusive of problems and thesis research, must be included in the student’s graduate program in the soil science focus area.
  • D. students are required publish their research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • The PhD degree is conferred only upon those students who, after extensive study, have demonstrated a high level of achievement in their particular specialization in atmospheric science or soil science and have completed significant independent research in their field.
  • All students are required to attend a workshop on ethics and professionalism.
  • All students enrolled in graduate programs are required to participate in a supervised teaching activity.

Doctoral Committee

The student pursuing the doctoral program is expected to pass qualifying, comprehensive and final examinations administered by the student’s doctoral committee. This committee is structured as defined by the MU Graduate School and must have a minimum of 4 members, at least 3 members must be from the student’s doctoral degree program and 1 outside member from a program outside the School of Natural Resources. At least 2 of the committee members must be MU doctoral faculty.

Qualifying Examination

The student should take the qualifying examination soon after admission into the PhD program and submit an approved plan of study to the MU Graduate School. It is the emphasis area policy that a student is only allowed one opportunity to pass the qualifying exam.

D-1 Qualifying Examination Results and Doctoral Committee Approval Form

Submission of the D-1 form follows a meeting of the student’s graduate committee and approval by the committee, of the student’s proposal and plan of research and coursework. This form is to be submitted to the MU Graduate School within one month of exam completion. Submit D1 to the MU Graduate School no later than the end of the student’s second semester of enrollment.

D-2 Plan of Study

The D-2 form accompanies the D-1, and is also to be submitted to the MU Graduate School within one month of exam completion. Submit D2 to the MU Graduate School no later than the end of the student’s third semester of study.

Comprehensive Examination

After successfully completing the required course work with a GPA of 3.0 (A=4.0) or better, students must pass a written and oral comprehensive examination administered by their doctoral program committee.

Comprehensive exam must be take a minimum 6 months before dissertation defense.

D-3 Doctoral Comprehensive Exam Result Form

The D-3 forms should be completed and filed with the MU Graduate School within one month of exam completion.

Final Examination (Dissertation Defense)

A dissertation, which is a comprehensive report of original research on a specialized soil or atmospheric science problem conducted by the student, must be presented to the student’s graduate committee and successfully defended.

The final examination is directed primarily toward exploration of the dissertation research project. The final examination is directed primarily toward exploration of the dissertation research project. An independent scholarly dissertation approved by the student’s advisor and doctoral committee must be completed. The announcement of public seminar for the dissertation defense must be made at least two weeks in advance of the seminar. It must be well advertised and open to the public. Every candidate should review the Dissertation & Thesis Guidelines from the Graduate School and should consult the Director of Graduate Studies for academic program style requirements.

D-4 Report of the Dissertation Defense Form

The D-4 form should be completed and filed with the MU Graduate School as soon as possible after the defense.