Water Resources PhD Program

Doctoral Graduation Requirements

The PhD degree in the emphasis area is designed to prepare students for academic careers in research and teaching or other advanced scientific or professional careers. The student pursuing the doctoral degree is expected to pass a qualifying, comprehensive and final examination administered by the student’s doctoral committee. This committee is structured at a minimum as defined by the MU Graduate School and must have at least one representative from outside of the School of Natural Resources and must consist of at least 4 members. An independent scholarly dissertation approved by the student’s adviser and program committee must be completed in a form acceptable to the doctoral committee, and MU Graduate School.

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 water resources and have completed independent research contributing to knowledge in the field.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from an accredited institution
  • Undergraduate GPA: 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in last 60 hours*
  • Minimum TOEFL scores: 550 (paper-based test), 80 (Internet-based test), 6.5 (IELTS Academic)
  • Experience in research or management of water resources. Practical skills are strongly considered.

Students whose GPAs do not meet the requirements will be evaluated individually. Applicants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Degree Requirements

  • MU requires a minimum of 72 hrs beyond the Baccalaureate degree for the PhD
  • The committee may recommend that a certain number of credits be transferred from the Master’s degree toward the PhD
  • A maximum of 30 hours of post baccalaureate graduate credit from an accredited university can be transferred toward the PhD degree program.
  • The program must include a minimum of 15 hours of 8000 level course work, exclusive of problems, readings and research.
  •  A minimum of one credit hour of graduate seminar must be included in each student’s graduate program

Doctoral Committee

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examination determines whether the student’s background is adequate to enter the Ph.D. program, as a candidate. It also is intended to ascertain if there are areas of weakness in which a candidate will be required to gain background through appropriate course work. Therefore, it is advisable that the student, in conjunction with advisor, selects a committee and completes the qualifying exam within the first 3 semesters.

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. Submit D1 to the 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. Submit D2 to the Graduate School no later than the end of the student’s third semester of study.

Comprehensive Examination

Comprehensive exam must be take a minimum 6 months before dissertation defense. The comprehensive examination is taken following the completion of most if not all, the course work requirements established by the graduate committee.

The objectives of the comprehensive examination are twofold:

  • to determine if a student has acquired sufficient depth and breadth of knowledge in selected areas of concentration; and
  • to evaluate the candidate’s capacity to apply that knowledge in solving applied or theoretical problems.

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 and Seminar)

The final examination is directed toward, but not limited to, exploration of the dissertation research project.

The DGS must be informed of the dissertation defense seminar at least two weeks in advance of the seminar. It must be well advertised and open to the public.

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.