Physical and Environmental Sciences

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Introduction

Faculty Affiliation

University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)

Degree Programs

Environmental Science

MEnvSc

  • Fields:
    • Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation;
    • Conservation and Biodiversity;
    • Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems
 

MSc

 

PhD

  • Concentrations:
    • Climate Change and the Environment;
    • Contaminant Flux;
    • Environmental Science in Transitional Economies;
    • Great Lakes Ecosystems;
    • Remediation and Restoration of Degraded Environmental Systems;
    • Urban Geoscience

Combined Degree Programs

Collaborative Specializations

The following collaborative specializations are available to students in the participating degree programs as listed below:

Overview

The Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences offers opportunities for graduate studies in environmental science, leading to the degrees of Master of Environmental Science (MEnvSc) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Environmental Science.

Contact and Address

Web: www.utsc.utoronto.ca/physsci
MEnvSc email: dpes-menvsc-program.utsc@utoronto.ca
PhD email: dpes-phd-program.utsc@utoronto.ca
MEnvSc telephone: (416) 287-7205
PhD telephone: (416) 208-2910
Fax: (416) 287-7204

Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4
Canada

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Graduate Faculty

Full Members

Abbatt, Jonathan - BSc, PhD
Allen, Grant - BASc, MASc, PhD
Andrade, Maydianne - BSc, MS, PhD
Archontitsis, Georgios - BSc, MSc, DScA (Chair and Graduate Chair)
Bergquist, Bridget - BS, PhD
Boonstra, Rudy - BSc, PhD
Cadotte, Marc - BS, MS, PhD
Campbell, Malcolm - DPhil
Caron-Beaudoin, Elyse - BA, MSc, PhD
Chen, Jing - BSc, PhD
Cowling, Sharon - BSc, MSc, PhD
Desloges, Joseph - BES, MSc, PhD
Diamond, Miriam - MSc, MSc, PhD
Dittrich, Maria - BES, MSc, PhD
Donaldson, D. James - PhD
Edwards, Elizabeth - BEng, PhD
Evans, Greg - PhD
Eyles, Nicholas - BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc
Finkelstein, Sarah - AB, MPH, PhD
Fulthorpe, Roberta - BSc, MSc, PhD
Gough, William - BSc, MSc, PhD (Vice-Principal, Academic and Dean)
Heron, Phil - BSc, MSc, PhD
Hoffmann, Matthew - BSc, PhD
Howard, Ken - BSc, MSc, PhD
Isaac, Marney Elizabeth - BS, MES, PhD
Izmaylov, Artur - PhD
Jackson, Donald - BSc, MSc, PhD
Kerman, Kagan - BScPhm, MSc, ScD
Klenk, Nicole - BS, MSc, PhD
Kraatz, Heinz-Bernhard - BA, MC, PhD
Kronzucker, Herbert - PhD
Lovejoy, Nathan Richard - BSc, MS, PhD
MacIvor, Scott - BSc, MSc, PhD
Malcolm, Jay - BSc, MSc, PhD
Martin, Adam - BA, MF, PhD
McMeans, Bailey - BSc, MSc, PhD
Miall, Andrew - BSc, PhD
Mitchell, Carl - PhD (Graduate Associate Chair)
Murphy, Jennifer - BCh, DChem
Rochman, Chelsea - BS, PhD
Sherwood Lollar, Barbara - PhD
Short, Steven - BSc, PhD
Siegel, Jeffrey Alexander - BS, MS, PhD
Simpson, Andre - BSc, PhD
Simpson, Myrna - BS, DPhil
Smith, Sandy - BAgrSc, MSc, PhD
Strong, Kimberly - PhD
Terebiznik, Mauricio - BSc, PhD
Tsuji, Leonard - BSc, DDS, PhD
Vanlerberghe, Greg - BSc, MSc, PhD
Wang, Yan - BSc, MSc, PhD
Wania, Frank - MPH, PhD
Wells, Mathew - BS, DPhil
Wortmann, Ulrich - BSc, MSc, PhD
Zhang, Xiaoan - MS, PhD

Associate Members

Bhavsar, Satyendrakumar - BE, PhD
Dalili, Shadi - MSc, PhD
Daxberger, Heidi - PhD
De Silva, Amila - BSc, MSc, PhD
Dunlop, Erin - BSc, PhD
Hadzovic, Alen - BSc, PhD
Harner, Tom - BChe, ME, DrEng
Helm, Paul - BSc, MASc, DChem
Hung, Hayley - BChe, MS, PhD
Koops, Marten - BSc, MSc, PhD
MacLellan, James - BA, MS, DPhil
Mandrak, Nicholas - BSc, MSc, PhD
Meriano, Mandana - ScD
Mikhaylichenko, Svetlana - MSc, DChem
Mirza, Monirul - BSE, MEng, PhD
Mohsin, Tanzina - PhD
Sauer, Effiette - BS, PhD
Smith, Karen Louise - BSc, MASc, MASc, PhD
Weaver, Dan - BSc, MS, PhD
Wilson, Kathleen - AB, AM, PhD
Yerubandi, Ram - MTech, PhD

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science MEnvSc

Master of Environmental Science

Program Description

The MEnvSc is a 12-month degree program committed to the development of well-trained practitioners in environmental science in all fields, primarily to meet the needs of industry, governments, and environmental policy/education organizations.

The MEnvSc offers three enrolment options — research, internship, and part-time studies — in each of the three fields. The three designated fields of study are:

  • Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation: Students are trained in the science, data analysis, and rigorous assessment process for the impacts of climate change on a wide range of natural and human systems.

  • Conservation and Biodiversity: A major focus is the application of ecological theory and principles to real-world conservation challenges.

  • Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems: A major focus is understanding the flux of contaminants and excess nutrients through surface and sub-surface environments and the methods/solutions needed to remediate contaminated or damaged environmental systems.

In all three fields, students can opt for an internship or a research option after eight months of coursework. The Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences has the support of two dedicated internship coordinators who help students find and successfully complete an internship by providing them with professional skills training and in-class workshops on topics that include job search preparation and skills such as: environmental labour market, workplace expectations, professionalism, networking, and more. The MEnvSc program works closely with a broad employer base for internship opportunities. Research-stream MEnvSc students receive intensive and individualized academic and research support from mentors of their choice.

Full-time and part-time study options are available in all fields of study.

 

Field: Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.

  • A minimum mid-B grade average in the last two years of the undergraduate program.

  • Applicants must submit a written statement explaining their objectives for entering the program and the suitability of their background. Appropriate post-graduate work experiences will be considered as part of the admission application.

  • A science or engineering undergraduate degree including at least two half courses or one full course in each of chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 5.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • EES1100H Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science (0.5 FCE)

    • EES1117H Climate Change Impact Assessment (0.5 FCE)

    • EES1132H Climate Data Analysis (0.5 FCE).

      • Note: students who have completed EESD21H3 as part of their undergraduate degree, and achieved a minimum grade of 70%, should replace EES1132H with another elective graduate course of the same credit weight (0.5 FCE).

    • EES1133H Climate Change Science and Modelling (0.5 FCE)

    • Completion of two of the following three courses:

      • EES1131H Applied Climatology (0.5 FCE)

        • Note: students who have completed EESD31H3 as part of their undergraduate degree, and achieved a minimum grade of 70%, cannot complete EES1131H as part of the MEnvSc program; they should complete EES1134H and EES1136H.

      • EES1134H Climate Change Policy (0.5 FCE)

      • EES1136H Climate Change Adaptation (0.5 FCE)

    • Completion of either:

      • 0.5 FCE in elective courses (see course list) and 2.0 FCEs for the internship (EES1116Y), or

      • 1.0 FCE in elective courses (see course list) and 1.5 FCEs for the research paper (EES1101Y). Students planning to complete the research paper option must complete the prerequisite (EES1114H).

  • Students will choose either a research or internship option.

    • Research option: Each student is required to have a research supervisor. For full-time students, the intensive research necessary for the research paper will normally be completed in the final Summer session. The final research paper needs to be written in scientific journal format and will be presented and defended orally in front of an examination committee. The committee will include the supervisor and two other members of the graduate faculty.

    • Internship option: For full-time students, the internship in private industry, government, or a non-governmental organization (NGO) will normally be completed in the final Summer session. It will consist of a minimum of four consecutive months. Successful completion of the internship is based on an assessment completed by the student's work supervisor, the satisfactory completion of a written experience report, and the satisfactory completion and presentation of a poster highlighting the internship experience.

  • A final grade below 70% in any course equates to an FZ, which is an insufficient grade. A MEnvSc student who receives more than one final grade of FZ (i.e., two or more) will be recommended for termination of registration from the MEnvSc program.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

 

Field: Conservation and Biodiversity

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.

  • A minimum mid-B grade average in the last two years of the undergraduate program.

  • Applicants must submit a written statement explaining their objectives for entering the program and the suitability of their background. Appropriate post-graduate work experiences will be considered as part of the admission application.

  • An undergraduate degree in biology or a closely related field, and successful completion of an undergraduate course in conservation biology. Students who have not successfully completed an undergraduate course in conservation biology will be required to complete an undergraduate course, BIOC63H3 Conservation Biology (0.5 FCE), as an extra (EXT) course.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 5.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • EES1100H Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science (0.5 FCE)

    • EES3000H Applied Conservation Biology (0.5 FCE)

    • EES3001H Professional Scientific Literacy (0.5 FCE)

    • EES3002H Conservation Policy (0.5 FCE)

    • EES3003H Topics in Applied Biodiversity (0.5 FCE)

    • Completion of either:

      • 1.0 FCE in elective courses (see the course list) and 2.0 FCEs for the internship (EES1116Y) or

      • 1.5 FCEs in elective courses (see the course list) and 1.5 FCEs for the research paper (EES1101Y).

  • Students will choose either a research or internship option.

    • Research option: Each student is required to have a research supervisor. For full-time students, the intensive research necessary for the research paper will normally be completed in the final Summer session. The final research paper needs to be written in scientific journal format and will be presented and defended orally in front of an examination committee. The committee will include the supervisor and two other members of the graduate faculty.

    • Internship option: For full-time students, the internship in private industry, government, or a non-governmental organization (NGO) will normally be completed in the final Summer session. It will consist of a minimum of four consecutive months. Successful completion of the internship is based on an assessment completed by the student's work supervisor, the satisfactory completion of a written experience report, and the satisfactory completion and presentation of a poster highlighting the internship experience.

  • A final grade below 70% in any course equates to an FZ, which is an insufficient grade. A MEnvSc student who receives more than one final grade of FZ (i.e., two or more) will be recommended for termination of registration from the MEnvSc program.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

 

Field: Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English, and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English, must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.

  • A minimum mid-B grade average in the last two years of the undergraduate program.

  • Applicants must submit a written statement explaining their objectives for entering the program and the suitability of their background. Appropriate post-graduate work experiences will be considered as part of the admission application.

  • A science or engineering undergraduate degree including at least two half courses or one full course in each of chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 5.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • EES1100H Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science (0.5 FCE)

    • Complete either:

      • 3.0 FCEs in elective courses (see the course list) and 2.0 FCEs for the internship (EES1116Y) or

      • 3.5 FCEs in elective courses (see the course list) and 1.5 FCEs for the research paper (EES1101Y). Students planning to complete the research paper option must complete the prerequisite EES1114H.

  • Students will choose either a research or internship option.

    • Research option: Each student is required to have a research supervisor. For full-time students, the intensive research necessary for the research paper will normally be completed in the final Summer session. The final research paper needs to be written in scientific journal format and will be presented and defended orally in front of an examination committee. The committee will include the supervisor and two other members of the graduate faculty.

    • Internship option: For full-time students, the internship in private industry, government, or a non-governmental organization (NGO) will normally be completed in the final Summer session. It will consist of a minimum of four consecutive months. Successful completion of the internship is based on an assessment completed by the student's work supervisor, the satisfactory completion of a written experience report, and the satisfactory completion and presentation of a poster highlighting the internship experience.

  • A final grade below 70% in any course equates to an FZ, which is an insufficient grade. A MEnvSc student who receives more than one final grade of FZ (i.e., two or more) will be recommended for termination of registration from the MEnvSc program.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science MEnvSc Courses

Please note that not all courses are offered every year.

Course Code Course Title
EES1100H
Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science
EES1101Y
Research Paper in Environmental Science
EES1102H
Analytical Chemistry for Geoscientists
EES1103H Field Measurement and Sampling: The Essentials
EES1104H
Microorganisms and the Environment
EES1105H
Soil Contamination Chemistry
EES1106H
Geological Evolution and Environmental History of North America
EES1108H
Environmental Science Field Camp
EES1109H
Advanced Techniques in Geographic Information Systems
EES1111H
Freshwater Ecology and Biomonitoring
EES1112H Contaminant Cycling in Transboundary Environments
EES1113H Groundwater Hydrochemistry and Contaminant Transport
EES1114H
Directed Readings in Environmental Science I
EES1115H
Directed Readings in Environmental Science II
EES1116Y (2.0 FCEs)
Internship
EES1117H
Climate Change Impact Assessment
EES1118H
Fundamentals of Ecological Modelling (exclusion: EESD28H3)
EES1119H
Quantitative Environmental Analysis
EES1120H
Fluid Dynamics of Contaminant Transport
EES1121H
Modelling the Fate of Organic Chemicals in the Environment
EES1122H
Global Environmental Security and Sustainable Development
EES1123H
Environmental Regulations
EES1124H
Environmental Project Management
EES1125H
Contaminated Site Remediation
EES1126H
Hydrology and Watershed Management
EES1127H
Applied Biogeochemistry and Geomicrobiology
EES1128H
Biophysical Interactions in Managed Environments
EES1129H
Brownfields Redevelopment
EES1130H Ontario BioGeospheres Field Courses
EES1131H
Applied Climatology
(Exclusion: EESD31H3.)
EES1132H
Climate Data Analysis
(Exclusion: EESD21H3.)
EES1133H
Climate Change Science and Modelling
EES1134H
Climate Change Policy
EES1135H
Environmental Change and Human Health
EES1136H
Climate Change Adaptation
EES1137H
Quantitative Applications for Data Analysis
EES1139H Perspectives in Environmental Health: Mechanisms of Toxicity
(Prerequisites: at least one undergraduate course in each of the following areas: Introduction to Human Biology or equivalent; Biological Determinants of Health or equivalent; Introduction to Epidemiology or equivalent; and Environmental Health or Toxicology or equivalent.)
EES1701H
Environmental Legislation and Policy
EES1704H
Environmental Risk Assessment
EES3000H
Applied Conservation Biology
EES3001H
Professional Scientific Literacy
EES3002H
Conservation Policy
EES3003H
Topics in Applied Biodiversity
EES3111H Conservation Genetics
EES3113H
Topics in Population and Community Ecology
EES3114H Topics in Urban and Rural Ecology
EES4001H
Internship Training 1
(Restricted to students enrolled in one of the approved combined degree programs with the MEnvSc.)
EES4003H
Academic Training 1
(Restricted to students enrolled in one of the approved combined degree programs with the MEnvSc.)

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science MSc

Master of Science

The Master of Science in Environmental Science program is pending final approval of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities with an expected start date of May 2023.

Program Description

The purpose of the MSc in Environmental Science is to train Bachelor of Science or Engineering graduates in the design, execution, and dissemination of research that is focused on the interfaces between traditional disciplines in dealing with fundamentally scientific, environment-focused issues. This is a full-time, 16-month program with a unique May start date that will help students to rigorously gather data towards the completion of an MSc thesis.

The MSc in Environmental Science will allow students to address major emerging research themes in the environment and pursue projects that make use of complementary research concepts, approaches, and tools. Faculty members are cross-appointed from several graduate units including: Cell and Systems Biology; Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry; Chemistry; Earth Sciences; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Geography and Planning; Forestry; and Physics, which ensures the supervision of research projects across a broad range of expertise and research facilities. This program will engage these strengths in order to foster research that is critical for finding solutions to, or elucidating the root causes of, today’s critical environmental challenges.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.

  • A science or engineering undergraduate degree with a minimum mid-B grade average in the last two years of the undergraduate program.

  • Applicants must submit a written, maximum 300-word statement describing their interests in Environmental Science. The statement should describe any research experience, the suitability of their academic background for an MSc in Environmental Science, and their environmental science-related research objectives in the MSc program. Applicants must make clear in their written statement the supervising professor with which they plan to conduct their thesis research and their interest in conducting research in their chosen area.

  • Applicants must have completed one of the following:

    • At least one supervised research experience during their undergraduate studies. This may include an honours thesis, a research-based work term (involving lab or field work, modelling), a summer research experience, or another course formally linked to a research project. One of the applicant’s reference letters must be from their research experience supervisor or co-supervisor.

    • At least 10 one-term courses at the upper levels (Years 3 and 4 of full-time undergraduate studies) in a science discipline (for example, environmental science, earth science, physical geography, biology, chemistry, mathematics/statistics, physics, computer science, forestry) or in a branch of engineering (for example, civil, chemical, environmental).

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 1.5 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • EES1200H Environmental Science Research Experience (0.5 FCE; pending approval)

    • EES1201H Environmental Science: Approaches and Methods in Research (0.5 FCE; pending approval)

    • A minimum of 0.5 elective FCE to provide background for the student's research. Courses selected must be approved by the student's supervisor and the Graduate Chair. In some cases, additional courses may be required if a student's preparedness is assessed as being insufficient. Students may apply to take a number of graduate-level courses taught by the core faculty, both within and outside the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, as part of their 0.5 elective FCE for the degree. However, all courses for the MSc degree must be approved by the student's supervisor and the Graduate Chair.

  • Thesis. The execution of an original piece of research in environmental science carried out under faculty supervision and presented in thesis form. The program requires the oral examination of the completed thesis to a committee of three faculty members, including the faculty supervisor(s).

Program Length

4 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: S/F/W/S)

Time Limit

3 years full-time

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science MSc Courses

Required Courses

Course Code Course Title
EES1200H
Environmental Science Research Experience (pending approval)
EES1201H
Environmental Science: Approaches and Methods in Research (pending approval)

Elective Courses

Course Code Course Title
EES1102H
Analytical Chemistry for Geoscientists
EES1104H
Microorganisms and the Environment
EES1105H
Soil Contamination Chemistry
EES1106H
Geological Evolution and Environmental History of North America
EES1108H
Environmental Science Field Camp
EES1109H
Advanced Techniques in Geographic Information Systems
EES1111H
Freshwater Ecology and Biomonitoring
EES1112H Contaminant Cycling in Transboundary Environments
EES1113H
Groundwater Hydrochemistry and Contaminant Transport
EES1114H
Directed Readings in Environmental Science I
EES1117H
Climate Change Impact Assessment
EES1118H
Fundamentals of Ecological Modelling
(Exclusion: EESD28H3.)
EES1119H
Quantitative Environmental Analysis
EES1120H
Fluid Dynamics of Contaminant Transport
EES1121H
Modelling the Fate of Organic Chemicals in the Environment
EES1126H
Hydrology and Watershed Management
EES1127H
Applied Biogeochemistry and Geomicrobiology
EES1128H
Biophysical Interactions in Managed Environments
EES1130H Ontario BioGeospheres Field Course
EES1131H
Applied Climatology
(Exclusion: EESD31H3.)
EES1132H
Climate Data Analysis
(Exclusion: EESD21H3.)
EES1133H
Climate Change Science and Modelling
EES1134H
Climate Change Policy
EES1135H
Environmental Change and Human Health
EES1136H
Climate Change Adaptation
EES1137H
Quantitative Applications for Data Analysis
EES3000H
Applied Conservation Biology
EES3001H
Professional Scientific Literacy
EES3002H
Conservation Policy
EES3003H
Topics in Applied Biodiversity
EES3113H
Topics in Population and Community Ecology
EES3114H
Topics in Urban and Rural Ecology

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science PhD

Doctor of Philosophy

Program Description

Research and teaching are focused on the interfaces between traditional disciplines in dealing with fundamental scientific issues. Faculty members are cross-appointed from several departments including: chemistry, earth sciences, geography, ecology and evolutionary biology, cell and systems biology, engineering, forestry, physics, and social sciences. Research is clustered into six major concentrations:

  • Climate Change and the Environment

  • Contaminant Flux

  • Environmental Science in Transitional Economies

  • Great Lakes Ecosystems

  • Remediation and Restoration of Degraded Environmental Systems

  • Urban Geoscience

Applicants may be accepted into the PhD program via one of three routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate master’s degree; 2) transfer from an appropriate master's program; or 3) direct entry following completion of an appropriate BSc degree.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants may be accepted into the PhD program:

    • Following completion of the MEnvSc degree, an MSc degree in environmental science, or a related discipline, or the MASc degree in environmental engineering or related discipline, or equivalent from a recognized university with a minimum of B+ average in all work completed in the master's program.

    • By requesting transfer from a suitable master's program (see above); students may reclassify from the master's program after 12 months of full-time study. Transfer from the MEnvSc program is not permitted.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 2.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • A mandatory 0.5 FCE (EES2200H Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science) plus 1.5 FCEs to provide background for the student's research. Courses selected must be approved by the student's supervisor and the Graduate Chair. In some cases, additional courses may be required if a student's preparedness is assessed as being insufficient.

    • Students may apply to take a number of PhD-level courses taught by the core faculty within the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences. Courses taught by faculty outside the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences can be considered for the PhD degree as part (0.5 FCE) of their 1.5 FCEs for the degree. However, all courses for the PhD degree must be approved by the student's supervisor and the Graduate Chair.

  • Thesis. The execution of an original piece of research in environmental science carried out under faculty supervision and presented in thesis form. The program requires the development and submission of a thesis proposal, and its examination in an oral thesis proposal appraisal (before the end of Year 2), a departmental oral examination of the completed thesis, and a Doctoral Final Oral Examination (FOE) carried out under the auspices of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) involving examination by an appropriate at-arms-length external examiner.

    • The PhD proposal appraisal consists of a 20-minute presentation given by the student on the proposed thesis work followed by a question period where the student is examined on their proposal and their mastery of concepts in environmental science. The emphasis will be on the theory and proposed approach, rather than on progress to date. A negative outcome requires that the student retake the exam within four months after incorporating recommendations from the committee for improving the thesis research proposal. The outcome of the second exam will be either a pass or withdrawal from the program.

    • The Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' PhD program requires that all PhD candidates complete two thesis defences: a Departmental Thesis Defence and an FOE with SGS. Normally, the Departmental Thesis Defence will be held at least eight weeks prior to the FOE. The committee will notify the Graduate Chair that the thesis is ready to be forwarded to SGS for the FOE. If the PhD candidate does not pass the Departmental Thesis Defence, the committee may recommend that the PhD candidate postpone their FOE.

Program Length

4 years full-time; 5 years transfer-from-master's (some students may take longer to complete the program)

Time Limit

6 years full-time; 7 years transfer-from-master's

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • In the case of exceptional students, applicants may be accepted into the PhD program by direct entry; that is, after completing an honours BSc degree in a related discipline with a minimum University of Toronto average of A– or equivalent.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must successfully complete a total of 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • A mandatory 0.5 FCE (EES2200H Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science) plus 2.5 FCEs to provide background for the student's research. Courses selected must be approved by the student's supervisor and the Graduate Chair. In some cases, additional courses may be required if a student's preparedness is assessed as being insufficient.

    • Students may apply to take a number of PhD-level courses taught by the core faculty within the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences. Courses taught by faculty outside the Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences can be considered as part (up to 1.0 FCE) of their 2.5 FCEs for the degree. However, all courses for the PhD degree must be approved by the student's supervisor and the Graduate Chair.

  • Thesis. The execution of an original piece of research in environmental science carried out under faculty supervision and presented in thesis form. The program requires the development and submission of a thesis proposal, and its examination in an oral thesis proposal appraisal (before the end of Year 2), a departmental oral examination of the completed thesis, and a Doctoral Final Oral Examination (FOE) carried out under the auspices of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) involving examination by an appropriate at-arms-length external examiner.

    • The PhD proposal appraisal consists of a 20-minute presentation given by the student on the proposed thesis work followed by a question period where the student is examined on their proposal and their mastery of concepts in environmental science. The emphasis will be on the theory and proposed approach, rather than on progress to date. A negative outcome requires that the student retake the exam within four months after incorporating recommendations from the committee for improving the thesis research proposal. The outcome of the second exam will be either a pass or withdrawal from the program.

    • The Graduate Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences' PhD program requires that all PhD candidates complete two thesis defences: a Departmental Thesis Defence and an FOE with SGS. Normally, the Departmental Thesis Defence will be held at least eight weeks prior to the FOE. The committee will notify the Graduate Chair that the thesis is ready to be forwarded to SGS for the FOE. If the PhD candidate does not pass the Departmental Thesis Defence, the committee may recommend that the PhD candidate postpone their FOE.

Program Length

5 years full-time

Time Limit

7 years full-time

Physical and Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science PhD Courses

Core Course

Course Code Course Title
EES2200H
Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science

The following are courses offered within the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences. With the approval of the Graduate Chair, relevant courses from other graduate departments can be applied to the required full-course equivalents. Not all courses are offered every year.

Elective Courses

Course Code Course Title
EES1102H
Analytical Chemistry for Geoscientists
EES1103H Field Measurements and Sampling: The Essentials
EES1104H
Microorganisms and the Environment
EES1105H
Soil Contamination Chemistry
EES1106H
Geological Evolution and Environmental History of North America
EES1109H
Advanced Techniques in Geographic Information Systems
EES1111H
Freshwater Ecology and Biomonitoring
EES1112H Contaminant Cycling in Transboundary Environments
EES1113H Groundwater Hydrochemistry and Contaminant Transport
EES1117H
Climate Change Impact Assessment
EES1118H
Fundamentals of Ecological Modelling
EES1119H
Quantitative Environmental Analysis
EES1120H
Fluid Dynamics of Contaminant Transport
EES1121H
Modeling the Fate of Organic Chemicals in the Environment
EES1122H
Global Environmental Security and Sustainable Development
EES1126H
Hydrology and Watershed Management
EES1127H
Applied Biogeochemistry and Geomicrobiology
EES1128H
Biophysical Interactions in Managed Environments
EES1131H
Applied Climatology (exclusion: EESD31H3)
EES1132H
Climate Data Analysis (exclusion: EESD21H3)
EES1133H
Climate Change Science and Modelling
EES1134H
Climate Change Policy
EES1135H
Environmental Change and Human Health
EES1136H
Climate Change Adaptation
EES1137H
Quantitative Applications for Data Analysis
EES1139H Perspectives in Environmental Health: Mechanisms of Toxicity
(Prerequisites: at least one undergraduate course in each of the following areas: Introduction to Human Biology or equivalent; Biological Determinants of Health or equivalent; Introduction to Epidemiology or equivalent; and Environmental Health or Toxicology or equivalent.)
EES2201H
Advanced Readings in Environmental Science
EES3000H
Applied Conservation Biology
EES3001H
Professional Scientific Literacy
EES3002H
Conservation Policy
EES3003H
Topics in Applied Biodiversity
EES3111H Conservation Genetics
EES3113H
Topics in Population and Community Ecology
EES3114H Topics in Urban and Rural Ecology