Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences

Total Graduate Faculty in Program:
Total Core Graduate Faculty in Program:
Graduate Students in Program:
Students Receiving Assistantships:
Priority Deadlines:

  • Fall January 10th
  • Spring September 15th


  • Pullman

International Student English Proficiency Exams

International students may need to surpass the Graduate School’s minimum English language proficiency exam scores for this program. If the graduate program has unique score requirements, they will be detailed below. Otherwise, please refer to the Graduate School’s minimum score guidelines.

  • 250 TOEFL (Computer) Minimum score
  • 600 TOEFL Minimum Score
  • 100 TOEFL (Internet) Minimum score

Additional Degree Program Admission Requirements

  • GRE No

Degree Description:


Ph.D. research in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences spans a range of the biological, physical, and social sciences that focus on understanding and managing the environment, including diverse aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and natural resources such as plants and animal. Ph.D. students complete a dissertation, which is a contribution worthy of publication in reputable international journals.

  • Environmental policy and management
  • Aquatic ecology, forest ecology
  • Wildlife ecology, conservation, and biodiversity
  • Quantitative and spatial aspects of natural resources

Program Core Competencies and Student Outcomes for Ph.D. in ENRS

The Ph.D. program in ENRS is designed to educate, train and mentor students in six “core competency” areas within the Environmental and Natural Resource sciences.

  1. Advanced knowledge of ecosystems, including biotic and abiotic structure and function, the roles of humans and societies, and applications to management.
  2. Advanced knowledge in research methods and data analysis, including aptitude for assessing a wide range of environmental and/or social science data.
  3. Ability to critically examine and creatively address interdisciplinary problems.
  4. Advanced knowledge in the ethics of managing and conducting research in the environmental and natural resource sciences, actively incorporating issues of environmental and social justice, equity and inclusion.
  5. Ability to effectively communicate knowledge of environmental and natural resource sciences to a wide range of audiences, through multiple modes of delivery, including written and oral formats.
  6. A specialized subject area to be defined by the student and the student’s Supervisory Committee.

Through the pursuit of attaining competence in these areas, students who successfully complete the Ph.D. in ENRS will be able to:

  • Attain knowledge and expertise in core disciplinary areas, as well as appreciation and application of interdisciplinary approaches.
  • Recognize, think critically about, and develop creative solutions to scientific problems.
  • Master the field, laboratory, data analysis and theoretical skills necessary to perform the research.
  • Write successful research grant proposals or otherwise obtain research funding.
  • Effectively communicate the results of their research.
  • Become effective teachers in field, laboratory and lecture-room settings.
  • Prepare future students to successfully compete for jobs in industry, academia, and government.
  • Contribute scientific leadership and expertise at the local, state and national levels.
  • Become visible members of the scientific community by taking organizational and service roles.

Admission Requirements:

Before Applying

If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree under the advisement of one of our faculty members, start by visiting their website and contacting them directly.

To be considered for admission, you will first need to reach out to a potential faculty advisor and gain their support for your admission into your intended SOE degree.

The School of the Environment does not consider graduate applicants who have not secured a faculty advisor before applying, so please do not apply to one of our graduate degrees without first doing this step.

If you have reached out to a potential faculty advisor without securing their support, you will need to wait to apply until you have found an advisor and secured their support.

After You’ve Secured a Faculty Advisor

To apply to any of our campus locations, submit your application to the Graduate School at Washington State University (which is located at the Pullman Campus).

School of the Environment Graduate Admission Requirements:

  • A grade point average equivalent to a U.S. grade of “B” (3.0) or better is required
  • BA/BS degree in a related field (some prerequisite course work may be completed after admissions)
  • GRE tests requirement are waived until further notice.  If the application will not submit with blank boxes input 999 as a placeholder.
  • International applicants must have official TOEFL, IELTS, or MELAB scores submitted directly to the Graduate School (school code 4705) from the testing services. Check English proficiency requirements for specific test score requirements and exceptions to this requirement
  • Interested applicants will need to reach out to a potential graduate faculty member before applying to the Graduate School. A list of faculty can be found here. Admission into our graduate program is dependent upon a faculty member’s willingness to act as the student’s advisor in addition to basic academic requirements.

Applicants must submit the completed application form with the Graduate School required fee of $75. Applications must include a statement of professional goals, official transcripts of previous college work, and provide names, addresses, emails, and positions of three references (for letters of recommendation) supporting your application.

Applications for state/federally funded assistantships (if available) are evaluated starting in late January, with the first offers of admission sent around February for Fall admission. Applications for the Spring semester are evaluated starting on October 1, with the first acceptance notifications sent around November 1.

Questions about the admission process should be sent to

Contact Information: