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Environmental Science (PhD)

(Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER))

In addition to the general requirements, the following requirements must be met by all students proceeding to the Ph.D. degree.

Admission Requirements

Initial Application Procedure: The initial application procedure for students who wish to enrol in the Ph.D. program through GLIER includes:

1) Completion of the "Application for Admission to the Faculty of Graduate Studies " form;

2) one official transcript of all undergraduate and graduate studies from all colleges and universities attended;

3) three confidential letters of reference;

4) Graduate Record Examination, if required; and TOEFL results, as required;

5) letter of intent by the student that clearly outlines his/her interest in the program, proposed focus of study and the prospective supervisor.

Prospective students will be encouraged to contact a potential supervisor before applying for admission to the GLIER graduate programs. If a suitable supervisor cannot be identified, the student will be dissuaded from applying for admission.

Two streams of Ph.D. applicants are envisaged. Applicants holding an M.Sc. degree from the University of Windsor or from another recognized university may be admitted directly to the GLIER Ph.D. program. Alternatively, students enrolled in the M.Sc. program who are making exceptional progress may transfer to the PhD program after one year on the recommendation of their Master's Committee and with the approval of the GLIER Graduate Committee and the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Students eligible for transfer will have made outstanding progress in both course work and research, and have a first-author research article submitted to a refereed journal at the time of transfer.

Program Requirements

(1) Students entering the program with an M.Sc. degree must fulfill all requirements listed below:

(a) compliance with regulations outlined in University of Windsor Graduate Calendar;

(b) successful completion during the first year of enrolment in the program of an oral comprehensive exam, administered by the student's Doctoral Committee. Students will be required to possess comprehensive knowledge of their field of study as well as any ancillary fields relevant to the dissertation topic (as determined in advance by the Doctoral Committee). Students will be evaluated on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory basis;

(c) successful completion of the GLIER Multiple Stressors and Environmental Modelling course (one credit). The course will be graded in accordance with university standards;

(d) successful completion of the GLIER Multidisciplinary Graduate Seminar course (this course is taken over two semesters and is equivalent to two credits). The course will be graded in accordance with university standards. All Ph.D. students who have successfully completed this course will be required to audit the course each year following their first year of residency;

(e) any additional course work mandated by the student's Doctoral Committee to eliminate perceived weaknesses in the student's background preparation or to increase awareness of other disciplines;

(f) submission of a Research Progress Report to the Doctoral Committee every six months and meetings with the committee every six months to discuss progress and research plans;

(g) completion of an original research project reported in a dissertation;

(h) defence of the dissertation in a public lecture and before the Doctoral Committee; and

(i) publication of at least one original research article and submission of at least one additional article derived from the dissertation in a refereed journal. Exemption from this requirement is granted only with permission of the Graduate Program Committee.

(2) Students transferring to the Ph.D. program must have received no grade less than 80% or satisfactory for all course work taken in the GLIER M.Sc. program. In addition, transfer students must have at least one first-author research article submitted to a refereed journal at the time of transfer. Transfer can be granted only by the Faculty of Graduate Studies acting on a recommendation from the student's Doctoral Committee and the Graduate Program Committee. Students approved for transfer into the Ph.D. program must comply with regulations (a) through (j) above.

In addition to courses offered in the GLIER programs, students will be advised to enroll in additional courses in other AAUs, as needed. It is expected that these courses will offer intensive treatments of particular topics to assist students in resolving perceived weaknesses. These courses are offered in a variety of AAUs including Earth Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Chemistry and Biochemistry and involve various combinations of theory and lab work. All graduate students must complete the GLIER Multidisciplinary Graduate Seminar course and must complete the GLIER Environmental Research Proposal course. The Multiple Stressors and Environmental Modelling Course is required for all Ph.D. students. Other courses will supplement core GLIER courses, be offered on a rotating basis, and be mandated by Doctoral Committees, depending on students' perceived deficiencies in background preparation.