Natural Resources and Sustainability

School of Natural Resources and Extension
School of Management

PhD Degree

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Minimum Requirements for Degree: 26 credits

The joint PhD program in natural resources and sustainability prepares future leaders as academic researchers, agency professionals and analysts of nongovernmental organizations and communities for careers at the frontiers of science in the management of natural resources and environment.

Exploring and understanding natural resource management systems require a well-defined skill set and a clear understanding of how specific problems are linked to broader cultural, ecological and geopolitical contexts. Thus, the study of natural resources and sustainability encompasses a spectrum of topics. The PhD builds on the existing strengths of the School of Natural Resources and Extension and School of Management faculty members to educate students in specific areas while training them to be conversant in the broader range of relevant topic areas.

The program objectives and its curriculum center around three thematic areas of study: 1) resource economics, 2) resource policy and sustainability science, and 3) forest and agricultural sciences. Each student draws on a common set of core courses, and, with his/her graduate committee, develops a program of course work and research that produces a unique intellectual contribution to the applied field of natural resources and sustainability. Students elect to focus on one of the three thematic areas or they choose to integrate foci to develop their areas of knowledge and dissertation research.

Additional application requirement: Students are required to have a faculty sponsor upon entering the program. A letter of support from an SOM or SNRE faculty member in addition to three letters of recommendation must be submitted with the graduate application.

PhD Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements.
  2. Complete the PhD degree requirements.
  3. Complete course work in thematic area(s) as determined by the advisory committee.
  4. Required and elective elements of the plan of study:
    1. Complete the following core course requirements:
      NRM F647--Global to Local Sustainability--3 credits
      NRM F649--Integrated Assessment and Adaptive Management--3 credits
      NRM F692--Natural Resources and Sustainability PhD Seminar Complete two semesters--2 credits
    2. Outreach activity of one annual public presentation
    3. Advancement to candidacy occurs when the student demonstrates mastery in understanding sustainability and in-depth knowledge of the student's dissertation research topic area. Requirements for advancement to candidacy are determined by the academic committee of the student, and shall be consistent with the candidacy requirements for PhD studies at UAF. The basis of the evaluation will be written and oral comprehensive exams.
    4. Dissertation defense seminar
    5. Dissertation defense examination
    6. Doctoral dissertation
  5. Minimum credits required--18 thesis credits, 26 total credits