PhD in Natural Resources with Emphasis in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences

Doctorate in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences

The PhD degree in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences is designed to prepare students for academic careers in research and teaching or other advanced scientific or professional careers. Students entering the PhD program will often have a master’s degree, but this is not an absolute requirement.

PhD candidates conduct original research under the supervision of a faculty advisor or advisors and with the participation of a doctoral committee. Students are expected to engage in coursework to prepare for careers in research, industry or academia. The Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences program expects students to take part in professional and educational activities by giving presentations at conferences and presenting seminars. PhD candidates complete a dissertation and are expected to publish their research results in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Degree Requirements

  • The curriculum is developed by a doctoral program committee and requires a minimum of 72 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree.
  • At least 15 hours of course work in the degree program must be at the 8000 and 9000 levels, exclusive of research, problems and independent study experiences.
  • A minimum of two credit hours of graduate seminar must be included in each student’s graduate program.
  • At least 12 credit hours of soil science courses at the 7000, 8000, and 9000 levels, exclusive of problems and thesis research, must be included in the student’s graduate program in the soil science focus area.
  • All students are required to attend a workshop on ethics and professionalism.
  • All students enrolled in graduate programs are required to participate in a supervised teaching activity.

Qualifying Process

The student should take the qualifying examination soon after admission into the PhD program and submit an approved plan of study to the Office of Graduate Studies. It is departmental policy that a student is only allowed one opportunity to pass the qualifying exam.

Comprehensive Examination Process

After successfully completing the required course work with a GPA of 3.0 (A=4.0) or better, students must pass a written and oral comprehensive examination administered by their doctoral program committee.

Dissertation Requirements

A dissertation, which is a comprehensive report of original research on a specialized soil or atmospheric science problem conducted by the student, must be presented to the student’s graduate committee and successfully defended.

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Admission Contact Information

Dr. Stephen Anderson, Emphasis Area Coordinator (
302 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
Columbia, MO 65211 USA
(573) 882-6303

Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the PhD in Natural Resources with emphasis in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences and the minimum requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies.  Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program's graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process.  Your application materials will be reviewed by both the Office of Graduate Studies and the degree program to which you've applied before official admission to the University of Missouri.

Financial Aid from the Program

Check the School website ( or contact individual faculty for details on graduate assistantships that may be available.

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