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The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences

New York, NY


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The Graduate Center - The Life of the Mind in the Heart of the City

A graduate school of arts and sciences, the Graduate Center (GC) is the principal doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York, offering more than 30 doctoral degrees. In addition to rigorous academic training in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences in a Ph.D.-focused, scholarly environment, the Graduate Center fosters globally significant research across the faculty and in a wide variety of centers and institutes. It is an inclusive community of 7,000 students, scholars, and researchers, drawing upon the widest possible range of experience of race and ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, age, physical ability, and socioeconomic status. Extensive library resources are found at the GC and at each senior college campus throughout New York City.

Ph.D. Program in Earth & Environmental Science

From its inception in 1983, the Ph.D. Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences has identified itself with "promoting teaching and research in the study of the Earth." With faculty in atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences, geography and geology, the Earth and Environmental Sciences Program at the Graduate Center spans a broad array of subjects focusing on the Earth, its environments, human activities, and the linkages between them. Students have the unique opportunity to study both the physical and human environments simultaneously, or to focus on specific subjects within the program's specializations. Today, the faculty has a strong commitment to education and research in Geography and Environmental and Geological Sciences.

Program of Study and Degree Requirements

Students entering the Ph.D. Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences select either the specialization in Geography or the specialization in Environmental and Geological Sciences, but are encouraged to consider courses across the program. Although there is a common structure to both specializations, the curricular requirements differ slightly.

Environmental and Geological Sciences Specialization

The specialization in Environmental and Geological Sciences offers research opportunities in a broad spectrum of Earth-focused science, including topics of classical Geology; studies of Earth's fluid envelopes; and applying combinations of geology, biology, chemistry, and physics to studying Earth's diverse environments and their ecosystems. The program has four core areas: Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences; Terrestrial, Estuarine, and Marine Studies; Earth Materials and Earth Processes; and Urban Environments and Public Health.

Geography Specialization

The specialization in Geography provides an opportunity to pursue doctoral studies in one of the world's largest and most dynamic metropolitan locations with a diverse faculty at the Graduate Center and at Hunter and Lehman Colleges within the CUNY system. The program has five core areas: Geographic Information Science; Geography and Social Theory; Physical Geography; Urban and Regional Dynamics; and Geographic Education.


At least 60 credits of approved graduate work, including the course requirements in the field of specialization, are required for the degree. Specific credit requirements vary and should be discussed with the administration of the EES Doctoral Program in consultation with a student's academic advisor. Of the 60 credits, a maximum of 30 acceptable graduate credits taken prior to admission to the doctoral program may be applied toward the degree provided the courses were completed with a grade of B or higher within an appropriate period preceding the time of application and are equivalent to comparable courses at the City University. An evaluation of previously earned credits will be made before a student moves from Level 1 to Level 2 following his or her passing of the First Examination.


Students must complete a dissertation that embodies original research. The dissertation must be defended at an oral final examination (Third Examination) and be deposited in the Graduate Center's Mina Rees Library before the degree is granted. The Mina Rees Library will archive the dissertation electronically with the candidate's permission. Instructions for preparing the dissertation appear on Library's website.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the EES Program is extremely competitive. The Admissions Committee is made up of ten professors and four doctoral students. Completed applications--including test scores and letters of reference--are due on December 15 each year. The Committee considers completed applications throughout January and February, and admitted students are notified of their admissions status from February through mid-April. They admit an incoming cohort of approximately fourteen students each year. Every admitted applicant receives a five-year tuition fellowship, and a variety of additional five-year funding packages and other opportunities are available. 

Applications are completed online through the Apply Yourself portal where applicants will be required to upload all required documentation. 

Completed applications must include the following: 

An applicant statement, 2-3 letters of reference (from current or former professors or others familiar with one's work), writing sample, undergraduate (and masters, if applicable) transcripts, GRE test scores (and TOEFL, if an international student)

For general information on the application process, please visit the Graduate Center's Admissions Office website for  Admission Requirements and  Application Deadlines. For more information on Funding and Fellowships, please visit the Graduate Center's Office for Institutional Aid.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 5
Doctoral Degrees 11

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline December 15th Not reported Yes

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE General Test

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards April 15
Types of financial support available Institutionally-sponsored Loans

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 18.18%
Black or African American 6.06%
White or Caucasian 43%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 5.05%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2.02%
Unknown 7.07%


Male (46%)
Female (53%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 36
Part-time - 0
Male (31)
Female (5)

Location & Contact

Address 365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY  10016-4039
United States
Contact Cindi Katz
Executive Officer
Phone: 212-817-8241
Fax: 212-817-1513

Update my info
Your submission to Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences has been sent.
Update my info
Your submission to Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences has been sent.
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Update my info
Your submission to Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences has been sent.