Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

4-5 years
Credit Hours:

72 (with Bachelor's) or 42 (with Master's)
Research new ways to protect diversity in global ecosystems with a Ph.D. in Ecology and Conservation from UNT.
Ecology is the scientific study of relationships between organisms and environments, and conservation biology is the study of Earth's biodiversity with the mission of protecting species, habitats, and ecosystems. The Ecology and Conservation concentration helps Ph.D. candidates refine their understanding of how the interplay between plants and animals creates a balanced, thriving ecosystem, and helps them create research to solve environmental issues that threaten them.

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Why Earn an Ecology and Conservation Environmental Science Ph.D.?

The environmental science program is an interdisciplinary collaboration among the Department of Biological Sciences, the Department of Geography, the Department of Chemistry, the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies and other departments at UNT to examine major environmental issues through an interdisciplinary perspective.

The program offers graduate studies in environmental science that lead to the PhD, granted through the Department of Biological Sciences. The course of study, involving both core and elective courses, is designed for those students who desire an interdisciplinary perspective concerning human-environmental interactions.

Marketable Skills
  • Communication to professional/lay audiences
  • Design field-based research protocols
  • Proficiency in environmental ethics
  • Recognition of national/international issues
  • Lead/direct research programs/projects

Ecology and Conservation Environmental Science Ph.D. Highlights

The rigorous curriculum has helped students receive prestigious appointments and awards from organizations including the Entomological Society of America.
The department’s facilities for research and graduate training occur in the Life Sciences Complex; Science Research Building; and the Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building.
The Life Sciences Complex, which has Gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for sustainability, includes an aquatics laboratory and four climate-controlled rooftop research greenhouses.
Qualified students are supported through competitive teaching assistantships or research assistantships funded by research grants to faculty members. Nine-month stipends and tuition scholarships are available for entering master’s and doctoral students.
Our faculty members include internationally renowned researchers who have earned recognition from the National Science Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Microbiology, among others.

Ecology and Conservation Environmental Science Ph.D. Courses You Could Take

Ecosystem Science Principles and Applications (3 hrs)
General principles governing the flow of water, energy, and nutrients through ecological systems. Examines the interactions between organisms and their physical environment within ecosystems. Applies ecosystem structure, function, and linkages to urban environmental problems and resource management issues through case studies and projects.
Mammalian Ecology and Evolution (4 hrs)
Mammalogy course with hands-on, laboratory-style format. Emphasis on diversity, morphology, ecological roles, and contemporary field and analytical techniques. Identification of mammals to family level using skulls, tracks, scats, pictures, and identification of live individuals to species. Interpret and estimate diet of representative Texas mammals through a diversity of techniques.
Ecological Risk Assessment (3 hrs)
Detailed treatment of aquatic and terrestrial methods and procedures used to assess the ecological hazard of chemicals in the environment. Emphasizes quantitative methods in testing site assessment, monitoring procedures, regulatory requirements and field and laboratory techniques useful to assess damage to aquatic, terrestrial and avian resources.
Subantarctic Biocultural Conservation (3 hrs)
In-depth study of the relationship between subantarctic ecosystems and cultures of southern South America including geography, climate, ethnography, history and ecology, which exposes students to both the practical and theoretical aspects of biocultural conservation, including its interdisciplinary character integrating the sciences and humanities.
Seminar in the Philosophy of Ecology (3 hrs)
Traces the evolution of ecology from its roots in 19th-century natural history to the present with an emphasis on the prominent paradigms and conceptual trends, such as organicism, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, disturbance and flux. Also explores the sociocultural contexts in which ecology emerged and now exists, including the so-called second scientific revolution and the two-culture split.
Community Ecology (3 hrs)
Structure, dynamics and diversity of biotic communities and ecosystems. Focus on population interactions, niche relationships and processing of matter and energy.

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