PhD

PhD Degree Options

The Department of Community Sustainability offers two PhD degree options:

Both programs are designed to enable students to generate new knowledge and learn to apply their scholarship to practice in responding to rapidly changing conditions in social, economic, natural, and agricultural systems.

PhD Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must have completed a master's degree or other advanced degree from a recognized educational institution to apply to a PhD program with the Department of Community Sustainability.
  • Strong academic credentials in the natural, physical, or social sciences, combined with relevant experience (including independent research experience), are strongly encouraged.
  • Applicants must explain why they are interested in a multidisciplinary degree rather than a discipline-based degree.
  • All applicants for admission are required to submit scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Collateral courses may be required to overcome deficiencies in addition to the requirements for the master’s degree. Collateral course work will not count toward the doctoral degree.
  • Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty to explore possible common interests and to identify potential advisors.

PhD Degree Requirements for Community Sustainability (CSUS)

A minimum of 60 credits is required for the degree. The student's program of study must be developed in cooperation with and approved by the student's guidance committee and must include the requirements specified below.

Required Courses

  • CSUS 800 - Foundations of Community Sustainability I (3 credits), taken first fall semester
  • CSUS 801 - Foundations of Community Sustainability II (3 credits), taken first spring semester
  • CSUS 802 - Introduction to Interdisciplinary Inquiry (3 credits), taken first fall semester

If a student already has credit in any of these courses, these credits must be replaced by a comparable number of credits of relevant coursework chosen in consultation with their advisor.

Research and Methods Courses

Complete a minimum of 9 credits of advanced research methods, to be selected in consultation with the student’s guidance committee; at least 3 credits must be taken in each of quantitative and qualitative methods, plus another 3 credits selected from statistics, quantitative, qualitative, or other advanced research methods.

Focus Areas (2)

Take a minimum of 18 credits of course work across 2 self-defined focus areas, each of which must have a minimum of 9 credits. Of these, at least 3 credits in each focus area must be selected from Community Sustainability (CSUS) courses. Focus areas may coincide with one of the department’s themes, an interdepartmental specialization, or be developed in consultation with the student’s guidance committee.

Independent Research

  • Complete a minimum of 24 credits of Community Sustainability 999 – Doctoral Dissertation Research.
  • Prepare a comprehensive examination program statement that presents the student’s learning and professional background and goals, and provides a rationale for the student’s declared focus areas integrating and summarizing the related research literature. This statement is prepared in consultation with the student’s guidance committee and is presented to the full faculty for review.
  • Pass a comprehensive examination based on the student’s comprehensive examination program statement.

Public Defense of Dissertation Research Proposal

Completion and Public Defense of Final Doctoral Dissertation

All students are encouraged to prepare at least one paper from the dissertation research suitable for submission to a professional and/or refereed academic journal.

Note: Follow the policies and procedures found in the Graduate Handbook.

See official degree description


PhD Degree Requirements for Sustainable Tourism and Protected Area Management (STPAM)

A minimum of 60 credits is required for the degree. The student’s program of study must be developed in cooperation with and approved by the student’s guidance committee and must include the requirements specified below.

Required Courses

  • CSUS 800 - Foundations of Community Sustainability I (3 credits), taken first fall semester
  • CSUS 801 - Foundations of Community Sustainability II (3 credits), taken first spring semester
  • CSUS 802 - Introduction to Interdisciplinary Inquiry (3 credits), taken first fall semester
  • CSUS 814 - Sustainable Tourism and Protected Area Management: Theories and Applications (3 credits), fall semester (odd years)

If a student already has credit in any of these courses, these credits must be replaced by a comparable number of credits of relevant coursework chosen in consultation with their advisor.

Research and Methods Courses

Complete a minimum of 9 credits of advanced research methods, to be selected in consultation with the student’s guidance committee; at least 3 credits must be taken in each of quantitative and qualitative methods, plus another 3 credits selected from statistics, quantitative, qualitative, or other advanced research methods.

Focus Areas (2)

Take a minimum of 15 credits of course work across 2 self-defined focus areas, one of which must have a minimum of 6 credits, and the other must have a minimum of 9 credits. Of these, at least 3 credits in one focus area must be selected from Community Sustainability (CSUS) courses related to the student's professional goals in Sustainable Tourism and Protected Area Management. Focus areas may coincide with one of the department’s themes, an interdepartmental specialization, or be developed in consultation with the student’s guidance committee.

Independent Research

  • Complete a minimum of 24 credits of Community Sustainability 999 – Doctoral Dissertation Research.
  • Prepare a comprehensive examination program statement that presents the student’s learning and professional background and goals, and provides a rationale for the student’s declared focus areas integrating and summarizing the related research literature. This statement is prepared in consultation with the student’s guidance committee and is presented to the full faculty for review.
  • Pass a comprehensive examination based on the student’s comprehensive examination program statement.

Public Defense of Dissertation Research Proposal

Completion and Public Defense of Final Doctoral Dissertation

All students are encouraged to prepare at least one paper from the dissertation research suitable for submission to a professional and/or refereed academic journal.

Note: Follow the policies and procedures found in the Graduate Handbook.

See official degree description

 

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