Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Link to PhD Video

View our video on the PhD program

In the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program you will become a highly competent, independent, creative, and critical scientist. Research in the PhD program is expected to be original and novel, contribute significantly to the relevant research field, and be published in high-quality peer-reviewed journals.  Graduate degrees at the PhD level are granted in one of three fields:  Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Ecosystem Science and Biodiversity, Plant & Environmental Health.  Doctoral students of the SES graduate program will provide leadership as scholars in academic institutions, as managers and officers in the industrial research and development sector, in the research and policy branches within the government sector and in other social institutions. 

Link to the Graduate Calendar: PhD program

Below are some common Questions and Answers:

How do I apply?

Admission requirements

Apply to the SES PhD Program

What is the collaborative specialization in One Health?

Our world is faced with many complex health challenges in which human, animal and environmental health are intertwined. This program will prepare future leaders to work at the forefront of these complex health challenges, crossing disciplinary boundaries, conducting multidisciplinary research, mobilizing knowledge, and informing policy.  In addition to the requirements of your program in SES (MES, MSc, PhD), students must complete two required courses (ONEH*6000 and ONEH*6100/6200) as well as successfully conduct research and defend a thesis or major research project that applies a One Health approach. Additional requirements will be specific to each student’s primary program. Visit the One Health website for more information:

Link to graduate calendar:

What is the collaborative specialization in International Development Studies (IDS)?

Students can choose to combine their PhD program with an IDS designation (PHD.ENVS+IDEV). The collaborative IDS PhD program provides an opportunity for advance students to engage with interdisciplinary development theories and to conduct research on international development. This combination provides the necessary disciplinary qualifications for the academic job market as well as the interdisciplinary breadth required for development policy and practice.
In addition to the Environmental Science PhD requirements, students take an interdisciplinary course on theories and debates (IDEV*6800 - Theories and Debates in Development), and a course dealing with development research methods and practice (IDEV*6850 - Development Research and Practice). Completion of the IDS program adds the designation "International Development Studies" to the PhD degree. Visit the IDS website ( for more information or e-mail

Link to graduate calendar: PhD Collaborative specialization in International Development Studies

What is the collaborative specialization in Toxicology?

The School of Environmental Sciences participates in the PhD collaborative Specialization in toxicology.  Participating departments include the Departments of Animal Biosciences, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, Integrative Biology, Mathematics and Statistics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Pathobiology, Plant Agriculture and the School of Environmental Sciences.  Students complete the requirements of the SES MSc program (1.5 credits), including two courses in toxicology (Advanced Principles of Toxicology and Advanced Topics in Toxicology).

Link to graduate calendar: PhD collaborative specialization in Toxicology

Where are recent SES PhD graduates working now?

The OAC Doctoral Destinations Project compiled a comprehensive overview of the career destinations of our PhD graduates with the most up to date numbers. 

Based on 126 graduates from 2005-2019 found through online search (out of a total of 149 PhD students from those years), all were employed as follows: 43 % found jobs in the academic sector, 34% in the public sector (29% government and 6% in other public institutions) and 17 % in the private sector.  The remainder have found employment in not for profit (3%), and self-employment (2%).  In the academic sector, our students have jobs such as Postdoctoral researcher, Research Associate, Professor, Research Scientist, Senior lecturer, Educational Staff, and Manager.  In the public sector, our recent graduates are employed in provincial and federal government ministries and agencies (e.g. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Ontario Ministry of Environment Conservation and Climate Change, Ontario. Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Natural Resources Canada, National Institutes, Health Canada, Environment and Climate change Canada, Government of BC, Nova Scotia, City of Guelph, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Canadian Space Agency) as well as Conservation Authorities, Museum, Research Institutes, and a Hospital.  In the private sector, our recent graduates have found jobs in a variety of environmental, agricultural, forestry and engineering consulting firms as well as pest control, medical waste disposal, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and grower companies.  Here they hold positions such as Scientists, Directors, Managers, and Supervisor/Coordinators, Waste Characterization Specialist or Executive Management. 


Where do I get more information?

Graduate Program Assistant, School of Environmental Sciences Alexander Hall 260; tel. +1 519 824 4120 ext. 53937 email: