Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering (Interdisciplinary)

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The University of Texas at El Paso presents both an extraordinary setting and excellent capabilities for the multi-disciplinary doctoral program in Environmental Science and Engineering. Located on the U.S.-Mexico border and one of the most environmentally-impacted areas of North America, UTEP has established itself as a center of environmental research and development activity, with support from the EPA, the NSF, the Department of Energy, private foundations, and state agencies. With support and coordination from the Center for Environmental Resource Management (CERM), faculty and students from several departments conduct research often in collaboration with local agencies and national laboratories. With the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the establishment of a new EPA regional office in El Paso and of the joint U.S. and Mexico Border Environmental Cooperation Commission (BECC) in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and UTEP's already established base of collaborations with Mexico on environmental problems, UTEP and El Paso have become an internationally recognized source of cutting-edge research, technology, and education. The newly established Center for Inland Desalination Systems also works closely with this program.

Admission Requirements 

Students with a Bachelors or graduate (Masters or above) degree in a discipline related to environmental science and engineering are eligible to apply to the ESE doctoral program. In addition to Graduate School requirements, students are expected to have superior academic records (cumulative GPA > 3.5/4.0). For students from countries where English is not the principal language, a minimum TOEFL score of 550 is required. Students must submit at least two letters of reference from individuals qualified to judge their capability to do doctoral-level work. A statement of purpose outlining the students research interests, motivations for joining the ESE program, and how participation in the ESE program will benefit the student’s mid to long term career goals is also required. Applicants will be notified of their admission status by the Graduate School.

Degree Requirements

Specific course requirements for each student will be determined by the student's Doctoral Advisory Committee. However, each student must complete at least a total of 60 hours beyond the undergraduate degree and 36 hours beyond the master's degree. With departmental approval, students entering the program with a master’s degree can transfer up to 24 semester hours of graduate coursework as advanced standing toward their PhD degree. For masters students, the sum of i) transferred hours (up to 24hrs), and ii) hours taken whilst enrolled in the ESE program (at least 36hrs) must equal or exceed a total of 60 hours. At least 30 hours of organized coursework are required within the 60 hours counted towards completion of the doctoral degree. Organized coursework must include certain ESE core courses, including ESE 6306   and ESE 6307 Interdisciplin Envir Prob Solv . The balance of the required 30 semester hours of organized coursework will be fulfilled by a selection of elective courses. Enrollment of the candidate in research and dissertation courses will complete the remainder of the 60 semester hours.

Prior to taking ESE core courses, all students are generally expected to have had the equivalent of basic courses in biology, chemistry, physical geology, and calculus, including differential equations. All full- time students are required to enroll in ESE 6107 during the fall and spring semesters. All students must complete a minimum of two (2) hours of ESE 6107. A maximum of six (6) hours of ESE 6107 will count towards fulfilling the requirements of the degree.

Note: All degree requirements must be completed within eight years.

Students are required to pass a qualifying examination based on material from the ESE core courses and any leveling courses they might have taken during the first two semesters of residence. Students are eligible to sit for the qualifying examination a maximum of two times.

All of the core classes are required and the student must obtain a grade of B or better in each of the core courses.

Students are encouraged to begin research germane to their dissertation topic early in the course of study. The student must identify a dissertation supervisor during the first two semesters of full-time or part-time participation in the ESE program. Within this same period, a Doctoral Committee must be formed, a dissertation proposal prepared for review and approval by the student’s committee, and an abstract of the proposal distributed to the ESE faculty for comment. Students will not be allowed to register for additional coursework until these requirements have been met.

Prior to enrolling in the dissertation courses, each student will take a comprehensive examination administered by the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee. The examination can be written, oral, or both. Students are eligible to sit for the comprehensive exam a maximum of two times.

The dissertation must demonstrate the ability to perform independent research and the competence for scholarly exposition. It should present original investigation at an advanced level of a significant problem in Environmental Science and Engineering and should provide the basis for a publishable contribution to the research literature in the field. Students should enroll in ESE 6398 during the first term of dissertation work and ESE 6399 each term thereafter. Each doctoral candidate must successfully defend the dissertation before the Doctoral Advisory Committee.

A copy of the dissertation in PDF or Word electronic format must be submitted to the Graduate School for format check prior to the scheduled defense date. The dissertation, including an abstract not to exceed 350 words, must be prepared according to the Graduate School’s thesis and dissertation guidelines available at the Graduate School Web site. The student will receive email confirmation from the Graduate School after the format has been approved. The final Graduate School approved dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School in PDF electronic format by the deadline as published in the Class Schedule along with a hard copy of the signature page with original signatures of the dissertation committee members. Information on submission procedures can be found on the Graduate School website. The signature page must be included in the PDF file but it should not be signed.

Curriculum 

Semester-Hour Requirements

Foundation/Leveling CoursesAs needed
ESE Core Course18
Environmental Project6
Elective Courses *6-12
Research18-24
Dissertation6
Total Hours54-66
Core Courses
ESE 6107
ESE 6301Environmental Law and Policy3
ESE 6303
ESE 6402Environmental Chemistry4
ESE 6404
ESE 6405
Environmental Projects
ESE 63063
ESE 6307Interdisciplin Envir Prob Solv3
Elective Courses
Select two to four elective courses with the approval of the graduate coordinator.6-12
Research and Dissertation
ESE 6396Doctoral Research3
ESE 6398Dissertation3
ESE 6399Dissertation3

Note: All students will take elective courses to fulfill the 60 semester-credit-hour requirement for this doctoral degree program. Only elective classes approved by the student’s committee qualify for this requirement.

 Energy Science and Engineering Track

Core Courses
Select six of the following courses, including at least four from the Energy Engineering block:
ESE 6107
ESE 6301Environmental Law and Policy3
ESE 6303
ESE 6402Environmental Chemistry4
ESE 6404
ESE 6405
Energy Science and Engineering Track-Specific Core Courses
ESE 6312
ESE 6314
ESE 6316
ESE 6318
ESE 6320Adv Topics in Energy Engr3
Environment Projects
ESE 6306
ESE 6307Interdisciplin Envir Prob Solv3
Elective Courses
Select two to four of the following courses, or suitable alternatives, with approval of the graduate coordinator.6-12
MECH 5328Fracture Mechanics3
ESE 6396Doctoral Research3
Research and Dissertation
ESE 6396Doctoral Research3
ESE 6398Dissertation3
ESE 6399Dissertation3

Note: All students will take elective courses to fulfill the 60 semester-credit-hour requirement for this doctoral degree program. Only elective classes approved by the student’s committee qualify for this requirement. The list below is only a sample of course offerings. 

Degree Plan

Ph.D. in Environmental Science

Required Credits: 60

PhD in Environmental Science & Engineering Core (All courses require a grade of B or better)
Required Courses:
ESE 6301Environmental Law and Policy3
ESE 63033
ESE 63063
ESE 6307Interdisciplin Envir Prob Solv3
ESE 6402Environmental Chemistry4
ESE 64044
ESE 64054
PhD in Environmental Science & Engineering Major (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Graduate Seminar:
ESE 6107 (Complete two semesters)2
Elective Courses:
Select ten hours from the following:10
Select Adv Topics Biol Science
Resrch Biological Science
BIOL 5307
Rsrch Funding & Prof Developmt
Biogeography
Biosystematics
Advances/Evolutionary Theory
BIOL 5323
Advances Immunological Concept
Advances in Ecological Theory
Physiology of Bacterial Cell
Structure/Funct Macromolecules
BIOL 5342
BIOL 5343
Molecular Pathogenesis
BIOL 5346
BIOL 5353
Limnology
Thesis
Thesis
Basic Principles of Toxicology
Gene Regulation
Physiological Regulatory Mech
Cell Physiology
BIOL 6306
Rsrch Funding & Prof Developmt
Adv Research Techniques
Biodiversity
Molecular Parasitology
Independent Research
Dissertation
Dissertation
Individual Studies
CE 5194
Individual Studies
CE 5294
Grndwtr Hydro & Polltn
CE 5303
Adv Design of Struct Systms
Advanced Structural Analysis
Finite Element Method (3-0)
Risk/Reliability Anal-Engr Sys
CE 5311
Environmental Processes
Water Reclamation & Reuse
Stats Methods for Civil Eng
Bridge Engineering
CE 5319
Advanced Geotechnical Eng.
CE 5322
Prestressed Concrete
Construction Management
Design for Dynamic Loads
Air Pollution Control
CE 5329
Methods Engineering Computatio
CE 5333
Surface Water Hydrology
Hydraulic Computer Application
Biol Unit Operations/Processes
Adv Phy-Chem Water Treat
Design-Filtrat'n/Membrane Proc
Mech Pavement Design/Analysis
Foundation Design II
Geotech. Site Investigation
Advanced Civil Eng. Materials
Sustainable Engr Design
Structural Loads Models
Traffic Engineering
Foundation Design I
Highway Geometric Design
Traffic Flow/Simulat Modeling
Urban Transportation Planning
CE 5363
CE 5364
Infrastrct Syst Design & Eval
Construction Dispute Resolutn
CE 5374
Adv Constr Cost Analysis & Bid
CE 5383
CE 5384
Construction Internship
Adv Construction Law & Ethics
Adv Construction Scheduling
Advanced Construction Safety
Adv Constr Methods & Materials
Special Topics Civil Engr
Individual Studies
Earth Construction
CE 5393
Graduate Research
Construction Claims
Graduate Projects
Graduate Projects
Thesis
Thesis
Environmental Eng Chemistry
CE 5494
Graduate Research
Civil Engineering Seminar
Doctoral Research
Infrastructure Management
Engineering Analysis (3-0)
Infrastructure Engineering
Water Resources Mgmt
CE 6314
CE 6315
CE 6316
Mod Methods/Engr Computation
Doctoral Research
Dissertation
Dissertation
Graduate Seminar
Graduate Research in Chemistry
Modern General Chemistry
Advanced Analytical Chemistry
Contem Topics Analytical Chem
Advanced Organic Chemistry I
Advanced Organic Chemistry II
Contem Topics Organic Chemistr
Contemp Topics in Biochemistry
Anal./Model of Bio Structures
Advanced Physical Chemistry I
Advanced Physical Chemistry II
Contemp Topics Physical Chem
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Contemp Topics Inorganic Chem
Graduate Research in Chemistry
Thesis
Thesis
Graduate Seminar
Graduate Research in Chemistry
Teaching Practicum - Chemistry
Advanced Analytical Chemistry
Contemp Topics in Analyt Chem
Advanced Organic Chemistry I
Advanced Organic Chemistry II
Contemp Topics in Organic Chem
Advanced Biochemistry
Contemp Topics in Biochemistry
Adv Physical Chemistry I
Advanced Physical Chemistry II
Contemp Topics in Phys Chem
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Contemp Topics Inorganic Chem
Graduate Research in Chemistry
Dissertation
Dissertation
Logical Foundations of CS
Computer Networks
Artificial Intelligence I
Theory of Computation
Human-Computer Interaction
Topics in Language Processing
CS 5322
Parallel & Concurrent Program
Secure Web-Based Systems
Advanced Operating Systems
Advanced Computer Architecture
Advanced Algorithms
Interval Computations
Computer Security
CS 5353
Topics/Intelligent Computing
CS 5370
Software Safety & Risk Anlysis
Spec. & Desgn of Real-Time Sys
Graduate Student Internship
Software Construction
Software Reverse Engineering
Comp. Dec Making & Risk Anal
Cyber-Sec for Critical Op Tech
CS 5380
Topics in Software Engineering
Model-Based Software Devlpmnt
CS 5383
Software Requirements Engr
Software Architecture & Design
Software Integration and V&V
Software Project Management
Software Engineering Practicum
Special Topic Computer Science
Individual Studies
Graduate Research Methods
Graduate Research
Graduate Projects
Graduate Projects
Master's Thesis
Master's Thesis
Graduate Research
Doctoral Research
Doctoral Research
Logical Foundations of CS
Theory of Computation
Adv Computer Architecture
Advanced Algorithms
Special Topics
Individual Studies
Graduate Research Methods
Doctoral Research
Dissertation
Dissertation
Doctoral Research
Laboratory for EE 5318
Individual Studies
EE 5192
EE 5194
EE 5197
EE 5291
EE 5294
Probability & Random Processes
Computational Methods for EE
Linear Systems Analysis
Antenna Theory
Semiconductor Device Physics
EE 5312
Modern Semiconductor Devices
Electronic Material Processing
Nanoelectronics
EE 5321
Adv Digital Communications
Statistical Detection/Estimate
Telemedicine & Imaging Informa
BME Dev Design & Regulation
Data Communications
EE 5332
Data Compression
Adv Fiber Optic Communications
Systems Engineering Fundamtls
Systems Engineering Mgmt
Requirements Engineering
Integratn, Verifictn, Validatn
Practicum in Elect & Comp Eng
EE 5351
Med Diag & Theraptc Instrmtn
Biomed Signal & Image Process
EE 5354
EE 5355
Biomechatronics
Computer Vision
Fuzzy Logic & Engineering
CMOS Digital Circuit Design
Operating Systems
Digital Signal Processing
Image Processing
EE 5374
EE 5375
Computer Architecture I
EE 5377
Advanced VLSI Design
Network Protocols
Energy Sustainability
Smart Grid Fundamentals
Control of Electric Power
High Frequency Power Converter
Power System Operations
Radar Signal Processing
Special Topics Electrical Engr
Individual Studies
Research Methods
Graduate Research
Graduate Projects
Graduate Projects
Thesis
Thesis
EE 5494
EE 5594
EE 5694
EE 6192
EE 6193
Graduate Research
Doctoral Seminar
EE 6197
Graduate Research
EE 6311
EE 6313
EE 6321
EE 6325
EE 6326
EE 6351
EE 6352
EE 6357
Special Topics
Individual Studies
Research Methods
Graduate Research
Dissertation
Dissertation
EE 6494
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Graduate Seminar
Arid Lands
Climate Science
Topics in Environmental Sci.
Thesis Research I
Thesis Research II (0-0-3)
ESCI 5401
ESCI 5402
ESCI 5403
ESE 6107
ESE 6303
ESE 6306
Interdisciplin Envir Prob Solv
ESE 6308
ESE 6312
ESE 6314
ESE 6316
ESE 6318
Adv Topics in Energy Engr
Graduate Seminar
GEOL 5102
Selected Topics in Geol Scien
Directed Study in Geology
Selected Topics in Geol Scienc
Directed Study in Geology
Graduate Research in Geol Sci
Computer Appl in Earth Sci
Earth Structure
Earth Materials
GEOL 5306
GEOL 5307
Planetary Geology
Mineral Resrcs, Econ & Environ
Intro Entrepreneurial Geosci
GEOL 5311
Selected Topics-Geological Sci
Hydrogeology
Petroleum Geology
Environmental Tracers in Water
Isotope Geology
Advanced Petrology
GEOL 5345
GEOL 5348
Directed Study in Geology
Sandstone Petrography
Sedimentary Depositional Envir
Basin Analysis
Quantit Techniq Geological Sci
Low Temperature Geochemistry
Global Biochemical Cycles
GEOL 5379
Paleoclimatology
GEOL 5384
GEOL 5387
Graduate Research in Geol Sci
GEOL 5392
Geol/Mineral Resources Mexico
Thesis
Thesis
Fundamentals of Earth Science
Fundmtls/Fld Meth in Earth Sci
Directed Study in Geology
Adv Topics in Geological Scien
Directed Study in Geology
Doctoral Research in Geol Sci
Directed Study in Geology
Adv Topics in Geological Scien
Dissertation
Dissertation
GEOL 6323
GEOL 6325
Sandstone Petrography
Carbonate Petrogrph & Dep. Env
Sedimentary Depositional Env
Sequence Stratigraphy
Hydrogeology
Environmental Tracers in Water
GEOL 6344
GEOL 6360
Doctoral Research in Geol Sci
Directed Study in Geophysics
Directed Study in Geophysics
Atmospheric Processes
Digital Image Processing
Geophysical Inverse Theory
Reflection Seismic Data Proces
Seismology
Topics in Geophysics
Well Logging
Plate Tectonics
GEOP 5362
Directed Study in Geophysics
GEOP 5364
Geop App-Digital Signal Proces
Directed Study in Geophysics
Directed Study in Geophysics
Directed Study in Geophysics
Advanced Seismology
Advanced Seismic Methods
GEOP 6360
Graduate Seminar
IE 5291
IE 5316
IE 5330
IE 5332
Adv Production/Inven Control
Linear and Combin Optimiz Meth
Design/Analysis Indust Exprmnt
IE 5354
Computer Simulation Appli
IE 5377
Advanced Quality Control
IE 5387
IE 5389
Special Topics Industrial Engr
Individual Studies
IE 5394
IE 5397
Thesis
Thesis
IMS 5396
IMS 5397
Graduate Seminar
MATH 5310
Topics in Applied Mathematics
MATH 5314
MATH 5315
Principles of Analysis
Principles of Algebra
Numerical Analysis
Comp Methods of Linear Algebra
Real Variables
MATH 5335
General Topology
Numer Solution Part Diff Equat
Numerical Optimization
MATH 5346
Complex Variables
Special Topics
Mathematical Statistics I
Mathematical Statistics II
Statistics in Research
Multivariate Data Analysis
Time Series Analysis
Statistical Computing
Graduate Research
Thesis
Thesis
MATH 6311
Topics in Optimization
MECH 5194
MECH 5195
Mathl Methods for Mech Eng
Solid Mechanics I
Heat Transfer I
MECH 5304
Comp. Fluid Dynamics
Fluid Dynamics
MECH 5308
MECH 5309
Thermodynamics
Adv Finite Element Analysis
Solid Mechanics II
Mech of Composite Materials
Analytical Dynamics
Space Systems Design
Aerospace Propulsion
MECH 5336
Aero Dynamics and Controls
Special Topics Mechanical Engr
Individual Studies
MECH 5394
Graduate Projects
Graduate Projects
Thesis
Thesis
MECH 5694
Individual Studies
MME 5192
MME 5193
Graduate Research
Graduate Seminar
MME 5197
Graduate Research
Matls Extraction & Synthesis
Phase Transformations & Micros
Mechanical Behavior of Matrls
MME 5312
Advanced Matrls & Composites
MME 5325
MME 5326
MME 5331
MME 5333
Special Topics
Individual Studies
Graduate Research
Graduate Projects
Graduate Projects
Thesis
Thesis
Microstruc & Microchem Charac
Adv Concepts in Matls Sci Engr
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
Graduate Research
MME 6192
Graduate Seminar
Graduate Research in Physics
PHYS 5320
Mechanics
Mathematical Physics
PHYS 5330
PHYS 5331
PHYS 5332
PHYS 5333
PHYS 5334
PHYS 5340
Electrodynamics
PHYS 5350
Quantum Mechanics
Advanced Statistical Mechanics
Solid State Physics
Research Problems in Physics
Special Topics in Physics
Graduate Research in Physics
Thesis
Thesis
Graduate Research in Physics
Systems Engr Fundamentals
Systems Engr Management
Systems Requirements Analysis
Sys Intgrtn, Verfctn, & Valdtn
Sys Engr Project Practicum
Systems Architecture & Design
Systems Engr Processes
Systems Modeling & Simulation
Systems Engr Special Topics
Individual Studies
Thesis I
Thesis II
Graduate Seminar
Statistical Programming
Applied Experimental Design
Categorical Data Analysis
Post-Genomic Analysis
Special Topics
Mathematical Statistics I
Mathematical Statistics II
Statistics in Research
Stochastic Processes
Multivariate Data Analysis
STAT 5390
Time Series Analysis
Statistical Computing
Graduate Research
MS Thesis
MS Thesis
Intro to Statistical Analysis
Introduction to Data Mining
Statistical Data Mining
Doctoral Research:
ESE 6396Doctoral Research (Complete six semesters)18
Thesis:
ESE 6398
ESE 6399
Dissertation
and Dissertation
6
Total Hours60

Concentration in Energy Science & Engineering

Required Credits: 60

Energy Science & Engineering Core (All courses require a grade of B or better)
Specific Core Courses:
Select four courses from the following:12
ESE 6312
ESE 6314
ESE 6316
ESE 6318
Adv Topics in Energy Engr
Electives:
Select two courses from the following:6
Environmental Law and Policy
ESE 6303
ESE 6312
ESE 6314
ESE 6316
ESE 6318
Adv Topics in Energy Engr
Environmental Chemistry
ESE 6404
ESE 6405
Energy Science and Engineering (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Env & Energy Projects:
ESE 6306
ESE 6307

and Interdisciplin Envir Prob Solv
6
Doctoral Research:
ESE 6396Doctoral Research (Complete six semesters)18
Thesis:
ESE 6398
ESE 6399
Dissertation
and Dissertation
6
Total Hours48

ESE 6396 Doctoral Research may be substituted up to two times.