Forestry & Environmental Studies

Kroon Hall, 203.432.5100
M.S., M.Phil., Ph.D.

Ingrid Burke (Kroon, 203.432.5109)

Directors of Doctoral Studies
Karen Seto [F] (380 Edwards St., Rm. 102, 203.432.9784,
Oswald Schmitz [F/Sp] (

Professors Mark Ashton, Michelle Bell, Gaboury Benoit, Graeme Berlyn, Mark Bradford, Benjamin Cashore, Michael Dove, Daniel Esty, Timothy Gregoire, Edgar Hertwich, Matthew Kotchen, Xuhui Lee, Robert Mendelsohn, Chadwick Oliver, Peter Raymond, James Saiers, Oswald Schmitz, Karen Seto, David Skelly, John Wargo, Julie Zimmerman

Associate Professors Marian Chertow, Kenneth Gillingham

Assistant Professors Craig Brodersen, Liza Comita, Justin Farrell, Eli Fenichel

Fields of Study

Fields include agroforestry; biodiversity conservation; biostatistics and biometry; climate science; community ecology; ecosystems ecology; ecosystems management; environmental anthropology; environmental biophysics and meteorology; environmental chemistry; environmental ethics; environmental governance; environmental health risk assessment; environmental history; environmental law and politics; environmental and resource policy; forest ecology; hydrology; industrial ecology; industrial environmental management; plant physiology and anatomy; pollution management; population ecology; resource economics; energy and the environment, silviculture, social ecology; stand development, tropical ecology and conservation; urban planning; water resource management; environmental management and social ecology in developing countries; urban ecology.

Special Admissions Requirements

Applicants should hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a field related to natural resources, such as forestry, or in a relevant discipline of the natural or social sciences, such as biology, chemistry, economics, or mathematics. The GRE General Test is required but Subject Tests are optional.

Special Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

Students are required to take F&ES 900, Doctoral Student Seminar and Responsible Conduct of Research, in the first year of their program. Aside from this requirement, there is no required curriculum of credit courses and no formal language requirement. Courses of study are individually designated through consultation between degree candidates and their advisers and dissertation committees. The amount of course work required will depend on the previous training of the student, but the normal requirement for a student with no previous graduate training is three or four courses per term for four terms. The program of each student will be evaluated at the end of the first year of residence. At least two term grades of Honors are required in the first two years of study; however, it is anticipated that grades of Honors or High Pass will be achieved in two-thirds of all courses taken. A written and oral qualifying examination is required upon completion of the course requirements. Students are expected to take the examination by the end of their second year, although this can be extended to the third year in cases with appropriate extenuating circumstances. At the time of the qualifying examination, the student must present a prospectus of the research work proposed for the dissertation. Successful completion of the qualifying examination and submission of the prospectus will result in admission to candidacy. Upon completion of the dissertation, the candidate must make unbound copies of the dissertation available to the faculty and appear for an oral examination at a time and place designated by the director of doctoral studies. Copies of the approved dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School. Depending upon the nature of the dissertation topic, completion of the Ph.D. degree normally requires four years.

Teaching and research experiences are regarded as integral parts of the graduate training program in Forestry & Environmental Studies. All students are required to serve as teaching fellows (10 hours per week) for four terms. The nature of the teaching assignment is determined in cooperation with the student’s major adviser and the director of doctoral studies. With the permission of the director of doctoral studies, the total teaching requirement may be reduced for students who are awarded fellowships supported by outside funding. Regardless of outside funding, all doctoral students must serve as teaching fellows for a minimum of two terms.

Master’s Degrees

M.Phil. (en route to the Ph.D.) Students may petition for this degree after they have passed the qualifying exam and advanced to candidacy. Applications for this master’s degree are not accepted.

M.S. (en route to the Ph.D.) This degree is normally granted only to students who are withdrawing from the Ph.D. program. Applications for this master’s degree are not accepted. Requirements that must be met for award of the M.S. are (1) successful completion of two years of course work in residence with two grades of Honors; (2) a written prospectus; (3) fulfillment of one term of the teaching requirement. Students who are eligible for or who have already received the M.Phil. will not be awarded the M.S.

For information on the terminal master’s degrees offered by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (the Master of Forestry, Master of Forest Science, Master of Environmental Management, and Master of Environmental Science degrees), visit the School’s website,, or contact Admissions Director, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven CT 06511.

required Course

All Ph.D. students are required to take the following course in the fall term of their first year. For a complete list of F&ES courses, see the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies bulletin, available online at; and Yale Course Search at

F&ES 900a, Doctoral Student Seminar and Responsible Conduct of ResearchKaren Seto

This course provides an introduction to doctoral study at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Students attend the F&ES Wednesday seminar each week and then meet with the seminar speakers after their presentations. Weekly assigned readings support these discussions, which are used as a foundation to explore diverse approaches to formulating and addressing research questions. Students also work with their advisers to design an assignment to be completed during the term. Students may choose to write and submit a fellowship application (e.g., NSF, NASA, EPA), carry out a literature review, or develop a collaborative research project. Students present their embryonic research ideas in class and use feedback from the group to further develop their ideas. The course also introduces the topic of research misconduct with examples of specific cases. Concepts and resources for responsible conduct of research are discussed in the areas of data acquisition and management, authorship and publication, peer review, conflicts of interest, mentoring, collaborative research, and animal and human subjects research. Required of all doctoral students in their first term.
W 1pm-3pm