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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign(UIUC) Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 May 
International :15 May 

PhD Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences

 Course Level
Full Time

5 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

26502 USD
12266 USD

Application fee

International 90 USD
National 70 USD
Department of Natural Sciences and Environmental Sciences
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)6.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)104
TOEFL-PBT (min)607
GRE (avg)330
GMAT (avg)659

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About this course

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences is a broad and diverse department offering flexible M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The mission of the department is to establish and implement research and educational programs that enhance environmental stewardship in the management and use of natural, agricultural, and urban systems in a socially responsible manner. The department is composed of approximately 24 faculty, 60 affiliates, and 160 graduate students. Offering education and research in a variety of disciplines, the department provides a systems-level perspective that few other departments can offer. Further illustrating the breadth of natural resources and environmental sciences, research areas include but are not limited to:

  • agronomy/agroecology
  • aquatic chemistry
  • conservation ecology
  • ecosystem science
  • environmental education
  • fish and wildlife ecology and management
  • forest ecology
  • humans dimensions of the environment
  • landscape ecology
  • microbial ecology
  • natural resource economics
  • natural resource policy
  • plant ecology
  • physiology and genetics
  • restoration ecology
  • quantitative and spatial analysis
  • soil science and conservation
  • sustainability

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Minimum requirements for admisson

  • All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency.
  • Official scores are required to be submitted directly from TOEFL/ETS or IELTS (please see instructions below for Submitting Official Scores regarding our institution code and program number).
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores must be less than two years old from the first day of class at the proposed term of entry in order to be valid.
  • Important, please note: Individual academic programs may require a higher score, or evidence of spoken English language proficiency; contact your proposed program of study office for the minimum TOEFL, TSE, or IELTS requirement for admission.
  • Test information and instructions for requesting official scores
  • TOEFL (Test of english as a foreign language)
  • Website: www.toefl.org

TOEFL Services at Educational Testing Service (ETS):

Requesting Official Scores: Applicants who have already taken the TOEFL should request the Educational Testing Service send scores to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign using our institution code number 1836.

IELTS (International english language testing system)
IELTS is jointly owned by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia.

Website: www.ielts.org

Requesting Official Scores: Applicants who have already taken the IELTS should upload their score report forms directly to the online application.


 Graduate applicants may be exempt from providing a TOEFL or IELTS score if one of the following criteria is met:Completion of at least two years of post-secondary full-time study, as defined by the home institution, in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary medium of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Completion of a graduate degree in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction, within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment.


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Course Modules

The Ph.D. program prepares students to be an expert in their fields. Earning a Ph.D. involves mastering a field of study and increasing the knowledge and understanding in that field through the completion of a dissertation that makes a contribution to existing research. Students working toward the Ph.D. degree are required demonstrate competency in at least three content areas by passing a general examination (the preliminary examination) before admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree. Students consult with their advisers to identify their competency content areas and the courses they will take, which are recorded on the Doctoral Plan of Study. The NRES Ph.D. program requires students to register for NRES Seminar (500) each semester, minus two, that the student is enrolled. To earn the doctorate, students must successfully complete a final oral examination (thesis defense). In most cases, students earn a M.S. before starting work on a Ph.D. However, in certain cases, it is possible to take the coursework required for the M.S. as part of a Ph.D. program. Details of the B.S. to Ph.D. program are available from the graduate coordinator.

  • NRES 594 NRES Professional Orientation (need not be repeated if taken as an NRES M.S. student) 1

Graded Coursework (not including NRES 501, 512 or other independent study or readings course) 12
Electives 0-51
NRES 599 Thesis Research (max applied toward degree) 0-51
Total Hours 64

Other Requirements

Other requirements may overlap

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? Yes
  • Qualifying Exam Required No
  • Preliminary Exam Required Yes
  • Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required Yes
  • Dissertation Deposit Required Yes



Check further details on University website

How to Apply

When to Apply
Prospective graduate students are urged to apply for admission to the degree program as early as possible, preferably six to ten months before the beginning of the semester in which they expect to enroll. For fall admission, a deadline of January 1st is used for review of students for departmental financial awards. Although applications can be submitted later (see deadlines below), the chance for financial support may be decreased. Strong letters of reference, evident motivation to undertake graduate study, and good preparation in basic science courses enhance an applicant's credentials.

Application Deadlines
Fall Semester: May 15 (January 1st to be considered for departmental financial awards)
Spring Semester: October 15
Summer Semester: March 15

Application process
Applications must be submitted online via the Graduate College's Admissions site.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential advisors in advance of applying to determine if the faculty are willing to serve as their adviser and have resources available for more graduate students in their programs. An applicant will only be admitted if a faculty member has agreed to advise him/her, so this step is crucial to your application efforts.

In your graduate application select the degree for which you want to apply:

Natural Res & Env Sciences PhD
Natural Res & Env Sciences MS
Natural Res & Env Sciences MSU, for the online MS program (Please follow the online program's application instructions, instead.)
Natural Res & Env Sciences MSNDEG, for the non-degree program
Our Program Code is 10KS0190.

In writing your personal statement, please limit yourself to two pages. In this statement, we hope to find one or two specific areas of interest for your future graduate study. Statements that are too broad or narrate your past can be detrimental to your application. In this document, indicate your chosen Area of Expertise. And, from that list, please indicate the names of up to five faculty members with whom you would like to work. 

Your curriculum vitae or resume should be uploaded in Apply Yourself.

Background Education
Applicants should have adequate preparation in the fundamental sciences and courses appropriate to their proposed field of study in natural resources and environmental sciences. Applicants without the necessary prerequisites may be accepted conditionally and the undergraduate courses must be completed before the degree will be awarded.

Graduate Record Exam
The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required of M.S. and Ph.D. students, except those applying to the off-campus M.S. program (institution code: 1836, department code: 00). The GRE score must be less than five years old. Although there is no minimum score for admission, successful applicants usually score above the 70th percentile. No subject tests are required. The GRE results will be examined along with GPA, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and other information in the application package. Visit GRE.org to get more information about taking the GRE.

English Proficiency
Students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System. TOEFL test scores must be less than two (2) years old from date of enrollment. Minimum score requirements are available at the Graduate College. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's institution code is 1836.

Departmental requirements for admission to our M.S. and Ph.D. graduate programs include:

M.S. applicants - Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for the last two years (60 hours) of coursework leading to bachelors degree.

Ph.D. applicants - Undergraduate grades as described above, and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale on all coursework leading to masters degree.

Additional information
Applicants who are not U.S. citizens must also submit evidence that they have sufficient financial support for their entire program of study.
Letters of reference may be sent via email. Instructions can be found within the application or by hard copy to the address below.
Transcripts must also be sent to this address:Graduate Coordinator
N-509 Turner Hall
1102 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
If an applicant wishes to appeal the denial of his/her application, the applicant must send a written letter detailing the reasons for reconsideration. This must be submitted by e-mail to [email protected] within 30 days of notification of denial. The NRES Departmental Grievance Committee will consider the original application for admission and the letter of appeal only.

Check further details on University website

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