Ph.D. in Bioenvironmental Science


Bioenvironmental Science is defined as “the systematic study of the interactions between biological systems and the environment using innovative applied research tools and fundamental research”. The biological systems include, human beings, animals, plants and bacteria, where water, air, ground, space and indoors are defined as the environment.

Image depicting connections between the study of biological systems and the environment.

Morgan State University’s Ph.D. program in Bioenvironmental Science is the one of the two Ph.D. programs at the School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (SCMNS) and is the only such program in Maryland’s higher education system. The Ph.D. program in Bioenvironmental Science program at Morgan integrates strong academic training, fundamental and applied research practices through interdisciplinary efforts with participating faculty from the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science into a cohesive program of study that focuses on an array of environmental issues that affect biological systems. Specifically, our goals are:

  1. To provide graduate students with essential academic knowledge, research and practical skills needed for successful careers in Bioenvironmental Science related jobs at various private institutions, government agencies, academia, and industry. This will be accomplished by: training students on the interaction between various components/systems of the environment and how to protect the health of humans in the changing environment;
  2. Educating students on the importance of gene–environment and behavior-environment interactions in the development and homeostasis of biological organisms; Providing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research training that addresses the understanding of the underlying mechanism by which physical, chemical, and biological agents cause alterations in ecosystem integrity and cause morbidity and mortality in humans, animals, and other organisms, especially those of commercial value; Training students in the development of cost-effective methodologies whereby the impact of various environmental pollutants and toxic substances may be prevented and/or controlled;
  3. Establishing partnerships with other research-intensive universities, government agencies, international organizations and the private sector that will provide training and internships to facilitate applied research activity and future career opportunities for students;
  4. Establishing community outreach programs that provide awareness regarding the impact of physical, chemical, biological, and toxic agents generated by natural or anthropogenic events on human health.

General Program Description

The Ph.D. in Bioenvironmental Sciences is a full-time program of study offering research opportunities and instruction in five suggested general areas of concentration: Environmental Toxicology, Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Health Sciences, and Environmental Biotechnology. The courses offered in the program are primarily for doctoral students, however, students enrolled in the Master’s degree programs may participate. For example, Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering majors can enroll in suitable 500 and 600 level Bio-Environmental Science graduate courses for credit toward their degrees.  The consent of the chairperson of the student's major department is also required.  Students in the Bioenvironmental Sciences Program need to seek approval of their Graduate Program Coordinator in order to take credits outside of SCMNS.  Students are furthermore strongly advised to consult with their academic (dissertation) advisors and the Graduate Program Coordinator prior to finalizing their registration each semester.  Incoming students, who have not yet been assigned a faculty advisor, must seek approval for all course registration from the Graduate Program Coordinator.

General Preparatory Requirements

Students interested in the Ph.D. Program in Bioenvironmental Science must have a strong background in basic sciences including biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. Course work in statistics and competence with computers are particularly important for perspective students.

Admission Requirements

Graduate Admissions is a four-step process:

1.  Applicant submits all required documentation to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS);

2.  Completed folder is forwarded to the Graduate Program Coordinator for review by program admission committee.

3.  Program admissions committee reviews application and forwards “Admit” or “Deny” decision to the Dean of SCMNS and subsequently to SGS,

4.  Following admit or denial decision by program committee, the Dean of the SGS sends official decision by mail.

 A.  Documents required for complete application:

•   A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

•   Official transcript showing undergraduate cumulative grade point average G.P.A. of 3.0 or better for unconditional admission. Or, official transcript showing a cumulative undergraduate G.P.A. of between a 2.5 and 2.9 may be considered for conditional and unconditional admission, based on scholarly activities and reference letters.

•   Transcripts showing completed minimum course work.

•   An application for admission together with official copies of transcripts from all graduate and undergraduate institutions attended.

•   Test scores (for those programs requiring them) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Test scores may not be more than 5 years old prior to the date of application.

•   Three letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty members of institutions previously attended)

•   A one-page typed personal statement of academic and professional plans and the reasons for selecting Morgan State University. 

Graduates of our Program: