Is the Ph.D. degree research based?
Yes. There are required courses for the program but you are expected to develop and execute an original research project in the field under the direction of your major professor and your Ph.D. committee.
Do I need to find a major professor (faculty advisor) before applying to the PhD?
We highly recommend that you identify a possible major professor before you apply. Finding a suitable fit and having a faculty advocate on the admission committee is very important. This person will also be your primary source for funding through research assistantships. We strongly encourage any interested applicants to visit our on-line directory and click on the names of our faculty members to get an idea of their research and background. E-mail is the best way to initiate contact with our faculty.
Are all graduate students provided funding?
Ability to support Ph.D. students is considered in our admission process. Because these research-based degrees do not lend themselves well to part-time status and because you will be working in a lab to generate your data we generally only accept students for whom we can reasonably assure that we have funding in the form of assistantships. Assistantships include the following: 1) research assistantships (RAs), which are generally provided from grants held by individual faculty members (another reason that finding a major professor as soon as possible is so important), 2) teaching assistantships (TAs), which are limited in number and offered to students with expertise to teach certain undergraduate seminars, laboratory sections or to assist faculty teaching large lecture classes, or 3) graduate school assistantships (GSAs), which are available only to the most competitive applicants are administered through the graduate school (full applications must be submitted by early January to be considered for the graduate school awards). Because we try to provide funding for all incoming students, we generally have more qualified applicants than we can accept/support. We highly encourage interested students to seek outside funding before applying (e.g., EPA STAR fellowships [http://www.epa.gov/ncer/fellowships/], NSF Graduate Research Fellowships [http://www.nsfgrfp.org], among others). Very limited funding is available for MPH students unless you have a specific arrangement to work on research with a faculty member.
What GRE scores and GPA do I need to be considered for admission?
The UGA Graduate School has set a minimum of 3.0 undergraduate GPA for consideration. While the University does not have a set minimum for the GRE, the Dept. of Environmental Health Science generally expects to see GRE scores for both verbal and quantitative sections above the 50th percentile. However, we evaluate an applicant’s entire package including statement of interest, previous experience, fit in the department and letters of recommendation in addition to undergraduate/graduate GPA and GRE scores in our admission decision.
Can I be a part-time student?
For the Ph.D. program, it is very difficult to be enrolled as a part-time student. This is primarily because these are research-intensive programs that generally require full time work in the lab or field. There are select cases where a part-time option is possible but those are usually addressed on a case-by-case basis involving discussions with your major professor.
How long will it take to get my degree?
The Ph.D. degree takes from 4 to 6 years, depending on your project and if you are coming in with a prior master’s degree.
Is a master’s degree required to apply for the Ph.D.?
No. We consider students with a bachelor’s degree as well as those with a master’s.
Can I meet with faculty members about the program?
If you would like to meet with any of our faculty members, please e-mail them to coordinate an appointment.
Can I speak with current students about the degree?
If you would like to talk with a current student in the program, please e-mail your request (and your specific interests) to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange contact between a current student in your research area and degree program of interest.