Students will work very closely with internationally-known and respected faculty with research projects from all over the world to beyond our planet.

Earth Science faculty conduct multi-disciplinary research projects among many of Rice's science and engineering departments, in particular, Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Computational and Applied Mathematics, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. In addition, EEPS hosts the collaborative research center, the Center for Computational Geophysics, and collaborates with other interdepartmental research centers, such as the Energy and Environmental Systems Institute, the Institute for Biosciences and Bioengineering, the Center for the Study of the Environment and Society, the Shell Center for Sustainability, the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology, and the Center for Lunar Science Exploration.

Program Requirements

PhD students must complete either 60 or 90 credit hours, depending on whether or not they are entering the program with a relevant master’s degree. In the first year, candidates will develop an individualized program of study with their thesis committee. Doctoral students are also required to take a written qualifying exam covering general earth science knowledge in their second semester. The doctoral thesis must include at least three manuscripts that have been submitted to a recognized peer-review journal with the student as lead author, starting the second year, and at least one of the manuscripts must be in press or published at the time of the thesis defense.

More specific details can be found in the guidelines.

Full-time Ph.D. students typically receive tuition waivers and stipends for the entire duration of their course of study. These are funded through some combination of the school’s substantial endowment, endowed fellowships for graduate students, and faculty research grants. Also, many of our graduate students win nationally competitive fellowships.

How to Apply (click here for more information)

Any student with a strong interest in the geosciences is encouraged to apply. Many of our faculty received their undergraduate training outside of the geosciences (e.g., physics, chemistry, math, etc.), so we recognize the value of these fundamental disciplines in our field. Unsure if your background is a good fit? Feel free to contact faculty members directly to learn about their research programs.

The EEPS department does not require scores from the Graduate Record Examination. Submitted GRE scores will not be used to evaluate applicants. Instead, your academic record, interests and objectives, and letters of recommendation will be evaluated holistically. Students are encouraged to prepare a thoughtful expression of their goals and prospective plans of study as part of the application form or in an attached letter.

Click here to apply