Aurora over Europe

Earth and Environmental Sciences

The Ph.D. program in Earth and Environmental Sciences spans the social, natural, and physical sciences, encouraging students to pursue diverse topics.
Learn more about the program
Aurora over Europe

The Ph.D. program in Earth and Environmental Sciences spans the social, natural, and physical sciences, encouraging students to pursue diverse topics.

Learn more about the program

Degree Offered

Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences

3 Specializations

Admissions Deadlines

December 15 for fall enrollment
(No spring enrollment)


Earth and Environmental Sciences

+1 212-817-8241 Room 4306

Upcoming Event

GEOS Seminar: Prathap Ramamurthy

Thursday, October 5, 2023

4:15 pm — 6:15 pm

From its inception in 1983, the Ph.D. Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences has identified itself with "promoting teaching and research in the study of the earth." With faculty in atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences, environmental psychology, geography, and geology, the Earth and Environmental Sciences program at the CUNY Graduate Center spans a broad array of subjects focusing on the earth, its environments, human activities, and the linkages between them.

Whether they are paleontologists or cultural geographers, Earth and Environmental Sciences students become part of a strong academic community supported by our accomplished faculty who foster curiosity and the pursuit of social justice.

Our Program

Graduate Center students are encouraged to work across disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach is supported by our accomplished faculty members who have a variety of research interests. Along the path to degree, students are encouraged to attend academic conferences, write articles to submit for publication, and many will teach undergraduate courses at a CUNY college.

Students must complete 4-5 core courses and can choose elective courses within the Earth and Environmental Sciences program and in other doctoral programs at the CUNY Graduate Center. Most required courses and courses for the Geography and Environmental Psychology specializations are conducted at the CUNY Graduate Center, while laboratory courses and courses for the Environmental and Geological Sciences specialization are offered at the various affiliated departments throughout CUNY. 

Earth and Environmental Sciences hosts a weekly colloquium and is part of an inter-university consortium that allow students to further discuss and pursue their research while working with colleagues within CUNY and from other schools in the region.

Graduates of the program go on to work in academia and in the public and private sector.

Access the vital GC Commons site for the Earth and Environmental Sciences community >>


Our students have the unique opportunity to study both the physical and human environments simultaneously, or to focus on specific subjects within the program's specializations. The faculty has a strong commitment to education and research in Environmental and Geological Sciences, Environmental Psychology, and Geography.

The specialization in Environmental and Geological Sciences offers research opportunities in a broad spectrum of Earth-focused science, including topics of classical geology; studies of Earth's fluid envelopes; and applying combinations of geology, biology, chemistry, and physics to studying Earth's diverse environments and their ecosystems. The program has four core areas: Atmospheric and Hydrologic Sciences; Terrestrial, Estuarine, and Marine Studies; Earth Materials and Earth Processes; and Urban Environments and Public Health.

Learn more about Environmental and Geological Sciences >>

The specialization in Geography provides an opportunity to pursue doctoral studies in one of the world's largest and most dynamic metropolitan locations with a diverse faculty at The Graduate Center and at Hunter College, Lehman College, and the College of Staten Island within the CUNY system. The program has five core areas: Geographic Information Science; Geography and Social Theory; Physical Geography; Urban and Regional Dynamics; and Geographic Education.

Learn more about Geography >>

Environmental Psychology was founded on three central ideas at the start of the 1970s: 1) the incorporation of the physical environment into psychology – related to emerging recognition of environmental crisis—from ‘silent spring’ to urban decay; 2) the adoption of field research that would operate outside of the laboratory, the received mode in psychology, where variables can be controlled and manipulated, to embrace the messy world of the everyday complex variables of people-environment relationships; 3) interdisciplinarity as the means to include the many necessary perspectives for understanding the interactions of people and place, while embracing the policy and design disciplines that shape our environments.

Learn more about Environmental Psychology >>

GC Flags, Photo Credit: Ron Hester

Prospective Students

Our students are diverse, and we welcome those who are passionate about their studies and have varied interests. We are a public institution with opportunities for fellowships and financial aid; many of our students graduate debt-free. Annually, the Earth and Environmental Sciences program admits 14 full-time students. For more information visit the admissions and aid page, and explore our courses and paths to degree. Please note: The annual admissions deadline is December 15. The GRE is not required and will not be considered. TOEFL is required for applicants for whom English is a foreign language, though there is no minimum score required.

Admissions and Aid

Hear from Our Students and Professors

Students and professors talk about their research, the diverse academic nature of the Earth and Environmental Sciences program, and why they are thriving at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Our Faculty
Hands holding up the Earth

Support Our Program

Your gift demonstrates that you believe public higher education is important and worthy of investment. Contributing directly to our program will have a positive and lasting impact. Thank you for making a difference.

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Students at Denver AAG Meeting smiling at camera

American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting

The EES cohort gather together after a peak experience in Denver at the American Association of Geographers’ Annual Meeting in March of 2023.

From Our Students

"The Graduate Center is home to some amazing, very committed faculty members and students who are activists and organizers, movers and shakers. We come with a lot of experience, and make sure that the communities where we come from and the communities we're forming are taken care of."

— Marlene Nava Ramos

Ph.D. candidate

Read more
Marlene Nava Ramos

Earth and Environmental Sciences Spotlights

Our Sciences Spotlight series profiles students, faculty, and alumni associated with GC Sciences programs. Learn about our community:

Recent News

Sep 15, 2023

Recognizing Leaders of Hispanic Scholarship

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we recognize our scholars who are leaders and pushing the boundaries of knowledge.

  • GC Stories
  • Student News
  • Alumni News
  • Faculty News

Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Earth & Environmental Sciences Admissions Open House

The EES Ph.D. Program has specializations in Environmental & Geological Sciences, Human Geography and Environmental Psychology. Join us for a Q&A about the program and application process. Then attend a colloquium featuring research talks from our current students, followed by a reception.

3:00 pm

Hybrid (see description for details)

Thursday, October 26, 2023

GEOS Seminar: Cecilia McHugh

"Giant earthquakes and tsunamis along subduction and transform plate boundaries: Deciphering the sedimentation record and geohazards"

4:15 pm — 6:15 pm

Hybrid (see description for details)

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Contact Us

Kieren Howard

Executive Officer and Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Cindi Katz

Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences; Professor, Psychology; Professor, American Studies; Professor, Women's and Gender Studies; Deputy Executive Officer, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Judy Li

Assistant Program Officer, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Benjamin DeMott

College Assistant, Earth and Environmental Sciences