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The program has been organized to offer advanced instruction and research training in environmental chemistry and environmental technology leading to the doctor of philosophy. A doctoral minor in environmental chemistry and technology is also offered. The program trains candidates for careers in teaching, research, resource management, environmental consulting, and private sector/industrial positions. Areas of work include the development of advanced technologies and materials for air and water purification and for the saving and storage of energies, alternative energy technologies, water and air pollution control, soil and sediment remediation, environmental technology, chemical limnology, and groundwater chemistry.

The Ph.D. degree is designed for students who have a strong background in chemistry and who desire graduate training in applying chemistry to environmental systems. Individual programs are tailored to meet the candidate's interests through selection of a specialization and elective courses. Areas of specialization include aquatic chemistry, air pollution chemistry, terrestrial chemistry, and chemical- and bio-technology development.

The Environmental Chemistry and Technology Program faculty is composed of an interdepartmental committee. Several committee members who have appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are located in the Water Science and Engineering Laboratory. Other members are located in their respective departments.

The environmental chemistry and technology area occupies over 10,000 square feet of office and laboratory space in the Water Science and Engineering Laboratory. Facilities include offices, conference room, classrooms, computer facilities, and over 8,000 square feet devoted to research. The research areas, including trace element and mercury clean laboratories, are designed for research in aquatic chemistry, air pollution chemistry, and environmental technology. Shop facilities (electronics/mechanical) allow fabrication of specialized equipment tailored to the particular field and laboratory research needs. Other specialized facilities include areas for investigations of air pollution chemistry, ceramic membrane technologies, hazardous material remediation, and development of energy storage devices.

In addition to the Water Science and Engineering Laboratory, students also have access to numerous facilities on the UW–Madison campus, including laboratories in the Departments of Soil Science, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Geoscience, Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Center for Limnology, and the State Laboratory of Hygiene.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline October 1
Summer Deadline December 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Students seeking admission should have a background in the fundamental areas of general, organic, physical, and analytical chemistry. In addition, students should have some background in applied sciences which can be fulfilled with a minimum of 6 credits in natural sciences such as botany, zoology, bacteriology, earth science, material science, biochemistry, or engineering. Students who have not met these requirements must do so prior to the completion of the master's degree. 

The application deadline is December 15 for the fall term and October 1 for the spring term. Late applications may not be reviewed for funding opportunities.

Required materials

  1. All applicants must use the UW–Madison Graduate School online application system. 
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. Statement of purpose.
  4. Please send GRE and TOEFL scores electronically to UW–Madison, institution code 1846.
  5. All items should be submitted through the online application. Please do not mail or e-mail materials directly to our program at the time of application. If you are admitted to our program, we will request an official copy of your transcript at that time.
 

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Students accepted into the program can expect to be fully funded through through fellowships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships on research projects. Admission decisions are based on the student's qualifications and research interests, the availability of funding, and the focus of funded research projects. Funding includes a waiver of tuition (excluding segregated fees), health benefits (including family coverage), and a yearly stipend.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 51 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (26 credits out of 51 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Students must earn a B or above in all courses counting toward degree requirements.
Assessments and Examinations Doctoral students are required to take a comprehensive preliminary exam by the end of their fifth semester of study in the Ph.D. program. A final oral exam of the doctoral dissertation is required. Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required.
Language Requirements No language requirements.
Doctoral Minor/Breadth Requirements All doctoral students are required to complete a minor.

Required COURSES

Students are required to develop a plan of courses with their advisor.

All incoming EC&T students should have basic preparation in the fundamental areas of general, organic, physical and analytical chemistry. Students should also have previous coursework in the natural sciences, which can include botany, bacteriology, zoology, earth science, material science, biochemistry or engineering. Note that CIV ENGR 500 Water Chemistry or equivalent advanced course in Environmental Chemistry, is a prerequisite for many of the core EC&T courses. If these requirements have not been met prior to entering the program, this should be considered when planning the coursework.

Core Courses
Environmental Inorganic Chemistry
CIV ENGR 703 Environmental Geochemistry1-3
or GEOSCI 875 Advanced Topics in Geology
Environmental Organic Chemistry
CIV ENGR/​M&ENVTOX/​SOIL SCI  631 Toxicants in the Environment: Sources, Distribution, Fate, & Effects3
or CIV ENGR 704 Environmental Chemical Kinetics
Air Chemistry
CIV ENGR/​ATM OCN  701 The Chemistry of Air Pollution2-3
or CHEM 629 Atmospheric Chemical Mechanisms
Additional Coursework
CIV ENGR 909 Graduate Seminar - Environmental Chemistry & Technology 11
or CIV ENGR/​ATM OCN/​BOTANY/​ENVIR ST/​GEOSCI/​ZOOLOGY  911 Limnology and Marine Science Seminar

Graduate-Level Chemistry Requirement

Students must take two 500-level or above chemistry courses. A partial list of potential courses is included below. Other courses may be substituted for this requirement with approval of the student’s academic advisor and the approval of the EC&T Academic Planning Committee.

Course options

Select two of the following:
BIOCHEM 501 Introduction to Biochemistry3
BIOCHEM 507 General Biochemistry I3
BIOCHEM 508 General Biochemistry II3-4
BIOCHEM 800 Practical Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Theory2
BIOCHEM/​BOTANY  621 Plant Biochemistry3
BIOCHEM 801 Biochemical Applications of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance2
CBE 547 Introduction to Colloid and Interface Science3
CHEM 524 Chemical Instrumentation3
CHEM 561 Physical Chemistry3
CHEM 565 Biophysical Chemistry4
CHEM 605 Spectrochemical Measurements3
CHEM 613 Chemical Crystallography3
CHEM 624 Electrochemistry2-3
CHEM 625 Separations in Chemical Analysis2-3
CHEM 628 Chemical Instrumentation: Design and Control Applications3
CHEM 636 Topics in Chemical Instrumentation: Introduction to NMR2
CHEM 637 Topics in Chemical Instrumentation: Advanced Methods in NMR1-2
CHEM 652 Chemistry of Inorganic Materials3
CHEM 653 Chemistry of Nanoscale Materials3
CHEM/​BIOCHEM  665 Biophysical Chemistry4
CHEM 668 Biophysical Spectroscopy2-3
CHEM 738 Introduction to Mass Spectrometry1
CHEM 777 Physical Chemistry of Surfaces2-3
CIV ENGR 501 Water Analysis-Intermediate3
CIV ENGR 609 Special Topics in Water Chemistry1-3
CIV ENGR 700 Chemistry of Natural Waters3
M S & E 748 Structural Analysis of Materials3
M S & E 758 Transmission Electron Microscopy Laboratory1
SOIL SCI 621 Soil Chemistry3
SOIL SCI 875 Special Topics1-4

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students may be to count credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, 7 credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, 15 credits taken as a UW–Madison Special student are allowed toward minimum coursework requirements.

Probation

A semester GPA below 3.0 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a semester GPA of 3.0 is not attained during the subsequent semester of enrollment the student may be dismissed from the program or allowed to continue for one additional semester based on advisor appeal to the Graduate School.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

All incoming students are assigned an advisor. Students are expected to meet with their advisor on a regular basis. In addition to meeting with the assigned faculty advisor, students will also meet their Academic Planning Committee.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time Constraints

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may be required to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may by require to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

EC&T Grievance Procedures

If a student feels unfairly treated or aggrieved by faculty, staff, or another student, the University offers several avenues to resolve the grievance. Students’ concerns about unfair treatment are best handled directly with the person responsible for the objectionable action. If the student is uncomfortable making direct contact with the individual(s) involved, they should contact the advisor or the person in charge of the unit where the action occurred (program or department chair, section chair, lab manager, etc.). Many departments and schools/colleges have established specific procedures for handling such situations; check their web pages and published handbooks for information. If such procedures exist at the local level, these should be investigated first. For more information see the Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures.

1. The student is encouraged to speak first with the person toward whom the grievance is directed to see if a situation can be resolved at this level.

2. Should a satisfactory resolution not be achieved, the student should contact the program’s Grievance Advisor or Director of Graduate Study to discuss the grievance.

Chris Brace, Assistant Dean
The Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs (engr-dean-graduateaffairs@wisc.edu) provides overall leadership for graduate education in the College of Engineering (CoE), and is a point of contact for graduate students who have concerns about education, mentoring, research, or other difficulties. 

The first attempt is to help students informally address the grievance prior to any formal complaint. Students are also encouraged to talk with their faculty advisors regarding concerns or difficulties if necessary. University resources for sexual harassment, discrimination, disability accommodations, and other related concerns can be found on the UW Office of Compliance website.

4. If the issue is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction the student can submit the grievance to the Grievance Advisor in writing, within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.

5. On receipt of a written complaint, a faculty committee will be convened by the Grievance Advisor to manage the grievance. The program faculty committee will obtain a written response from the person toward whom the complaint is directed. This response will be shared with the person filing the grievance.

6. The faculty committee will determine a decision regarding the grievance. The Grievance Advisor will report on the action taken by the committee in writing to both the student and the party toward whom the complaint was directed within 15 working days from the date the complaint was received.

7. At this point, if either party (the student or the person toward whom the grievance is directed) is unsatisfied with the decision of the faculty committee, the party may file a written appeal. Either party has 10 working days to file a written appeal to the School/College.

8. Documentation of the grievance will be stored for at least 7 years. Significant grievances that set a precedent will be stored indefinitely.

The Graduate School has procedures for students wishing to appeal a grievance decision made at the school/college level. These policies are described in the Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures.

Other

Admitted students will be contacted directly by faculty regarding funding opportunities.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Articulate research problems, potentials, and limits with respect to theory, knowledge, or practice within the field of environmental chemistry and technology.
  2. Formulate ideas, concepts, and/or techniques beyond the current boundaries of knowledge in environmental chemistry and technology.
  3. Create research or scholarship that makes a substantive contribution.
  4. Demonstrate breadth within their learning experiences.
  5. Advance contributions to the field of environmental chemistry.
  6. Communicate complex ideas in a clear and understandable manner.
  7. Fosters ethical and professional conduct.

Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty: Professors Likos (chair), Ahn, Bahia, Cramer, Hanna, Harrington, Hurley, Likos, Loheide, McMahon, Noguera, Noyce, Park, Parra-Montesinos, Ran, Russell, Schauer, Wu; Associate Professors Block, Fratta, Ginder-Vogel, Pincheira, Remucal, Tinjum; Assistant Professors Blum, Hampton, Hicks, Prabhakar, Pujara, Qin, Sone, Wang, Wei, Wright, Zhu; M.Eng Program Director Carlson. See also CEE faculty.

Geological Engineering Faculty: Professors Tinjum (director) (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Feigl (Geoscience), Goodwin (Geoscience), Holloway (Nelson Institute), Likos (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Loheide (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Thurber (Geoscience), Tikoff (Geoscience), Wu (Civil and Environmental Engineering); Associate Professors Cardiff (Geoscience), Fratta (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Ginder-Vogel (Civil and Environmental Engineering); Assistant Professors  Hampton (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Hicks (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Sone (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Zoet (Geoscience); Professor of Practice Pakes (Grainger). See also GLE faculty.

Environmental Chemistry and Technology: Professors Hurley (director) (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Bertram (Chemistry), Bleam (Soil Science), Harrington (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Karthikeyan (Biological Systems Engineering), McMahon (Civil and Environmental Engineering/Bacteriology), Pedersen (Soil Science), Roden (Geoscience), Root (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Schauer (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Thompson (Biological Systems Engineering); Associate Professors Ginder-Vogel (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Remucal (Civil and Environmental Engineering); Assistant Professors Anantharaman (Bacteriology), Qin, (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Wei (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Whitman (Soil Science). See also ECT Faculty.