Skip to main content

DEGREE Environmental Chemistry and Technology, PhD

Doctoral degree in environmental chemistry and technology

As a PhD student in environmental chemistry and technology, you’ll deepen your expertise in applying chemistry to environmental systems. And, by selecting a specialization and choosing elective courses, you also can tailor your graduate program to your own interests. Among the areas you can focus on are aquatic chemistry, air pollution chemistry, terrestrial chemistry, and chemical- and bio-technology development.

At a glance

Civil and environmental engineering department

Professors of practice who mentor our students
civil engineering graduate ranking among public universities
environmental engineering graduate ranking among public universities

Learn more about what information you need to apply.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not 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 (
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. 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 TOEFL/IELTS 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.
  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.


Tuition and segregated fee rates are always listed per semester (not for Fall and Spring combined).

View tuition rates

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.

Civil and environmental engineers are changing the world. Aging infrastructure. Climate change. Clean water and air. Natural hazards. Energy. These are just a few of the grand challenges facing civil and environmental engineers, and our research is leading the way toward sustainable solutions.

View our research

Minimum graduate school requirements

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

Minimum Credit Requirement 51 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 26 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School’s GPA Requirement policy
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.
Graduate School Breadth Requirement Doctoral students must complete a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate. Students will discuss minor and certificate options with the faculty advisor.

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

Students must enroll in CIV ENGR 909 Graduate Seminar – Environmental Chemistry & Technology or CIV ENGR/​ATM OCN/​BOTANY/​ENVIR ST/​GEOSCI/​ZOOLOGY  911 Limnology and Marine Science Seminar each semester. Ph.D. students should present a seminar once per academic year, either fall or spring semester.

Graduate-Level Chemistry Requirement

Students must take two chemistry courses numbered 500 or above. 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 636 Topics in Chemical Instrumentation: Introduction to NMR2
CHEM 728 Electronics for Chemical Instrumentation3
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 725 Separations in Chemical Analysis2-3
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

3182 Mechanical Engineering Building, 1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706

Matt Ginder-Vogel, Director of Graduate Studies
2205 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

View the Graduate Guide for program-specific information on admission, coursework, policies, rules and regulations.

Civil and environmental engineering news

Our research is making a global impact, especially in mobility, water and building, and energy, infrastructure and environmental considerations thread through everything we do.

Become a Badger Engineer