Because the TRSU program is new, it does not yet appear in the MUN
calendar regulations. For reference, the program’s regulations are instead available below. Also see the
general calendar regulations for all graduate programs at MUN (i.e. sections 1 through 4).
The School of Science and the Environment offers a program in Transdisciplinary Sustainability
leading to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. Full-time and part-time options are available.
Qualifications for Admission
Admission to the program is limited and competitive.
To be considered for admission, applicants shall normally hold a Master’s degree from an institution recognized by the Senate, and have an excellent academic record, basic research skills and demonstrated ability for creativity, independent thought, advanced study and original research.
Applicants may come from diverse fields of study, including but not limited to: biology, earth sciences, agricultural sciences, sustainable agriculture (agronomy, plant science, soil science, plant physiology), ecology, environmental science, engineering, business, economics, environmental studies, environmental policy, geography, law, public administration, political science, and planning.
Students in the MAEP and BEAS programs may request a transfer to the doctoral program after a minimum of 12 months in their program of study, and completion of all Master’s course work requirements with a minimum of 75% and clear evidence of exceptional research productivity. Such transfer should take place no later than the 5th semester of the student’s Master’s program.
Other students may be considered for admission to the program provided that they have been registered in a Master's program for a minimum of 12 months, and have demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Graduate Committee, their ability to pursue research at the doctoral level.
In exceptional cases, applicants holding a Bachelor's Degree with Honours, or equivalent, in a relevant field, from a university of recognized standing, and having a minimum of 5 years of full-time professional experience, preferably in an environmental-related field, may be considered for direct admission into the PhD program.
To be eligible for admission, applicants shall exceed the English Proficiency Requirements described in the MUN Calendar under General Regulations – Qualifications for Admission, art. 4.1.5, 4.1.6 and 4.1.7, both in the TOEFL and in the IELTS tests.
Program of Study
A Supervisory Committee shall be appointed for each candidate in accordance with the
General Regulations, Supervision, Ph.D. and Psy. D. Candidates.
Students will normally be required to successfully complete a minimum of 9-credit hours of graduate program courses as follows: TRSU 7001: Foundations of Sustainability and Sustainability Science, TRSU 7002: Transdisciplinary Methods in Sustainability Research, and an elective course. All courses will normally be completed within the first two semesters of the program.
Students may be required to take further graduate courses, beyond the minimum number, depending on their background and needs. These courses will be selected by the Supervisory Committee.
Students are expected to actively participate in graduate research seminars in the Fall and Winter semesters in each of the first two academic years of the program, in order to foster their scholarly discourse.
Students shall submit to a comprehensive examination in accordance with the SGS
General Regulations, Comprehensive Examinations. The Comprehensive Examination will consist of a written component and an oral component. The examination will be normally scheduled upon completion of all course work, and no later than the seventh semester of the student’s program.
Students must submit a written thesis proposal for presentation to the Supervisory Committee, normally within six weeks of completion of the comprehensive examinations, but no later than the end of the fifth semester of the program.
Students must submit a thesis, examined and defended in accordance with the General Regulations, Theses and Reports, Evaluation of Ph.D. and Psy.D. Theses. The thesis is expected to bring a substantial contribution to research in transdisciplinary sustainability while also contributing to practical solutions to address contemporary sustainability challenges.
All graduate students are required to follow the MUN policy for Integrity in Scholarly Research:
The duration of the program is normally 4 years. The program will be delivered on the Grenfell Campus-MUN with the option for courses to be taken and supervisory involvement from other MUN campuses or other universities as well.
A selection of the following graduate courses will be offered to meet the requirements of students, as far as the resources of the SSE will allow:
TRSU 7001 Foundations of Sustainability and Sustainability Science
TRSU 7002 Transdisciplinary Methods in Sustainability Research
BEAS 6021 Organic Farming for Sustainable Agriculture
BEAS 6030 Chemical Speciation Modeling for Environmental Matrices
BEAS 6031 Soil Functions: Soil as a Bioreactor
BEAS 6033 Soil and Water Conservation
BEAS 6041 Applied Hydrology
BEAS 6051 Applied Bioinformatics
ENVP 6001 Applied Environmental Problem Solving: A Case-Based Approach
ENVP 6003 Environmental Political Thought
ENVP 6053 Ecological Economics
ENVP 6056 Risk Assessment and Analysis
ENVP 6057 Energy Policy
ENVP 6058 Management and Regulation of Water Resources