College of Science

The College of Science is the home of the University's first doctoral degree program, the Doctor of Geological Sciences, which was approved in 1974. In 1991, the designation of the degree was changed to PhD in Geological Sciences. The College now offers the PhD programs in Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and also participates in three interdisciplinary PhD programs. The Departments of Chemistry and Physics are participants in a program leading to the PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering and the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geological Sciences, Mathematics, and Physics are participants in a program leading to the PhD degree in Environmental Science and Engineering. Information about admission to these programs and degree requirements is found in the Interdisciplinary Programs section of this catalog.

Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy in Biosciences

The educational objective of the doctoral program in Biosciencesis to prepare students for research on the pressing pathobiological problems of the region, with an emphasis on the pathogenesis of infectious diseases, the toxic and carcinogenic effects of environmental pollutants, and neurological and metabolic disorders.

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry 

The doctoral program in chemistry embraces a variety of advanced disciplines, which is a natural outcome of our research faculty’s expertise. These areas include physical, computational, inorganic, organic, biochemistry, and environmental and materials chemistry. Through the adept leadership of the President of the University of Texas at El Paso and the dedication of the Chair of Chemistry, a new building for the Department of Chemistry was completed at the time the new Ph.D. in Chemistry program began. This was fortunate and because of the good timing, the new building has had a very positive effect on increasing the quality of the Ph.D. program, the quality of the facilities, and the quality of new professors that can be attracted to the department. Facilities that support Ph.D. research now include state of the art NMRs, LC-MS, EPR, GFAAS, BET, MALDI-TOF MS, TEM, SEM, SPR, HPLC, Confocal microscopy, ICP-OES, ICP-MS, XRF, FTIR. UV-Vis, light scattering particle analyzer, high powered computing for modeling, AFM, and Raman IR and many others.

Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Science 

The doctoral program in computational science combines Computer Science, Applied and Computational Mathematics, and Science and Engineering disciplines. CPS is an interdisciplinary program, crossing departmental and college boundaries, that yields an integrated knowledge base for the effective solution of complex systems in which computer usage plays a fundamental role. A CPS student is to acquire an integrated understanding of techniques such as mathematical modeling, algorithmic design, computer simulation, scientific visualization, statistical processing of large data sets, and high-performance computing on parallel and distributed systems.

Doctor of Philosophy in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 

The EEB doctoral program provides a training environment in ecological and evolutionary science for future scientists and societal leaders that focuses on research that challenges and/or improves current theory and knowledge and has the capacity to be relevant to society. Faculty in the EEB program work on scales ranging from molecules to global change, in terrestrial and aquatic systems both regionally and around the world. In particular, our research focuses in two key areas: Biodiversity and Global Change Ecology.​

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science and Engineering

The University of Texas at El Paso presents both an extraordinary setting and excellent capabilities for the interdisciplinary doctoral program in Environmental Science and Engineering. Located on the U.S.-Mexico border and one of the most environmentally-impacted areas of North America, and with a global research footprint, UTEP has established itself as a hub for environmental science and engineering research and education. Our faculty and students have received support from multiple federal and state agencies, and foundations. The program is administered out of the Graduate School and includes the participation of faculty from more than 12 departments spanning four colleges, and numerous research centers (CERM, CyberShARE and, CIDS), and active collaboration with agencies, national labs, and industry. For information regarding admission and degree requirements, students should refer to the Interdisciplinary Programs section.

Doctor of Philosophy in Geological Sciences

The PhD in Geological Sciences was approved in 1974 as the first doctoral degree program of the University. The PhD program embraces a variety of advanced disciplines in Earth and Environmental Sciences, with research themes focused in Earth System Geochemistry, Geospatial Research, Professional and Entrepreneurial Geosciences, Science Learning and Education, Solid Earth and Geophysics, and Tectonics and Sedimentation, although PhD degrees may be obtained in any field of the geological sciences. The program has a vibrant group of ~20 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with a research portfolio addressing global challenges in the environment and natural resources, while taking advantage of the unique and excellent geological settings in our region for research and education. The PhD program is hosted in the attractive Geological Sciences Building with 90,000-sq.ft spaces for offices, laboratories, and classrooms. The department facilities that support our PhD research include a variety of geochemical instruments for advanced isotope and element analysis (MC-ICP-MS, ICP-MS, ICP-OES, IRMS, Laser isotope analyzer, electron microprobe, laser diffraction particle size analyzer and many others), geophysical research infrastructure (seismometers, gravimeters, magnetometers, differential GPS receivers, surface and downhole conductivity and resistivity tools, ground-penetrating radar), geospatial facility, and extensive computational and software resources. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering

The PhD in Materials Science and Engineering is an interdisciplinary doctoral program coordinated by the Materials Research and Technology Institute (MRTI) to prepare scientists and engineers to address the rapidly expanding opportunities and problems created by emerging materials-related industries. The program emphasizes a cross-disciplinary perspective of this vital field with a range of skills linking materials, structure, properties, synthesis and processing, and performance. For information regarding admission and degree requirements, students should refer to the Interdisciplinary Programs section.

Master’s Degrees

The College of Science offers 11 graduate degrees at the master’s level. These include Master of Science (MS) degrees in Bioinformatics, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computational Science, Environmental Science, Geological Sciences, Geophysics, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics. Five-year BS-MS programs are offered in Chemistry and Physics. The Department of Mathematical Sciences offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with a major in Mathematics and the Office of the Dean houses a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with a major in Science. For information regarding admission and degree requirements for these degrees, students should refer to the individual department sections. The College of Science also offers a Master of Science in Professional Science composed of two graduate certificates:  one 15-18 hour graduate certificate must be taken in the College of Science; the second 15-18 hour graduate certificate can be taken in any college at UTEP or outside UTEP online or in-person as long as both the institution and the certificate are accredited.

Graduate Certificates

The College of Science offers 15-18 graduate certificates in Bioinformatics, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geospatial Information and Technology, Applied and Computational Mathematics, Applied Statistics, Big Data Analytics, and Physics.