Graduate Studies

Author: | published date:2013-10-22

Peking University is one of the earliest academic institutions in spearheading teaching and research in environmental science in China. In the early 1970s, Peking University launched research program to study photochemical smog in Lanzhou (a city in northwestern China) and carried out environmental quality assessment for the western suburb of Beijing. In 1978, the then Center for Environmental Sciences was qualified to confer maser degree in environmental science, and in 1985, the Center was qualified to confer Ph.D. degree in environmental science.

There are 283 graduate students enrolled in the college, including 119 doctoral students and 164 master students. On average, 53 master students and 29 doctoral students are enrolled in the college each year. The master degree program is a three-year research degree program. Students get their master degree upon the fulfillment of required course work and thesis as well as the completion of oral thesis defense with a success. The doctoral degree program normally requires three (for those with a master degree already) to five years study and research. Students receive their Ph.D. degree upon the fulfillment of required course work and dissertation work.

Master students can choose from three majors and in each major there are multiple research areas available, as follows:

Table 1 Majors and Research Areas for Master Students



Research Areas

Environmental science                     

   a)        Environmental chemistry and monitoring

   b)        Regional pollution and global change

   c)         Environment and health

   d)        Water pollution control and environmental biotechnology

   e)         Environmental planning and management

    f)          Environmental economics and policy

   g)        Environmental sustainable development

   h)        Environmental law

    i)          Water resource and water-sediment environment



   a)        Water treatment engineering

   b)        Drinking water safety

   c)         Soil and groundwater pollution control and remediation

   d)        Air pollution control

   e)         Solid waste disposal and reuse

    f)          Environmental engineering simulation and information system

Atmospheric physics

   a)        Atmospheric environment

   b)        Numerical simulation of atmospheric environment


Doctoral students can choose from two majors and in each major there are multiple research areas available as well, as follows:

Table Majors and Research Areas for PhD Students



Research areas

Environmental science

   a)        Atmospheric environment simulation

   b)        Pollution meteorology

   c)         Environmental chemistry

   d)        Regional pollution and global change

   e)         Trace organic pollutants control

    f)          Environment and health

   g)        Environmental planning and management

   h)        Environmental economics

    i)          Resource economics

    j)          Environmental and social systems development

   k)         Urban ecology management

    l)          Natural resources management

  m)       Water pollution control and environmental control technology



   a)        Theory and technology for water treatment

   b)        Risk analysis and management on water rand sediment

   c)         Soil and groundwater pollution control and remediation

   d)        Environmental systems analysis theory and technology

   e)         Solid waste disposal and reuse

    f)         Air pollution control theory and technology


The college puts great efforts on student education, aiming at fostering qualified professionals in environmental sciences and engineering with great vision and responsibility. For that, the college is dedicated to providing rigorous academic trainings to students, broadening their horizons, fostering their sense of responsibility, and enhancing their executive capability. Over the years, the college has established a fairly mature system for educating undergraduate and graduate students. Research and education are well integrated here and students are one of the major forces for scientific innovation, as an example, two dissertations have been nominated for the National Outstanding Dissertation Award.