Those who wish to pursue careers in academia or in industry researching wood and wood products as a renewable material, including thinking about issues such as consumer product development and environmental considerations, may consider earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Wood Science. These graduate programs will allow a range of learning experiences so that students can develop expertise in this subject area.
Ph.D. in Wood Science Program Description
Earning a Ph.D. requires a range of different academic experiences. Students will be exposed to core and elective courses. In addition, graduation requirements may include preliminary exams, oral exams, and the completion and defense of a research-based dissertation. Dual graduate programs in areas such as materials science, civil engineering, and forestry may lead to additional exposure to relevant topics. Some classes that may be encountered by Ph.D. students in this field are as follows:
Renewable Construction Materials
The construction industry is a major consumer of renewable wood products. A course of this nature may discuss how to select materials and utilize wood and other renewable materials. Both residential and industrial construction and design could be covered.
A course of this type may introduce students to how wood degrades in the natural and built environment. Students may study biological degradation, including fungi and other organic contaminants. They may also review chemical and anatomical aspects of wood decay.
A course in biorenewable products may provide a background on a range of wood-based products. Specific topics may include biofuel, timber, and paper products. Students may conduct independent research on a product of interest.
A class of this type may provide students with a substantial background in the business aspects of the wood industry. Specific topics may include contaminants, clean-up technology, and how to manage the byproducts of wood treatments. Current technologies in this field are likely to be studied.
Those studying the properties of wood must be familiar with how it forms bonds. This course may introduce the properties of wood adhesives, the gluing of wood and wood composites, and the manufacture of adhesives. Laboratory or field experiences may provide exposure to these practices.
Ph.D. in Wood Science Admissions
Applicants for a Ph.D. in Wood Science should be prepared with a bachelor's degree. As this is a specialized course of study, students with a range of undergraduate majors may choose to pursue this degree; however, the transcript should indicate completion of coursework in mathematics and natural sciences. Some programs may expect prior completion of a master's degree. Candidates should expect to submit a university application, and provide GRE scores, transcripts, a resume, recommendations, and a personal statement. Prospective students may be encouraged to contact faculty members in the course of the application process to discuss their research interests.
Earning a Ph.D. in Wood Science can provide students with a background in this field, with specialization areas depending on one's area of interest. Normally, students will complete courses as well as independent research in the completion of this degree.