Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology

Ph.D. Program

Our innovative graduate program in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology (EEOB) prepares students for an increasingly diversified and global work environment. Our faculty is internationally respected, with expertise in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology and their intersections. These areas have traditionally attracted highly competitive graduate students who become excellent scholars (Alumni page).

The requirements for the Ph.D. are:

  • basic course work equivalent to 4 semester long courses
  • two semesters of service as a teaching assistant
  • acceptance to candidacy
  • novel research leading to the completion of a dissertation
  • an oral examination of the dissertation

Acceptance to Candidacy

Entering graduate students are promoted to candidacy typically by the start of year 3.  Promotion to candidacy depends on satisfactory completion of preliminary exams.   The preliminary exam consists of two components: the review and the thesis proposal.   The review is a written document representing a synthetic treatment of an area of interest that has not recently been reviewed.  Students complete this in their first year.  The thesis proposal consists of a proposal similar in style to the National Science Foundation dissertation improvement grant (10 pages single spaced).   The thesis proposal is typically submitted to the thesis committee by the end of the spring semester of year 2.  These written documents are reviewed by the thesis committee.  The student is promoted to candidacy after satisfactory completion of the written documents and an accompanying oral examination.