Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Ph.D.

Students enroll in BIOE 200A, 200B and BIOE 279 in the first year; BIOE 293 is required four quarters thereafter.  Enrollment in BIOE 294 is required every quarter the student is in residence.  Each Ph.D. student is required to complete at least two quarters as a teaching assistant during their graduate career.

Find the Notification of TA Duties here.

Find the Description of TA Duties here.

During fall of the second year, students take a comprehensive examination. This is a two-part exam, written and oral, the goal of which is to examine the student’s breadth and depth of knowledge of evolution, ecology, physiology, behavior, organismal, and general biology. A committee is comprised of four examiners selected by each student and the student's supervisor in accordance with departmental guidelines.  Each student’s area of research, together with the stated goal of the exam, should guide the composition of the student's committee.

Between the sixth and eighth term, the student submits a dissertation research proposal to their dissertation committee and defends it in a three-hour oral examination before the dissertation committee. The student advances to candidacy only after completing all course work, passing the written and oral portions of the comprehensive examination, writing and defending a dissertation research proposal, and presenting a candidacy seminar on his/her proposed research.

For the degree, the student submits his/her doctoral dissertation to the dissertation committee for tentative approval at least 30 days before presenting their public dissertation seminar.  At least one week prior to the seminar, the student defends their thesis before their dissertation reading committee.  Before the dissertation committee accepts the thesis for signature, at least one chapter must be submitted as a paper (not an abstract) to a refereed journal for publication.

Requirements for the M.A.

In addition to course work identified by the advisory committee or adviser, each student is required to take BIOE 279, two quarters of BIOE 293 (BIOE 295 may substitute for one quarter of 293), BIOE 294; the appropriate lab course (BIOE 281_) when in residence at the university (not in the field), and BIOE 297, as needed, to enroll in the minimum required 15 credits.  BIOE 200A and 200B are recommended but not required. 

The student must submit their thesis draft to their dissertation reading committee for tentative approval at least 30 days before presenting a public master’s dissertation seminar.  At least one week prior to the seminar, the student defends their thesis before their committee.  All but the sponsor signs the cover page of the student’s dissertation at the defense meeting.

There is no requirement, but it is highly recommended, that at least one thesis chapter be submitted as a paper (not an abstract) to a refereed journal for publication.

Requirements for the EEB Designated Emphasis

To receive a parenthetical notation in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (hereafter EEB), graduate students must complete the following requirements, in addition to the degree requirements for the doctorate in their home department:

1. Take the following EEB core courses (required for all EEB graduate students): 

BIOE 279  Evolutionary Ecology (5 credits)

BIOE 200B Advanced Organismal Biology (5 credits) 

2. Attend EEB department seminars (enroll in BIOE 294, 2 credits) for one quarter 

3. Attend a lab group seminar course (enroll in BIOE 281, 2 credits) for one quarter 

4. Take at least two courses from any other graduate or appropriate upper division courses in Biology, for example: 

BIOE 293 Readings in Ecology and Evolution (2 credits)

BIOE 295 Special Advanced Topics in Ecology and Evolution (2 credits)

BIOE 272 Population Genetics (5 credits)

BIOE 233 Exercise Physiology (5 credits)

BIOE 148 Quantitative Ecology for Conservation (5 credits)

BIOE 252 Community Ecology (5 credits)

BIOE 208 Marine Ecology (5 credits)

BIOE 245 Plant Ecology (5 credits)

BIOE 274 Evolutionary Game Theory (5 credits)

BIOE 286 Experimental Design and Data Analysis (5 credits)

5. In all, students will be expected to complete at least 20 credits of EEB coursework.  Courses taken to fulfill graduate requirements within the home department will not count toward the Designated Emphasis requirements. 

6. Have a designated graduate advisor from among the faculty of the EEB department, who commits to serve on the qualifying exam committee and on the Ph.D. dissertation reading committee.

Designated Emphasis form