Biology: Ecology, Ethology, & Evolution, PhD

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biology, Ecology, Ethology and Evolution concentration

head of department: Andrew Suarez

director of graduate studies:  Becky Fuller

director of admissions committee:  Becky Fuller

department website:

department faculty:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

college website:

department office: 515 Morrill Hall, 505 South Goodwin Avenue Urbana, IL 61801

phone: (217) 333-7801


Students pursuing this major select the Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution concentration.

Graduate Degree Programs in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior

Biology, MS

required concentration:

Biology: Ecology, Ethology, & Evolution, MS

Biology, PhD

required concentration:

Biology: Ecology, Ethology, & Evolution, PhD

The Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior administers graduate degree programs as concentrations in biology. Areas of training include the broadly defined disciplines of Animal Behavior, Biomechanics, Comparative Anatomy, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Genetics/Genomics and Physiology.


Acceptance for graduate study in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior is based on the applicant's research potential and academic achievement. An undergraduate degree in the life sciences is the usual preparation, but students majoring in mathematics, computer science, or the physical and social sciences are also considered. Students should have taken courses in at least two of the following six areas: evolution, ecology, genetics, behavior, conservation, physiology/morphology. Students lacking one or more of these courses may be admitted with the provision that such deficiencies be completed in addition to the normal graduate course load. A grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) for the last two years of undergraduate work in a four-year undergraduate degree program or the last three years of a five-year undergraduate program and for any graduate study is required or the candidate will have to petition for an exception. Considerable emphasis is placed on a student's interest and ability in research as demonstrated by previous work and letters of recommendation. Applications are typically only considered for fall admission unless special arrangements are made with the Department. The deadline for application materials is December 15. A minimum paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 613 (257 on the computer-based version, 103-104 on the internet-based version) is preferred for international applicants.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available in the form of fellowships and teaching and research assistantships for qualified students.

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biology, Ecology, Ethology and Evolution concentration

For additional details and requirements refer to the department and the Graduate College Handbook


Courses in statistics are required
BIOL 599Thesis Research (0 min applied toward degree)0 to 16
Total Hours64

Other Requirements1

A concentration is required.
Experience in Teaching is required as part of the academic work of all PH.D. candidates in this program
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD? No, but Masters level requirements must be met (additional 32 hours)
Qualifying Exam Required: No
Preliminary Exam Required: Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required: Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required: Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0