Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology, MS

for the degree of Master of Science in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology

head of department: Angela Kent

department website:

school website: School of Integrative Biology

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

college website:

department office: 320 Morrill Hall, 505 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801


phone: (217) 333-2910

Graduate Degree Programs in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology

Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology, MS

Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology, PhD

The Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology (PEEC) is an interdepartmental program designed to provide individualized training in preparation for careers in these disciplines. Because of the breadth of fields covered by this program, there will be no fixed course requirements other than attendance at the program's seminar series and annual graduate student symposium. Courses taken by a student and the student's Advisory Committee generally will come from multiple departments. The goal of the program's regulations is to allow maximum flexibility while providing close supervision, with the outcome of producing scientists who are broadly educated and technically competent in ecology, evolutionary biology and associated disciplines. The program offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.


Prospective candidates must meet the requirements for admission set by the Graduate College of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Only applicants who have graduated from an accredited college or university and who hold or will be granted a baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) comparable in content and completed credit hours to that granted by the University of Illinois will be considered. Applicants must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (A = 4.0) computed from the last two years of undergraduate (and any graduate) work completed. The program will give preference to candidates who hold a degree in biology or a closely related discipline and show promise of excellence in research and teaching. Typically, only students with strong letters of recommendation and a GPA well above the minimum stated above will be admitted. Demonstration of academic excellence by other means (e.g., extensive field or laboratory research experience) will also be considered. The Admissions Committee will make decisions concerning admission. For students whose native language is not English, the Program requires a minimum paper-based TOEFL score of 613 (257 on the computer-based test or 103-104 on the web-based test).

Financial Aid

Students admitted to the Program are typically offered two years of support for the M.S. degree and five years of support for the Ph.D. Support consists of fellowships, teaching assistantships or research assistantships. Such support typically comes with a waiver of tuition, service fees, or both. Continued offers of assistantships or fellowships each academic year will depend on an evaluation of satisfactory progress by the Director of the Program. Students who require more than two years to complete the M.S. degree or five years to complete the Ph.D. degree must submit a written petition to the Director of the Program, supported by their Advisor, to be considered for an additional year of support.

for the degree of Master of Science in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology

All students must register for and attend the weekly PEEC seminar series (IB 546A) each semester in residence. An orientation seminar (IB 546B) must be taken the first fall semester in residence. Excuses because of conflicts must be approved by the Director of the Program. Graduation requires the completion of a thesis. Student research will be guided and approved by an Advisory Committee of three faculty from at least two departments, including the Major Advisor who will serve as chair. The director of the program must approve membership of the Masters Advisory Committee.

For additional details and requirements refer to the Program's graduate handbook and the Graduate College Handbook.


IB 546Topics in Ecology & Evolution (Section A to be taken each semester of enrollment. Section B if not taken in MS program)5
Students must complete one course from each core area
Ecology Core List
Evolution Core List
Conservation Biology Core List
Thesis Hours Required (8 min applied toward degree) (Credit in rubrics other than BIOL, NRES, PBIO or ENT must be petitioned to apply.):8
Total Hours32

Other Requirements

Other requirements may overlap
Course work in three core areas with grades no lower than B or S.
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall: 12
Minimum GPA: 3.0

for the degree of Master of Science in Ecology, Evolution & Conservation Biology

Ecology Core Area Course, choose one:
Behavioral Ecology
Evolution of Infectious Disease
Evolutionary Ecology
Insect Ecology
Field Ecology
Stream Ecology
Ecosystem Ecology
Community Ecology
Env and Plant Ecosystems
Landscape Ecology
Evolution and Systematics Core Area Course, choose one:
Evolution of Traits and Genomes
Population Genetics
Env and Evol Physl of Animals
Principles of Systematics
Insect Classification and Evol
Fungal Diversity and Ecology
Evolution of Infectious Disease
Evolutionary Neuroscience
Conservation Biology Core Area Course, choose one:
Zoo Animal Conservation Sci
Insect Ecology
Conservation Biology
Wildlife Population Ecology
Fishery Ecol and Conservation
Restoration Ecology
Politics of International Conservation and Development
Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation
Soil and Water Conservation