Graduate Program in Ecology & Evolution

The Graduate Program in Ecology & Evolution offers exceptional training for students pursuing a PhD. Our world-renowned faculty, access to resources at multiple institutions, dedicated staff, and an intellectually invigorating environment work together to foster the development of innovative and independent scientists. Our students accomplish a lot: they perform research all around the world, publish in top-tier journals, are awarded prestigious fellowships and grants, and pursue rewarding and interesting careers in and out of academia. All students have in common a set of research questions that examine ecological and evolutionary processes that underlie patterns of life on earth.

The Graduate Program in Ecology & Evolution is part of the Darwinian Sciences cluster (along with the Graduate Program in Integrative Biology and the Committee on Evolutionary Biology), within the Biological Sciences Division (BSD) at the University of Chicago, which is composed of programs covering all aspects of biological organization. An overview of admissions, student progress, and completion rates within the Darwinian Cluster is available here.

Graduate student research is facilitated through a diverse offering of courses and seminars both in the Department of Ecology & Evolution and around the University of Chicago campus.  Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, such as DNA sequencing and functional genomics centers, the greenhouses, computing clusters, and microscopy cores.  Our affiliations with Argonne National Lab, the Field Museum, and the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole (MA) also allow our students access to collections and facilities at these institutions.  Field-oriented biologists take advantage of surrounding reserves and restoration areas, as well as numerous distant locales where faculty members have established research programs.  Additionally, as one of the founding members of the Organization for Tropical Studies, our students have access to these field-oriented opportunities.

Graduate students are a vital component of the life of the program and the Department.  In addition to journal clubs that have strong student participation, students administer their own Friday afternoon seminar series. Graduate students are also involved in the selection of weekly seminar speakers from other institutions, and engage in diversity and equity events offered across the BSD. Faculty and student interactions are facilitated through these journal clubs and seminars, as well as through our annual Retreat.  All of these venues allow students to demonstrate intellectual development and independence, which is further encouraged by individual research stipends.

Current and potential accomplishments of E&E graduate students have been recognized in a number of ways, including external fellowship awards from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, American Association of University Women, and Department of Education.

Current students can find useful resources here.

If you are considering applying to our program, you can find useful information here.