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Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Columbia University

  • New York, NY
  • Private
  • Urban
  • 77%23%
    student ratio
  • 47
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • Not Reported
    fall application deadline
  • 17%
    acceptance rate
  • 3 Degrees
    degrees/awards offered


Columbia University's E3B Program Mission is to Educate a New Generation of Scientists and Practitioners

In addition to undergraduate and postbaccalaureate programs, the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) offers master's and doctorate degrees from Columbia University in the intellectual setting of New York City. The program's mission is to educate the next generation of scientists and practitioners in ecology, evolution, and environmental biology methods and theories. Special features of the E3B programs emphasize a multidisciplinary perspective on the earth's declining biodiversity.

These features integrate knowledge from relevant disciplines in biology with that from relevant social sciences' fields. To foster a multidisciplinary program mission, the department is linked directly to more than seventy educators who are outside the central department faculty, so faculty members who teach, mentor, or train students may be from another department of Columbia University.

These faculty members might also be from a partner institution of the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) consortium, a group of five renowned scientific institutions in greater New York City. CERC includes Columbia University, the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Botanical Garden, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Wildlife Trust. Through collaborations within the university and CERC, students and faculty are closely tied to a full scope of scientific, academic, and intellectual resources in the New York City area.

Graduates of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program Are Prepared to Plan Environmental Policy

The Postbaccalaureate Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology was created for graduates who want to receive training in environmental biology or a related discipline, even though they did not receive an undergraduate degree in the field. The graduate curriculum develops abilities in the core sciences associated with environmental biology.

The Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology provides an extensive education so participants can define, understand, and conserve the biological diversity of Earth. Students gain the knowledge and skills to conduct ecological, behavioral, systematic, and molecular research in evolutionary biology. They also are prepared to plan and execute environmental policy. Graduates of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Program realize professional goals with academic careers as researchers and teachers or as organizational leaders.

The E3B programs are based on the concept that the fields of ecology, evolutionary biology, and environmental biology comprise a subdivision of the biological sciences with its own set of intellectual foci, theoretical foundations, scales of analysis, and methodologies. The graduate programs of E3B involve expansive investigations into evolutionary, genetic, and ecological relationships. The E3B academic staff advise and train students in the areas of plant and animal systematics, evolutionary and population genetics, demography and population biology, and behavioral and community ecology. They also teach and conduct research in the fields of epidemiology, ethnobiology, public health, and environmental policy.

Graduate Students Earning an M.A. in Conservation Biology May Tailor Studies to Career Tracks

The M.A. in conservation biology program focuses on the biological sciences, while incorporating studies in a diversity of classes ranging from policy to economics to help them understand the complex matrix within which most conservation must take place. Graduate students working toward an M.A. in conservation biology take a suite of core classes but will be able to customize their education to help them achieve their goals in future academic, professional, or educational career tracks. All students will produce original scholarship which may take the form of a traditional thesis or a capstone project .After receiving an M.A. in conservation biology, individuals may wish to enter a Ph.D. program. They also may begin professions as researchers, teachers, or leaders in organizations established to foster conservation..

For almost ten years, Columbia has had a Ph.D. program in evolutionary primatology. Facets of the program are conducted with the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP), which comprises the City University of New York, Columbia University, New York University, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. This consortium delivers multi-institutional graduate training for candidates that focuses on each aspect of the behavioral, morphological, and evolutionary biology of primates. Coursework is integrated across NYCEP institutions. When students begin advanced coursework, they receive specialized training in one or more of the evolutionary primatology subdivisions. Three research internships are required, and Ph.D. students also contribute as teaching assistants.

Location & Contact

Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Columbia University

1200 Amsterdam Avenue 10th Floor Schermerhorn Extension
New York, NY 10027
United States

Prof. Ruth DeFries


Phone: 212-851-1647

Phone: 212-854-9987

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Evolutionary Primatology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Ecology And Evolutionary Biology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Conservation Biology Master of Arts (MA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? No
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


17% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 45
    • Accepted 8
    • Acceptance Rate 17
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $90
    • Application Fee - International $90
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, previous course work in biology
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *Not Reported
    • Out-of-state tuition *Not Reported
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsJanuary 5
    • Types of financial support availableCareer or Field-Related Internships, Institutionally-sponsored Loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students47
    • Female Percentage77%
    • Male Percentage23%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students47
    • Part-time Percentage2%
    • Full-time Percentage98%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / LatinoNot Reported
    • Black / African AmericanNot Reported
    • White / CaucasianNot Reported
    • American Indian / Alaskan NativeNot Reported
    • AsianNot Reported
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific IslanderNot Reported
    • Two or more racesNot Reported
    • UnknownNot Reported


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty50
    • Full-time Percentage14%
    • Part-time Percentage86%
    • Female Percentage32%
    • Male Percentage68%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchTropical ecology, ethnobotany, global change, systematics
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$300,000





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