Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, MA

Program Category: MA Programs
Chair: Maria Uriarte
MA Program Advisor: Bekka Brodie
Email address: [email protected]
Degree Programs: Full-Time/Part-Time: Free-Standing MA in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology

The E3B community offers academic excellence in a range of natural and social science disciplines that are directly related to biodiversity conservation including: evolution, systematics, genetics, behavioral ecology, public health, business, economics, political science, anthropology, and public and international policy.The Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) at Columbia University was established in 2001. In creating E3B, the university recognized that the fields of ecology, evolutionary biology, and environmental biology constitute a distinct subdivision of the biological sciences with its own set of intellectual foci, theoretical foundations, scales of analysis, and methodologies.

E3B’s mission is to educate a new generation of scientists and practitioners in the theory and methods of ecology, evolution, and environmental biology. Our educational programs emphasize a multidisciplinary perspective to understand life on Earth from the level of organisms to global processes that sustain humanity and all life.

To achieve this multi-disciplinary perspective, the department maintains close ties to over 40 faculty members beyond its central core. Thus many faculty members who teach, advise, and train students in research are based in other departments on the Columbia campus, or at the partner institutions (including the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Botanical Garden, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the EcoHealth Alliance). Through this collaboration, the department is able to tap into a broad array of scientific and intellectual resources in the greater New York City area.

Special Admissions Requirements

A background in ecology and evolutionary biology is preferred, with one year of undergraduate introduction biology and upper-division undergraduate courses in ecology, evolution, and genetics. Students interested in pursuing the thesis-based option for their capstone project are strongly encouraged to identify a full-time or adjunct faculty member who would act as research sponsor prior to applying to the program. On the application, you will be required to enter the name of at least one faculty member with whom you believe you would like to work during your graduate studies.

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit one transcript showing courses and grades per school attended, a statement of academic purpose, a personal statement, and two letters of recommendation from academic sources. All international students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English must submit scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS.

For more information, refer to our Admissions Information and Frequently Asked Questions pages.

Additional Information

MA students have the option of registering with the department for a paid Reading Assistantship in undergraduate courses. Reading assistants support a course instructor throughout a semester. The Reading Assistantship will allow students to develop additional skills for a variety of professional directions that they may choose to follow. Reading Assistantships are voluntary and limited in number based on the needs of the department and allocations from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. During the spring semester, requests will be sent out for interested students to indicate their availability during the following academic year.

*GSAS will accept up to four recommendations, regardless of the number required by your program of interest. However, to be eligible for admission at GSAS, at least TWO letters must be submitted by academic recommenders.