The GDPE curriculum is designed to provide a breadth and depth of training to MS and PhD students, who will emerge from the program as highly competent and skilled graduates. There are four courses required of all MS and PhD students: Foundations of Ecology (ECOL 505), Distinguished Ecologists Lecture Series (ECOL 571), Interdisciplinary Seminars in Ecology (ECOL 592), and Research Seminar (ECOL 693). These required courses provide a consistent ecological background for all GDPE students and ensure that all students engage in key intellectual opportunities within the program.

ECOL 505 (taught each fall) and ECOL 693 (taught each spring) should be taken the first year in the program.

Continuous Registration (Fall): CRN #64943
Continuous Registration (Spring): CRN #15551

Timeline for the MS

  • Semester 1. Discuss with the Advisor a plan of coursework and enroll in first courses. Discuss potential graduate committee members, and a plan for the dissertation or thesis project. Review the literature on the thesis/dissertation topic.
  • Semester 2. Select graduate committee members, prepare research proposal, and hold committee meeting to approve research study plan. Submit GS-6 form to GDPE for review and approval and then submit to the Graduate School. Initiate research and data collection.
  • Semester 3. Perform data analysis from research activities.
  • Semester 4. Complete research, begin to write thesis and a draft manuscript from the research for a professional journal.
  • Semester 4+. Complete thesis and defend, and submit manuscript for publication in a professional journal.

Timeline for the PhD

  • Semester 1. Discuss with the Advisor a plan of coursework and enroll in first courses. Discuss potential graduate committee members, and a plan for the dissertation or thesis project. Review the literature on the thesis/dissertation topic.
  • Semester 2. Select committee members and hold an initial committee meeting to agree on the plan of coursework and discuss the thesis/dissertation topic and research approach. Develop a draft GS-6 form to discuss with Advisor. Initiate research and data collection.
  • Semester 3. Complete research proposal. Complete GS6. Hold a formal committee meeting to gain approval of GS6 and proposal from the committee. Submit GS6 to GDPE for review and approval and then submit to Graduate School. Perform data analysis from research activities.
  • Semester 4. Present to-date research results at a professional meeting.
  • Semester 5. Take written and oral comprehensive exams (pre-lims).
  • Semester 6. Analyze project data to date and prepare manuscripts for publication, and present results at professional meeting.
  • Semester 7+. Complete coursework dissertation chapters and defend dissertation in public seminar held in home department. Write manuscripts from dissertation and present key findings at a professional meeting.