The Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE) at Colorado State University is one of the leading programs in graduate ecology education in the U.S. and the world. We have an ongoing tradition of research excellence, publication and post-graduate placement.

Since its inception in 1992, GDPE has grown to become a principal organization that catalyzes cutting-edge and world-renowned ecological research performed at Colorado State University. Our primary goal is to provide outstanding training for graduate students in the ecological sciences, and our students consistently earn recognition for their scholarship and academic achievement.

Our Faculty
Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized for their achievements and leadership within the field of ecology. Accolades include several Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellows, National Academy of Sciences Education Fellows, and American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows, as well as many faculty members recognized by Colorado State University and their departments for their dedication to teaching and graduate student mentoring.

GDPE faculty are among the most published in the field of ecology, ranking in the top five in research productivity among federally funded U.S. Universities in Ecology and Environment. They are active in numerous professional societies including the Ecological Society of America, where several have served on the Governing Board and in other leadership positions. Our faculty are also among the most published in the field of ecology.

Our Students
Our outstanding graduate student scientists are also consistently recognized for their scholarship and academic achievement. Many of our students have received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results Fellowships, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Fellowships, World Wildlife Fund Fellowships, and Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants to name a few.

Our Alumni
Our graduates are located all over the world in fields such as academia, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, consulting, industry, and education. In recent years our graduates have gone on to postdoctoral appointments in such prestigious institutions as Duke, Dartmouth, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and many others.

Several of our graduates are tenure track faculty at institutions that include University of Virginia, Pennsylvania State University, Washington State University, Virginia Polytechnic University, University of Richmond, Oregon State University, University of Arizona, University of Richmond, University of Washington, University College of Dubliin, University of Buenos Aires among others.

Many other graduates of GDPE have gone on to work in land management and environmental government agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Agricultural Research Service, as well as non-governmental agencies such as the Smithsonian and The Nature Conservancy.

Colleges & Departments
GDPE maintains a close and collaborative relationship with the departments involved in the programs. The program continues its growth and success because of the cooperative spirit and investment of all of these outstanding units that participate. As the largest interdisciplinary graduate program on the CSU campus, the GDPE has a stable population of students who have academic homes in departments and colleges across campus. The faculty participating in the GDPE represent various academic units, as well as numerous federal and state agencies in the Fort Collins area and beyond.

GDPE is not an academic department. GDPE faculty do not hold academic appointments in GDPE; their academic appointment is through an academic department. An enrolled GDPE student’s “home department” is that of their faculty advisor.

GDPE At a Glance

  • CSU’s first and largest interdisciplinary graduate degree program
  • Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence
  • MS and PhD tracks
  • 165 faculty
  • seven colleges
  • 22 departments
  • two schools
  • 10 government agencies
  • Over 464 Alumni
  • 160 students enrolled at any given time
  • Cohorts are an average of 35 students