Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology

Program Category: PhD Programs

Chair: Kevin Griffin

Director of Graduate Studies: Maria Diuk-Wasser

Website: Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology

Email Address: e3b [at] columbia.edu

Degree Programs: Full-Time: MA/MPhil/PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; MA/MPhil/PhD in Evolutionary Primatology

Certificate Programs: Certificate in Conservation Biology, Certificate in Environmental 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.

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.

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.

Fellowships are awarded for those admitted to the PhD program in recognition of academic achievement and in expectation of scholarly success. Teaching and research experience are considered an important aspect of the training of graduate students. Thus, graduate fellowships include some teaching and research apprenticeship.

Special Admissions Requirements: 

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, and three letters of evaluation 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.

Deadline for Fall Admission: Thursday, December 15, 2016
Resume Requirement: Yes
Writing Sample: Optional
GRE General: Yes
GRE Subject: Recommended (Biology)
Degree Programs: Full Time

Other: 

GRE Subject test in Biology is strongly recommended for application to this program.

For the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology PhD program, an undergraduate major in one of the natural sciences is required. It is also desirable that students have had course work in calculus, physics, chemistry, statistics, genetics, ecology, evolution, and other areas of organismal biology. Prior field biology experience is strongly recommended. Students are admitted to begin only in the fall semester. Applicants must also contact a full-time or adjunct faculty member with whom the applicant is interested in working and who may act as the applicant's dissertation sponsor.

Columbia has offered a PhD program in Evolutionary Primatology for over a decade as part of the New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP). NYCEP, a consortium of the City University of New York, Columbia University, New York University, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, provides a multi-institutional venue for graduate training leading to the PhD, which emphasizes all aspects of the behavioral, morphological, and evolutionary biology of primates. Course offerings in this program are coordinated across the NYCEP institutions.