Montana State University
MSU Catalog > Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs

Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs

Ph.D. Degree in Ecology and Environmental Sciences

This cross-college doctoral degree represents a broad collaboration among departments and faculty from across MSU. It provides the opportunity for motivated students to integrate our world-class faculty research programs in diverse aspects of ecology and environmental sciences, within the unparalleled natural laboratory that is the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Particular program strengths include terrestrial and aquatic ecology, environmental biogeochemistry, evolutionary biology, hydrology and watershed analysis, quantitative ecology, invasive plant ecology and management, conservation biology, land rehabilitation/restoration ecology, environmental microbiology, remote sensing and spatial sciences. Please see our website for a more comprehensive list of EES faculty programs and research opportunities:

Graduates will be well-trained professionals who will compete strongly in research, teaching, and related fields nationally and internationally.

EES doctoral students will be affiliated with a home department that corresponds to that of their major faculty advisor. Some specific graduate program criteria, procedures, and processes vary among departments; students will follow those of their home department, which are also consistent with policies set forth by the Division of Graduate Education.


Prospective students should submit a pre-application or application to the graduate program online at . The application should specify the desired area(s) of study to facilitate its full evaluation by faculty members in the desired field(s). Applicants are expected to have appropriate preparation to undertake the doctoral degree in the area of study. Students may undertake the Ph.D. following completion of a Master’s degree, or exceptional students may apply directly following completion of a suitable bachelor degree. An appropriate faculty mentor must agree to serve as the student's major advisor as a condition of admission. Stipend and operations funding are generally from research grants and contracts awarded to faculty members, but graduate teaching assistantships and other forms of support are also available on a limited basis.

Core Curriculum

Because of the substantial diversity in disciplinary and multidisciplinary foci within the EES doctoral program, there is no universal required core curriculum. The student's individual coursework program will be developed in partnership with the major advisor and graduate committee, and must be consistent with the home department and DGE guidelines and requirements. A minimum of 30 credits of resident coursework must be taken from MSU.

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree in Ecology and Environmental Sciences are expected to be familiar with the degree requirements of both their home department and the Division of Graduate Education.

Program Participants

The program is jointly centered in the departments of Ecology (College of Letters and Sciences) and Land Resources and Environmental Sciences (College of Agriculture), but is also specifically open to students and faculty mentors in other MSU departments and colleges who undertake relevant doctoral study.

Interested students should consult the program website at for additional information and to submit a graduate pre-application or application.

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